T.M. asks from Gainesville, GA on January 02, 2011
Cloth Diapers vs Disposable Diapers - Lawrenceville,GA
For Moms who have tried both, which did you prefer? And how do you clean the cloth diapers? Can I get Some pros and cons on this? Thanks!!!
A.C. answers from Cincinnati on January 02, 2011
Sorry for the book I have written below. ^_^
I did disposable and cloth with my son and now am doing the same with my daughter. I started with disposables with my son and switched over to cloth when he was 8 months old. My daughter began with cloth from the very beginning (by the time she came around, I knew what I was doing, so it was easier to put a newborn in cloth). I still use disposables for both kids at night, though. Truth is, I prefer cloth, but my son is a very heavy pee-er at night, and we have to use specialized overnight diapers.. I LOVE Fuzzi Bunz because my kids are both very tall, and Fuzzi Bunz has a very high rise. However, for kids who aren't so tall but more pudgy, BumGenius makes a great one-size-fits-all diaper, and I have never had a problem with either leaking. If you want to go simple and cheap, you can try prefolds with snappis (no pins) and I personally like Bummis covers. Visit http://www.jilliansdrawers.com/products/clothdiapers/tryc... because she has a cloth-diaper trial option. I have never used it, but I have heard it highly recommended and you get to try out a couple different types of diapers.
Pros: Fewer chemicals on your baby's porous skin, much better for the environment (especially if you consider all of the water & petroleum used to MAKE disposable diapers), less waste, makes it easier to potty-train your kids, and it is cheaper (although you don't break even for 6-10 months depending on which diapers you buy). Both of my kids are allergic to regular Huggies (but not Huggies Naturals) and Pampers. I don't know why. Cloth is cheaper in the long run, and a LOT cheaper if your kids have allergies and require more expensive diapers for some reason.
Cons: You have to change diapers more frequently, you have to carry a wetbag when you go out (to store soiled diapers), bulkier, slight increase in laundry (actually, it isn't that much), and some daycares won't take them.
You clean cloth diapers pretty much the same way you clean any clothes. I prefer to run it through a prewash/rinse first to get urine off the diapers before I wash them, but you don't have to. If you are breastfeeding, you can just toss the diapers into the washer, even the poopy ones (breastmilk waste breaks down in water). If you are formula feeding or feeding solids, you dump the poo in the toilet first. You can buy flushable inserts so that you don't even have to rinse the diapers, you just dump the poo and you'e done. If you don't want to use the inserts, my CDing friends have a poop bucket. They dump as much of the poo as they can in the toilet, then put the diaper in a bucket of water. When it's time to run the laundry, you pick up the diaper (one friend uses tongs, the other just washes her hands afterward) and put it in the washer, then dump the dirty water in the toilet. You can also buy diaper sprayers, although I don't personally know anyone who has one. Bum Genius makes one, I think.
I use Charlie's Soap (get it off amazon.com - it costs more than most detergents, but it lasts FOREVER. I've been on one bottle for 6 months now, and it's not done yet!) and I use it for all the baby clothes, not just diapers, and there is another detergent called Rockin' Green made especially for cloth diapers, and I have friends who swear by Seventh Generation (which you can buy at Target and some supermarkets). Whether you use a special detergent is up to you. With any of the above-listed detergents, you don't have to wash the diapers in hot water. I use cold regularly, and then do one hot wash a month. I don't use bleach in my house, but I have friends who throw some bleach in occasionally with the diapers to sanitize them.
In response to Gamma's posting, I don't spend hours swishing out poopy diapers. Actually, I hardly even spend a minute on it. I dump the poo and flushable liner in the toilet, and I'm done. I wash a single load of diapers every two to three days - not several a day (I have two kids). To prevent the washing machine from smelling, you run regular white vinegar either through the prewash or the rinse cycle with the diapers - it's very easy to get the smell out. I don't have a HE washer, though, so I'm not sure if the same trick works for those. I rarely use hot water (several studies found that hot water didn't clean any better than cold when used with modern detergents), and I personally use fragrance-free detergent for all of my baby clothes, because it's not just hineys that I worry about, so I don't buy any extra detergent. I throw my diapers in the dryer with the rest of the baby clothes - no extra time there. I don't mind if someone prefers disposables, but if Gamma tried to use cloth diapers and had these problems, I am very sorry, but also a little surprised. Cloth diapers these days aren't really like the ones our mothers had to use, and there are plenty of tricks to the trade. If you need help or have any questions, diaperswappers.com is a great resource.
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C.H. answers from Denver on January 02, 2011
Cloth! Contrary to popular belief I do not spend hours a day hovering over the toilet swishing poo out of diapers. Yes, the first couple of times I had to flush #2 I was a bit grossed out but the older the kid gets, the more real food they eat, the easier it just drops right out, flush & done!
We started on Bum Genius All in One (adjusts as baby grows) and love them! Just a little more maintenance to wash, as you have to use their recommended detergents to preserve the waterproof lining. Great for caregivers, church nursery, grandparents or daddy's to change. As close to a disposable in cloth. Highly recommend and a great company that stands behind their product. Definitely a good gateway diaper to get you into the swing of things.
