Cloth Diapering Options
Thanks for considering cloth. I feel, from the bottom of my heart, that it’s the most important thing we can do for our the health of our planet as parents. This note is a work in progress, and please let me know if anything is unclear, if you still have questions I failed to address, or I can be of any further help!
WHY CLOTH: This is the easiest question to answer!
The reasons are environmental, financial & health related. This link provides an overview which sums it up well: http://www.diaperlab.com/learn/whycloth.php
OVERVIEW OF OPTIONS:
The very basics on different styles in a chart- http://www.diaperjungle.com/cloth-diaper-types.html
Here’s a more in-depth description: http://www.mybabyfirst.com/baby-cloth-diapering-guide/
And, here’s a cloth diapering dictionary of terms: http://www.mybabyfirst.com/cloth-diaper-dictionary/
DECIDING WHICH DIAPERS TO USE (the most difficult step!) Largely dictated by your budget:
I will start by describing my diaper stash. I have 17 cloth diapers, and ~24 cloth wipes. I got through the entire 1st year of babe’s life with 10 diapers. They are made in China (one of the ONLY times you’ll see me condoning made in China). Being on a very tight budget, I was scared of the price involved in cloth diapering, afterall, I didn’t know if I’d like it, but wanted to give it an honest try. They’re available brand new on Ebay 10/$50, shipped to your door from China. I read lots of reviews, and many were positive so I thought I’d give it a try. I was very skeptical, hubby & I both thought the snaps would be falling off left & right. I have to say, I’ve been very impressed with how they’ve held up. In 22 months of daily use, not one single snap has fallen off the 10 diapers. I launched this page shortly before my babe’s 1st birthday, and since then have added to my stash with mainly made in the USA diapers. I purchased 4 Tiny Tush Elites (@$25 ea) which we use overnight, 1 Bumgenius that I bought 2nd hand that is US made, but they are made both in the US & Egypt, and I’ve been told there’s no way to ensure you’ll get a US made one ($10), 1 Softbums w/ snap-in inserts that was sent to me in error, but I had already washed it so got to keep it, and 1 Flip w/ 3 inserts that I also bought 2nd hand ($8, made in Egypt). So, I’ve tried most of the different styles available. Without a doubt, the one-size pocket diapers are my favorite. Both the snap-in, and lay-in (Flip) are nice in that you just change the insert & reuse the shell. This works great when you’re just dealing with pee, but every time my babe goes poo in one of these diapers, it always gets on the shell, defeating the purpose in my opinion. I think the pocket diapers are the best diaper for beginners! I’ve timed it, and it took me 5 minutes to stuff my entire clean stash. They also dry very quickly on the line, where as the all-in-ones are thicker & take quite a bit of time to dry, from what I’ve read (haven’t tried them). Here’s a link to my diaper stash in photos– for visual learners like me: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.525430710805907.135598.397517646930548&type=3
ON MADE IN CHINA: This is the only time you will ever see me condone made in China- if you are on a very tight budget, as I know many families are, but want to give cloth diapering a try, I say try a few cheapies– if you can afford better, buy better! Then do as I did & add to your stash with quality, made in the USA selections as your budget permits. Even with everything I know about made in China, I still honestly feel that ANY cloth diaper, no matter where it’s made, is MUCH more environmentally friendly than ANY disposable. Here’s an article that explains the concerns with made in China diapers, nothing surprising really. http://dirtydiaperlaundry.com/cloth-diapers-made-in-china-what-every-consumer-needs-to-know/
ALL THAT BEING SAID- here’s my made in the USA recommendations:
· Bottom Bumpers: All in One’s (AIO) lined with 4 layers of organic cotton and topped with Bamboo Velour: http://www.bottombumpers.com/our-products
*Sized (3 different sizes) Side Snap AIO ($20.95)
*Aplix (velcro) AIO (3 sizes) ($19.95)
*One size AIO side snapping ($22.95)
· Caboose Organic: Made with 100% American grown Organic Cotton.http://www.organiccaboose.com/Organic-Cloth-Diapers_c_1.html
*One-Size, AIO ($27.99)
*One-Size, w/ snap-in insert ($21.99) (inserts $4.99)
*Newborn (5-13#) Snap Fitted ($15.99)
*Aplix (Velcro) Fitted ($16.99) 2 sizes (10-20# & 20-40#)
· Happy Heiny’s ($20.95-$22.95) Organic one-size pocket diaper, hemp & cotton lining, insert not included ($9.50). http://www.mybabyfirst.com/store-products-HHOOS-Happy-Heinys-Organic-One-Size_1097600135.html
· Lollidoo: ($40) Certified organic cotton liner and recycled 300-weight fleece outer. Insert not included- made of organic cotton knit terry ($9 for a 2 pack). Perfect overnight diaperhttp://www.mybabyfirst.com/store-products-LollOvEPocket-Lollidoo-Overnight-Eco-Pockets_1097638285.html
ONE-SIZE DIAPERS (diaper grows with your child, good until potty-training!)
