Very Interested in Cloth Diapering My Newborn - Any Advice on How/where to Start

Updated on May 19, 2008
J.F. asks from San Ramon, CA
38 answers

I am due in August 2008 and like the ideals behind using cloth diapers. However, I have many questions about where to start. I would love to hear from anyone who currently uses cloth diapers - both fitted ones and foldable ones, and also diaper services. How much money did you save? How many loads of laundry do you do? How much time do you spend during your day washing/cleaning the diapers? What method do you like best to get them clean? What brand(s) do you like best? Has anyone used both cloth and disposable and are able to help me compare one to the other? Thanks in advance for any information you can provide!

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F.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi Julie,

I used Dy Dee Diaper Service in Pasadena for the first 6 months and LOVED it!!! Only problem was when Tayor got to be six months he wasn't big enough for the next step up diaper and he was too big for the next step down so I switched from the service to Seventh Generation and then another type of diapers (chlorine free/best for environment and baby).

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K.K.

answers from Los Angeles on

It's been a long time, my daughter is 18, but I used cloth except when traveling. A friend gave me a month of diaper service for a shower present and we kept it for a year. And I found Rubber Duckies, don't know if they are still around, but they were a plastic panty shaped like a disposable diaper with velcro. I just folded the cloth diaper in the center and it held it on, no pins, nice and tight and I had no problems with the velcro.

And as she got bigger, we just changed sizes with the service. It was wonderful. When you consider how much you spend on disposable, I didn't find the cost a problem. And I know I had there was never enough time to do everything, so to not have to deal with dirty diapers was wonderful. It gave me a little extra time to be able to either spend with my daughter or my husband.

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H.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

I too came from Alameda to Glendale when my baby was one year, she's now two.

I began cloth diapering my daughter 2 years ago and cannot recommend it enough! I would not recommend a diaper service as they use bleach. Doing it yourself is pretty darn easy. I tried many many brands and finally settled on fuzzi bunz, the fit the best for her and by far were the easiest to use with the least amounts of leaks. She was very tiny 4lbs 13 ounces so I had to use disposable premies at first while I was waiting for my premie fuzzi bunz to arrive (I had a whole stash of smalls which I wouldn't use for months as I used x-smalls even before that). I made my own wipes while waiting for her arrival (took about 2 hours one night at the sewing machine to make 90). I put the wipes in a tub with some california baby diaper wash and after use put those in the diaper bag (just hangs on a door knob) with the diapers so they all get washed together. I use tea tree oil in the bag for smell and they are fine. I also keep some 7th generation wipes for emergencies, they are great.

I rinse out the poopy diapers in the toilet (bought a sprayer that attaches to the toilet so all the poo gets off before you put it in the diaper bag). I take out the insert and put the diaper, insert and wipes in the bag. At wash time I push the bag into the washer and push everything into the wash, turning the bag inside out and wash it with everything. First I soak everything in cold water and rinse. Then wash the diapers, inserts and wipes in Charlie's soap (you can buy a bag of it online) in hot water and put organic vinegar in the rinse cycle (regular vinegar is processed with petrol). If you have a front loader youmay want to do an extra rinse after that. Every so often I "strip" them which means after the wash do an entire wash cycle with no soap - gets out the residue which can cause leaks. I hang the diapers to dry (leave them in the sun and it'll bleach out any stains) and dry the inserts and wipes.

I wash the diapers every Wednesday and Sunday night and am amazed at how much I save in not buying disposables. And my baby has had diaper rash twice in two years, both times she was in disposables. They are also so cute and so easy to use, cheaper and great for the environment. There's just no downside to it. The best part is you can buy them on ebay and when you're done sell them on ebay so you spend even less! Just make sure when you buy them used that they are the ones made with white inside, the absorbent terry part (the ones that have the beige insides were made before quality control was put in effect). the come in tons of colors and prints. I even showed the people at my daycare how to use them and they have no problems with them. At night I used to use an aristrocrat (wool cover) over them and hemp inserts to help with long nights and leaks, we still use the hemp but don't need the aristocrat anymore.

