07 November 2007

Diaper Help

I'm thinking of switching to cloth diapers for the twins. Now that they are older and we have a routine, I don't feel as overwhelmed by the thought of the extra laundry as I did when they were newborns. The startup costs would be lower now because they go through fewer diapers/day than they did as newborns, and I think that at twenty-five pounds and 33" tall, they are in the last size of cloth diapers and covers that they will need before they potty train.

I know that there are as many types of cloth diapers out there as there are users, but I'm still interested in people's opinions on the subject. Here are my criteria/questions:

1. I want an easy system. I lean towards all-in-one styles, but if someone can convince me that a cheaper option is no more logistically difficult, I will consider it. I am cheap, but I'm also lazy, so I need to find some balance. I also want something super-simple so that my daycare will be more inclined to accommodate the switch.

2. Both twins are serious super-soakers, so I need recommendations for very absorbent options.

3. Optimally, I'd like to do diaper laundry no more than every other day. The twins use about 5 diapers/day right now. How many cloth should I buy? I'm thinking twelve per twin, twenty-four total. Does that seem right?

4. I am not at all squeamish about buying used cloth diapers, but I know that eBay no longer sells them. Where can I go to find them?

Please, share your wisdom.

43 comments:

Erin said...

My daughter (19 months) was waking up at night solely because she had soaked through her 7th Generation diaper and was leaking everywhere... So, we have started using the Bum Genius One Size pocket diaper (it closes with velcro, and it has snaps to change the size from tiny baby to 35 lb toddler)... At night, we use 2 microfiber inserts - when she wears them during the day, we use just 1 insert. Each insert can hold about 15oz of liquid. The Bum Genius are kind of pricey, but I feel like we're saving in the long run b/c we're not having to buy several different sizes. By the way, we wash the diapers & inserts using Charlie's Soap and it has worked really well.

mlg said...

My kid is 12, so any advice on which diapers I have would be old. However one thing I remember that might affect you is that some day cares and other places you leave your child won't do cloth diapers. You may want to check with that first.

Good Luck!

Cass said...

I've been doing a lot of reading about these: http://www.gdiapers.com/ Everyone I've talked to that uses them loves them and they seem like a good balance between disposable and old school cloth.

bleisenblog said...

I fully expected the all-in-ones to be easier, but I was surprised to find that both my husband and I preferred the prefold/diaper cover combination. I felt like after a few times they didn't take any longer to put on, and I felt like they worked better and I could get them cleaner. I eventually had to give up cloth diapers because my daycare wouldn't do them.

Karen said...

Just some food for thought. As I read this, I asked my sister - who own's a day care - if any of the children in her school use cloth diapers. She told me that the health code in the town where her day care is located (in NJ) doesn't allow day care centers to accept children who use cloth diapers.

So you might have to keep using both, I guess.

Snickollet said...

Re: daycare and cloth, I don't know what the situation is at my daycare or what regulations are in MA. But even if I can't do cloth at daycare, I'd still like to switch for nights/weekends.

-snick

Anonymous said...

We have been using a combination of fuzzibunz and bumkins since our 9 month old was 1.5 mo. old. I thought I would like the all in one option (bumkins) much more, but turns out I like the bunz (pocket diaper) better. I wash all the diapers every other day and line dry them over night. The bumkins are NEVER dry by the next morning and the fuzzibunz are. I think we ahve a total of 10 -12 diapers for him. For overnight, we just stuff an extra insert in the liner. The bunz are really easy with snaps - not pins and I don't think they take any longer than a disposable diaper to put on/change. We use Simple Green detergent on them and seems like it is working well.

Anonymous said...

I do not use CDs but I know many moms (via baby forums) who do. Many of them seem to still use disposables overnight due to absorbency issues with CD -- baby can feel the wetness and wakes up.

Heather said...

I don't have kids, but I remember the terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad 6 months that my baby sister was in cloth diapers. We used the pre-fold style, and they worked okay (as long as leaking and constant diaper rash are okay in your mind). We always had to wash sheets after a night's sleep, and many times after a long nap, too. I hated rinsing out the dirties (maybe the inserts help with this) and everytime we washed the diapers the whole house smelled like urine.

