Friday, July 23, 2010

cloth diapering so far

we started cloth diapering around 5 months, took a hiatus at 10 months for 6 weeks (leon would not tolerate long changing sessions), and have been doing 3-4 day cycles once a week since then. i have a coin-op laundry in the basement, so washing and drying not only gets expensive, but it's a pain to find quarters so frequently. i thought about doing a diaper service, but the only one available in my area provides their own diapers. i've found a combination of prefolds, pockets, and fitteds that works for me, so i wasn't interested in a predetermined selection of diapers.

my minimalist diaper 'stash' includes:
12 medium sized pre-folds from green mountain diapers
2 pockets from apple cheeks (purchased used from the
2 medium fitteds from sustainable babyish (these run small), great for long naps.
6 pul covers (my favorite is the thirstie duo wrap because leon is so skinny)
2 wool covers, one from little beetles, the other from the defunct luxe baby.

if i could start over, i would have bought 2 more wool covers. leon has only had 2 almost-blow outs while cloth diapering (rarely with disposables, too), so the wool doesn't really get dirty. it's breathable, water-repellent, and neutralizes ammonia. i balked at the price of wool ($30-50 for nice interlock, but you can knit your own, or buy repurposed wool), but they're actually more affordable that i had thought. between the two wool covers, i can use 6 prefolds and the 2 fitteds. all you have to do is air the cover out compared with rinsing and drying the pul cover (which i'm too lazy to do). i use this tutorial to lanolize and wash my covers once every 3 weeks. i'm glad i've found a use for all that extra lansinoh left in the tube.

i may be lucky in that leon has remained a slim baby. we've been using the same prefolds and covers since he was 5 months, but he's also only 20 lbs at 17 months. maybe cloth would have been more expensive if he had had a major growth spurt. i've seen people buy 5 pocket or aio diapers at a time at my local diaper shop ($20-25 each), and although i've been tempted by the rumparooz and fuzzi bunz, saving money has been one of the main reasons that i use cloth. i've spent less than $280 on detergent, snappis, wet bags, doublers, diapers, and covers. laundry is $3 per week, and disposables are $30 per month. i'm terrible at math, but i'd like to think i've done ok so far.

one of the hard parts of cloth diapering is finding clothes that fit over the extra bulk. i can do a pretty trim diaper with a snappi'd prefold and cover, but we always size up with onesies. leon doesn't outgrow the carter's onesies as often as he does with gerber or baby gap. pants are tricky because they tend to have a low rise. which is why i was excited to see these corduroy pants on baby gap's site.

i swear by catherine's wool jersey pants. you can ask her to increase the rise to accommodate a cloth diapered bum. leon finally outgrew one pair (both purchased last october), and the other one is still loose on him. he wore them nearly every day last winter, and finally wore through the knees. i patched them up, so they're ready for another baby (if not mine, then a friend's).


melissa said...

that's great you stuck with cloth diapering, even part-time. we stopped our diaper service when we moved from virginia, but sometimes i miss it. i don't miss finding pants that fit correctly, though! and hugh just hates diaper changes, i don't think he could tolerate the extra time it takes to assemble one (we used prefolds and thirstie duo wraps).

also kind of nice to hear other people have skinny babies! no pudgy little toddlers in our house either. hugh still fits in some of his 6-12m clothing. even one 3-6m top!

erica said...

my mom sent a sun romper sized 6-12 months, and yep, it fits leon.

i admit, i'm jealous of all the chubby thighs and cheeks at the playground, but i love my active and nimble skinny boy. plus, the fact that it takes forever for him to outgrow clothing means i can splurge on pretty things from makie or bu and the duck! always an excuse to shop, i guess...

dp said...

this is kind of amazing (& inspirational if we ever have baby, part deux ...i'll have to revisit this post if/when/then). on my best weeks, i'd use cloth diapers about 1-2 days [mostly imse vimse cloth] - - regrettably brief! and then to think 'natural' / organic disposables run 25-30 cents each [math by way of Raley's]. {P.S. it's a plus that Makie's 'baby' pants have a wonderfully full cut in the bum- - cute + accommodating!}

Jessica said...

i LOVE my cloth diapers! But I agree the diaper butt is hard to navigate around. Ollie is big for his age, he is around 27.5 inches long and around 19 pounds at 7 months. He is already in 12 or 18 month onesies because of the bulk (on top of him being a heavy wetter and needing the larger cloth diapers). I always say I am going to start a clothing company that caters to cloth diapers. But despite the bulk I think they are great. Thanks for sharing your methods.

Natasha said...

I have often read your blog (found through the wonderful Catherine:0D ) but never commented so "hello"
anyhoo,I have a couple of bumgenius that are pilly on the velcro but great working order.You can have them (free) if you like,oh so long as Leon doesn't mind sporting a pink diaper once in a while:0) i think the other is green ,lmk,

Robin Schaefer said...

i hear you on the scrounging up quarters front--i finally decided that it's nuts to hoard quarters and we used to buy the $10 rolls of quarters so that they were always accessible and one didn't have to skimp on the dryer because one only had enough for 15 min.! when still pregnant, one of the pre-baby tasks was to buy two rolls of quarters so we could do the mountains of newborn laundry. anyone know how such little people with such little outfits generate so much laundry?