Monday, September 29, 2014

A Year in Cloth Diapers

Can you believe William is a year old? Can you believe he's been in cloth diapers for a year? I can't! I wanted to share about my experience with using cloth diapers for a year, because as you know, I researched, questioned, and calculated all aspects before committing to this. You can check out this post for my two-month update on the topic.

We did go with prefold diapers for daytime use from the beginning. We tried them at night but that was very short lived. Even with William's refusal to sleep longer than 3 hours they weren't absorbent enough. We resorted to disposables at night time because I really didn't know what else to do and had very little energy to investigate.

We use several brands of covers: thirsties, kissaluvs, bumpkins, and rumparooz. Some with velcro and some with snaps. I don't think I have a preference to the brand or the type of closure although velcro is quicker/easier. I will say I loved the double leg gussets on the kissaluvs and rumparooz covers, they just seemed tighter than the thirsties.

The prefolds come in two or three sizes. We started with the newborn size and read that at 15 lbs we should move up to the premium size that would last up to 30 lbs. Well, our lean, long baby still fits in the smaller size and just now, after 12 months, are we having to move to the larger ones.

Concerning our laundry routine, it hasn't changed much since we started. We wash three times a week with our portable washing machine. We keep all the wet diapers in a diaper pail with cloth liner that gets washed with the diapers. The dirty diapers soak over night after being scraped into the toilet (this gets messier than I would have thought). We use the dryer in our building to dry them as sun/air drying leaves them pretty stiff.

We've only tried one brand of washing detergent for diapers and haven't even thought to use anything else. "Rock'n Green" is amazing. It's a little expensive but is completely diaper safe and earth and baby friendly. They have several scents, and the diapers smell great after washing. We've never had to strip the diapers and have only had to re-wash three diapers. We have had a few diapers get stained, and I will most likely bleach them before packing them away for future children.

I have to say that daytime cloth diapering seemed to be "easy" for the first six months. It really worked for us. But, when William started rolling over, it became a lot more difficult. Usually he would just scream, kick and cry and we'd try to go as quick as we could. But around 9 months, he got stronger and would actually crawl away. (We never used a changing table, we just lay him on the floor.) So a quick diaper change, became a 10 minute chase-and-grab event with screams and cries from both of us. This is when I realized that no one tells you that a two-part diaper system like the prefold and cover duo we have just doesn't work. Not only do you have to tackle your baby and hold him down to fold the diaper around him, you then have to do it all over again for the cover! Sometimes, I had to put a disposable on him because  I just couldn't win the fight. Only a few times was I too late to cover him up!

We still use the prefolds and covers. We're stubborn that way. Just be warned: the older they get the harder this system is and you might question why you didn't spend the money up front getting the all in ones! Because those can be put on while baby stands up!

When William turned 9 months old and we attempted sleep training for the second time, we decided it was time to look into a night-time cloth diaper. It was also the time we needed to go up a size with our covers. I placed an order with and was given a free all-in-one diaper. It was a brand I hadn't heard of "Imagine." It was super soft and had a thick insert that looked like it would be perfect for night time. We gave it a try . . . and it worked! It took us a while to order another one, but now we have two Imagine diapers and two flip inserts that we use for night time. We haven't had to use a disposable diaper for bedtime in weeks! (Imagine diapers are super reasonable, $12; they arrive super soft and lovely, but after a couple of months, they are less soft and don't seem as strong. But they still work! We've never had a leak!)

It is really amazing how quickly our cloth diapering became a routine. It doesn't feel like a lot of extra work at all, which was an original concern. We've had a few moments of frustration, but for the most part, we love them.

Do you cloth diaper? Did you have phases that were more difficult? What system did you go with?

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