I was ecstatic when she started going to a new daycare that required the disposables, and the overhead became too much for just nights and weekends.

I do understand the environmental aspect of cloth diapers, and I hope you find something that works well for you.

Jan said...

We've done cloth diapers from the get-go and I love it.

I just bought prefolds and wraps. For tiny infant (8 lbs) up to potty training, we had just two sizes of diaper -- you'd only need to get one size diaper and maybe 2 sizes wraps.

I suppose it's more complicated than an all-in-one, because it has more than one part, but it's so much more flexible! As the kids get older, you can put a smaller prefold inside a larger one, for example, for overnight absorbancy. You don't have to change the wraps every time -- just if they get yucky. The diaper can be folded down so you're not changing sizes every so often.

I bought pins when I had my first, but immediately switched to Snappis to hold the diaper together. It basically works using little plastic teeth and a rubberband type of tension -- sort of like the way an ace wrap stays on.

I wash diapers at home with the same detergent as my other clothes and no bleach or anything -- I simply run them in hot water.

I have found that in-home daycares usually will do cloth diapers, but daycare centers will not.

I bought 36 diapers and 6 or 8 wraps. With one toddler, I wash them about once a week. I do put a disposable on at night. This is honestly a holdover from when his sister was a baby and would complain if she woke up wet at night. She turns out to be a super physically sensitive kid, so I'm not sure it'd even be an issue with him.

If you want to ask me any questions, please feel free to email!

Gillian said...

YESSSS I am stealing your readers' ideas for my own self, as I'm about to pop one out. THANK YOU for asking this question.

Incidentally, in my very minimal research which you've probably already trumped, I read that you want ten per child per day, and five days' worth. But, that was (a) probably re: smaller babies, and (b) surely written by a cloth diaper selling company.

My mother did cloth when I was small - I changed many of my 4 younger siblings' diapers. I didn't find it any grosser than disposables, and we put them in plastic pants to prevent leakage (do they still do plastic pants nowadays?) I don't remember overnight issues, but then, I was between the ages of 4-13 when it was applicable, so perhaps my mother didn't share. I did prick them a lot with the pins, looking forward to velcro.

Rae said...

Hi

We use cloth for our daughter who is a month older than your kiddos

We normally use fitteds with a cover (tots bots fitteds and motherease airflow covers) we also have some pockets - Fuzzibunz and Greenkids

To answer your questions:

(1) I prefer fitteds and covers - not as quick to put on a child, especially a on-the-go toddler but:
* I really dislike putting my hand inside the pocket to remove the insert * plus there is the time to put the inserts in the cover. Our daughter used to be at childcare and we sent these to cc with her due to the ease of use factor for the cc workers and i used to have to prepare them the night before (ie stuff pockets) - not a huge time commitment but still, just one more thing in my day. * and with a fitteds and cover system the cover catches everything. If the fitted nappy misses something it doesn't get through the second line of defence, the cover.

2. Pockets in my experience are less effective for heavy wetters - so maybe you need to use something more absorbant (fitteds and cover) at heavy wetting times (night) and you can get away with pockets during day.

3. 12 diapers per twin should be enough - especially if you have some pockets in the mix, as pockets dry in next to no time

4. i'm not in the US so not sure... diaperpin.com? i'm sure somebody else will have recommendations.

We've bought new and used cloth nappies and no problem with either

Kari said...

I've been reading your blog for some time now - not sure why I'm choosing now to comment, but here goes. We've been using cloth since the beginning (my son is just a few weeks older than your kids), starting with a diaper service and prefolds, and then bought about 18 Fuzzibunz over a year ago. He's still in the same size Fuzzibunz as he started quite chubby and is now thinning out. So it's definitely been a good investment, and the laundry never bothered me. We use disposables at night, and have recently also started using Gdiapers for naptime. I could use them at night, but I don't completely trust them against leaks yet. The snaps on the Fuzzibunz are too hard for the kids to undo, unlike the velcro on other types of pocket diapers. 12 diapers per kid is probably good; we have more but only because we started when he was going through many more per day. I'd also recommend flushable liners (Tushie's makes them) which make poopy diapers WAY easier to deal with. As for washing them, we've had good luck with Charlie's Soap. It doesn't leave any residue and you don't need much of it. Have fun! (Not sure whan my name will link to, but this is Kari from Frozen Assets )

Linda said...

