cloth diaper diary: nine months

Baby Pickles has now been out of the pen longer than she was in it.  The period that some people think of as “out of womb gestation” is now complete.  I guess I can pack up her stuff and send her off to college then.  Don’t forget your cloth diapers, honey!  Oh.  Diapers.  Guess she’s going to be living here for another couple of years.

laundry be damned

Nine months of Baby Pickles, nine months of cloth diapers, and at least 60,000 bajillion million loads of laundry.  Roughly.  There was a brief period when I was fed up with the laundry.  It was just never fucking finished.  I did a load, I hung it up, and while it was hanging there drying in slow fucking motion, more diapers were being dirtied.  By the time I was ready to do the next load, the first load might even have been dry and ready to put away.  Yeah right.  But, despite some laundry burn out, my cloth-diaper verdict remains positive.

In part this is because of something that happened about a month ago: a new neighbor offered us the use of his dryer.  Usually I’m not down with dryers but we had two huge sacks of tiny wet bits of cloth and no where to hang them so I figured, why the hell not?  And, wow.  Suddenly, the laundry actually gets done, as in completely finished, all in one day.  Suddenly there are entire days, sometimes even two or three, when I don’t have to think about wash at all.  I never thought I would be so enamoured with an electricity waster like a dryer but I am so thankful for the opportunity to use one right now that I could weep.  I look forward to returning to my oh-so-green-fuck-dryers stance when Pickles is out of diapers, but until then I’ll be writing the dryer’s name on my notebook cover with pink swirly hearts.

With a dryer, the cloth diaper experience has changed completely.  Because diapers that have been washed can go directly back onto the shelf instead of hanging around wet and useless for a couple of days, we don’t need all of our extensive collection.  (We did when we were air drying, and we could use even more for travel, however.)  So, a word to buyers: consider your dryer situation when figuring out how many diapers to buy.  If you have a dryer, you will be able to get by with far less than you’ve ever dreamed.

meet the diapers

The last time I did a cloth diaper run down Baby Pickles was three weeks old.  I was still pretty enamoured with all our gear, despite the fact that we had a lot of leaks due to sizing.  I still love one-size-fits-all cloth, but with almost ten months of experience to analyze, I am now retrospectively a bit disappointed in their performance (due to fit) when Pickles was still pickle-sized.  They are all fitting a hell of a lot better these days, and distinct preferences have emerged.

It turns out that I kind of sort of don’t love FuzziBunz (which, strangely, are the Beard’s favorites in our collection), and I kind of really really totally love Happy Heinys (and not just because they were the company with the glow-in-the-dark-skull print, but also because I like their particular size changing snapping system).  The GrowVias finally fit and don’t immediately begin leaking all over the place, and are also incredibly cute (see picture above), though I wouldn’t buy them again, at least not with the expectation that they will work from birth on.  Prefolds are still awesome and the most flexible of all when it comes to fit (and Snappis the best cloth diaper invention fucking ever), though now that Pickles has entered an extremely squirmy stage, I find it damn near impossible to get one on her.  With the all-in-one-diapers (ie the cloth diapers that have snaps or velcro and work just like a disposable minus the environmental havoc) I can put one on her while she’s standing, which is often the only way to avoid a scream fest.  Oh, and I totally, totally heart Kissaluvs, though they don’t get around the squrim factor and require a diaper cover and whoops we now only have one and half because I accidentally set one on fire.

hemp, not just for insulating your home

I have also become totally obsessed with hemp.  Seriously.  Miracle fabric.  Could absorb a pitcher of beer.  (Though I haven’t actually tested this, someone should lift the idea for a hemp insert advertising campaign.)   Nighttime is the hardest test of a cloth diaper.  Even religious users of the cloth sometimes go disposable at night.  But I 1. refuse to purchase the fucking things and 2. refuse to get out of bed at night to change diapers, so I have instead found cloth with super powers.  I have a couple of hemp inserts from a company called BabyKicks, and they are kidney-shaped miracles.  KIDNEY-SHAPED MIRACLES.  And yes, I had to shout that.  What I used to do is put a hemp insert and two or three regular terry inserts in a pocket diaper.  Then I would top it off with a wool soaker (ie wool diaper-like pants).  No waking up in uncomfortable, gross puddles of pee.  No pee-related waking up at all.  Yes!  When you’re fighting for every hour of sleep, you take what you can get, you know?

These days, Pickles doesn’t fit into her wool soaker anymore, so I just put two of these hemp inserts in a prefold with a cover.  Seriously.  JoeyBunz hemp inserts are my cloth diaper super heroes.  If I had more than three and wasn’t rationing them out for nighttime use and could use them during the day, I reckon that I would almost never have to change Pickles’ diaper.  If you know anyone who is or is planning on using cloth diapers who you need to buy a present, get them these.  Right now.  Get them a crate.

