Monday, March 26, 2012

If I could turn back the clock ...

Lately, I've been thinking a lot about all the things I've learned over the past few months and how much easier my baby's earliest months would have been if had only know x, y, or z about life with an infant before she was born. So, starting right now, I'm going to write a series of posts about some of the things I would do differently if I had the opportunity to turn back the clock. First up: diapers.

Diaper do-over
During my sixth month of pregnancy, I was obsessed with diapers. For some reason, I felt a huge sense of urgency when it came to establishing a diapering system. I had to have all the diapers we would need for the first few months, and they all had to be the same brand. The whole trying-out-various-diapers-to-find-the-one(s)-we-liked-best thing seemed annoying and inefficient to me. Well, live and learn. I wound up investing a few hundred dollars in Thirsties and I don't love them. They were OK for a while, but now they leak. And the quality is just "eh." We are currently using Earth's Best disposables while we decide on a new brand of cloth (we're leaning toward gDiapers). In hindsight, I would have started her off in disposables while I sampled a variety of cloth diaper brands. I mean, you can read and research and talk to all kinds of folks about diapers -- but until you are actually using them on your baby, it is impossible to know what you will like and what will work for you.

What was your experience with cloth diapers for your newborn? Did you stock up on a particular brand in the beginning? Did you start with disposables? Do you wish you had done things differently?

10 comments:

  1. Dawn, I start Bella out with disposables, because everything is new and I'm overwhelmed and excited with a newborn. And I start her with cloth diapers (g diapers) when she is a week old. And I couldn't be happier with gdiapers (as of now)! We use disposables only for night (midnight to morning) and when we go out.

    I stocked up 2 brands when I was 7-8 months pregnant. Mostly g diapers, and I have about 3 dozens of green mountain diapers prefolds (that works with gdiapers, just in case I run out of gcloths), also a couple of Bummis cover and Thirsties just in case I need to compare it with gdiapers. So far, I haven't tried either of them, because Bella is so tiny! And the tiny gpants work great for her.

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  2. We used all one brand. Bum Genius 4.0. They're awesome! I also have lots of exsperience with Fuzzi Buns one size. They're also amazing! I'm not sure but your leaking problem could not be the diaper it could be your washing system. We thought we had that all figured out and learned quickly that was not true. Even what the manufacturer suggested for washing didn't work for us. We had to experiment with different washing systems and find what worked with our water and our washer. But because of this I have tons of knowledge rattling around in my brain about washing systems let me know if you want some ideas. Good like, your persistance will pay off. Cloth diapers rock my socks off! :)

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  3. We were fortunate to be able to do an eight-week rental from a local company. This provided us with a "variety pack" of different brands and styles to try before we committed to anything. It also allowed me to make sure that I was up to the task of laundering cloth diapers.

    Three weeks in, we knew for sure that we wanted a one-size pocket diaper with snaps. This helped us to narrow down our choices, and then it was just a matter of reading reviews to figure out which diaper(s) would work for us. We liked the sound of the BumGenius 4.0, so we ordered a couple of them to try. Less than a week later we ordered three dozen more, and we haven't had the need to buy anything else.

    If we hadn't done the rental, we probably would have ended up buying AIOs, and I think I would have regretted that decision very shortly thereafter. After using pocket diapers, I realized that stuffing them was really not a lot of work for the trade-off of faster drying time, the ability to line dry the shells (to preserve the PUL and the leg elastics), and the ability to configure the absorbency differently for days and nights.

    Like you, I wanted to have all of our diapers be of the same brand and style, in order to streamline laundry and use. Because our diapers are easy for caregivers to use, and because I can double stuff them for nighttime, we have no need for anything else.

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  4. Your diaper planning process sounds very familiar! :) During pregnancy I was set on using ONLY FuzziBunz One Sizes (at the high recommendation of a friend) and prefolds with Thirsties covers and Snappi fasteners. We ended up having a variety including those two kinds PLUS BumGenius 4.0's, BabyKicks 3G's (these caught my attention because they are made with bamboo and hemp and have a newborn fit setting!), FuzziBunz Perfect Size small, Thirsties Size Ones, and gDiapers.
    Love all of them for different reasons. She outgrew the FuzziBunz Perfect Size smalls and Thirsties Size Ones at six months. The BabyKicks 3Gs are great, but I can tell they probably won't fit through potty training. We've been using gDiapers with gCloth or disposable inserts when we go out and on diaper wash day (at least twice a week) or when Baby is with a sitter. And I just got my hands on some bigger Thirsties and Bummis diaper covers, so we are rotating prefolds back in to our diaper routine (so nice not to have to stuff them like the pockets!). Can't beat the quality of the BumGenius, they still look brand new.
    Some days the fussy uber-organized lady in me wishes we had all one kind, to keep things simple. But having a varied stash is more fun, and isn't really complicated anyway. So I tell myself to chill out :)
    Oh, we used Seventh Generation disposables when she was brand new, because as a petite six pounder it took just a couple weeks for her to fit into her cloth.

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  5. We really lucked out and hit upon a good cloth diapering solution from the get-go. Given, we're only on week 8, but so far I am really happy. We've had our boy in Green Mountain Diapers Cloth-Eez prefolds and Workhorse fitteds from birth. At first I prefered the prefolds, but now I much prefer the fitteds to the prefolds because they for the most part don't leak. There are occasional blow-outs but we just let the covers catch it and shove the covers into the bag with the dirty diapers, wash them the same as the diapers, then line dry them. For covers we are using a wide variety but my favorites are the Thirsties that snap because they seem durable and have gussets. I love wool Babee Greens covers but they are expensive and not convenient to wash if they get pooped on. I'm slightly curious about All-In-Ones but am a bit turned off by the cost and complication of laundering AIOs and my prefolds and fitteds separately.