If it helps your readers, here's my one month cloth diaper review:

http://indigogirl.typepad.com/linda/2007/10/cloth-diapers-1.html

I think in your situation, I would tend toward pocket diapers (Fuzzi Bunz, Happy Heiny's, etc). You can stuff them with whatever: prefolds, hemp inserts that are supposed to be amazingly absorbent, regular inserts, etc. You can modify them by adding extra inserts at night and less during the day. They're slightly cheaper than AIOs, too.

We're using prefolds/wraps right now and unlike Heather above, I found my daughter's diaper rash disappeared when I switched. Maybe her detergent was a problem? And no rinsing here. I throw everything right in the washer for a rinse cycle. I do use disposables for overnight, though.

Oh, and you CAN buy some used cloth diapers on ebay. People state "NEW" when they create the auction and then clarify "like new" or whatever in the details. You can also go to diaperswappers.com. Join for free and there are constant sales there with new posts added every few minutes.

Sara said...

Check out Teatopia's blog - she blogged about cloth a few weeks back... http://teatopia.net/mysite/index.html

Jenn said...

We very briefly tried cloth diapers with our twins. We did the prefold with covers, but if I did it again, I'd try the all in ones or a pocket diaper I think. It didn't work well for us, they actually gave William a pretty bad rash no matter how often I changed them.

thrice said...

http://timetochangethediapers.com/

Andrea said...

I use Fuzzibunz with my daughter and would not bother with ANYTHING else!!! We tried the prefolds/covers and HATED them - she is a supersoaker and leaked through them really quickly. Also, it was more clumsy and she got diaper rash more frequently. I've had very few leak problems with Fuzzibunz and the only time she has had any diaper rash problems was when she was on an antibiotic. We use two microfiber inserts at night and one during the day. I believe Fuzzibunz is coming out with a new diaper on November 19th, but I'm not sure what changes they're making to the diaper (it's already wonderful in my opinion!). Try diaperpin.com and diaperswappers.com for used diapers. Often the ebay auctions for fuzzibunz (new or even gently used) end up costing more than what you can get them for new if you buy at least 12. If you buy 12+ new ones, you can get them for 16/50 ish/diaper at lilbunz.com or fuzzibunzstore.com (not sure what the price will be for the newer version of fuzzibunz). Even though they are more expensive, they are TOTALLY worth it. We wash them in Charlie's soap, hang dry the covers (they dry in 3-4 hours) and dry the inserts in the dryer. Hope this helps.

Lissa said...

Hi,
I am using Fuzzi Bunz with my son. He is also a super soaker and I have hardly any leaks with the diapers. I have super liners for the night time and even though they are full in the monring, his pj's are never wet. In disposables, he would always wake up around 4-5am and he was all wet. Pj's and sheets had to be changed. No problems with the Fuzzi Bunz.

I found a lot of diapers on www.diaperswappers.com. Check the Pocket forum. Hope this help!

Rae said...

wanted to add that we use cloth at night w/o a problem at all

cooler*doula said...

I'm a Fuzzi Bunz user - well was - we're in undies now. Like you, I waited until I knew I'd get him into L and they lasted up until potty training.

Got mine from Nurtured Family who threw in a free soaker. I added some hemp to the mix - these seemed to give great absorbency.

I had around a dozn - and that meant laundry every second day.

My only complaint was, despite total adherence to laundry instructions, fleece will pill, and they went from buttery soft to not VERY quickly. He didn't mind - just I did. I recently saw a brand that offered a fleece or a microsuede version - might consider those for second time around.

They all seem to be in a similar price range so it comes down to random personal preference.

cooler*doula said...

Ah yes - it's BumGenius that has microsuede. Nice colors too. Had no idea the Bay stopped selling used...

Oh - my kid pee'd up a storm and I don't ever remember a leak with the Bunz. Just that fleece...

buddha_girl said...

I'm sending your link along to a good friend of mine who used cloth diapers with all three of her kids. Although she didn't sell me on the idea of the whole cloth thing, she's a vertitable fountain for freaking cloth diaper information!

