Thursday, April 24, 2008

Cloth Q & A, take 1

Here are the answers to some of Liv's questions:

Do the ones that you are using have a disposable insert or is the diaper all in one? I have both kinds. They both have their pros and cons- I think I get a better fit with the all in ones (AIO) because they're sized. They're the simplest to use. They take longer to dry. The stuffable insert ones (they're not disposable) dry quicker after washing and you can adjust the absorbency to fit the need of your baby. The ones I have don't snap in though, and since DD sleeps on her tummy they get bunched up and she gets a wet belly. I haven't played around with them much though, so there's probably a way to solve this and I just don't know about it. The benefit of these is that they should last longer because you can move the snaps and change the sizing as your baby grows. I hear they're a bit big on a newborn though.

Also, have you had a diaper change while on an outing? Not yet because we haven't been at this cloth thing that long, and right now I try not to be out too very long at a time. Just the personality of my kid - she doesn't nap well out right now and she still can't be up more than two hours without being cranky.

What's your routine for that? That said, I always have an extra diaper and a plan because you never know! You can buy a small "wet bag" that zips up (it's got a waterproof PUL outer so there's no leaking) and keep it in your diaper bag with a clean diaper. The routine is the same as with a disposable. You change the baby as usual, you just put the soiled one in the wet bag and bring it home.

And if she poops while out, how do you get rid of the poop? For breastfed babies, the poop is water soluble, so you don't have to do anything special to the diaper. I like to rinse at home just because it helps with stains, but you don't have to. If we were out, I'd probably put the diaper in the bag and wait till we got home to deal with it just because it seems like it would be easier. Not sure though. You'd want to flush solid poop, but we're not there yet so I have no experience with that. Some people are intimidated by cloth while out or overnight and they choose to use disposables then. As soon as I had enough though, I just went for it.

I mean, is she strapped to the changing table, do you hold her and do it? I've never strapped the baby to the table at home or out in public. Just easier for me that way, even when she's squirmy. Once you have the clean diaper in hand, it's really no different than putting on a disposable. If you use the kind with inserts, you'd pre-stuff it (as soon as it's dry, so it's ready to go!) so there's only one step in putting it on.

Do you need extra hands? Who doesn't? LOL. Really, it's not so hard. Promise.

Also, how many diapers would you suggest getting? There are a few factors to consider here.
1) how often do you plan to wash? If you wash daily, you'd obviously need fewer than going 2-3 days between washes. I know some people go a week, but personally, I think it's icky. And you may get more staining that way.
2) what type of diaper are you using, and how do you plan to dry them? AIOs take the longest to dry, prefolds and flats (which I haven't talked about at all - they're the type you pin together and then cover) take the shortest. Fitteds and stuffable pockets would be in the middle. Drying in the dryer is quickest, but can break down certain types of diapers. Line drying is good care-wise and the sun is an excellent natural stain remover (can you tell I hate the idea of staining? =) but it does take longer and you can't always be outside (though I can and do hang dry inside too.) Dry time is important because the longer they need to dry, the longer they're not available for use.

For example: I've been washing every night. I have enough diapers to last one full day, but not much more. So if my diapers take a day to dry in the sun, I don't have enough to begin diapering the second day. Or if I wash in the evening, I need to have enough to last through two nights (I have night diapers and day diapers,) because something will be on her when I'm doing the wash and won't be clean until the following night. I have discovered that I need more than 24 hours worth of diapers in order to have her in cloth full-time.

For a newborn you need more, just because you change more frequently and there are tons of those tiny poops! Another option would be to use flushable liners that might keep from needing to change the whole thing for a tiny mess, but I haven't used those so I couldn't say.

I'm not sure yet what the perfect number is because I'm too new at this and I'm not exactly in a groove yet, just trying things out still. So far I think two days worth would be good for me if I continue to use AIOs, wash daily, and hang dry.

I only ask because I am seriously considering this option. I figured that it would save us a lot of money and they really are cute. If you can find a brick and mortar store nearby and feel some for yourself, that's your best bet. I'll write more about the different types later too. As far as cheaper... well, not if you get addicted to cute diapers! The upside is that unlike disposables, cloth diapers have a resale value so you can recoup some of your costs if you buy something you don't like, is outgrown, doesn't fit well, or you just go overboard buying cuteness =)

Please let me know if you have other questions or you want me to post about something. I'm still finding my way myself, but I'm having a lot of fun learning!


Rachel said...

Thanks for sharing!

Honestly I never considered cloth. I have memories of my mom swishing diapers in the toliet and the pee sloshing around in my brother's diaper (26) years ago and decided it wasn't for me. She even had a diaper service to clean the diapers.

Last time I took out the diaper trash I realized how much waste we are putting in the landfill and am now thinking about trying the cloth thing. I'm still not sure, but your answers were quite helpful.

twirl said...

Rachel - I didn't consider cloth for a lot of the same reasons. I thought it would be icky. And I'll go out on a limb here and fess up - I know it's the motivation for a lot of people, but I'm not doing it for the environment at all. If disposables worked for Birdie, we'd probably still be using them because I don't know if anyone could have convinced me it was actually not hard!

I haven't yet, and I don't intend to swish poo. I'll have to do a post on poop I think, because it seems like that's the subject that most people are concerned about =)