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S.Z.

answers from San Luis Obispo on

hello- I was very interested as well- so I started with one diper; from "bum genius" is the brand. I love it!! Its a pocket diaper , one size for all which is nice and you buy the insert, i bought the "hemp" one and its so great for nite time, My 10mo old sleeps through the night and never leaks with it on. Always does if I use a disposable diaper (pampers) They are very easy to wash you just take out the insert and through them both into the wash , Everything comes out- they wash very well. And I can tell my baby loves the cloth diaper; it just seems a lot more comfortable than a "scratchy" disposable. I only bought one because of the $ issue ;but you really save alot if you stick to the cloth only. The website calculates it out for you and tells you how much you save if you start with them with a new born! Something like $2000 per yr. the website is "Euphoria maternity.com" then click on "baby"!! Its great I love it!
good luck! S.

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J.P.

answers from Honolulu on

Hi Julie -- I have used cloth diapers for both of my sons and there are MANY advantages -- can be very earth friendly, earlier potty training, easier to tell when child is wet and assure child is not dehydrated, no weird gel from diapers getting into (especially girl's) crevices to do unknown potential damage, etc.. My older son is 5 and was fully night and day trained by 2 years and 3 months without trauma or hassle.

We used shaped diapers last time, but for my new son (4 months old yesterday) we are using regular flat diapers that we got from Green Mountain online. They are very nice, durable diapers and do require some pre-washing and drying before use, but are very easy to get clean without bleach (I haven't used any). I bought 48 diapers of the "regular" size (yellow edged) and 48 of the large size (brown edged) -- they are called Chinese laundry diapers or something like that. Around 50 diapers is a good number because I line dry and that makes it possible to wash every other day or so. Expect to go through about 12 diapers a day with a newborn. We do also use Seventh Generation "paper" diapers for airplane rides, outing far from home, etc.. We have yet to go through a full (I think there are 40 in a bag) bag of these.

As far as washing goes, what I do is rinse the diapers that are pooped on in the toilet and wring them out. I put these and the urine diapers in a large open plastic bag (though you could use a bin made for this, I suppose) -- this makes it easy to put them in one handed without opening anything lids, etc.. When I go to wash, I rinse the diapers on one rinse cycle without anything added. Then I do a normal hot water wash with Seventh Generation laundry soap, then, during the rinse cycle, I add about a quarter cup of vinegar. After the whole cycle is done, I do one more rinse cycle. Then I hang dry (about a day -- I live in Hawaii) and when I bring the diapers in off the line I fluff them for about 10 minutes or so in the dryer to soften them up. Done this way, these diapers should last for at least 2 children, depending on how long/often you dry them. Note also, I am 40 years old and a mother of 2 and if I have the energy to do cloth diapers, anyone should be able to do it.

Good luck to you and your growing family -- whatever you decide to do will be right for you. aloha JP ps another note: we use Nikki cloth wraps with a velcro closure. Try a few different kinds of wraps out and see which ones you like best. They are MUCH easier than pins to get on/off, but they don't always stay on when your child gets bigger and more skilled at grabbing things. Good luck to you.

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M.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

I used mostly cloth with both of mine from shortly after birth - a year or so (they were both different). I will use cloth from birth with my 3rd. www.punkinbutt.com is a great resource!

I used both prefolds and fuzzi bunz. Fuzzi bunz are my favorite. As for washing, I didn't use a diaper service. I washed mine at home, did a load sometimes daily, sometimes every 2-3 days. I used the dryer but I let my diapers air dry in the sun mostly (live in So. Cal).

I used disposables sometimes, but I tried to not have them around. We even took a week trip to Yosemite and I only used cloth, it wasn't a problem at all.

My son who is 3 and potty training as I type... has been out of cloth since about 2, maybe even sooner. I don't know what happened, he just started to protest them (I probably should have just put underwear on but....) so with my 3rd, I hope to use cloth from beginning to end.

