Thursday, February 9, 2012

Cloth vs. Disposable Diapers

I have a little bit of granola in me.  I think I inherited a bit of hippie from my mom.  I’m definitely not as extreme as my tree-hugging, organic eating, non- driving, environmentalist, Californian sister.  I like to do my part here and there, especially when it saves me money. 
Cloth diapers 5
Doesn't he look cute in his diaper?
We researched clothe diapers, and asked anyone we knew that used cloth about their experiences. 
Cloth diapers8 - newborn
Baby Kyton wearing a cloth diaper
About our dipes’
We have the all in two diapers, We have the choice of stuffing, or using a snap in insert.  We always snap in since it makes the diaper reusable.  If we leave our boy with someone that is up for it, we’ll stuff and then the diaper works just like a disposable.  Our supply is 12 shells, and 12 large inserts, 28 small inserts.  Now that Ky is bigger, we use two small inserts.  When he was a newborn, we used just one. 
We have a wet bag that hangs on the back of Kyton’s door for his used diapers.  If is is just wet, I take out the insert, snap in a new one, and he’s good to go.  If things get a little full the entire diaper goes into the wet bag. Until we started solids everything went straight into the bag, but now that we are on solids, we rinse diapers that have ‘Honey Dijon’  (poo) in them.  We bought the sprayer that attached to the toilet, but after re-thinking our bathroom arrangement, we now have a sprayer that attaches to the shower.  The advantage to this is that we can get warm water when we need it.  We also use the sprayer (it never touches ‘Honey Dijon’ ) when we give Ky a bath.  About every 3 days we do laundry.  When he was a newborn, it was every two days.   The laundry is really easy to do and involves no folding. 
Cloth diapers7 - newborn
Ky as a newborn & still jaundiced
I was not sure how Dylan would feel about it all, but he researched the diapers and even practiced dressing a stuffed animal before the baby arrived.  He has been 100% on board with cloth diapering. 
Cloth diapers6
My monster boy chilling in his diaper. 
Our plan was to use disposables when we were out of the house for a while and when we traveled.  We’ve been away from home for 7 weeks since Kyton was born 7 months ago.  After trying the other side I’ve decided that I prefer clothe diapers!
I can not even count the number of times I’ve gotten ‘Honey Dijon’  on my, or Kyton when using disposables.  We end up doing wash every other day at my parent’s house since we don’t want to let soiled baby clothes sit too long.  The biggest area of leakage on disposables is the back. Our diapers have elastic along the back that have caught the ‘Honey Dijon’ every time.  We had 1 ‘Honey Dijon’ leak from the legs when he was 4 days old, but have not had any leaks since. (You have to get them tight, which we didn't know at the time.) We used to use disposables when we were out for the day, and now we just use cloth. We've found that the cloth contains the mess, and does not leak. We’d rather carry around our diapers in a small wet bag, than be covered in ‘Honey Dijon’ He does not notice that he is wet, or get fussy due to needing a change like he does with disposable. Also, the diaper does not smell like disposables, in fact there is no odor at all.  Kyton gets a small diaper rash when he uses them for a few days in a row.  
Cloth diapers3
The issues
The only issue we have had is leaking pee. We though that part of the problem is that we don't change him that often since he does not complain, or smell. We've found that we need to change him more often to get him before he leaks. We go through more disposables per day than we do cloth per day. Now that we've been changing him more it has helped, but we still have some wet spots around his legs. Another problem with cloth is that they are sewn together.  The sewing holes can at times can wick moisture out of the diaper.  The other thing we need to do every now and then is strip the diapers, which helps with absorption. It is basically just washing the diapers on hot a few times in a row.  I have ordered a different laundry detergent, so that may help.  The owner of the diaper company has offered to check our diapers to see if there is a problem since it seems that it only happens with some of our covers.  If the new detergent does not help this, we’ll try that route.  Basically we’ve decided that it’s not that big of a deal, and we just change his pants if they get wet. 
The only other negative is that they are a little bulkier, and may fit as easily under pants.
Cloth diapers4
The score:
Disposables: convenient +1, easy for travel +1, holds pee better +1, less bulky +1, know when to change
Cloth: environment +1, cost +1, odor +1, holds poo better +1, comfort for the baby +1, health of the baby +1, less diapers per day +1, looks cute +1, no poo on baby’s clothes +1 
I think as with pretty much every other aspect of being a parent, we are learning as we go, and trying to figure out what works. 
Cloth diapers1Cloth diapers2
Kyton checking out his cool diaper

For more information visit my friend’s blogs for their perspective, or e-mail me if you have questions:
Melody – My friend from high school.  We both played clarinet in the high school band.– Her method, described here, apparently is becoming famous
Julie –My friend from college.  Her posts:  making your own detergent, wraps
Elizabeth – Also from high school - I can’t find a specific post where she described her method, but she cloth diapers her son, and mentions it
A little Kloep – I don’t actually know her in real life, but found her through photography blogs and now follow her.   
Diaper cleaning routine, making it work with the schedule, Wicking


J-ROK said...

Thanks for the link! I've never seen that brand of cloth dipes. Also, I can't believe you change him LESS when he's wearing cloth. When I use disposables, I feel like I change so much less often since she doesn't feel wet. How often do you strip? I don't htink I do that often enough!

Unknown said...

I wanted to go with cloth but since we both worked and the day care says it is unsanitary to have cloth we ended up with disposables.....:( I think once I'm at home for good we are going to try cloth out maybe..

Confessions From A Work-At-Home Mom said...

First, Kyton looks ENORMOUS in that picture of him taken from the perspective of his toes - 22 pounds at 5 months??? Charlie - who is big for his age - was 22 lbs 4 oz at 9 months!!!! Are you growing an offensive tackle down there in FL?

As for the cloth diapers - I've noticed pee leaks too. They only really are a problem with C has poop in his diap. They just don't absorb as well when there's poop between his bummy and the pad.

But I can live with it!

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