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  6. I'm on baby number 2 with cloth and I swear by having a wide variety for a few reasons. #1, they all fit differently at different times so each type/brand has taken its turn at being my favorite. When one starts leaking, he grows into the one that didn't fit as well a month ago. As your baby's body changes, it helps to have those options. #2, it is also better for baby's skin. I have friends who have gotten all of one brand and they all complain of rashes or the diapers wearing away at spots on their baby's skin. I notice this happening when I have my son in the same type of diaper for just a few changes in a row! I can't imagine having him in the same fit all the time. #3, Different care givers are more comfortable with different diapers. Sending my first son to daycare, I was able to talk them into using my cloth diapers because I was giving them all-in-ones or pockets (already assembled) so it was easy for them... not much different from using disposables (although I sometimes had problems with them putting them on inside-out!). My mom preferred the pockets when she watched my son because they dried faster in the dryer if she had to wash them. I preferred the fitted diapers with the cover and prefolds as inserts because it was a much cheaper option and less laundry. Also, these were great for potty training because they didn't wick away from the skin as much (I didn't use them overnight) so my son ended up potty training at 2.5 years old! In all, I have about 5 different brands from G diapers, Blueberries, Thirsties, Mothersease, Bumgenius, Monkedoodles. I'd say I like the snaps best (baby can't tear it off and velcro collects lint in the drier) and bluberries have held up the best so far.

    I think my comment is longer than your post! Sorry!!!

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  7. I was given a stash of prefolds, fitteds, and covers (mostly ProRaps, with some others thrown in) that had been through 4 kids, and also one BumGenius one-size pocket as a gift. When I envisioned using cloth diapers while I was pregnant, I was sure I would not be using the same type of diapers my mom did with us years ago, but as it turns out, it's the prefolds (fastened with a Snappi) that I've really come to rely on and love. I just find them really easy, especially to launder. The fitteds were out as soon as I saw how long it took to dry them (and we don't have a good set-up at home to just air dry them as my friends had). I do love the BumGenius pocket, and invested in 3 more of those when I saw some on sale because they're handy for when we're out and I need something I can get off and on him fast. I've since added to the stash an all-in-one (given to me); about a dozen fitteds made from old t-shirs (given to me), which I line with prefolds he's grown out of; and a local mom's old stash of microfleece doublers and larger prefolds (which I bought from her). All told I've spent under $60 for diapers so far for my now 6 month-old boy. Prefolds last a LONG time and keep working (even if they start looking a little ratty) through MANY kids! I also started doing E.C. part-time with him at 4 months and am hoping to get him out of diapers completely within the next year or so.

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  8. We used disposables for 3 or 4 days then switched over to trifolds and a cover with a service. I did a good job on the research with the covers and was very happy with them -- WeeHuggers (6 covers was enough for me with not working and regular access to laundry). They have a double gusset for those leaky early baby poops. It's a 2 size system which I really like, not too much expense in terms of buying of over and over again with sized diapers, but the one-size are really just too big for tiny babies. I'm now using a mix of weehuggers and grovia covers and still have my service (which I LOVE). The Grovia cover isn't as breathable as the Weehuger, but doesn't wick moisture like the Weehugger does. I've gone with covers that had good reviews and what I could find on sale. It's been a decent way to pick covers. My boy is 10 months old and we have been in these covers with these number of covers (10) since he was 6 months old. I needed additional covers after I went back to work and doing laundry in the middle of the day was no longer an option. And I'm in the velcro is awful camp. Bring on the snap -- way more durable and doesn't scratch up sweet baby skin.

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  9. I was really lucky about my intro to cloth diapers. I moved to a new area while pregnant and started going to a New Mom's group early out of boredom. Those mamas introduced me to cloth and even took me to a local diaper shop. The shop (nickisdiapers.com) has a newborn bundle where you get mostly prefolds but several different types of covers, an AIO, an AI2, etc. It was a great way to see what worked for us and what didn't. We started cloth on day 4 when we got home from the hospital and it was great! After the newborn phase, we ended up going with that shop's own all in 2 diapers: Best Bottoms. They are similar to gDiapers. I really like the covers (one size) and that the inserts (3 sizes) snap in, so you don't have to worry about it moving around.

    Our son was right at the lowest level of size Large inserts when he outrgew his newborn sizes, so we only had to buy one size insert. He had a huge butt, but it worked! :) The only annoyance is that we had to go about 3 months over the summer without a washer and dryer (when he was 16-19 months old), so we used disposables during that time. His body type has changed SO MUCH (from short and fat to short and really skinny) that by the time we tried cloth out again the best bottoms covers don't really fit him well. I'm *hoping* he is close enough to potty training that it isn't worth it to buy a whole new set of cloth now, but it is frustrating every time I buy new sposies.

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  10. It's been a while since this post, so you may have already made a decision ... but if not, I highly recommend this post from Young House Love: http://www.younghouselove.com/2010/08/the-much-requested-cloth-diaper-post/

    When I was pregnant, I was so overwhelmed by all the cloth diapering choices available that I decided to just copy their setup (BumGenius Elementals), and so far we've been very happy with it (our boy is 3 months old). The Elementals are definitely our diaper of choice. As a backup system, we keep a stash of Indian prefolds, which we use with Flip covers. I'm also building a stash of Flip organic inserts for when he grows out of the prefolds, which I'm anticipating in the next few months.

    Good luck, and I'll be interested to see what you choose!

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