Best wishes to you!
M.

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A.N.

answers from Los Angeles on

I personally don't have any experience with them, but if you go to www.babycheapskate.com they have very extensive reviews of all the different cloth diapers out there. It also has where you can get the best deals on them. I love coming to mamasource for advice, but when it comes to trying to find out about baby products or trying to find the best deal, babycheapskate it the way to go!

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L.F.

answers from Los Angeles on

I cloth diapered two boys. I loved it. It is easy as long as you don't mind the occasional poop on hands. I used fuzzy bunz brand. I think you have a service in your area though. i like the fitted vs. regular. too much work to pin etc. i washed every other day at least. they even have bigger inserts for night time. sorry for the choppy answer. i say go for it! and check ebay!

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L.S.

answers from San Diego on

Shop for cloth diapers on ebay and craigslist. I bought some of my diapers from a friend but the rest I purchased new off of ebay. It will save you tons of money and then you can try different brands. You never know what will work best for you and your baby. We were told when we deiced to use cloth to start with about 24 smalls and 12-15 medium/large. We don't use cloth exclusively because my husband wines when he has to change her but I try and i really is very little extra work.

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J.H.

answers from Los Angeles on

There was a Dydee Diapering service in Pasadena that delivered to the entire southern california area. I had heard they went out of business though, but you could always call 411 to find out for sure.

I did use cloth diapers for about a month.... but keep in mind that I had twins, so my issues, might not be the same as yours. 1. You HAVE to change the baby about twice as often as you do with disposables. Otherwise you will have leaking and/or rash issues. 2. The laundry was not an issue b/c they picked up and re-delivered clean ones, but I'm sure it would be a lot to keep up with. 3. If you go on vacation you'll HAVE to do disposables. I can't imagine carting around dirty diapers. 4. You'll also need disposables for overnight b/c I found the THICK ones that are supposed to be overnight, never worked. I really wanted to do disposable b/c I thought it was better for their skin and the environment. But when you have a baby you quickly realize that if MOMMY is not happy, no one is happy. So you have to do what is best for you as well. I DO know several people that have gone the course with cloth diapers....however they stay home alot more than I do, and continued to get up in the middle of the night with their children for a LONG time. It all depends on your priorities.

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K.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hello Julie! Congrats on your soon-to be-arriving little girl. My husband and I did a combo of cloth and disposable diapers. We used the Dy Dee Diaper Service and it was great. They provided a container, bags, and little air fresheners just for the cloth diapers. Every Thursday morning I put out my bag on the front porch and every afternoon new, perfectly white ones appeared. It was really very little hassle. The cost was some where around 70.00 a month. I carried little diaper baggies with me in her bag so that when we were out I could put the cloth in that and it was fine. The wraps they have a easy - velcro, so that is nice. We did have to use disposable at night though because my daughter pees A LOT! We had a great experience with Dy Dee - just called and gave them the due date and they dropped a batch off. Then said to call once the baby came to set up the pickups. EASY! Good luck!
K.

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K.L.

answers from Los Angeles on

I found it VERY confusing in your shoes. I didn't know what to do. I use a place I found in Fullerton called "The Belly Sprout" as a place to buy my diapers and ask questions. I am using a all-in-one cloth diaper by Bum Genius. We absolutely love them. In the beginning when my son was in the hospital and when he came home, we used disposables until all the meconium had past through, this way we didn't ruin the cloth diapers. Then we moved to a cloth diaper and a cover. I bought some kissaluv size 0 and a few size 1 diapers from Kissaluvs "outlet store" on their website. These diapers were cheaper than full price and are suppose to have a defect (that's why they are so cheap), but we didn't find anything wrong with them. I think we had a few dozen. With these diapers I had to buy diaper covers. I bought a few covers the had velcro to close them. I think I had Imse Vimse covers and I had about 3-4. Once my son was big enough, I started him in the all-in-one by bum genius and he has been in them ever since. I have about 3 dozen and I wash diapers every 3 days. It's not too bad. I wash them them with a Free detergent and with 1 cup of baking soda and 1 cup of vinegar. This helps the smell. I know it's a lot and I hope I haven't confused you. Feel free to e-mail me if you have any other questions [email protected]____.com Luck and have fun!

