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Cloth Baby Diapers 


cloth diapers vs disposablesswitching form disposables to cloth baby diapers was a little scary, but Frugal Fran and Addie give you the low down from their own real life, personal experience..  
 "March 21, 2008 was the day that I switched to cloth diapering cold turkey.  We tossed out our last Pampers Swaddler, and switched over to Bum Genius 3.0 one size fits all pocket diapers.  Find out why we did it, how it all turned out, and see if cloth baby diapers are a viable choice for your family!"
"In the day to day grind, switching to cloth diapers seemed like a tall order.   But for the long  haul, it makes sense to at least give it a shot!"

cloth vs disposable diapers


Want to know "Do Cloth Diapers Save Money?"  Check out this article and see how we figured out a real dollar amount in savings.  Input your own numbers into our official "Savings Formula" and find out what you could be saving too!

My Diaper History:

I used strictly cheap-o diapers with my first two kids.  Who wants to pay more for a product whose only job is to trap human waste?  I had even tried out cloth baby diapers once on my first child, and found that they had to be changed each time she wet, or they leaked.  Not for me.  I just didn’t relish the thought of changing my baby every 30 minutes, in addition to handling human waste on a regular basis. 

Then, for my third baby, I was given several packages of Pampers Swaddlers.  They are the Cadillac of disposable diapers, and for good reason.  We had very few leaks in the Swaddlers.  They hug the shape of the baby, and are very soft to the touch.  We liked them a lot. 

Then my sister in law told me about the Bum Genius diapers.  I had seen her use cloth with her first child, and she loved them.  But she had a bunch of  different brands and styles of cloth baby diapers.  And she had to keep buying the next size up and selling the ones that he’d outgrown.  It just seemed like too much trial and error to figure out which kind of cloth baby diapers was the best, and then having to sell them and invest more every few months when the baby outgrew them.

Then she tells me about a brand called Bum Genius.  The One-Size-Fits-All Pocket Diaper caught my attention.  They had just released the 3.0, and it looked interesting enough to try out.  They met my requirements of not having to buy different sizes and they looked similar to a disposable in engineering and ease of use.  

Cloth Baby Diapers: Which way to go? 

cloth baby diapersSo the research commenced: Do cloth diapers save money?  What other accessories will I need besides the cloth baby diapers?  Everything you need to know about the basics of cloth baby diapers is here in the Cloth Baby Diapers Primer.  Hopefully, it will save you tons of time.  My criteria as I researched was that the diapers must be 1) cost effective 2) not leak 3) as efficient as possible…from the changing table all the way through the laundering process. And 4) be all one size.  This is simply an extension of the efficiency.  I did NOT want to go through the hassle of re-shopping, swapping, or selling diapers every few months.  Some people really get into that aspect, and there is a whole ‘culture’ of cloth diapering.  I just want to cut to the chase and get what works.

My Diaper Journal

Mid March: Began researching cloth diapers, and decided to try the BumGenius 3.0 one size fits all pocket diapers.  I researched cleaning and laundering, as well as other accessories that we'd need.  Bought cheapie washcloths to use as wipes, and will wash those with the diapers.  Addie and I made our own diaper pail liners, wet bags, and wipes solution to get ready for the diapers that we ordered.   

so cloth diapers save moneyAs impressed as I've been with the Swaddlers,  check out the poop-splosion that occurred on March 18th!  Yikes!  I was holding the baby in an upright seated position when this unfortunate event took place.  A shower and outfit change was necessary for both of us.

Friday, March 21, 2008
  I switched to cloth baby diapers cold turkey.  We tossed out our last Pampers Swaddler, and switched over to Bum Genius 3.0 one size fits all insert diapers. 

bum genius 3.0Sat. March 22: Washed all diapers with Sun Detergent (the real cheap-o .89 a box stuff).  I paid a lot for these, but I want to see how they perform with the basic recommendations.  I don't want to have to pamper them (pun intended!  ha!) with special detergents or any additional laundry processing.  They need to be easy if they're going to fly in my house.  I hung the covers to dry, and dried the inserts in the dryer. 

Our model is wearing a new bum genius 3.0!  The trend this season is going to be baggier pants with a fluffy rear profile, and the critics think that it's just too cute!  

Tues. March 25: I seem to run out of the washcloth wipes faster than the diapers.  Need to do something about that.  The cheapie washcloths are also kind of floppy and want to roll up on me.  Addie is looking into making some out of flannel...I guess we'll be doing that soon.  First load of used diapers has some minor stains on the inserts, but nothing I'm concerned with, and no odors.  No leaking yet, and we've had a few poop-splosions!  One got so far up the back that the laundry tab was covered in poo.  I just velcroed the flap down over the poo.  We'll see how that goes.

Wed. March 26: These things last through the night without leaking, and I'm not having to change more often like I suspected that I would.  I am hooked!  The Diaper Champ holds about 8 comfortably, and up to 12 if I shake it real good :)  I like the Diaper Champ with these.  It really does keep the odors away, and it only lets me get away with storing from 10-12 diapers before it is too full so I run a load.  That keeps me from waiting too long between loads, and I always have clean ones ready to go.  I washed the diapers today, and couldn't find the one that had poo sandwiched in the laundry tab.  It came completely clean apparently!  See cleaning cloth diapers for simple laundering techniques that work and some great tips on making cloth baby diapers last longer and look great!

Thurs. March 27: Our first overnight leak, and there was a reason.  'Someone' left the insert flap sticking up above the elastic waistband, and the tee tee wicked out onto the P.J's.  I bet if we tuck that flap in, we won't leak anymore.  