· Best Bottom– ($16.95) Shell w/ snap-in inserts (not included $3.95-$8.95 each)http://www.mybabyfirst.com/store-products-BBShell-Best-Bottom-Shell_1097649214.html
· Happy Heiny’s– Pocket diaper ($18.95) Custom milled fleece w/ 2 microfiber inserts included!http://www.mybabyfirst.com/store-categories-Happy-Heinys_4160418.html
· Soft Bums Echo & Omni Shells ($21.95). Snap-in inserts not included (organic bamboo or microfiber $2.95-8.95) Each leg has adjustable elastic inside, for a perfect fit.http://www.mybabyfirst.com/store-products-SBEchoShl-SoftBums-Echo-Shell_1097683433.html
· Tiny Tush Elite: What I use overnight. Pocket diaper ($19.99-$22.49) ($2.50 extra for made in the USA inserts) Also a mini for premies & small newborns! Waterproof PUL shell, micro-fleece interior. Fits babies 7-35#! http://www.mybabyfirst.com/store-categories-Tiny-Tush-Products_4160660.html
· Wahmies: Pocket side-snap diaper ($21.95) 1 insert included. Additional Bamboo inserts $4.50.http://www.mybabyfirst.com/store-categories-Tiny-Tush-Products_4160660.html
SPECIFIC SIZED DIAPERS- (multiple sizes needed )
· Drybees ($19.95-$22.95) Fleece pocket diaper & Hybrid All-in-one + pocket for extra insert if needed- both excellent options for overnight or heavy wetters. Made with Milled suede cloth- 3 sizes (6-16#, 14-22#, 20-30+#) http://www.mybabyfirst.com/store-categories-Drybees-Products_4160679.html
· Thirsties: Diaper covers ($11.50-$13.75) All-in-one or 2 sizes of fitted ($15.99-$17.00)http://www.mybabyfirst.com/store-categories-Thirsties-Products_4160655.html
You can use any washcloth, or even make your own from old cotton or flannel shirts or sheets.
Planetwise flannel wipes– 10 pack ($12.99) and PVC & lead-free wipe pouches ($10.99):http://www.planetwiseinc.com/Cloth_Wipes_and_Wipe_Pouches_80_subcat.html
Tiny Tush wipes: 100% organic cotton grown in the USA- 10 pack of mixed colors $16.95http://www.tinytush.com/cotton-wipes.html
Bumgenius flannel wipes– 10/$11.95 http://www.cottonbabies.com/product_info.php?products_id=104
Optional wipe accessory– wipe warmer ($24.95). I was given one as a gift, I don’t know that I would have bought one otherwise, but I have to say I’ve loved it. I roll up enough wipes for a day & it’s nice to have them there, ready to go when needed. There are tons of recipes for wipe solutions, I’ve never used anything but water! http://www.reuseit.com/store/prince-lionheart-reusable-wipe-warmer-p-2935.html
*****There are many, many more options for made in the USA diapers, which makes me very happy. However, all the choices can be very overwhelming if you’re new to cloth diapering & trying to just get started. Here are more links for you to check out with tons of options!
WHERE TO PURCHASE:
There are TONS of online stores to purchase your diapers from, and if you live in a big enough city, you probably have an actual retail store to shop at. I’ve linked to the store I’ve used My Baby’s First, LLC because the mama who runs the store, Kala, has been super helpful whenever I’ve had any cloth diaper related question. She helped me find an overnight solution that got us off using a nightly disposable, and for that I’m forever grateful. Her store is based in Michigan. My advice is always to shop as local as possible. There’s a good chance there’s an online store based in your state. Feel free to shop around! Cotton Babies is a very popular site: http://www.cottonbabies.com/
Diaper Pail– A small, plastic trash can is all you need, preferably one with a lever to step on to raise the lid, so you don’t have to mess with the lid while you have your hands full with a diaper.
Diaper sprayer (AKA bidet) ($39.95) This is a must! It attaches to the plumbing of your toilet & attaches to the side of the toilet. It has a very high pressured spray that rinses the solids off the diaper, into the toilet. Here’s one made in the USA option: http://www.squishytushy.com/Diaper-Sprayer_p_3147.html
Wetbag: ($9.50 small- $19.00 large) Great for traveling, they lock in any moisture & odor- Antimicrobial, PVC & lead-free. I keep it in my diaper bag when out & about, and then leave it in the car once dirty diapers have accumulated. Bag goes in the wash with diapers.http://www.planetwiseinc.com/Planet_Wise_Wet_Bags_39_subcat.html
Reusable PVC-free pail liners ($16.50)- I personally don’t use a pail liner, but know others who do:http://www.planetwiseinc.com/Planet_Wise_Wet_Bags_39_subcat.html
Detergent & washing:
The most important thing to know about detergent is it has to be free & clear, otherwise you’ll have buildup problems. I use soap nuts– to read more on them check out this note:https://www.facebook.com/notes/eco-friendly-babyfamily-products-made-in-the-usa/truly-natural-laundry-solutions-soap-nuts-wool-dryer-balls/556789574336687. I’ve read lots of differing advice on washing diapers, wherever you purchase your diapers from will have advice for you. Here’s what I do. I wash them every other day, or when the pail starts stinking. With the soap nuts, I do just a hot wash. That’s it. Some do a cold wash 1st, but with a diaper sprayer all solids are washed off, and I’ve found the cold prewash unnecessary. They come out looking & smelling clean with just the one hot wash with the soap nuts, which I’m IN LOVE WITH! Then I hang them on the line to dry in the sun, or put them in the dryer with my dryer balls on low heat.