Saturday, January 30, 2010

Cloth Diapers for Dummies: Part I

Mommy's Touch Adjustable Newborn Diaper in celery green

I recently realized that I know very little about the House of Representatives and the Senate, and will, in full disclosure, confess that I didn't even know that the two branches together made up the Congress. Mad props to Hanover High School History Department, huh? I do take some responsibility though. I should have sought out this information long ago. Just this week, tired of my ignorance, I borrowed Congress for Dummies from my local library and am loving it. Those "dummies" books are perfect for beginners. They're like the Wikipedia of the book world.

I'm hoping this series will be something of that sort. I've been doing a good deal of research on cloth diapering over the past few months. I knew nothing about it when I started, other than a vague notion that disposable diapers in a landfill seemed like a bad thing. It's literally taken me countless emails to cloth diapering friends (thank you VF!!), hours and hours of reading websites, and even an in-person diapering demonstration to feel like I finally have a hold on the world of cloth. I don't plan on writing much of my own opinions or thoughts in this series though. Instead, I'd like to compile a list of resources so you can go through the process for yourself. (Only faster, because I'm guiding you to the websites I found most helpful!)

Why use cloth?
Real Diapers - This site presents all factual evidence from enivornmental reasons, to health concerns, to economic breakdowns.
Happy Green Baby - HGB is a little more reader friendly, and includes most of the information from Real Diapers.

What are my options?
Happy Green Baby - This is a great glossary of cloth diapering terms.
Kelly's Kloset - The first part of this page addresses the various kinds of cloth diapers, and then goes onto more explicit instructions for cleaning and other concerns.

What do I need to get started?
Here's what I've been using. My wash schedule is Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday and I don't run out of diapers. I found it unrealistic to think I could wash everyday, but have no problem keeping to the three day a week schedule.

24 prefolds, 5 covers, 3 all-in-ones, 6 doublers, and 12 tie diapers

24 prefolds - Note: I had to wash these 6 times before using them to get maximum absorbency.
2 Mommy's Touch Adjustable Newborn covers  - love these for the summer, and for umbilical cord. They say up to 10 pounds, but Anabella is at 11 lbs and I think she'll fit into them for awhile longer
1 Disana wool pull up - This is great for cooler weather, or night time. I use them as pants too - no need for another layer!
3 Dream-Eze All in Ones - These are my favorite for night time - just throw them on half asleep. Other people find these easiest husbands and mothers.
1 Imse Vimse wool cover - velcro wrap style cover - very easy to put on
1 little beetle little to big organic merino wool cover - so soft and comfortable - doesn't leave any red marks on legs
12 Disana tie nappies - these are great with a doubler for night time. They take a little getting used to because you have to fold and tie, but they are comfortable and aborbent. I probably only use 1 or 2 a day. I imagine I will use them more as she grows into them, as they are still a little big. 

I've also collected a few fitted diapers, which are nice because you don't have to fold, and they hold a little more, but I don't think they are worth the extra cost. You still have to put a cover over them. I'd prefer all-in-ones if I were going to invest in more diapers.

For older babies: (so I've heard...)
Infant (4 to 10 months) - 16 - 20 diapers (4 covers)
Toddler (10 months to potty training) - 12 - 16 diapers (3 - 4 covers)

Keeper of the Home - This is more of an interview format with four bloggers that discusses the unique circumstances of cloth diapering a newborn. There are some great links on there, too.
Green Mountain Diaper - There is a lot of good information about getting started and what you might need.

I use Homestead Baby diaper spray, but will be making my own when that runs out. Sometimes, I use water (on poopy diapers mostly!), and sometimes, nothing!
A large trash bin and a waterproof liner are your best friend. I have two liners, so that there is one available on wash day for the diapers that come in. Planetwise is my favorite. Keep the bin open a bit to prevent stink from building up.
I cut up two hand-me-down flannel receiving blankets and use those as wipes. They're free, last awhile, and are gentle on her bum!
Lastly, if you do prefolds, don't forget your snappis!

Where can I buy cloth diapers?
Here are some of the places recommended to me by friends, and I've registered from all of these places for various things (covers, all-in-ones, prefolds etc.)

Tiny Bird Organics - TBO has the best prices, great selection, and free shipping!
Green Moutain Diapers - This is one of my favorite sites. 
Green Sprout Baby - They have some great night time diapers
Kelly's Kloset
Precious Dignity

Stay tuned for another post about washing cloth diapers and various kinds of cloth diaper covers!

1 comment:

  1. . . . used these for all four of my children; only needed to replace the covers after the second one. Spent $800 one time to diaper for almost 8 years! Rarely had a leak and when I did, it was usually due to the fact that I didn't make the cover snug enough around the legs (happens as their cute chubby legs thin out when they spurt up)