I love love love that so many of my friends are thinking about or even fully on board with cloth diapering. My mom thinks I’m obsessed and perhaps I am a bit I’ve had a lot of questions from them so I thought I’d stick them all in one spot.
Q: What brands to you use?
A: We have a mix of BumGenius 3 and 4.0’s One Size and Fuzzibunz one size pockets for the most part. I added prefolds and thirsties covers for Lia as well as Bum Genius Free Time (which I LOVE!)
Q: What’s the difference between fitteds, AIO’s, Pockets, prefolds etc…?
A: AIO’s or all-in-ones have the absorbent layers along with a waterproof outer layer all in one sewn together package. They are by far the easiest diaper because they mimic a disposable almost exactly. They take a while to dry which is one of the biggest drawbacks. The next level down is a pocket diaper. These ones have a waterproof outer layer that has a sleeve in it that you can stuff with absorbent layers. They’re great because you can customize the absorbency based on your child and since everything comes apart they wash and dry pretty quickly. Drawback on these is that you have to stuff them every time before you use them. I generally stuff them as I pull them out of the dryer. Fitteds look like a disposable and they’re all absorbent material. They don’t have a waterproof cover so you’ll need to buy one of those to go with it. And then prefolds and flats are what you think of when you think of cloth diapers – just a flat panel of fabric that you fold up around the baby and either secure with a snappi and then cover with a waterproof outercover (or just cover in my case..) In the case of prefolds, the are sewn in thirds with extra absorbent layers in the center of the three panels. You simply fold them on the seams or across and put them on. Flats require a bit more origami because they’re all one layer however they are by far the most cost effective option.
Q: Do you put anything on their bums when you use them?
A: Not usually. Regular diaper creams like Destin and A&D can damage your diapers and cause them to repel so we don’t even generally keep them in the house (I do have one tube of Destin for emergencies and I keep it far away from my diapers so there’s no mistake). That said, there are creams that are CD safe (California baby is our fav) and I will put it on them if they look a little red. I find that I do this more with Lia than I did with Noah. I think she’s just a bit more sensitive. However, we’ve never had a full blown diaper rash with either of them. For the most part there’s no need to put any creams or powers on when you CD.
Q:Do you use special detergent?
A:I do. Most commercial cleaners have enzymes and brighteners that can cause build up over time which in turn causes repelling. There are a few safe ones out there but I decided to use a special CD safe product from Rockin Green Soap. I keep this as a reference if there are any questions. It has some great data on detergents.
Q:You talk of dryer balls…what the heck are those?
A:Dryer sheets again can cause build up on your diapers and cause repelling (plus have you ever looked at the chemical make up of them? yuck..) Dryer balls are a natural way of softening your clothes and speeding up drying times. They are softball sized balls made from felted wool and they bounce around in your dryer with the clothes/diapers and keep things moving. Some come with fragrance, mine didn’t. I’ve both made my own and bought them. Obviously the purchased ones are better quality. I found mine on etsy but you can find them on most any cloth diaper website.
Q:Are they really that cost effective?
A:Yes, I believe they are. You spend roughly $1600 for two years of disposable diapering, add in another $600 or so if you’re child is in the average for potty training. I think for both children I spent $1000 or so on my stash. You figure you have a marginal cost for water but not nearly enough to make up the difference.
Q:Is your waterbill higher?
A:It’s hard to tell. Yes, but not too terribly much and much of it can be contributed to the fact that we added a nightly bath for another body.
Q:What resources have you used to learn about CDing?
A:I spent a lot of time on TheBump.com’s cloth diapering board asking questions and reading answers. I also spent a bunch of time on these sites:
http://www.diaperpin.com/home.asp <-- diaper reviews http://www.jilliansdrawers.com/ <-- store front with lots of CD related information http://simplemom.net/cloth-diapering/
And while I didn’t use them, there are local CD stores that are so helpful getting started (here in NoVa we have one – http://www.abbyslane.com/ and I know there’s one in Pittsburgh for my PGH friends – http://www.happybabycompany.com/ )
So there you have it…some questions that I have been asked over the time. I’m sure if I sit here long enough I can think of more:) Don’t hesitate to ask in the comments if you have any others. I don’t claim to be an expert but I’ll do what I can do help:)