View Full Version : thinking about trying cloth diapers
10-12-2002, 04:10 PM
I've been thinking about trying cloth diapers for awhile now. I've lurked for awhile on the ParentsPlace diapering board and have learned a bunch there. To try things out, I am thinking about ordering a couple samplers.
At naturalbabies.com there is a sampler for $49 that includes:
1 Kissaluvs fitted
1 Prorap cover
1 Bummis velcro cover
1 white Bumkins AIO
1 white Fuzzibunz
(I am thinking about adding a Joeybunz insert to an order here.)
I am also thinking about ordering a sampler from Motherease (Kathy's favorite) for $17. Their sampler includes 1 Onesize diaper, 1 snap-in liner, and 1 Airflow cover. I was also thinking about ordering 1 Sandy, 1 Sandy liner and a Rikki cover.
That brings the overall outlay to $100 to start with. I have a bunch of DSQ prefolds that I got from BRU to use as burp cloths when Sarah was smaller. I figure I can use those as doublers if I need to. Does this make sense for a "getting started, not sure I'll like this, and I want to take the easiest route possible to get started" plan?????
I figure if I don't like it, I can always re-sell on Ebay. What do folks think?
Anything else I absolutely NEED to get started?
10-12-2002, 11:48 PM
Wow - you're a gal who does her homework!! Seriously, if you're gonna do this, you should definitely figure out what works best for you first, so go for it. I'll bet that you'll have no problem selling the whole kit when the time comes, as a "try them all, see what you like" package.
You'll need some kind of diaper pail. Our local Wal-Mart sells a super-cheapie white one with a bunny on the side. It doesn't lock, but other than that it works fine. You could also substitute any other kind of pail, as long as you get a reasonably good seal to keep odours in. I keep intending to use the little deodorizer pucks that go in the lid, but never get around to it, so I think you can skip those.
One thing that really helps on clean-ups are the paper liners (kinda like slightly more sturdy strips of toilet paper). For poopy diapers, just peel 'em out and drop them in the toiler/garbage. For pissy diapers, leave them in place and let them go through the laundry. Some rip in half, but many survive and I end up using them again. I get mine in bulk from www.borntolove.com, but our local Wal-Mart sells the Kooshies version in single rolls. You may want to give these a try - they help a lot with the "icky factor".
(I say "our local Wal-Mart" because it's a Canuck one, and I think the US ones would sell mostly the same stuff, but I guess you can't assume...)
Good luck! I will be watching for your articulate, informative reviews on the diapers you try! (I really mean that! This kind of thing is great to know!)
10-13-2002, 12:38 AM
Thanks! I definitely want some of those liners!!!
I have a question about laundry. It seems like most people do a pre-wash (with detergent and baking soda), then a hot wash, then a couple rinses. Does this sound right? Also, I have a brand new, mildly fancy washing machine (old one died after 10 years), that has a super-duper fast spin cycle. Seriously, it sounds like a helicopter taking off when it spins and clothes come out practically dry. Do you think this might hurt AIOs or covers?
Thanks for your advice. DH thinks I am absolutely crazy for wanting to try this, I don't know anyone personally who uses cloth diapers and ALL my mommy friends are going to think I'm nuts! Oh well, you only live once.
10-13-2002, 11:03 AM
I am also going to use cloth with DD (baby #2) I didn't with DS as I worked full time, he's 2 now and I'm going to try to "convert" him. DD is due any day now and I've pretty much got a HUGE supply. You've got alot more will power in your purchases than I. I bought several samplers and then just went to several WAHM sites and ordered one or two after reading many, many reviews on various message boards. Those message boards are also great for laundering ideas. Since I don't have a baby for these dipes yet, I can't help with your questions but you might want to check out Punkinbutt.com and read "The Diaper Drama". You'll feel so glad you decided to go cloth after reading it. I also have folks thinking I'm nuts for doing cloth, but they also haven't used cloth or haven't used it in 25+ years. So I really just smile and nod and ignore their "good advice". Plus I want to warn you.. these cloth diapers are as addicting as crack! LOL. But I'll probably get another baby through the same diapers too! I'm finding a bright side to it all the time!!! Good luck! Oh Punkinbutt.com also has a singles sampler where you can get 1 of each thing, including a fuzzybunz, a Bumkins AIO, I think. Samplers are a great idea!