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M.B.

answers from Los Angeles on

hello you both, and I wanted to say "Bravo" for going "green". The planet and your baby will thank you. I've read many of the responces, and they've covered about all your options already. I just wanted to give you a link to a wonderful resourse for your natural baby.
www.naturalbaby.stores.yahoo.net I purchused about four dozen of their Rainbow dipers and they lasted through three kids, and I even handed (about 18 remained in great condition) them down to my nephew. Hope that helps. Luck and Love to you and your growing family. M.
P.S. another way to go green is to make your own baby food. It is cheaper, more nutritious, and pretty easy to accomplish. especialy using the ice cube method.

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E.N.

answers from San Diego on

I used disposable diapers exclusively until my sons were 21 mos and 6 mos old. I was spending about $60 a month on diapers and a friend told me about Fuzzi Bunz. I decided to go for it - simply for fiscal reasons. The diapers are not cheap, but they paid for themselves in about 6 months in what I would have spent on disposables. They are the softest, coziest things you could imagine and they do a fine job of containing the babies waste (exept at night, I still had to use disposables because my boys would soak through the Fuzzi Bunz no matter how thick I made them). They have a fitted "shell" with the waterproof outside and snaps for easy changing, and you put liners inside. They really were not much more work than disposables. I did about 3-4 changes per day for each child so I bought enough to last me for 3 days (now I only have one in diapers so the supply lasts longer). They are really very easy to wash. I separate the liners from the shell (and, of course, remove any solid waste) before putting them in the diaper pail, then on wash day I throw them in the wash for a rinse then a full wash (using a natural detergent and vinegar for the smell). You can line dry or put them in the dryer on low (I use the dryer) then I just toss them in a bag ready for use (I don't bother with folding).
Disposables are definitely easier, but it is really very little extra work using the Fuzzi Bunz. It's just dealing with the solid waste putting it in the toilet (which I did sometimes anyway with disposables) and an extra load of laundry every 3 days or so, but no folding! I have a friend who has only used cloth diapers with both of her babies and she preferred another brand to the Fuzzi Bunz, but I don't remember what they were. I'm sure you'll get lots of recommendations from the other moms.

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L.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

I was a loyal Pampers user with my first two babies, but when I found out I was expecting twins 4 years ago, I made the switch to cloth. I started out using prefolds and Prorap covers - definitely the most economical way to start. I used that method for the first year and a half or so and then decided that I wanted something a bit more user-friendly, and I discovered BumGenius one-size diapers. I LOVE them, and at this point can't imagine using anything else. I continued to use them on my twins until they potty trained, and my 5th baby is still in them, and I'm expecting #6 this summer and he will also use them. They are really great diapers. They are what is known as "pocket" diapers, which means you stuff an absorbant insert into them. It's something like a cross between a prefold/cover and an all-in-one (AIO) diaper. Anyhow, I love BumGenius because they are extremely user-friendly and convenient - just as much so as disposables in my opinion. And these dipes truly are one-size fits all - they are adjustable, so they fit from newborn to 35 pounds, and I can attest to that fact. So there is my recommendation :)

You will find that every cloth diaper user has their own favorites, so you will likely get a ton of recommendations. A good place to start your research is diaperpin.com - it's a site that has cloth diaper reviews, resources, and info.