We are now a pre-fold family. I was overwhelmed with "how do I fold this thing" at first but after a couple of times it is SO easy & low maintenance. And SO CHEAP! Since they are just cotton you can use pretty much any detergent to wash (less detergent + more water = clean, non stinky diaper). Thirsties Duo Snap covers (one size that grows with baby), a Snappi fastener & Planet Wise Wet Bags.
No leaks, no regrets, you never run out of diapers and have to run off to the store to buy more, no stink, they have already paid for themselves with baby #1, Never a leak and we are going 16mo strong.
We wash ours (1 load) each night and they are dry & ready to go in the morning. A dozen has been plenty for us and only cost us $24!
Good Luck to you on your diapering adventure!
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M.S. answers from Bloomington on January 02, 2011
love my cloth diapers. the changing is really about the same as disposables, you put them in a pail instead of a trash can. i just put them in the washing machine and hang them to dry.
i'm on my third baby, still using the same diapers... only had to buy them once... soooo much cheaper. and NO blowouts, very few rashes, and earlier potty training.
cloth diapers are so much fancier than they used to be with snaps and fleece and velcro and such. i've never used a diaper pin and plastic pants...
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J.Z. answers from Madison on January 02, 2011
When my daughter was little we used disposable and then a cloth diaper service which was the same price as disposable but better for the earth obviously. I really liked the diaper service. When my son was little we used g-diapers which is a cloth cover with a flush-able insert which is better environmentally then disposable. We really liked them but it seems like when they are little and have the runny poops, sometimes he leaked onto the cover (same thing with regular cloth diapers) and we got out of the habit of washing them and ended up using disposable. then we bought some cloth covers when was a little older and the poops were more solid and it was a breeze just plot the poop in the toilet and then wash the cloths in our washer. I think the g-diapers or cloth would be a good option we just got lazy about washing all the covers when he was little. A diaper service is great because they wash the diapers for you, especially good when they are babies and really messy poops. But the cheapest way to go is washing the diapers ourselves. We even got the covers used at a local baby boutique called Happy Bambino.
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M.P. answers from Provo on January 02, 2011
CLOTH! I so prefer cloth over disposables. So much healthier for the little ones. I liked it because i put maybe $500 into the diapers over the $2000 plus that you would with disposables. Cloth is cuter and you can have so many different prints and colors.
Cleaning depends on the person and water that you use. Do you have a top load or a side load?
The typical wash would be a cold soak/rinse. then a hot wash with a cloth safe detergent. Which it is debatable with different cloth users. Some love using Tide, and some love using things like Rockin' Green (you can get it online). I really like Rockin Green. Then you can either line dry or put in your dryer. To sanitize you can dry in the sun.
I do have a blog that goes into more detail.
And you can always ask me any questions you want!
Oh I do like the convenience of disposables, but they make things so easy with cloth to go out and about.
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D.W. answers from Gainesville on January 02, 2011
pinstripesandpolkadots.com has great beginner info on her site along with greenmountain.com. I like BumGenius and thirsties the best for use and price wise. I like Blueberry too but they are pricier.
But if I had to do it over, I would go with one size pocket diapers. They go on just like disposables and are super easy to use. There is a bit of a learning curve but it was a great decision for us.
The websites above have great cleaning info but basically you will toss everything in a small can with a lid using a pail liner. When it's time to wash-about every other day-you run a short cold wash with no detergen, then a short hot wash with very little detergent (like a tablespoon), then another short hot wash cycle with nothing as a rinse. If you breastfeed, you don't even have to rinse/dump the diapers out till baby starts on solids. Breastfed baby poo just rinses right out like yogurt. If you formula feed, I'd invest in a sprayer just to rinse them off briefly before tossing in the pail. You don't soak diapers or use a wet pail-a pail filled with water. It's harder on your diapers and wears them out faster. Just like you don't use bleach (or use very rarely).
Cloth wipes are also awesome and a fantastic money saver. I use disposable wipes when we are out and about though.
We saved a ton using cloth for our 2nd baby.
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G.B. answers from Oklahoma City on January 02, 2011
I like disposable. Who wants to spend hours a day swishing out poopy diapers in the toilet then having to wash multiple loads of nothing but poopy diapers every day. It makes the washing machine stink, you never get that stench out. Also the loeftover smell that never goes away will make anything you wash and dry have that smell too. You use up all the hot water over and over every day, the drying makes the gas or elec bill go higher. You spend more on detergent because you buy special stuff so their hiney's won't turn red from the laundry soap additives.
All in all, I would rather open a diaper, use a wipe to clean the hiney, put the wipe in the diaper, wrap it up in a Walmart sack and tie it shut, toss it in the trash, out of sight out of smell. No stench, no laundry piling up while I wash diapers over and over all day and the rest just has to wait until I can sanitize the machine again.
So, my $0.02. Doing laundry costs real money. Water costs money, electricity costs money, gas for dryer, laundry soap additives, wear and tear on the machines, wear and tear on you.....the cost is high.
Washing a load of clothes in hot/warm water, adding a special laundry soap, pre-wash/pre-soak, bleach. drying time, all in all I'd rather spend time with my baby than do cloth diapers.
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