So, cloth diapers. Let’s talk about them.
My current stash is 15 BRAND NEW BumGenius 3.0s (we’ll talk about the brand new part in a second), 2 velcro deficient BumGenius 3.0s, 2 BumGenius organic all-in-ones (called Elemental now), and 2 Happy Heinys (one velcro and one snaps), for a grand total of 21. My “registry” at kellyscloset.com has about a zillion other kinds I’d love to try, but alas: the moniez, I do not has demz.
Yes, that does mean that I still like cloth diapering. Nay, I LOVE cloth diapering. I love the cute diapers. I love the lack of diaper rashes. I love NOT buying disposable diapers. I love how they look all lined up on my clothesline. I love the superior feeling I get when they peek out of Soren’s clothes in front of others. Cough.
I think it’s only fair that I get to do a little bit of that, as I had to endure a LOT of disgust and disdain when I announced my intentions. Can you imagine how many people looked at me like I was crazy? Who told me in their very most condescending voices that I would give it up reeeaaaal quick? Well, do you know who saves a lot of money every month? Who can count on one hand the number of diaper rashes, none serious, that her child has had (and all but one when he was wearing disposables for an extended period)? Who will refrain from dumping tons of nasty chemically, poopy, virgin-papery diapers into her local landfill this year? THIS GUY. So, yes, I am still “doing that” cloth diapering thing.
There have been a few frustrating times; we still use disposables while traveling, mostly to avoid the bulk and having to find a washer/dryer. When build-up happens, it’s annoying. I’ve found that soaking in Rockin’ Green is remarkably effective at getting rid of that little problem. Dawn and Bleach will also take care of that, but it’s harsher on diapers than just soaking. When the velcro starts to get a bit unsticky, you can throw them in the dryer (you’re supposed to air dry the covers), but that’ll only keep you going so long. I’m hoping that the new diapers don’t have velcro problems in a year, but whatever. I’ll just sew new tabs on them if I have to. Nighttime was frustrating for a time, but we discovered HempBabies inserts, and those things are magical. I got a huge box of Huggies overnight diapers for $7 delivered to my door, so I WENT for it, but those leak before a BG with two hemp and one newborn size microfiber inserts. I was more than a little surprised to wake up in a huge puddle from the Huggies, I won’t lie (to clarify: Soren still co-sleeps in the mornings, and he generally sleeps curled up against me so that I’m the first to know if his diaper leaks). The TARGET brand diapers are about as effective as the Huggies Overnights, for goodness’ sake. So, there you go. The key is making your diapers work for you: almost any usage (unless you buy a million diapers and still use disposables like half time) is going to result in savings. It took about 4 months of straight usage for our start-up costs to equal the price of the disposables we used. We used disposables for the first month, too, which I would totally do again. That means that we started diapering for FREE before Soren was 6 months old, and that’s using the “expensive” kind of cloth diaper. Our water bill went up pennies, you detractors who say that you negate the benefits with extra water usage.
Let’s talk about brands.
My BumGenius (BG) 3.0s were not holding up so well. Really, mostly they were in great shape, but the velcro was TOAST. Like, no more letting the baby romp around in just a diaper, because he’d shortly be romping around naked, or at least only one velcro-tabbed. NOT GOOD. However, Cotton Babies, the manufacturer, has a really great 1 year warranty on them. I managed to round up receipts for 15 of the diapers (and I probably could have found the receipt for two more; also, I’ve obviously lost a diaper along the way, as I had one receipt past its year date without a corresponding diaper), and I mailed them back with little to-do a few weeks ago. I eagerly tracked their progress through the system, and UPS brought them to my door on Friday. They are sparkling. I don’t remember my others being so soft when I got them, and the velcro appears to be the new kind that they recently switched to for their 4.0s. So. Flipping. Awesome. They sell refresher kits for a buck fifty, and I plan to get a couple of those to update the velcro and, hell why not, elastic on the other two. If you’re unclear on what these diapers are, they’re waterproof covers with a built-in pocket into which you insert microfiber and/or hemp/cotton soakers. The part against the baby is fleece, which wicks moisture. When you change a diaper, you drop the whole damn thing into your bin and then put a fresh diaper on the baby. Just like “regular” diapers.
My BG organic all in ones have snaps instead of velcro, and I love them. I wasn’t a huge fan when Soren was tiny: they leaked and he didn’t like the feel of wet cotton against his skin. Now that they’re opened up all the way (all of the BG diapers adjust to fit sizes from 8 to 35 pounds), the leaking problem has stopped, and Soren doesn’t mind going longer than an hour in them. I would totally get more if they weren’t so many dollars. I’m not confident that they’ll fit all the way to 35 pounds, though, as the snaps seem close to their limit. Actually, on second thought, I just started tightening them one more snap than before, so he’ll probably continue thinning out and be able to wear them. I would love to get some of the new BG 4.0s with snaps. Mmm.
Happy Heinys aren’t my favorites. I do appreciate my cow print velcro diaper, but the one with monkeys and snaps is kind of hateful. Ok, that’s pushing it, but I do not like it and always use it last. Dislike. The velcro on the HH is INTENSE, but they made the laundry tabs smaller than the velcro and so that diaper tends to go all diaper sausage on me (few things are more annoying then dutifully attaching all of the laundry tabs only to pull out a chain of diapers later). The snap one is just stupid and the snaps don’t hold and I realized that I don’t really care for prints and it’s so damned saggy in the crotch. But the fleece inside is softer than the BG, so there’s that.
I have found that Rockin’ Green is my favorite diaper detergent (and I tried the other Biggies: Charlie’s, Country Save, and one other that I forget). We’re big fans of the Rockin’ Green. We use it for everything, since regular detergents can leave build-up in your washer and dryer that can make your diapers repel liquid and get stinky. We also just use dryer balls instead of dryer sheets (those are REALLY bad news for cloth diapers, and can actually void your BG warranty).
So, there you go. I still love cloth diapering. I showed all of you.