I've never used a diaper service. I have no idea how much a service costs. I've always just washed the dipes myself - I'm constantly doing laundry anyway, so an extra load every 2 - 3 days is not a big deal to me. And that's the trick - you have to have enough dipes on hand that you're not having to wash them every single day. They're pretty easy to care for - newborn poop is the consistency of yogurt (at least breastfed poop is - I don't know about formula poop) and can go directly into the washing machine. Whatever diapers you end up getting will include wash and care instructions. When the poop gets to be more solid, you just dump the poop into the toilet and toss the soiled diaper into your diaper pail until you're ready to do a load of wash. No biggie.

One last thing - the BumGenius diapers are expensive - new they're $17 - $18 each I believe. However, if you consider the fact that they will fit your babe from newborn through potty training, it's still a whole lot less expensive than disposables, or even other cloth dipes that you have to buy bigger sizes as your baby grows. You can also buy gently used cloth dipes on eBay and diaperswappers.com.

Good luck!!

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M.S.

answers from Las Vegas on

Okay, so it's been a few years but I located the company which made the cloth diapers I used for my kids. It's called Natural Baby. Click: http://naturalbaby.stores.yahoo.net/index.html

The way these work is that you buy diaper covers (wool, cotton, nylon or polyester) and line them with the diapers (which are thick). The benefit to the diaper cover is that you can change the baby quickly...just like disposables...and it's waterproof. The negative is that if they are fastened with velcro...well, what wakes up a sleeping baby faster than the sound of velcro?!?! There are snap covers available to prevent that. (I preferred snaps.) Also, the diaper part without the covers can be used the old-fashioned way with pins.

I used the cotton Nikkys for the covers and the Rainbows for the diapers. My favorite (not available anymore) ended up being similar to the Reuz'm All-in-One Cloth Diaper. I was a bit lazy back then and only used them at home and used disposable when traveling or running around town. If I had it to do over again, I'd be more disciplined and spare our poor environment the waste and my children the chemicals of the disposables. Oh well!

Some more practical help: toss all the diapers in the wash during dinner time and toss them in the dryer right before you go to bed. That way, you don't need that many and you can save money and always have them when you need them. Don't use a bunch of chemicals to wash them...vinegar or natural detergent and no fabric softener (less absorbant). Breastfeed exclusively as long as possible for many benefits...among them, no stinky diapers!

Best wishes!

M.

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T.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi Julie,
I use Fuzzi Bunz cloth diapers on my little girl and they're fabulous. I was afraid of the laundry factor at first, but honestly, it's not that bad. I work full-time, so I just make putting her diapers in the wash part of the routine. If you have a "Superwash" cycle, that gets them very clean. I bought mine at Fuzzibunzworld.com. But you can also find them on ebay. The environmental factor is why I initially choose cloth diapers, but it's turned out I've saved a lot of money and never run out of diapers. I recommend!

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S.C.

answers from Los Angeles on

First off, I think it's great that you're going "green" and opting for cloth. (And a diaper service is cheaper than disposable diapers, not to mention all the diapers that you won't be putting into our landfills...!) I used a diaper service---go online for the services and read all the info they have. There is NO way you can get your diapers as clean or soap free as they do. Also, (don't know if they still do this) they had a special rinse I could order when I was experiencing a little diaper rash problem with my son, and it really helped. The diaper pails they give you really hold in the smell, so that wasn't an issue for us at all. You do have to wash the plastic covers, but that wasn't a big deal for me. I don't know if this helps.

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D.L.

answers from Reno on

Hi, Julie. I used cloth also (my son was allergic to the chemicals in disposables). There are several different kinds and styles of cloth: some that have multiple snaps or velcro strips (my favorite) so that diapers will fit the baby as it grows. You can also get inserts/pads that fit inside your diaper for nighttime wetting or growing babies. www.diapersetc.com has several choices. Also, if you get ones that have elastic around the legs, you can minimize leakage and may not have to use rubber pants over them. Diaper service wasn't available where I live, so I bleached first and rewashed in baby-gentle detergent. Worked fine and my son never had issues with that.

