Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Duped Project 5/50: Cloth Diapering


Ok, now that's out of the way. Take a deep breath and let go of what you think cloth diapers are. Clear your mind of the poop and pee fest that you were thinking about. Come back to base camp. Are you there? Good!

Poop and pee?!
I have two little girls under 3 years old. The older is STILL not potty trained (we've been working on it since March) and so I have 2 girls in diapers. Since I am only semi-crunchy, I still use disposable diapers - usually for longer trips out of the house, or when laundry piles up. But even with two littles and all their messes, I change at least 10 cloth diapers each day. I believe this makes me an expert. I have been cloth diapering for almost 2 years (including CDing at home when I was working full-time...don't let anyone tell you it's not worth it if you work!). Why, you may ask?

  • Cloth diapers are not the safety pin and washcloth system that you might think they are. Modern cloths are equipped with velcro, snaps, microfiber, fleece liners, etc and come with a variety of awesome accessories like diaper sprayers, reusable dry pail liners, and eco-friendly super detergents that could clean a zoo cage liner to cuddle status.
  • The environmental impact of disposable diapers is horrifying. 1/3 of the non-biodegradable trash in our landfills is diapers. It's not certain, but some estimates say that a disposable diaper may take between 250-400 years to decompose.
  • Disposables are full of awful stuff. Dioxin, for example. Banned in every country but the US and touted as the most carcinogenic compound by the EPA.
  • You. Will. Save. Major dough. I saved $600 last year, when I was diapering one child. I am reusing those same diapers on #2, saving me hundreds more this year. For a full breakdown, check out this post from my other blog.
  • Cloth diapers are adorable. Yes that is a major factor! Of course! Check out the photos after the jump for proof positive.
I can't reproduce these stats from the Real Diaper Association because they are copywrited (???) but this fact sheet (click the image!) will take 10 minutes to read if you take your time. It's the best information on why to use cloth diapers that I have ever seen (and I've seen a lot). Please read this!

I would say that disposable diapers are most definitely a dupe. Wanna know how my family outsmarts this one? More after the jump!

Diaper Brand/Type:

We use a brand called Smartipants almost exclusively. For potty training, I have a set of fleece pull ups from QT Bunns (handmade in America!) and a few Gerber rubber panties, but Smartipants are my favs. We've also tried fuzzibunns, flips, and bumgenius.

Cloth diaper chorus line 

Cloth Training Pants from QT Bunns (pink) and Gerber (white)

Take heed, new clother, because mommas take their favorite brand seriously. Some of us are collectors - stashing and trading different types. I am more of a "found a good one, sticking with it" type. There are 4 main types of modern cloth diapers: All-in-ones (one diaper that you wash in one piece), All-in-Twos (liner and cover, separate), Pockets (Cover with a pocket that you stuff with an insert) and prefolds (simple liner and cover).

If you're interested in what's best for you and yours, you can do some research on it, or just email me for more help. A lot of cities have a natural parenting store or a local doula/midwife that offers advice and even classes on CDing. But Smartipants work for us. They are pocket-style, synthetic materials, and the inserts come out in the washer so I don't have to touch them. Plus they come in a rainbow of cuteness.

Diaper Storage and Laundry:

We use a dry pail system, which just means I don't soak or anything. The very easy process: Remove nasty butt wrap, dump any excessive waste in the toilet, drop the whole thing in a trash can lined with a pail liner. Done. Sometimes I use some pail freshener to keep the smell down, but I do laundry often enough that the smell is rarely a problem. Laundry day comes twice a week. I empty the pail liner into my front-loader, then throw the liner in too. 1 tbsp of my favorite CDing detergent, Rockin' Green, and I hit the "my cycle button*" on my washer. 2 hours later, switch to the dryer on low heat for 35 minutes. Stuff the inserts, stack the dipes, and they are ready to go on baby. See?

Smartipants are one-size. My 5 mo. old and 2.5 year old wear the same diapers!

Cute butt.

Snaps incude risers for itty-bitties. They fit from around 12 - 30 lbs.

That's it! This is admittedly a very brief explaination, but that was the idea. There are so many great moms out there blogging about their own cloth diapering, but I just wanted to focus on the duped aspect. If you want to save hundreds of dollars, acres of landfills, and the hide on your baby's bottom, cloth diapering just might be a good solution for you too!

*If you aren't a total spoiled brat like me and you don't have a "my cycle" button, you would do a cold rinse, then a hot wash then another cold rinse. That setting on my washer just runs through my pre-set cycle preferences for me. Tres chic!

Things I learned
  • Disposable diapers are bad for the environment, your pocket, and your sweet little one's skin and body.
  • Cloth diapers are not your grandma's pin and cloth system, and take little more effort than disposables.
  • Cloths are seriously not nearly as gross as you'd think. I promise. Even my husband says so.
  • A baby butt in a soft, pastel purple diaper will make you 10 times happier than one in a plastic sack.

1 comment:

  1. I have an 8 day old and we love to CD, it works great for us. and when he grows and gets bigger it will be easier :)