Four weeks into cloth diapers with Maggie, I must say that I really love how it’s working out. There are some things I would do differently, but overall it’s been a great experience. I wouldn’t recommend reading the following entry unless you have a vested interest in doing this yourself, or are just really curious about how we bundle Maggie’s bottom. Some people are adamant about not using synthetics at all in their diapers; I think if our budget had permitted and I was more ambitious, we would consider prefolds and wool covers. As it is, we are a) lazier than those people and b) less concerned with synthetics than with daycare compatibility later on, so we went with pocket diapers–fitted diapers you stuff with an absorbent stuffer in varying thicknesses. Awesome for 3 a.m. changes when I can barely open my eyes.
We ordered about 20 BumGenius 3.0 diapers, which have a fold-down tab to accommodate a newborn’s cord stub. If I could do it again, I would have purchased a supply of newborn size prefolds and then used them as diaper stuffers when Maggie outgrew them, but these worked fine. You can buy these with snap closures to avoid loud velcro waking up the baby, but after watching the entire run of “The Sopranos” on DVD during my pregnancy, Maggie sleeps through just about everything. I prefer the velcro because it gets a snugger fit and Maggie doesn’t notice the noise. She’s swell like that.
Because smaller babies go through more diapers, I got a supply of 8 Happy Heinys size small pocket diapers to augment my stash. Would NOT buy these again. The reviews on them were mixed but the majority skewed positive, so I went with them. Big mistake–the fabric wicks liquid right out the leg holes on the diaper, and more often than not Maggie woke up with a wet outfit (or I got a lapful of baby urine. Rock.). We don’t use them at all anymore and I’m trying to sell them to someone unsuspecting. The only time she has wicking with the BGs is at night and she sleeps longer than I anticipate. She sometimes sleeps for 3.5-4 hours, and if I don’t remember to use the larger, thicker stuffer there’s dampness at the top edge of the diaper. Otherwise, awesome.
Wipes: we have a dozen Egyptian cotton wipes (which I can’t find now on the internet and just as well, I don’t like them very much as the edges curl up too much), a dozen of these flannel wipes, two packs of these Thirsties I got as a gift, and then 30 of these wipes I found on Etsy in various designs (the double wipes, not the singles). Big thumbs up on the Etsy wipes, they scrub well but are still quite soft. The Thirsties work pretty well but I’ve started using them primarily to clean Maggie’s face of spitup (she’s a horker) because they are so soft. I make my own wipe solution just about weekly using a little glycerin soap and a bit of baby oil. So far, so good!
Bags: I have four wet bags, two larger ones to line my pail and two small to carry in the diaper bag. I rotate them when I do the laundry. I have the Bummis bag and the Swaddlebees bag, overall I prefer the Swaddlebees because the material is a bit more flexible but I’d recommend either. If you like lots of pretty colors and patterns, I’d go with the Swaddlebees.
Laundry: soak and prewash on cold, a bit of regular Tide detergent and baking soda in the regular wash cycle on warm, white vinegar in the rinse cycle. Some small stains on the stuffers, none on the diapers themselves. I have a smaller pail so I wash about every day or every other day, depending. I have a big enough supply to go longer and will probably get a bigger pail someday when leaving the house isn’t such a big f-ing production.
Cloth for me: disposable nursing pads are TERRIBLE and leave funky fibers stuck to you. Gross. I bought a half dozen of these nursing pads on Etsy and am quite pleased–worked overnight with no leaking, nice and large, and the fabric is fun. As for other matters, I am convinced my healing would be progressing faster if I had just bit the bullet and invested in cloth pads for myself instead of these awful Always things. I hadn’t used them in years and forgot how much I hate them. Those are also sold on Etsy, cheaper than the kind you might find at Whole Foods. I’m healing well, I just…hate to crinkle. Ick.
So that’s my rundown! I think for future babies I might try to edge out into the prefold world, especially in newborn sizes. As it is I am quite happy with our purchases (save those damn Happy Heiny moneywasters) and hope this is helpful/convincing to anyone on the fence!
ETA: We realized that without the HH diapers, we were doing laundry constantly. (Maggie is a frequent and heavy wetter.) So I ordered some cloth prefolds and waterproof covers after all. Will report on how I like them.