Married to the Empire

Monday, February 20, 2012

Cloth Diapering: In the Trenches

Alex is wearing a Grovia All-in-One cloth diaper

I decided when I was pregnant that we would cloth diaper our baby.  After reading lots of opinions on blogs, along with my own personal preferences for wearing only natural materials, I decided to buy all-in-one diapers (AIOs) with cotton only.  No microfiber.  No pockets with inserts, as I knew that would annoy me.  No velcro, snaps only.  So, I settled on two diapers: The Grovia AIO and the bumGenius Elemental One-Size AIO. 

I ordered a few diapers a few months before Alex was born.  I was enamored with the cute designs on the Grovias, but after comparing them to the BG diapers, I realized that the leg openings on the Grovias were huge compared to the BGs.  Steven and I were both skinny children.  I was a very thin baby, so I figured that odds were high that our baby would be thin.  (I wasn't wrong.)  So, although I did order a few more Grovias (couldn't resist the owls! and the airplanes! and the trees!), I ordered far more bumGeniuses. 

When Alex finally grew big enough to start wearing his cloth diapers, I wondered what I had gotten myself into.  The first few weeks were kind of miserable.  He screamed like a banshee the moment he got wet in a cloth diaper.  There was one night I changed him 5 times in a 35-minute period.  Tiresome.  And he couldn't make it through his long nap in the afternoons in cloth. 

I'd spent a lot of money on my stash, and I felt like we had to make this work.  So, we stuck with it.  And you know what?  I'm so glad we did! 

The diapers seem broken in enough now that a wet one generally doesn't bother him immediately.  He can wet it now and still be happy, most of the time.  The poopy ones really aren't bad.  I find that when he poops in a disposable, the smell is so bad that I sometimes have to change his whole outfit, as the smell permeates the diaper and gets onto his clothes.  But that never happens in cloth.  It contains any odors quite well.  And cleaning it isn't bad at all.  I use one of my plastic scrapers from The Clean Team to scrape solids into the toilet.  I did find that there is staining if I don't treat the poopy diapers with an enzyme cleaner, so I do spray that on before dropping it into the diaper pail.  (You can judge me for this; I don't care.  I'm currently using Arm & Hammer's pet cleaner on the poopy diapers.  Organic staining is organic staining whether it comes from a baby or a pet.  Alex has had no adverse reaction to it.) 

Because I'm kind of a laundry nut, I really enjoy washing the diapers.  There's something very satisfactory about putting dirty, stinky diapers in the washer and having them come out clean and fresh.  I do find that the bumGenius diapers are so thick that they require 2 dryer cycles to dry completely.  I would air dry them, but they take too long, and we need to use them before they are dry. 

I can't say that we're saving any money with cloth. (If we were planning to have more children, it probably would be a money saver, but Alex will be an only.)  Because I have to do a cold water wash, then a hot water wash, then 2 dryer cycles, they use a lot of water and electricity.  And, we still use disposables.  We use them at night, as he just can't make it that long in cloth.  We also use them when we go out.  While the church nursery workers are willing to use my cloth diapers, I haven't done that so far because he doesn't have to be changed as often in a disposable.  I'm making it easier on them. 

We love the bumGenius diapers.  Super easy to use.  No leaks ever.  I can take Alex out of the house in them, and he doesn't cry when he's wet.  We're not as happy with the Grovias.  Steven refuses to use them.  I use them, of course, but I have to be diligent about changing Alex frequently because these diapers leak.  They're cute, they're trim, but they're leaky, at least in our experience. 

I knew I was finally won over by cloth diapering when I came home from a long youth weekend in which Alex wore disposables the entire time.  I was exhausted and I reached first for a disposable, thinking I'd make my life a little easier.  Instead, I put it down and grabbed cloth.  The soft cotton is nice, and I'm really starting to prefer putting the baby in it.  And as he can actually wear his bumGeniuses out and about without screaming, I bit the bullet and ordered a few more today.  I think I'm hooked. 


Becky said...

Yay! I'm so glad you stuck with it and are enjoying your cloth diapers. I'm a BumGenius pocket diaper fan myself. :) We also use disposables when out and about for long periods of time and for overnight.
I'm having my second child (and then we're done) and I still wonder whether we're saving any money. When I think of all the diapers that we are NOT sending to the landfill and all of the chemicals that are NOT constantly on my son's tush, though, I know it's worth it :)

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Jason2011 said...

she is a very lovely baby.
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