cloth diaper diary: three weeks

I was excited to get started cloth diapering.  I know, I know, insanity, right?  That, or an intoxicating, brain-numbing combination of hormones and glow-in-the-dark pirate fabric.  Well, it’s been a little over three weeks, the hormonal high is wearing off, and I’m happy (astonished) to report that I remain enthusiastic.  Maybe because so far the Beard has done all the wash, maybe because all the poop has led to more hilarity than gagging, and yeah, maybe because I am easily seduced by fabric bearing little skulls-and-crossbones.  I guess I’m easy to please after all.

For all the folks out in internet-land who are trying to figure out which cloth diapers might be right for them, I’ve compiled my thoughts and complaints on our experience using a variety of different brands and styles.  May you also be blessed with blog readers who buy you neat things from your baby registry (nope, never going to forget how awesome that was).

FuzziBunz.  The majority of our diapers are Fuzzis, for no better reason then that they were the first one-sizers I came across, back in the day when I was naively unaware that there were hundreds of varieties of cloth diapers to choose from.  Unfortunately, the FuzziBunz one sizers are all too damn big around the leg.  Which means that when Pickles’ bowels release the goods, the goods explode down her leg, creating much hilarity but too much damn wash.  Boo hiss FuzziBunz.  But!  The two newborn-sized FuzziBunz diapers that Frugal Vegan Mom sent me are pretty awesome.  Hurray FVM!  Hurray for fitted pocket diapers!  The Fuzzis also get extra points for being incredibly quick to dry.  I’m banking on loving these though, once Pickles gets to be a little bigger.

Prefolds.  Fact: I had to Google “prefold” the first time I saw it written down.  (They are the old school, rectangular bit of cloth with a bit more cloth in the middle for absorption variety of diaper.)  Fact: I then had to learn how to put a baby in a prefold diaper from a video on youtube.  I wasn’t sure I was going to like ‘em, but we ended up with a huge stack of them all the same.  Well, it turns out they’ve won my heart.  And how.

Though I sucked at wrapping them at first, the prefolds have seduced me because I can wrap them just-so, and just-so fits.  (Take that “one size” FuzziBunz!)  The Snappis diaper fasteners are a big part of the awesome.  I would have been terrified of using diaper pins, and Pickles would be full of holes.  Only problem there is that most of the prefolds we have soak through very quickly.  (With the exception of the fleece mix prefolds we have three of.)  But she doesn’t seem to mind and so far she hasn’t shown any signs of diaper rash.

Happy Heinys.  Happy Heinys have about ten million snaps on their fronts, which at a glance looks kind of complicated.  But it turns out that those extra snaps provide some awesome fitting possibilities that the FuzziBunzs one sizers lack.  Plus their name is hilarious.  Though not as hilarious as my own future cloth diaper company, BadAss.  (Or should I go with Holy Shit, the cloth diaper for blasphemous parents?)  So yeah, I like me some Happy Heinys.

GrowVia.  Also awesome.  These diapers don’t have a pocket for stuffing, but over-serts for snapping onto the diaper.  Theoretically this could mean you could reuse the same casing over and over, just changing out the inserts each time.  But GrowVia stupidly went and sewed the top insert right onto the diaper (further inserts can be snapped beneath it) so after one use you still have to throw them in the hamper.  They are a tad too big as well, but not as extremely so as the FuzziBunz.

Kissaluvs.  These work in the same way as the GrowVia diapers, but minus the option of snapping more inserts into the cover.  They are really fluffly and soft—or would be if we had a drier.  Either way, of all the diapers we have, these were the only ones that, when they arrived, had me wanting to put them on.  They just look that comfortable.  You do need to use a cover with them, however, which some people might consider extra work.

Thirsties.  All we got from Thirsties are three one-size-fits-all diaper covers.  (The very same that you can see gracing Pickles’ bottom above.)  So far, no complaints.  Nice patterns and functional, and though not perfect in damning the explosions either, the fit is pretty decent.