I've found that unstuffing as you change a dirty diaper is what works best for me.  It saves you from having to handle a whole load of old dirty diapers on wash day.  (Somehow, fresh tee tee and poo is just worlds better than day old.)  I'm perfecting my method of removing the dirty insert with the least amount of waste handling.   Here is what I do:
 washing cloth diapers
Insert the soaker so that the snaps are at the front of the diaper and the tag is at the back.  When  you change a dirty diaper, clean up the baby, and put a fresh diaper on and put her in the crib.   Then take the dirty diaper in your right hand, holding it at the fuzzy velcro panel. Pinch the dirty wipe into the corner you're holding (fig.1).  With your other hand, grab the tag on the soaker, and pull it out (fig.2).   Lift the dirty insert up so that you can pinch it the same way as the wipe (fig.3).  Then just fold everything in half, and dump it into the diaper champ.  Voila!  

Mon. April 7:  Washed a load of cloth baby diapers today.  Monday is my grocery shopping day, and I had run out of detergent.  I had to wait to wash a load until I got home from the store.  The Diaper Champ runneth over!  I had 13 dirties, and brought up my last load of 10 clean diapers. 

Wed. April 9: Had to stuff the cloth baby diapers that I washed on Monday because I ran out of clean ones (well, not completely as I still had 2 in the diaper bag).  Took 4 minutes to stuff 12 diapers.  I'm in the midst of swapping over clothes for warmer weather, and I'm doing mega-laundry.  I'll wash the dirty diapers tonight, so they can be dry tomorrow.

Thurs. April 10: Well, I didn't get to the dirties last night, but no worries...I'll do them tonight, and I have plenty of clean ones.  We went on a field trip to a farm today with lots of family.  My 2 year old niece had downed several juice pouches just before the long drive home, so we unsnapped one of my 3 month old's 'one-size-fits-all' cloth baby diapers, and put it on my 30 pound niece.  It fit great, and she thought that we were putting panties on her because it was made out of fabric.  So neat!  ...and no wet car seat to deal with!

Sun. April 13:
No more leaking since we discovered that the back flap needs to be tucked in.  She has had some major poop-splosions, and hasn't leaked at all in the BumGenius diapers.  I had read that if a baby is exclusively breastfed, that the poo won't stain.  That is a bunch of hooey.  It stains the inserts pretty good.  At first, I was grossed out by the stains, but they don't smell at all after they are washed.  The bottom line is that poo stains. It is really asking too much to expect it not to.   More on staining and removing stains is found on the cleaning cloth baby diapers page.

Hubby hasn't read the first thing about Cloth Baby Diapers, and I hear him in there cooing to her "Aren't these so much more comfortable on you?"  He does just fine diapering her, and our nursery workers and other friends and family have caught on quickly as well.  It's funny when you say "cloth diaper", almost everyone rears back in horror, envisioning the old pre-folds and plastic pants.  When they see these, they are so impressed with how the new diapers are engineered.

Mon. April 28: Leaking!  Out the side, and out the top.  This has been happening for a few days.   It happens a couple of times a day when she tee-tees, and mostly when she's laying down.  It's not bad, but it's annoying.  Especially since we've not seen any leaking at all and now it's starting all of the sudden.  

We're a little past 3 months, so my first instinct is to go up a size.  (It's the same way that we knew to go up a size with disposables.)  She's growing too fast!  After doing this, I'm still seeing some leaking around the tabs.  So I've started using the blue cloth baby diapers for 'sleep time' diapers, and adding a soaker.  But I think the real problem is that I need to 'strip' the diapers.  I think I may have some detergent build up that is preventing the soakers from being as absorbent as they once were.  

Tues. April 29: Today I stripped the cloth baby diapers that were in the dirties pail.  See stripping cloth diapers for full details.   I'm saving this stash of freshly clean and 'stripped' diapers until I've used up every single one of the cloth baby diapers in the house and diaper bag.  That way I'll catch all the unstripped diapers in the next load.  I'll strip them too, and I'll know that I got them all.  I'll write more when I start using the newly stripped diapers to let you know how it works out.

Wed. May 28: Well, it's been a month, and I've not had any problems with leaking like before.  So the stripping worked well.  I have some minor staining on a few inserts.  She always seems to have a terrible poo about an hour after I wash the load in the diaper pail, so a few of them have sat around for several days before washing.  On a side note, I've started using the Dawn as a pre-wash for grease stains as well, and it works great.  Especially if I pre-treat the grease spot with some Goo-Gone first, and then rub in a squirt of Dawn.  
The cloth diapers have blended into my routine so easily, that I can't imagine life without them.  One of the ladies in our church nursery was a little shy of trying to put on a cloth diaper, so she put a disposable on.  My little darling blasted through the paper diaper, soiling her entire outfit up to her shoulder blades.  I strongly believe that if she had been wearing a cloth diapers, she wouldn't have leaked.
Another bonus:  We've had no diaper rashes at all!  None!  Not even the tiniest spot.  My pediatrician told me that most diaper rashes are caused by a common fungus or yeast and can be treated with lotramin cream, an over the counter fungal creme (usually marketed for athletes foot).  Lotramin is non-greasy, so that's a plus as well.   I attribute her clear heiny to the lavender wipes solution.  I recently learned that lavender is a natural anti-fungal and anti-bacterial!

Tuesday, June 10: I stripped the diapers again yesterday, as we were having a couple of leaks up the back during naptime.  And today, no more leaks!