Below: Pickles modelling the dubious FuzziBunz.  Though lately I have been warming up to the them a bit.  Maybe their time is coming.  They can look rather adorable, and if the Beard likes ’em, then, well good.


So BabyKicks. Once upon a time last month we ran out of money. I had been making a list in my head of cloth diaper gear we might need to buy soonish, but oh well.  The list was short: 1. more hemp inserts (see my love letter to hemp inserts above) and 2. new covers for the prefolds (we were down to just one that still fit).  Then the universe stepped in, as it often does if you have your radar tuned accordingly, and I found two diaper covers at a flea market for 50 cents a piece (I think the seller must have gone mad, those things are not cheap) and a notice on facebook that BabyKicks was looking for “ambassadors.”

I followed the notice to an application form.  In exchange for writing about their products around the internet a little bit each month, they would give their so-called “ambassadors” cloth diaper paraphernalia.  That was when I discovered that my favorite hemp inserts were from BabyKicks (had never even noticed the label on them before), and that I happened to have a lot of very good things to say about them already.  I applied, assuming I’d have about as much luck as I do in the diaper contests constantly happening on the internet (leave a comment and like a million things on facebook to enter only to never ever win anything ever! bah!).  But I was wrong.  And soon there will be more hemp inserts on our shelf and new diapers to try out (all of BabyKicks products are full of hemp! nomnomdrool), all because I quite like rambling on about things like cloth diapers on the internet.  Huzzah!

And now, in conclusion, I will leave you in a hurry, robbed of the time to come up with a snappy ending by the fact that Pickles is teething and seems to have caught my cold.  Sigh.  At least we’ve got her backside covered.

0 Comments on “cloth diaper diary: nine months

  1. Hm yes I am quite fond of our dryer in the winter months. Our house is so damp right now that when I lay out sweaters to dry it takes them, not kidding, at least a week. I am wearing one right now that has been going for days and is still uncomfortably damp, but hell, I needed a sweater. So I am going to be so super grateful when it comes to diaper drying time, me thinks…

  2. I line-dried the diapers nearly all the time, but I put them in the dryer on the no-heat cycle to fluff them afterward. The times I skipped this step, they seemed less absorbent, as well as harder to use–we were using fitted snap diapers with a separate cover. And it was great to be able to dry the diapers quickly when we were running short! We had about 40, so usually it was easy to keep up with the laundry, but when I got sick or something it could be a problem.

    We also have the luxury of living in a house with a full basement that is dry enough to dry laundry in 24-48 hours without making it smell moldy. If I had to line-dry outdoors or if the clotheslines were cluttering a small living space, I’d be less enthusiastic.

  3. We cannot get our kid (6 months) to sleep through the night. She wakes up the moment she pees. I’d buy a dozen of those inserts right now if I had the disposable income for it. As it is perhaps I’ll just try putting the newborn inserts in there for added absorbency.

  4. ‘Becca: You know I never noticed any difference in absorbtion without using the dryer. But they do look a lot flufflier. The downside being that since starting on dryer use they elastic in the FuzziBunz is starting to go to hell real fast. We have about 50 diapers, so we can go a while without doing laundry, theoretically, but we usually do a load any time the diaper pail is full.

    I wish we had a good space for winter line drying! But totally not happening. Last winter we hung stuff on a drying rack on the ceiling, but this winter the Beard was against doing that as it always made it rather damp in here, and we were dealing with a mold issue. I envy you your basement!

    Foy: Pickles doesn’t sleep through the night either (she wakes up to nurse a couple of times still, though she sleeps for longer and longer stretches at ten months), but a wetish diaper doesn’t bother her at all, luckily. How often is yours up? What kind of cloth diapers are you using?

  5. Hi, I’ve been following your blog for some months now, and I admire your dedication to using cloth diapers even at night. My son has thankfully outgrown this phase, but I remember ironing the cotton cloth diapers when they were damp-ish in winter just to get them dry. These inserts were the reason why I gave up cloth after a year since while they were a godsend, were verry expensive, and my son refused to wear cloth diapers without them. I then went into disposables full-time, not just at night.
    I still have the cotton diapers and refuse to throw them out/give it away because they are super practical for other purposes!

  6. Thank-you so much for pointing out the angel baby bottom balm. My cloth diapered baby girl had a very bad rash and I was running out of options, this stuff saved me! And her 🙂 within 3 days the rash was gone and baby was happy. So Yeah, thanks 🙂 and we are experiencing the same problems with ill fitting diapers but I use bambino mio diapers in times the all in ones don’t fit correctly. Btw do you know alvababy diapers? I am very happy with them and they are much cheaper but still good quality. That’s how I build a bigger stash so I don’t have to use my dryer too much.

  7. Oh and i only use the dryer for the inserts, the covers I hang on a rack above the dryer. That way you don’t have the problem with the elastic an delaminating later on. And the covers dry really quick.

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