And a tangent about Earth Mama Angel Baby products.  So Earth Mama Angel Baby Bottom Balm?  Fucking awesome stuff.  Pickles hasn’t had any diaper rash, but she has had some raw spots in her little baby creases, and Bottom Balm not only healed her up fast, it made her smell like tea tree oil, which I love.  Also: Their Nipple Butter saved my life during the first few days breast feeding, when the previously piecred nippled was feeling very abused.  Dear Earth Mama Angel Baby, Wow your products are awesome.  I would be more than happy to continue to shamelessly spout my love for your products in exchange for a handful of freebies you know…

Do/did any of you use cloth diapers?  What were your favorites?

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Tuesday March 13th 2012, 9:00 am 13 Comments
Filed under: conspiracies,gorilla parent (year one)

13 Comments so far. Please leave a comment.

I am a fond lover of prefolds (Green Mountain Diapers makes the best), flat diapers, and Disana tie diapers. Prefolds wash up well, can be stacked easily, and their ability to contain poop is only matched by flat diapers, which are much easier to fold than they look (origami fold is my favorite) and dry super super fast. Really, all of these contain poop well, which is why I like them more than other diapers.

The Disana tie diapers (which are from Germany<3) are the absolute best diapers…they are knitted organic cotton, absorb well, dry faster than prefolds, and you get all the adjustableness of flats or prefolds without needing a Snappi. They fit in diaper bags better, which is nice if you want to be out and about and still have room for a wetbag and clothes without needing a pack mule. I like to use wool covers the best (you can make these out of upcycled wool sweaters, knit them, or buy them on EBay)..but the Econobum covers are surprisingly good and size well. We are still using the ones at 6 months that we were using when our baby was born. I love love love the breathability of wool the most, though.

I have tried Fuzzi Bunz, which I adored until we started solids and I could not get the stink out of the plastic pul stuff, fitteds and all-in-ones which are adorable but take ten thousand years to dry, and some other random pocket diapers that I was as lukewarm to as the others.

One trick I really like…I get 2-3 yards of thick fleece and cut it into diaper sized strips. Lay these in the diaper, and they not only wick away moisture from a babe's bottom, but you can often just scrub the poop out of them, saving your diapers. When solids are on the menu, this can make cloth diapering a whole lot more enjoyable! Most days I just peel the poop off of the fleece liner and toss it in the toilet. Much easier for laundry.

Love the EMAB bottom balm too…we have eczema in the family and a tendency towards diaper rash, which this lovely stuff solves in a jiffy! I have already gone through a whole jar since our son was born.

SO glad you are still in love with cloth! It really is something that seems so easy…I can't imagine every using disposables again like we did with our first. Cloth diapers are like difference between fresh veggies from a local garden baked into a wonderful meal with good friends compared to eating a burger in a plastic package by yourself in a fast food restaurant.

Comment by jadebabylon 03.13.12 @ 11:06 am

Whoa, I liked that: “Cloth diapers are like difference between fresh veggies from a local garden baked into a wonderful meal with good friends compared to eating a burger in a plastic package by yourself in a fast food restaurant.”

I couldn’t possibly convince my husband to even think about trying to attempt, so I switched myself to cloth (I use Lunapads and a Diva Cup). I doesn’t do a whole lot to decrease the mountain of biological garbage leaving my home, but I like to think that something is something.

Pickles is one beautiful bean. You do well in protecting her privacy, but I adore the pictures you’ve shared.

Comment by Julia 03.13.12 @ 1:47 pm

It is such a long time since I had any call for diapers (or nappies) as we call them in the UK.

Of course, being the awkward soul I was even then, I had to be different from the other mothers and get some shaped, they were double thickness, bound around the sides and had a rounded shaped flap each side and one at the bottom. You would bring the flap up from the bottom, they each side and pin them, making sure your hand was behind the fabric!

Then I realised they didn’t absorb a great deal and although I still used them bought some ordinary terry nappies which I used to fold long wise and with a pin either side.

We always used plastic pants on top to stop leakage.

Disposables were not commonly used then although I had some for if I went out for the day.

You seem to have lots to choose from.