L. said...

Another Fuzzi Bunz user here--they're easy to use and I love that they can be stuffed to varying degrees. We have started using disposables at night, though, because wetness will otherwise wake our 7-month-old around 4 a.m.

Someone recently clued me in to http://fuzzibunzseconds.net/. They have FB for $10 each, an amazing deal! I haven't bought any but it sounds as if the quality is not noticeably different. I am about to stock up on the next size up.

Amy said...

You might try consignment shops for used cloth diapers. I found two sets at a kids consignment shop. No point in putting a lot of money down for such a short period.

I used them when the kids were little babies so no recommendations for super soakers.

I think it is a great idea on your part to switch. The cloth diapers enable your child to actually FEEL wet unlike most disposable. (May come in handy at toilet training time too.)

every tenth said...

I've had a diaper service since Boy and Girl were born, and we're still going strong. I have them in disposables during the day but cloth at night and on weekends. Given the size of your kids, and the fact that you'll be washing them yourself, you might want to increase the number of diapers you buy since you don't have to worry about them growing out of them too soon and it will make the laundry thing easier for you. Also, once you have cloth diapers around the house, you end up using them for other baby related tasks as well.

Here are some links that I've found useful for supplies:

http://www.greenmountaindiapers.com/index.html

http://baby-belle-bottoms.stores.yahoo.net/index.html

http://www.diaperaps.com/

Lara said...

Hey, I emailed you at Buddha Girl's request... hope the info helps. :)

Arwen said...

I don't know much about CD but I have lots of friends that do... almost all of them brag that they often get MORE for their diapers on eBay than they paid for them new in the first place.

cooler*doula said...

Me again... In our case, the cloth may have sped the potty training process - Josh was by his second birthday.

Erika said...

I have some anti-cloth-diapering advice for you. Take it or leave it in a heap - I'm not wedded to it.

I cloth diapered my little one for about 5 months (from 5 to 10 months of age). I actually really enjoyed it at the beginning - I liked putting her in something I thought of as more "comfortable" than paper disposables and I had that Al-Gore-Would-Be-Proud-Of-Me feeling about the whole thing.

Then I got sick, twice in three weeks, with stomach flu. Obviously no cloth diapering during that time - too much hassle to try and get the babysitter to do it, and I certainly didn't want to do the laundry.

After I got better I looked at the pile of diapers and realised that while they aren't "that much" more work than disposables (I used all in ones and pockets), they ARE more work. And you know, that's extra time that I'd rather spend doing other things - like either playing with my kiddo or reading a book for relaxation. Not to mention that you have to PUT them all somewhere, and they're bulky as heck, so I had two huge (but decorative) storage baskets on my dresser to hold them and I just got TIRED of the CLUTTER.

So now maybe I'm off of Al Gore's Christmas list, but I am honestly a bit less stressed. And I would imagine that with twins, and a job, and a life, and the emotional baggage you are still sorting through from John, that perhaps cloth diapers - although a wonderful thing to do - aren't necessarily something you need to get into.

Just my $.02, unsolicited and possibly not useful to you AT ALL. But wanted to offer the other viewpoint.

Rebecca & Chris said...

Hi Snickollet!
My friend has a "cloth diaper tutorial" on her blog - you might want to check it out. It's just a link on the right-hand side and the address is http://ryanfamilyscoop.wordpress.com/

Rebecca

sourpatchbaby said...

I've never commented here before but have read your blog for awhile. We use Fuzzibunz with The Kid but instead of the microfiber inserts that come with them, I use infant prefolds to stuff them. He's a heavy wetter and he's never had a leak when the diaper is stuffed with the prefold. I switched when he was about 15 months old to the petite size and he's still now at two years fitting into them (he still fits into some of the mediums I got). You can buy them in very good used condition at diaperswappers.com and also get a lot of good advice there. As far as the daycare goes, if you have a note from your ped that says your children must be in cloth, the daycare has to use cloth (they would treat it no different than a child who must take certain meds at given times during the day). I have around 15 diapers and they last me for two and a half days. And washing them doesn't take that long. Just stick them in the wash and go about your way.

Kristin said...

http://www.verybaby.com
(Kerflop.com) sells cloth diapers and is very knowledgable.

Meggan said...