10-13-2002, 02:39 PM
I went to my local Walmart today and I didn't find anything like you describe. :( The didn't have any diaper pails. They also didn't have any Kooshies liners. I am wondering if my local Whole Foods Market might carry something like this. But I guess it's going to be mostly on-line shopping for me!
10-13-2002, 05:57 PM
Thanks for the link. That's a nice site.
Did you order from them? I am a little apprehensive ordering diapers from an "unknown" website. Based on reading through the ParentsPlace Diapering board, many diaper sites seem to be unreliable. Their sampler is really similar to the naturalbabies sampler, but naturalbabies gets consistently good reviews.
What are you using for a diaper pail?
10-13-2002, 09:29 PM
I have purchased from Naturalbabies.com (many times :)), Punkinbutt.com (several times), Cloth-diaper.com (which is Jardine diapers), Motherease and Chesapeake Diaper Co., as well as several WAHM sites for one or two dipes to try. I've had nothing but great service and very fast shipping. With Punkinbutt.com I ordered something she didn't have in right then so she had it shipped directly to me from the manufacturer, which I thought was super customer service! I really like Naturalbabies.com as my first choice because she offers so much and Punkinbutt as another really good choice. They are really friendly moms! I too did as much review reading as I could before plunking down so much money at one site. If you haven't found them already there are good message boards on Babycenter.com, Parentsplace.com, mothering.com and I think diaperpin.com has a message board too. I just went to onestopdiapershop.com and although it looks like it's mostly diaper sewing supplies, there was alot of good info in the FAQ sections. I mostly check out the message board on parentsplace.com. I read a couple of great reviews about a particular diaper and just "have to have it!!". I'll have to change the baby before she's wet just to use all those cute diapers! I bought a plain old Rubbermaid pail from Target that had a flip top lid, 40qt. I think I paid maybe $15 for it. I did buy a washable nylon liner from one of those sites mentioned above. With the liner in it, it doesn't have a super tight seal but it's good enough. I also got some deo disks to try. I might try the minishower too. It looks like a neat gadget and alot of people seem to like the convenience. you can see it at minishower.com. I'm going to try dunking first and see how that goes.
10-13-2002, 09:31 PM
I forgot to add to above, I buy EVERYTHING online. Not just because I'm an uncomfortable 9 months pregnant, but I prefer the convenience of shopping at my leisure after my 2 year old is in bed and not trying to climb out of the shopping cart. Alot of times I not only find a better deal but it comes directly to my door. You can find different types of liners at Naturalbabies.com for sure and I'm pretty sure the other sites carry them too. I'm going to try fleece liners first before trying anything disposable/flushable.
10-14-2002, 12:18 PM
Thanks for all the great links! I'm having fun reading through all the info. I really liked the FAQ section of the onestopdiapershop.com site. I thought she had a lot of really good, practical advice.
I can see where the dollars can add up pretty quickly. I was doing a spreadsheet last night and adding up all the dollars I was planning to spend on samplers and a few "extras" here and there, and before I knew it, it had added up to $276! So I have decided to scale back, since I'm not sure I will even want to do this on-going!
I was reading babycenter.com and someone suggested using the 5 gallon containers that many kitty litters come in as a diaper pail. I think I will do that initially, since I have several of these sitting in my garage waiting for a good use.
Thanks again and good luck!
10-14-2002, 12:39 PM
Good for you for going against the grain and giving cloth diapers a try. I've been using cloth dipes with my daughter since she was born and love them. Since you've done a lot of reading I won't go into all the pros and cons here but I'll try and give you some input.
What your thinking of buying initially makes sense if you're really not certain you want to go the cloth route. As your getting started you may find you have to do laundry every other day or so (looks like your getting 7 diapers and 4 covers, right?) but trying a variety and seeing what you like is a good idea. My daughter is 13 mos. old and I have 2 dozen prefolds, 1 dozen contoured diapers, a 1/2 dozen fitted diapers, a 1/2 dozen doublers, and 7-8 covers (she's between sizes right now). With this supply I launder diapers and about half the covers every 6-7 days. I also highly recommend buying paper liners.
