Monday, April 23, 2012

Cloth Diapers

When Elliott was first born, I borrowed a box of cloth diapers from a friend to give them a try. I tried it, didn't like them and packed them up and gave them back thinking that it was all too complicated and Elliott leaked out of them every time.

A lot of my friends were using cloth diapers and they made it look so easy and effortless. When I tried it, it seemed so awkward and confusing. But I would cringe every time I had to spend $30 on the box of diapers that never seemed to last as long as I thought it should. I resolved for the next baby we would try cloth diapers, but since Elliott was already using disposable, we would stick with it.
 Jump ahead about a year. In November we traveled a lot. Alabama for a wedding, San Diego for family, and Arizona for Thanksgiving. It was after then that Elliott got the never ending diaper rash. Sometimes it's really bad and he walks funny so it won't hurt him or it's rubbed raw and looks so painful every time you go to change his diaper. Other times it doesn't seem to bother him and it's mostly cleared up, but there's always parts of the rash that never disappear. We tried everything. Every cream or powder or bath that someone recommended we would try and though it may have helped, like I said, it never completely went away! With the weather warming up, the diaper in general just seems to be bothering him. He gets heat rashes on the sides or lower back where the diaper rubs against his sweaty skin. We even tried buying diapers the next size up so even though they were a little bit too lose, they wouldn't rub against him. But it didn't change anything.

Then I started actually researching cloth diapers and found out I wasn't putting the right size diapers on him when I had tried it or didn't understand the difference with prefolds and inserts and all in one diapers and so I wasn't putting the right inserts in the right diapers. I also read that a lot of people find it easier to use cloth diapers after the baby is a size one or two and not the newborn size in the very beginning. It made me feel like cloth diapers actually were not as confusing and unrealistic I had once thought. :P And it sure helps to have lot of friends who use cloth diapers when I have a question!

Next I found out some information about disposable diapers that I had no idea about. I had thought they were just made of plastic or something. But they actually contain so many chemicals! Dioxin is a by product of bleaching paper and used in just about all diapers. It's been linked to damage to the nervous system and kidneys. Sodium Polyacrylate are the gel crystals that make the diapers super absorbent. It has been linked to allergic reactions, among other things, but also is considered lethal to pets if they were ever to eat it. Wonder what that means for babies if they ever got one and were gnawing on it?? Even baby wipes are full of chemicals, alcohol, and fragrances. Yikes!

There are lots of different kinds of cloth diapers. The all in ones are the easiest in terms that they are just like the disposable diapers. When the baby pees or poops, you take the diaper off and just put on a new one. The problem is that they are pricey (like $16 for each diaper). An investment that is worth it especially with the more kids you have, but it sure adds up to a big up front cost.

There are different kinds of insert and pocket diapers. These were the ones I mostly tried at the beginning with Elliott and you just slip an insert into the diaper and change the insert but not necessarily the whole diaper each time. To be honest though, I'm still not entirely sure how these work. Maybe it's just becuse I had a bad experience with them.

The kind I opted to try looked the simplest, in my opinion, and they are the cheapest route to go (as far as the up front cost). You start with a prefold diaper like this:

And attach it to baby like this: (love the things called don't have to use safety pins anymore!)

And then you put a cover over the prefolds:

When it's time to change the diaper, you take off the outside cover, and put on a new prefold, and put the same outside cover back on (unless it has gotten poop or pee on it. But for the most part, you don't have to change the outside cover each time).

I am pretty excited to give this a try again. I'll definitely post an update on how it's going and how we like it!


  1. Anxious to hear how this works out for you. Are you going to have a regular baby shower for this one, or a diaper shower? If the latter, or even if not, and people want to get you diapers for a gift, which one would you want? The expensive ones (to start building a collection for future babies) or the prefolds in various sizes and/or outside covers?

  2. Let me know how it turns out this time around. I want to get baby Matthew some fun outfits to show off the diapers!

  3. @Mom- So far I'm having the same leaking issues. I'm reading on different forums online that it takes a couple days learning curve so we'll see. But yes, I'm going to have a cloth diaper shower. I'll register eventually on just haven't gotten to it yet. And I'm going to put a few of all the different kinds of diapers on there so I can give it a try!

    @Meagan- I will! I know I am definitely going to do cloth diapers with Matthew... just need to figure out which ones I like best. Elliott is the guinea pig. lol