My 2 cents on diapers..

by Into the Rabbit Hole on March 30, 2010 · 9 comments

When it comes to diapering talk about choices, choices and more choices! There is definitely something out there to fit everyone’s needs, budget and conscience. Babies definitely give you enough trials to find what works best for you. With 4 children under my belt and another on the way, I have had more than my share of trying out what works best for me. I have done it all; cloth diapering service, all in ones, wool, prefolds, disposable(guiltily admit this one!), undiapering, more all in ones, natural disposables, more prefolds, back to disposable and now it is biodegrable! All fit the bill for the time in my life. I have learned lots of great tips and tricks of the trade with almost 11 years of diapering. SO here is my 2 cents if anyone is looking for some new ideas.

Diaper Service; I found very handy transitioning into new motherhood and not really wanting to take on the extra task of washing my own diapers. You still need to wash your covers, but they are small and easy to hand wash. It was also good timing as our washer and dryer were quite old at the time and their efficiency was not that great. It is said to be more environmentally friendly way go with a diaper service than with washing your own due to the fact that they wash such large batches using very high efficiency. However I do not know if the transport of the diapers is taken into consideration of this statement. One benefit of a diaper service washing in these large batches though is they get very sanitized and rinsed very well so are better for babies bottoms than doing it yourself. Or at least less playing and stress. Over time though I found the diaper service ended up being costly and if I missed putting diapers out I also missed receiving a batch of diapers. And just as prefolds go you still need a place to store your diapers as they wait for washing. See tips #1 and #2 under prefolds for easy diapering.

All in Ones; There are so many varieties of these out there so I will just summarize my experience. Money really talks here. The more the all in one costs, generally speaking, the better the quality of the diaper. Leakage was the biggest problem I had with all in ones. Also their washing care was a bit more intense than prefolds and they seemed to stain a bit easier than prefolds. That being said it is easy on and easy off. I tried many kinds but never found one that really stuck with the family and kept going back to prefolds.

Prefolds; This was by far my favorite cloth diapering option. Easy care, easy storage, and so many cute, great covers. And I can’t forget to mention their durability and their multi function uses. I would recommend a good quality stack of prefolds as they will hold up for years and years, and baby after baby. Here are few tips I figured out along the way that created much ease with this method. Tip #1 is snappis. If you haven’t heard of them look them up! You can buy them online and at some baby stores. They are great to hold the prefold diaper in place without pins or fuss (which is handy as babies and toddlers wiggle and move and don’t really like getting a diaper on sometimes). They are so easy to use, and make diapering quick and painless. They also help against leakage and also you don’t have to care too much about what fold you use. Tip #2 is fleece liner. Somewhere along the way I read about them and bought a few. I later found making a few (I use the word making very loosely as it is really just buying a piece of fleece and cutting them … that is my way of making things.) worked better as you can make them bigger. What these fleece liners do is two fold. Firstly they help keep babies bottom feeling dry. This helps night time comfort and diaper rash. Wetness pulls straight through the fleece to the prefold leaving just softness and believe it or not dryness behind (even after a full nights sleep). The other benefit of the fleece liner is like any liner, it makes washing easier. The poop stays on the liner making it quick to rinse or shake off. Leaving diapers easier to care for. The liners wash very easily in with your prefolds so no extra washing needed. Tip #3 do NOT soak your dirty diapers awaiting washing. Some will recommend this and some don’t. I do NOT. I find it adds such an odour even if soaking in something and it makes it so much grosser and harder to wash. Just get an empty bucket with a lid and throw your dirty diapers in and when full or you need diapers, throw them in the wash. Washing Tips usually come with your diapers. What I did was just put them in the wash with detergent and a few drops of tea tree oil. I would do an extra rinse cycle and then throw them in the dryer.
As far as covers it is a matter of personal choice. Have fun and try a few.

Undiapering (diaper free); This was what I tried and relatively succeeded with my third. Do your research to get acquainted with baby cues and watch in amazment. One thing I really liked about undiapering and it being baby number 3 was that it pushed me to keep an attached relationship. I am sure I would have any way but it just brought about that focus and awareness to baby. I would sometimes use prefolds during this time. Or I would just lay a prefold under a naked baby when napping. Finding the right clothes to make undiapering easier was a bit of a challenge (especially for a boy) so baby was in shirts and bare bottom a lot around the home. I didn’t see it fully through. And only undiapered for about 6 months as baby started to get busy. I am sure I could have still made it work but time in life called for change indiapering for me. A fun, bonding experience though.