In terms of diaper pails, I use two. For wet dipes I use a brushed stainless steel trash can with a foot pedal that lifts the lid. It keeps the odors in and has a removeable basket with a handle that's really convenient for transporting dirty dipes to the washing machine. I got it at Target for about $60...not an investment I'd make unless you decide clother diapers are for you. For dirty dipes I use a square 5 gallon tofu bucket with a lid. Restaurants or natural food grocery stores are the places to look for these. You might be able to find something comparable at Target or Walmat too. Wet dipes just get thrown in the pail, dirty dipes have the paper liner removed, get rinsed in the toilet, then placed the 5 gallon bucket filled with soapy water (I use Dr. Bronners).
To launder everything, I dump the water from the "wet" bucket then throw all the dipes in the washer. I've never bothered running a rinse cycle first but instead just run a long wash cycle using a "free" laundry detergent, baking soda, and very occassionally Ecover liquid bleach (basically hydrogen peroxide). I have a front loading washing machine with a super fast spin and have never had problems with the spin speed damaging the diapers or the covers. Most of my dipes were purchased new 9 mos. ago (I used a service for the first 4 mos.) and none of them smell or have ANY stains.
As for websites to try, I really like and recommend earthbaby.com. They also sell packages that you might want to look into. I've also had really good experiences with babyworks.com and chooseydiapers.com.
Good luck! I hope everything works out.
(Mom to Lola, 9/4/02)
10-14-2002, 06:32 PM
I think it's great that you're interested in cloth diapers. I was wondering if you had thought about using a cloth diaper service, just to try out the cloth diapers and see if you like them? I did this when DD was a baby, and found out that I didn't like cloth diapers. Granted, I probably didn't give them a fair shake, since we found out that DH was being transferred when DD was about 5 weeks old, and I had to get my house ready to sell and finish out a notice at work. So, we just went with disposable diapers.
Good luck and let us know how you like using cloth diapers!
Toni - mom to Katherine (5/19/96) and Andrew (9/23/02)
10-14-2002, 11:05 PM
Thanks to everyone for your help and support! I've ordered my diapers (and other stuff :) ) and now I just need to wait!
10-15-2002, 05:59 PM
I'm just being nosy - why the urge to change?
10-15-2002, 08:00 PM
I must admit, Beth, I am curious too! I can't wait to see/hear how this experiment works out! :)
I often think how Meg is leaving the legacy of her stink around for generations in the landfill. I often debate what is best: landfill space or using more of the clean water supply. I have toyed with the idea of cloth but would probably only be able to do part-time since Meg's in childcare 2-3 days a week. And then there's the conversion of my husband (who has always done way more than his share of changing/laundry and we don't wanna mess that up!) who already thinks we are overboard somewhat on baby stuff.
Way to go, girl! I don't think you're weird and I look forward to the updates!
mom to Meghan
10-16-2002, 08:19 AM
If I may, I'll offer my reasoning for changing to cloth. I thought about it w/DS but I worked full time, didn't have correct info and basically let others scare me out of it. I'm a SAHM now, and I'm expecting a little girl anyday now. Frankly, the idea of "inside plumbing" makes me a little more wary of what I put next to her body. So I started researching. Long story short, they put alot of crap (ie. chemicals and toxins) in disposable diapers. While I'm not likely to be found hugging a tree or anything, it is pretty disgusting thinking about all those diapers with poo in them just reeking up some landfill. I've never been totally happy with disposables w/DS anyway and after researching, I'm totally confident I'm going to have better luck w/cloth, not only in leaks but fit as well. As far as the laundry goes, I just can't see where it merits a panic attack. It just isn't that big of a deal to wash one or two more loads of laundry a week when I'm already washing one or two loads daily anyway. Cloth diapers of today just aren't what they used to be and thanks to the improved technology of washing machines, you honestly don't have to turn it into a poo fest w/the toilet bowl, unless you choose to. While disposables in my opinion are a convenience as far as time, that's about it. Plus I personally wouldn't want to wear one 24/7 for 2+ years. Once the baby FINALLY (can you tell I'm ready..LOL) makes her debut, I'm switching DS to cloth too. Funny thing is, it's really addicting. I call my diapers a "collection" like trophies or something. I'm excited to try different diapers and maybe even sew a few myself. Ok, Ok, so maybe I'll be hugging trees in no time.. LOL. Bottom line, disposables aren't cutting the mustard in this house, so we're going to go for comfort with cloth! My mom's first reaction was "you'll have lots of diaper rash". After I scolded her for baseing her reaction on 25+ years old info, she thought about it and said she actually enjoyed cloth diapering me and didn't have rash problems. It wasn't a pain at all. Then I pulled out my "collection". Boy, was she ever jealous!
