Thursday, July 30, 2009

cloth diapering

leon uses a cloth diaper part time. the main issues for us are money and time. there's a coin-op washer and dryer in the basement, so washing 16 prefolds and 6 covers every 4-6 days costs an extra $4.50 per load (two washes, cold and then hot, and a dry). the diaper service is about $20 a week, which ends up being as expensive as our disposables. the reason why i like cloth is because it allows for a closer fit and leon's skin looks better (although he never had really bad rashes). i usually do laundry at night when he's sleeping, and so far it hasn't been too much extra work.

i decided to go with prefolds because they're simple, easy to use with a snappi, and quick to wash and dry without worrying too much about stains because they're so cheap ($2-3 each). the apple cheeks cover (the red one) is actually lined in microfleece and has a pocket for an insert. supposedly it agitates out in the wash so that you don't have to take it out before putting it in your diaper bag. i think the size 2 (18-40 lbs) fits leon a little too big, but no leaks so far with a prefold. i haven't tried an insert yet, but i do have two bamboo prefolds that are small enough to fit in the envelope, so i'll try that this week. i don't know if it's because it's too large, but this cover definitely gives leon a bubble-butt. plus the elastic is a bit ruffly, adding to the poofiness of the whole look. the thirsties duo-wrap (size 2) is definitely too big and will easily fit leon as he gets bigger. i'm not so sure about the apple cheeks... but at any rate, the duo wrap hasn't given us any issues, and it's a bit cheaper than the apple cheeks. normally i prefer snaps to velcro/aplix, but the laundry tabs on the thirsties have been doing their job so far.

i don't think i'll switch to full-time cloth diapering. when you're outside for more than a few hours, you end up carrying a lot of bulk if you bring cloth diapers. eventually i'll have to carry more stuff than i do now, but i'm going to try to avoid that for as long as possible. i am glad, however, that i didn't try cloth in the beginning. 12-16 diaper changes a day would have driven me crazy. now it's more like 6-8, which is fairly manageable. the only annoying thing about cloth is that i need to size up in bottoms and onesies because leon's regular size doesn't fit over the covers. a t-shirt and diaper cover works for now, but winter will be trickier.


Jessica said...

you do like the snappis? - i have heard mixed things about them although the diaper service here in western mass suggests them.

erica said...

i like the snappis so far, although i've heard that they can hurt you. the teeth are pretty sharp. plus, it sounds like toddlers can take them off.

i'm considering diaper pins, but the snappis give us a pretty tight fit. leon is starting to wiggle more, so diaper changes are more challenging than before. i'm not skilled enough to do pins, but maybe with practice.

sustainablebabyish has a fitted bamboo diaper with long wings so you only need one pin. they're expensive, though.

valerie said...

we were ridiculously hopeful that we would be able to do prefolds right away with alden, but after the first week, i've given in to disposables. at least temporarily. i bought some nice wool soakers from an etsy seller, but soak they did not! i was changing him (and myself) every 15 minutes, it seemed. maybe we'll try again with the apple cheeks...they are cute. also, we don't even have laundry in our building, so poor ian has had to do evening washes around the corner when he comes home. it does almost seem worth it though when you see how much gentler the cloth is on their little bums. :)

erica said...

did you lanolize the wool soakers? apparently this is what helps the wool absorb liquids. i haven't tried wool yet, but it would probably still feel damp (as opposed to dry with the PUL covers).

the thing with newborns is that it seems you have to change them constantly anyway. leon's tolerance for a wet diaper used to be 5 seconds.

i've heard from others who tried cloth in the beginning, and many wished they had waited until 3 months or so. it can be done, but having a washer and dryer in house helps tremendously.

the prefolds are so good for the baby's skin, though. i agree, definitely worth a second chance!