Disposable; Yes I admit it! I have been guilty of using disposable. I feel so ashamed about this sometimes as I know they just sit there in a land fill site for years upon years. I know they are mostly filled with chemicals that aren’t great for baby. But when baby number 4 came and we were transitioning I was just out of routine with cloth and disposable seemed so much more convienent. I tried all kinds of natural ones so that I could feel less guily about the chemicals but the cost seemed to run quite high so I would fall back to the stand by. They are easy and they are the most convienent and baby clothes fit better around these diapers.

My new best friend; I know this next part is going to sound like an advertisement but I want you to know I have zero affiliation with the product I am about to talk about. Broody Chick fully biodegrable, compostable, natural diapers!! I love them! They are all the convenience of disposable with no guilt! They are made fully natural so no chemicals, easy on baby skin and they are biodegradable so no sticking around in the land fills for years on end. They are comfortable for babies (I know some natural brands that seem scratchy or stiff but not these). And they are affordable. The price is a bit more expensive than regualr disposable but marginally. They are less than other natural brands. I can not speak highly enough about these. I have been using them for about 6 months now and love them and with new baby coming, this will definitely be what I choose to use.

The bottom line though with diapers is that they are not one size fits all. Find what suits your needs best. Buy some used to try or some samples along the way. Ask friends (this will fill hours of conversation in itself!). Have fun with it or at least try as you will be doing it for a while!

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Sox March 30, 2010 at 10:26 am

I use mainstream (bad for the environment) disposables, and when I read your statement about the Broody Chick being marginally more expensive than regular disposable, I checked them out. Thrifty’s charges 17.99 for a pack of 24 (Junior size), which works out to about 64 cents per diaper. I am currently buying disposables for 21 cents a diaper.

I am not proud of the fact that I use disposables, but it is really hard for me to spend three times the amount of money. I wish something could be done to bring these prices closer together (including adding some sort of environment tax on mainstream disposables to deter people from buying them). I buy other biodegradable products, and all of them are at most 15% more than the alternatives, and some of them are the same price. A 300% difference seems ludicrous.

Sox March 30, 2010 at 10:27 am

Woops…just a correct to the above. I was looking at the Toddler size, and they are 17.99 for 28, which is where I got the 64 cents/diaper.

KellyP March 30, 2010 at 12:45 pm

Thanks for sharing your diaper knowledge! We’ve got our first baby on the way around the end of May and we’re planning to cloth diaper. It’s always nice to hear feedback from others!

Kimberley March 30, 2010 at 3:19 pm

I love cloth diapers and I pimp them out constantly!!! They rock and I say that as a make-up & clothes obsessed, hate the nasty stuff mommy. If I can do it anyone can ;).

Jessica Bender March 30, 2010 at 5:26 pm

We were using the Broody Chick Diapers as well until our daughter started crawling… and then she started getting red marks on her legs because they were not super flexible. But they were awesome for her first 7 months. Now we are bad parents and using Pampers Cruisers… I know, I know, but she is most comfortable in them.

Into the Rabbit Hole March 30, 2010 at 7:23 pm

You totally have to do what is best for your family and your little one(s). I say the less guilt the better (we already usually carry too much around as it is!). My guy was walking when I came across Broody Chick so didn’t have problems with flexibility.

Steph March 30, 2010 at 11:03 pm

My favourite cloth diaper is the pocket style. I quickly read your post but didn’t see anything about them. They are the convenience of an all-in-one but easy to get clean and fast to dry.

Really, cloth diapers work out to be less expensive but it is hard to put out the up front cost. Our new AMP diapers at Abby Sprouts are such a customizable fit too.

Just wanted to mention the pocket diapers! I don’t know what I do without them with a wiggly almost one year old. (Where did the time go?)

Thanks for your post!

suzan April 4, 2010 at 5:17 am

We use Broody Chick as well for our 15 month old. The 300% difference is worth it. I hope our kids are able to look back and think how unsafe their parents were to use so much carcinogenic chemicals on their bodies.
Cloth diapers are awesome! Can’t rave enough about them 🙂

holly May 2, 2010 at 6:39 pm

Having three children of my own and using lots of diapering methods we decided to try the pocket diapers that everyone raves about (fuzzi bunz), I love them but at the same time wonder how they are any better than disposables considering they are %100 synthetic so what impact do these make from the production of the fabric to how they will eventually biodegrade in the landfills … then started wondering how using micro fleece (from recycled plastic) directly on my baby skin could be harmful …something to think about.

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