10-16-2002, 03:26 PM
Just wanted to comment about your Mom's remark "you'll have lots of diaper rash." My daughter has been in cloth diapers since birth and the only time she's had diaper rash has been when we're traveling and using DISPOSABLES. Sounds like cloth diapers really have changed.
Good luck. Hope your daughter makes her entrance soon.
10-19-2002, 11:07 AM
Iwas so excited to find this thread. I just switched to cd. I have a diaper service that brings me the pre-folds and I am currently using prorap covers because that is what the service had and they are pretty inexpensive. I ordered 2 Bummis Whisper Super Pant covers and one Kushies AIO as well as Kushies liners. I ordered them from www.babyNmore.com. I ordered them Wedneday and they were shipped Thursday. They are located in Virginia. I also ordered fuzzibunz and the inserts from Eco-Baby in California. I am looking forward to receiving those.
My son has had irritation from the disposables. It seems like some diapers are worse than others, specifically Huggies ultra trim. Yikes! His little bum would be all red. I purchased Tushies Tender Heart Stretch disposables from Whole Foods and have seen a world of difference! They have no gel, no dyes, no perfumes, etc.. He has no reaction to them whatsoever.
I am truly enjoying cding and wish I had done it from the beginning.
Just had to share :)
10-21-2002, 02:59 PM
Hi! I've been away for awhile visitng my parents (no internet access, talk about withdrawal, LOL!!!)
Well, my reasons are a little different from joodyjr (the above poster). I have always been a little on the treehugging side, although not obsessively so. And to be honest, mainly when it has been convenient to me. But I have had this guilt building up since Sarah was born about the amount of waste we have generated. I think that if I don't at least TRY it, I will always regret it later. My other main reason is that it is something different. I have always enjoyed being on the different, non-mainstream side, and here's another chance for me to do that LOL!!!
I don't have any issues with disposables (other than environmental). Pampers and Luvs have served us VERY well. We have had about 3 leaks total in her 14 months. Sarah has had very little problem with diaper rash (although, I have noticed recently that she has gotten a lot more rashes than previously). I have read all the research on the addititives in disposables and am not, personally, convinved that those are real issues. But that's me.
So those are my reasons. The idea of extra laundry doesn't particularly daunt me. And the idea of dealing with poo-poo diapers doesn't distress me nearly as much as it did before Sarah was born. The last 14 months of poo-poo diapers has cured me of that.
My DH is NOT at all convinced and thinks I am just totally nuts. Oh well. I guess we'll see how it works out. I haven't gotten my diapers yet. I'm a little disappointed, I had hoped they would be here when I got back from my trip. I just have to wait a bit longer!
10-21-2002, 03:03 PM
I hope it all works out well for you :) Out of curiousity, what did you order? Where did you order from?
I just received my order today from www.babynmore.com and I am quite happy with the customer service and quick turn around.
Best of luck to you :)
10-21-2002, 03:37 PM
FYI, I ordered exactly what I originally said I was going to order, plus a Bummis bag and some liners.
10-22-2002, 08:26 AM
I share your middle-of-the-road convictions. I think cloth diapers are better for the environment (at least where there's no shortage of water...for laundry) but I'm not vehemently opposed to disposables either and use them mabye 20% of the time. Often they're more convenient and they're certainly less cumbersome for travel.
We've really enjoyed using cloth diapers...there's just something about them...a little strange I suppose. Anyway, I just wanted to let you know like-minded people exist and wish you luck with your experiment.
10-23-2002, 08:31 AM
My order from naturalbabies arrived! The dipes are in the wash! I'll let you know how it goes when I work up the nerve to try them later today!!! LOL! This is actually a really good time, since DH is out of town until Friday. I can practice without any distractions!! :)
(FYI, the Motherease order was held up a bit. :( Not their fault. They had a question about my order and left a message on my machine while I was out of town, so that order won't be here for a few days.)
Am I crazy to be this excited about diapers????
10-24-2002, 09:46 PM
We did out first day in cloth today! No leaks! :)
So far I really like the Kissaluvs, although the prefolds weren't nearly as hard to use as I had feared. My Motherease diapers came in the mail today and they are all ready to try tomorrow. :)
I ordered another sampler from Kellie's Closet and that should be here in a couple days. :7 At that point, I should be ready to make a decision about which dipes to order more of. Right now I have enough dipes to go about a day and a half. Sarah actually ended up in a disposable for tonight since I ran out of cloth dipes!!