Comment by Anni 03.13.12 @ 2:53 pm

thanks so much for sharing your reviews:) also pickles has the cutest feet ever! :)

Comment by Sarah Allison 03.13.12 @ 7:44 pm

I was a cloth nappy agent in the UK when my son was a baby (he’s 7 now) & was a serious cloth-nappy addict!
Have to say, I hated prefolds, loved fuzzi’s once he had grown a bit – they really come into own once you’re past the newborn explosive poo stage(we had the sized ones, not one-size, but my son had skinny legs until he started on solids & the leg holes were too big until then). I love the fact that you can stuff anything in them – old towels, flannels… anything absorbent & that fleece lining’s a dream – never had any problems with smells working into the PUL and some of mine were 2nd hand.
At newborn terry nappies (squares of terry towelling fabric) in a slightly smaller size were perfect & then helped to stuff the fuzzi’s when my son grew out of them – they also dry much faster than prefolds and can be folded to be far more absorbent than prefolds if prefolds are used fanned out at the back rather than only used folded.
Weenies wraps gave a good fit once I got the hang of making sure the pouch was fitted properly and were great with the smaller terries used as stuffing, or with prefolds.
Onelife one-size nappy was great at all ages though bulky for a newborn – but great as a night-time nappy :)
If you go for wool covers, baby needs to mobile, or they’ll leak through at the pressure points where baby’s lying on them, but if you get on well with them, then they are far better for eczema-prone skin due to their inherent breathability.
Glad to hear you’re loving cloth :)

Comment by Jo 03.13.12 @ 7:47 pm

Here are my cloth diaper reviews. I particularly recommend Dappi nylon pull-on pants as a cover for any diaper (whether or not it is “supposed” to need a separate cover) at times when you really want to avoid leakage. They are superb at controlling leaks, appear comfortable, and are very affordable! The larger sizes also can be worn over underpants when toilet training so that your toddler can feel when she’s wet without making a HUGE mess–although a complete bladder release into underpants will leak even from Dappis.

I totally agree with Jadebabylon about the realness and pleasantness of cloth diapers compared to disposables. They smell better, too!

Comment by 'Becca 03.13.12 @ 11:24 pm

Yay! I love prefolds for the satisfaction of the skill involved, as well as the fact that you can individualize them for long legs or what have you. The other branded diapes we have – fuzzy buns, rumparooz, etc – are very similar to each other. I did like the elastic ruffled trenches around the leg in the rumparooz for when the babe was a bit younger & leakage was a lot more prone to happening. At ten months it is wild how little work cloth diapering is, especially in comparison to those early weeks/months.

Funnily enough, I posted my own homage to cloth diapering today. : )

http://travelingoldenhearts.wordpress.com/2012/03/14/cloth-diapers-yes-please/

Comment by katey 03.14.12 @ 3:34 am

I used old-fashioned terry squares (muslin squares when they were very tiny) folded into a pad (can’t remember exactly how I did it now, but something like folding the square into quarters and then folding lengthwise into thirds, if that makes sense. It was all held in place wtih one of these Nature Babies poppered wraps over the top: http://www.twinkleontheweb.co.uk/acatalog/details-05POPNB.html

I really rate the Nature Baby poppered wraps, they have very deep gussets around the legs and kept everything in. You do need to buy them in several sizes as the baby grows, but so worth it. The terry squares are dirt cheap, quick to dry and can stand up to a boil wash if needed. And when your youngest child has finished with nappies you have a lifetime’s supply of cleaning cloths. What’s not to like?

Comment by Freya 03.14.12 @ 11:22 pm

We are using a diaper service because we don’t have a washing machine so we will be doing prefolds paired with thirsties snappy covers. I’m SO excited to try it out!

Comment by Elisabeth@Manic Mrs. Stone 03.15.12 @ 7:35 am

I am preferential to BumGenius pocket diapers myself…they hold up so well and as long as I stuff them beforehand, they are easy for other people to use.

Comment by Rebecca 03.15.12 @ 8:10 am

I love the idea of cloth diapers. But how, with the wagon living, do you wash them?

Comment by Alliston 03.15.12 @ 10:11 pm

Your Pickles sure is one cute little lady :)!!!

Comment by Amanda 03.19.12 @ 2:19 pm

[...] gorilla baby: a cloth diaper review, three weeks in [...]

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