Sunday, December 11, 2011

Cloth's not all pins anymore!

When I first mentioned I wanted to cloth diaper our DD, I got the expected responses.  "That takes too much time!" and "Ew, wiping poop into the toilet!" and "disposables are so much EASIER!" among the most common. My mom supported me, as well as a few friends and other family.  All I had to do with my husband was show him the cost breakdown...and being a SAHM (stay at home mom), I would be doing the laundry.  So began my journey into the world of Cloth Diapers...

Like many new moms, I really didn't know what to expect or what to look for.  I found a website, and did a few (haha) hours of research.  I was lost!  I kept checking back, ghosting, reading without posting.  I also found, and  One of my sis-in-laws highly recommended the gDiaper, while I was looking in bumgenius.

After a few weeks of research, I went the cautious route and ordered two bumgenius 4.0s and a starter set of small gDiapers.  Let me give a quick breakdown of each. I'll try not to overload you on information...
To start, bumgenius is an American company, started by Jenn Labit.  You can find her story here:
The bumgenius 4.0 is the newest version of the bumgenius line of pocket diapers.  A pocket diaper is a shell in which you "stuff" as much or as little absorbent liners as you like.  Each shell comes with one newborn insert and a one-size insert.  They are OS (one-size) with snaps on the front of the shell that allow you to adjust the diaper for the proper fit.  Another option is the AIO (all in one) diaper in which the inserts are attached to the shell.  I liked the pocket idea... I started out using a single infant insert during the day, and a one-size liner at night.  You change their diapers so often in the beginning that they shouldn't have leaks.  Unless the diaper doesn't fit properly.  We'll get to that later.  At 15.5 months, DD is at a one-size and infant insert both stuffed into the shell for daytime use, and two one-size liners at night.  My mom wanted to be helpful, and sent me about a dozen of the old-style cloth diapers, complete with pins and plastic covers!  I do love you, Mom, and appreciate your thoughtfulness!  And the cost may be higher for these new ones, but they've come so far!
The gDiaper is a pretty wonderful creation out of Australia.
They have an amazing creation in the flushable joke, it is so biodegradable, you'll never look at the supposed "biodegradable disposable diapers" sold in most stores again.  They even have a video:
Pretty neat, huh?  So you have little gPants in some pretty awesome prints and solids, size newborn through extra large.  Then you have a snap-in liner, that you then place an insert into.  You have the option of the cloth or biodegradable disposable inserts.  I bought cloth.
So I had my little sample stash, and an infant.  She slept, ate, emptied waste, etc, and did all of this frequently.  This might have had something to do with my lack of adequate sleep.  So I'll blame that on my lack of attention and putting the gDiapers on her backwards.  Did you look at their website?  Do that real quick...yup, the tabs go in the back.  So reverse of the way we're programmed to put diapers on kiddos.  I realized this after I decided all the leaks were because they weren't fitting her properly...which they might not have, there doesn't seem to be any difference between front and back, other than tabs.  I found a new home for my gDiapers, at quite a cost reduction, since I'd used them for two weeks.  On the other hand, I LOVED my bumgenius!  (sorry, gDiaper!)  They fit her well, leaked only when they'd become overfull, and they're so cute!  Warning: many moms become addicted to cloth diapers.  I frequently saw posts on diaperswappers of women "de-stashing" so they could buy new ones...
Side note: all babies are different.  Some women find that diapers that worked beautifully on a first child, then leak when used on a second (third, etc) child.  Body weight, size, and all those little differences in body type can be just enough to send you searching through a dozen brands of diaper before finding one that WORKS as you've been told they should!  So please, by all that is holy, don't go out and buy 40 diapers of one brand for your yet-to-be-born child!  Shop around, and pick up a few of this and that, and find what works for you and your baby!  You'll thank me, and so will your wallet/credit card!  Maybe not the credit card companies... ;)
So, bumgenius 4.0.  These replaced the 3.0, which were slightly smaller.  You then have two options...snaps or "hook and loop".  The legal name for velcro that isn't Velcro brand.  I bought one of each to start.  The snaps have, in my judgement, slight limitations in sizing on the waist.  I found that many times the snap diaper was either too tight or too loose.  Perfectionist that I am, I wanted to them to be snapped evenly and have uniform snugness on her legs.  So I went with hook and loop for all future purchases.  About seven months down the road, I noticed that some of the tabs weren't sticking properly anymore.  I assume these are some of the first ones I purchases, and got most frequent use until I'd built up about 30 diapers.  Four more months and nearly half of my diapers had hook and loop tabs that weren't sticking anymore.  Solution to this problem: Diaper Refresher Kits from bungenius, sold through the site Jenn created -!
These kits consist of new elastic and new hook and loop tabs and detailed instructions on how to replace each.  There are some who have hand sewn new tabs on their diapers.  Props to them.  I can manage about three diapers an hour on my machine.  But I haven't sewn in years.  I crochet.
So now I want snaps.  I can alter my hook and loop diapers by adding snaps, which would of course void the 1-yr warranty.  But that has expired at this point, anyways...  :D
Another note: you cannot use your regular detergent with cloth diapers.  The material used in cloth diapers is incredible stuff, and is also great at holding detergent and a few months later your diapers start leaking and the liner is dry and you decide cloth diapering isn't for you...this can be avoided with proper laundry care!  Always follow manufacturer washing instructions!  I line-dry my covers, and put the liners in on medium or low heat, depending on my mood.
But back to the hook and loop tabs...because of the time involved in replacing the tabs, and as busy as I am with crochet orders, I just don't have the time!  Hubby decided he wanted to compare our water bill, so we bought a month supply of disposables.  Which is about to turn into two months.  And I have a pile of diapers waiting, waiting for me to find the tools necessary to convert them to snaps...because DD has learned to undress herself, and no hook and loop tab is keeping a diaper on if she removes her clothes!!!

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