10-24-2002, 10:06 PM
Sorry I've been out of the loop for a bit - two weeks' vacation! Now I just need a vacation to recover from travelling with an 18-month-old...
For washing, your machine likely won't hurt the covers - mine has a pretty aggressive spin cycle and it hasn't yet. (My MIL remembers running diapers through a wringer. Every now and then a pair of plastic pants would sneak in there and - POP!!! just like a paper lunchbag.) That being said, I air-dry the covers to avoid the dryer heat and they have lasted very well.
For washing, I scrape poopy diapers into the toilet with an old table knife, and spray them with a mixture of liquid laundry detergent and enough water to thin it a bit. Then they go into the pail. Pissy diapers just hit the pail. (Depending on where the pail is kept, you may ultimately want to look into one with a locking lid!) In the washer, they go in hot water, with a second rinse... that's all!
Funny how weird people get when you tell them you're going to cloth-diaper. Sometimes I want to say, "Come on, people! It's peepee and poopoo, not plutonium!!" And from the environmental point of view, the water use is not unlike flushing your toilet a couple more times a day... as your child will be doing for the years from age 2 or 3 to eighteen!
Still watching this column for more of your feedback!
10-25-2002, 08:58 PM
Kathy, do you use the white or unbleached Motherease diapers? If you have used both, have you noticed any differences between them? I really liked both the Sandy and the One-size, although I found the OS much more confusing. I guess I would get better with practice. :) I really like the idea of the Onesize diaper and if I am going to invest in more, I find the idea of a diaper that I can use for an entire babyhood to be very appealing.
What do you use at night?
10-25-2002, 09:34 PM
I use the unbleached. They started out a lovely warm sort of wheat colour, and have been moving towards kind of a bone colour as they get washed and re-washed. I don't use bleach or anything like that. I imagine that the white would probably also move towards a slightly off-white with time. If there is any difference between them performance-wise, I imagine it would disappear very quickly as they get used and washed a few times.
The One-Size are easy once you get the hang of the different snap options. Me, I bought mostly Sandy's, because DD pees like a sailor on a beer binge - always has. Now she's 18 months, and at night she goes through the night with a large Sandy's and a single pad inside it. It's completely soaked when morning comes, but we only rarely get leaks. You might consider doing OS during the day and Sandy's at night.
For covers, I found that the Rikki's fitted better when she was a small infant, and the Air-Flows were the better fit once she started galloping around on two feet. However, they both do the job fine.
If you ultimately decide to invest in ME's, I suggest first cruising the bulletin board they run on the ME site. It's not uncommon to find unused/hardly used diapers for sale there by mothers who invested and then changed their minds about the particular style they bought, or about cloth diapering in general. (Didn't do their research like you're doing!)
10-26-2002, 07:50 PM
Kathy, thanks for the info. I ordered another sampler that has yet to arrive. After I try out those diapers, I think I'll be ready to order more.
I am wondering how many diapers you have. When I place my big order, I was thinking about ordering enough to have 20 fitteds, 8 AIOs and 12 prefolds. (I would mainly use fitteds at home, AIOs when out and about and the prefolds when the fitteds run low and as inserts.) I would like to do laundry about every 3 days. Does this sound like enough or do you think I need more?
I guess I have pretty much decided to use cloth. I have done it for 3 days now and it really hasn't been a big deal. The only pain has been doing laundry EVERY night at this point, since I have barely enough to get through one day!! :)
10-26-2002, 09:33 PM
I think I've got about 30 of the Sandy's, and about 5 One-size. (I live near the factory, and ended up rummaging much of my supply out of their factory-seconds bin, so I don't remember an exact number.)
I'd say what you have should do you fine. A three-day cycle is about right - any more than four days and things start to get somewhat rancid.
Glad to hear that cloth is working out! I still wouldn't mind seeing (if you find yourself with a few minutes to spare somewhere) a writeup on all the diapers you tried and what you thought of each. It'd be a real public service!
10-26-2002, 10:19 PM
I will certainly do that as soon as I get my last bunch of diapers and try them out. :) I must admit that the research has been quite fun!
10-28-2002, 10:11 PM
I posted a review under a new subject line. Here's the link:
10-28-2002, 10:56 PM
AWESOME REVIEW! Thanks so much for sharing that info with us!
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