Before I delivered my daughter, I had thought about cloth diapering but ended up writing it off because of the hassle. But reading about ways to live healthier lives, I realized that even though disposables are much easier, sometimes cheaper (with sales, coupons, and the drugstore game!), there are chemicals in those diapers, and those chemicals are up against my baby's skin (pretty much) constantly. Since I know very little on the subject, I asked Allyson at Go Long! Go Green! to write a guest post about her cloth diapering experiences.
When I was pregnant with my daughter, I just assumed I would use Pampers! It wasn't until a friend at church told me she cloth diapered that I was aware "modern" cloth diapering existed! For the last 3 months of my pregnancy, I researched cloth diapers, cost savings, energy costs (our water bill only went up <$1/month), prices, etc! You name it, I looked it up! It was pretty easy to convince my husband with the cost savings alone! He also wasn't bothered by the fact we would be washing the diapers at home (as opposed to having a diaper service)! My first purchase was a starter kit of prefolds and wraps, snappi, diaper sprayer, and a large wet bag! I also received some Bum Genius One-Size Pocket diapers at my shower.
When we brought our daughter home from the hospital, we had tons of newborn Pampers Swaddlers, so we used those up! At about 3 1/2 weeks, we started our cloth diapering journey with prefolds and covers! My husband and I really enjoyed cloth diapering! We washed diapers every 3-4 days. The only drawback to the prefolds was the bulkiness in her clothes. Lots of times I had to buy the next size up in pants so they would fit!!
When time came for her first diaper rash, I scrambled looking for something to use to protect the diaper. When you cloth diaper, you don't want the diaper rash cream to touch the diaper because it will stick to the diaper, be very difficult to wash off, and eventually ruin the diaper by decreasing fluid absorption! I ended up heading to Hobby Lobby and purchased fleece scraps, cut them up in strips and laid them into the diaper so the cream would only touch the fleece! I wash my fleece strips as well, so we use them over and over again!
Over the course of our first few months diapering, we slowly built up our stash of Bum Genius One Size Pocket diapers. We found we really liked these diapers the best! They were easier to put on (especially for other family members), less bulky, and overall easier ... however with a price tag of $17.95 each, it took awhile to build up a supply! We would always use our BG diapers for our nighttime diaper! We found it held so much fluid and was easier to change in the middle of the night! At about 8 months, she started leaking through the two standard BG microfiber inserts. I found some BabyKicks Hemparoo Joeybunz hemp inserts. These are so trim and very each to stuff in the pocket diaper!! Another perk of a pocket diaper over a prefold, you can always stuff more inserts to increase the absorption!
Eventually, I had enough BG (#22), so I decided to sell all of my prefolds and covers. I wanted to get my money back for the diapers I was no longer using! Would you believe, I almost got back 90% of what I paid!! Plus it gave me a few extra $$ to get a few more BG! Currently my stash includes 22 BG 3.0 OS (the 4.0's came out recently), 1 SmartiPants Pocket diaper, and 1 Applecheeks Pocket diaper!
We still use Pampers at church in the nursery because I don't want to hassle the nursery workers (and I fear they will throw out a cloth diaper!)! We always use cloth when going to our parent's house and also we try to travel with cloth when going to a relative's house. We also used cloth during our summer camping trip!! I NEVER leave home (for overnight) without my trusty nighttime BG pocket diaper fully loaded (2 microfiber, 1 hemp, 1 cotton insert)! At 21 months, Sophia started leaking through her 3 inserts at night (most likely b/c she is holding her pee in the evening and waiting to go till bed), so we moved to 4 inserts! No more leaking problems!
I LOVE cloth diapering! It is actually even addictive ... I am constantly entering blog giveaways to win more diapers and cloth supplies! I love checking out the newest pocket diaper online! There are some other great brands as well! Cloth diapering takes a little planning (but what doesn't these days as a mother?) and thinking ahead (gotta remember to wash diapers so you don't run out), but it is so worth it! I love the fact I am doing my part to save the earth and preserve it for my children's children, but I will be honest with you ... saving $$$$ is a huge reason why we cloth diaper!! You might be thinking, how can you save money when 1 BG diaper is $17.95? To which I say, you can get 20 BG for less than $350. You will have all you need from newborn to potty-training in that one diaper (b/c it is a one-size, grows with the child). A typically family spends $50-60/month on Pampers ($600-700/month). You will have paid for all your diapers in the babies first 6 months of life! If/When you have additional children, your savings are HUGE because you don't have to put any money upfront!
Remember, every family is different and everyone has their favorite cloth diaper or two! You don't have to spend $17.95 on a diaper -- there are cheaper options! However, we found pocket diapers (specifically Bum Genius) worked best for our family!!
If you have any cloth diapering questions, please don't hesitate to email me allyson dot long at yahoo dot com