Wednesday, April 27, 2011

What Do You Know About Cloth Diapers?

by Meggan Edwards

I am a mom to a 13-month-old little girl who was born in a hospital with an epidural, but I am interested in a medication-free home-birth for my future children (still researching). I am a lactivist and an intactivist; I babywear and cloth diaper; we eat mostly whole foods and as much organic as we can afford. I am a teacher in a public school, but am considering homeschooling my daughter. I try to educate people about proper carseat safety and use as much as I can. I believe in "Attachment Parenting", although I was doing it before I knew it had a name. I knew almost nothing before I became pregnant with my daughter, but I have spent the last two years learning as much as I possibly can about every aspect of pregnancy, birth, and raising children. I learn something new every day.

One of my obsessions.  Here's the whopper.  Cloth diapering!

Yes, you read correctly, and I know what you're thinking... "WHAT?  You must be some kind of hippie!

Isn't it gross?"  And here is my answer:  A hippie?  Maybe.  Gross?  Nope.  Not at all.

And it really isn't!  Cloth diapering isn't like it was "back in the day."  I did a lot of research before I got into it, and although I wasn't sure I would like it, I decided to do a two week trial.  And I loved it!!  Emmalyn's diaper rash IMMEDIATELY cleared up and it was super easy!!  There was no touching poo or folding and pinning!  Don't get me wrong, some methods are easier (for me) than others, but there really is an easy way to cloth diaper for just about anyone! 

This is the point where I absolutely MUST give a shout out to my girl Angela!  She is the one who introduced me (and ultimately got me hooked) on cloth diapering!!  Thanks chica!

I won't get into too much detail about ALL the different kinds of cloth diapering because I'm definitely no expert... but I WILL tell you about what I use!  Hopefully this info will help at least one person to understand that it IS possible to have something that is good for your baby, good for the earth, and good for the pocketbook! 

Let me start by telling you the advantages that I have found with cloth diapering so far:

1.  Emmalyn has not had a diaper rash since we started cloth diapering.  She had them frequently with disposable.s
2.  Cloth diapering my daughter will eliminate literally TONS of waste from landfills!  Even more with CD'ing the rest of our kids!
3.  With the diapers and accessories I use, I will save over $1500 by the time Emmalyn is potty trained!  And even more with reusing (most of) the diapers for our next child.  (Obviously the pinks will be out if its a boy!)
4.  I NEVER have that "Oh, crap!  I'm out of diapers!  I have to run to the store real quick!" moment.  I usually never even have the "Oh, crap, there are no clean diapers!  I have to do a load of wash" moment.  Funny enough, I actually LIKE doing the diaper laundry! 
5.  The diapers are so CUTE!  I don't even usually cover them up!  I just put little dresses or long shirts on Emmalyn and let the cute diapers show!
Okay, that being said, on to the diapers!!

The first things I use are prefolds and covers.  Prefolds are kind of what you would consider the "old school" diaper.  Except you don't have to pin them!  I usually fold mine into thirds, but sometimes I do it "old school" diaper style, but I use a Snappi.  Let me illustrate.
Prefold fastened with a Snappi (I borrowed this pic from the Snappi website)
Or I just fold it in thirds and lay it inside a cute cover!  I LOVE these covers:
Often times I will use a fleece liner on top of a prefold to make sure my baby has the softest stuff against her little bum! 
The prefold/cover system is the cheapest of all the cloth diapering systems I use.  However, it is a little more labor-intensive than other methods.
Emmalyn in her striped diaper cover with a prefold.
The next system I use is called the Flip System.  It is like the prefold/fleece/cover system, only easier!!
It has an awesome stay-dry insert that is fleece on one side and thick, absorbent cotton on the other.  You just fold it to the size you need!
Then you just lay it in the cover, and snap it on to fit baby!!
Emmalyn in her Flip diaper!
I also sometimes use a fitted diaper, which don't always need a cover for the first hour or so.  And they make really cute prints in fitteds too!
SUPER cute Kissaluvs fitted diaper!
These systems work GREAT when we are at home and out on short trips.  But I won't be sending them to the babysitter's because I want to make CD'ing as easy as possible for the sitter! 
Therefore, I will be sending pocket diapers to the sitter.  These are actually my favorites because they are super soft and super fluffy!  I use two types of pocket diapers.  Fuzzibunz and BumGenius.  I mostly use one-size pocket diapers that can grow with my baby.  Just stuff them with a super-absorbent liner (2 for bedtime) and go!  I will be pre-stuffing them for the babysitter, so then they will just go on and off like disposables!  (At least I think so... Ashley, since you're the only babysitter Em's ever had... what did you think?)
The Fuzzibunz have a fleece interior against baby's bum and close with snaps.  They have patterns AND some awesome colors!!
Fuzzibunz in Green Apple, Blue Daisy, and Grape
 The BumGenius have a suede interior and close with velcro... but they recently came out with a new version that closes with snaps too!  They are more limited in colors and don't have patters, but they work wonderfully!
BumGenius with velcro in Sweet, Twilight, and Blossom
Emmalyn in a small Fuzzibunz in Crushed Berries
One Size Fuzzibunz in Kumquat
BumGenius 3.0 in Blossom Pink
There really is a color or pattern for every outfit and occasion!!
Here is my current cloth diapering stash, minus a few that were in the diaper pail (or on Emmalyn) at the time of the picture!  This "organizer" is actually for toys (like for in a playroom) and will eventually be moved to the children's game room of our house after I am done using it for diapers!
Top row:  Pocket diapers on left, fitteds and covers on right
Second row:  liners and Flip liners on left, unbleached prefolds on right
Third row:  liners, hooded towels, fleece liners, extra elastics and Em's bathrobe
Bottom row:  burp cloths, wash cloths, large wetbags, small/medium wetbags
For my friends who DO cloth diaper:  please feel free to add whatever info, advice, etc. you may have!!
There is a TON more info available out there about cloth diapering!  Here are just a few of the resources I love:
Here is the website for the detergent I use on my diapers (and all of Emmalyn's clothes):


  1. Do you have, or feel it would be a good idea to have a diaper sprayer attachment to your toilet? How do you store your dirty diapers before washing them? I tried CDing for a week when my son was about 18 months old, trying to decide if it was worth it to switch from disposables at that point. Since he had solid bm's by that point, that wasn't a problem, but I found the ammonia smell from the urine in the dirty diapers to be pretty overwhelming. Any suggestions? I am still toying with CDing with my little one due in October.

  2. I don't have a diaper sprayer, and I only really dump solids in the toilet if they're solid enough to drop in, if you get what I mean. I store my dirty diapers in a bag that hangs from the door knob in the kids bedroom. It does stink if they sit for a while or if there's a particularly nasty diaper in there, and when I notice the stink I just do a load. I don't mind washing every 2 days, and if I wash that often it doesn't seem to be a problem with smells.

  3. I love love LOVE cloth diapering! My favorite part is saving $0.20 every time I use one. I use them during the day, but have trouble at night since my son can soak through them pretty quickly and ends up wet and unhappy and usually with a rash in the morning. Do you have any advice on what to do at night? I've tried double stuffing once when he was still night feeding, but haven't done it since he's started sleeping through the night. I have both FuzziBunz and BumGenius diapers. Thanks! Love your blog too!

  4. During heavy night wetting stages I would double up on prefolds or inserts. I've even triple-stuffed my BG diapers before.

  5. I absolutely LOVE your blog! Thank you for posting such informative topics!

  6. your blog is so great and informational for especially for new mom