Another delurker with a perspective on cloth diapers... I have a 13 month old boy and have been cd'ing for 5 months. We use three types- prefolds and covers (no pins or snappis) for daytime at home, fuzzibunz for going out/ grandma's house, and bumGenius one size with a doubler (just in case) for night. I have 24 prefolds/6 covers (I bought way too many and only have about half in current rotation), 6 fuzzibunz, and 4 bumGenius. He uses about 6 diapers a day and I do laundry about every 2-3 days.

Prefolds are very bulky but cheapest and easiest to clean, good to have some extras on hand. Downside- baby has to hold still while you position the diaper and secure the cover. I always keep a couple of books handy and we do okay.

Fuzzibunz are easy to use and very trim. They actually fit well under his clothes, unlike the prefolds. Plus, I like the snaps, especially when tossing the diapers into the washer, not having to fuss with laundry tabs.

BumGenius are good for overnight (or other long stretches) because the top layer wicks the wetness away from baby's skin. And with a doubler we've never had a leak. The velcro is very quick to use, and the onesize thing rocks.

Happy diapering to you! Can't wait to read all about it.

Anonymous said...

My son's been in size medium fuzzi bunz since he was 7 months old - only now is he outgrowing the rise at 2.5 yrs old ... and they really are easy. Snaps are better for older babies too. I second the value of buying new, check diaperpin's announcement section for new diaper sales. I have done used too and the quality wasn't as good. I like Allen' Naturally for detergent. A great product and lasts forever.
Stuffing pockets takes little time, you feel good, and you can do it on the couch while watching tv or the kids.
all best to you.

Christie said...

olivebranchbaby.com

She hand makes all of her stuff, and its incredible.

Mum said...

We use g diapers and really like them. With the flushable insert, it cuts down on laundry as the outer piece can be used more than once. There are a variety of other reasons we're really happy with them - great customer service, does up in the back, really easy, available at Whole Foods if we don't get our acts together and run out, etc..
We are in Massachusetts too and our daycare has no problem with using them.

Anonymous said...

Check out this website:
http://sugarbritchesdiapers.com/homepage.html
which I found on www.mamaslike.com, another great site. :)

Tiffany said...

Yea - I can help here. All in ones for me are the best - no worry about diapers and covers - they do cost more but I totally think they are worth it.

Next where to buy - check out www.diaperswapers.com. It is a great website for moms. They sell used cloth diapers all over the place and in all sizes and shapes. If you do decided to sign up send me an email because it took a little while for me to figure things out.

Finally - For night time to keep the babies extra dry you can always add extra inserts or a prefolded cloth diaper.

This & That said...

Here's a bit on info from an experienced cloth diaper user:

http://indigogirl.typepad.com/linda/2007/10/cloth-diapers-1.html

Heather said...

Delurking to say that bumGenius 2.0s and Fuzzibuns (2 big favorites, it seems, of many) are on sale right now pretty much everywhere because the respective companies are upgrading the diapers. I have used and love both of these diapers.

The FB sale runs out on November 19, but I would still recommend going to http://www.abbyslane.com for whatever she has in stock. (She's awesome.)

Karen O said...

If you decide to go the cloth route, here's a hint:

Back in the old days (my kids are now in their 30s) I had a diaper service. They offered a "custom rinse" if babies developed diaper rash - which turned out to be the addition of vinegar to the last rinse.

My daughter didn't need it, but my son did and it was WONDERFUL! Actually, a weak vinegar (aprox 1 C water to 1 Tbsp vinegar) solution wiped directly on the skin also took diaper rash away.

Thanks for thinking green -

Anonymous said...

Judging by a couple of posts here, i'm reading a lot of 'foo-foo'.

I have 3 kids of my own, and two step children, and i diapered all 5 in plain cotton rectangle cloth diapers with pins and rubber pants.

No kid ever had diaper rash more than a handful of times, and not once do i remember having to change crib sheets in the morning because someone's diapers leaked through the night.

I double diapered my kids at night time, and the rubber pants always kept everything in.

I can't stand it when people are so quick to put down the use of cloth diapers. What might not work for one, doesn't necessarily mean that it doesn't work for the next.

I liked using cloth diapers on my kids, and i would use cloth diapers again if i had another child.

Candra.