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C.C.

answers from Los Angeles on

There is a diaper service called Dy-Dee Diapers that runs in the San Gabriel Valley. I used them for three years with my son. (He's five now, so I have not used the service in a few years.)
I found the cloth diapers very easy to use. Although, my friends all thought I was nuts for using them. They were foldable diapers, which you inserted into plastic pants that fastened with velcro. If you fold up about a dozen of them ahead of time, there is no extra time involved during the actual diaper change.
The service was great. I wouldn't say it was a huge savings, because they charge you a per diaper fee every month. I think the most I spent was about $65 a month. They give you a special hamper with their own plastic bag in it. You place the dirty diapers (but not the velcro coverings) into the hamper without washing or rinsing them. The delivery guy comes once a week and takes the old ones away to be laundered. He also leaves the ones he took the week before so you never run out of clean diapers.
So, to answer your laundry question, it was no extra laundry for me.
I had to carry plastic bags with me to place the dirty diapers in if we were out and about. That can make for a smelly car if it's summer and hot. And my in-laws did not want to deal with the cloth diapers, so I had to use disposables if I was leaving my son with them.
If you buy disposables at CostCo (or Sam's Club, or wherever) they are really not any more expensive than the diaper service. In other words, the cost isn't a major factor. Pick a diaper that you want to use.
I believed in the cloth diapers. They seemed to be more comfortable for my son. And they don't leak when put on properly.
However, most baby clothes are not made for "diaper butt" anymore. I found that the bulky cloth diapers did not fit under a lot of onesies and other baby pants. Just something for you to consider.
I would use a diaper service again, but there are definitely positives and negatives. That week old diaper bin gets quite rancid smelling in the summer. They get angry if you wash the diapers for them, so I wouldn't try that. Just invest in heavy duty air fresheners and keep the bin in the garage.

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M.A.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi Julie: It's been a long time, but I used cloth diapers for all four of my kids. I saved a lot of money. I would use the disposables for vacations, emergencies, etc. but for the most part I used the cloth diapers. I washed a load a day in hot water and detergent (no bleach) and generally lined dried them. I liked Curity. I tried both the long rectangular ones and the shorter more padded ones. I found to my surprise that the very long ones worked better. They were more flexible in being able to fold them to fit the kids as they grew. I ended up using the smaller ones as linings. The only thing I didn't like were the plastic pants I had to put over them. About that time they were coming out with cloth diaper covers that seemed to be softer and more comfortable than the plastic kind with the elastic legs. I would buy a new box of diapers with each birth and recycle the worn ones into the most wonderful rags. Also, my garbage was not overflowing with nasty diapers. My experience was good and there are probably all sorts of new stuff that makes it even easier. My kids are 30, 28, 27, and 21, so as I said, it's been awhile!

Good luck, M.

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M.W.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi Julie! Congratulations on you baby girl on the way!

I own a cloth diapering retail website here in Southern California. =-) I also use cloth diapers on my 1 year old and 2 year old sons. I use a huge variety of brands (I have to test 1 of everything on my website... LOL!), so I'd be happy to answer any questions you may have about the different styles (Pockets, All-In-Ones, Fitteds & Covers, Prefolds, etc.).

I'm totally not trying to be spammy here, but if you want to browse a bunch of different styles and brands, my site is www.KeenBambino.com =-)

I also have an Inland Empire Cloth Diapering Group. We have about 35 Moms who get together and chat about cloth diapers. It's based in the Inland Empire, so you might not be able to drive out to one of our meetups, but you are certainly welcome to join to chat on the message board and ask questions. It's a great way to be able to ask questions from a bunch of experienced cloth diapering moms at once.
http://attachmentparenting.meetup.com/401/

To answer your questions, I do laundry every other day because I have 2 in diapers. It's really not a big deal. Pre-Rinse Cycle, Hot Wash, Extra Rinse, and into the dryer. I used disposables until my oldest son was 16 months, and then I discovered cloth. I was pregnant with my 2nd by then, and was able to convince hubby to try it out based on the savings with 2 kids. We've been using cloth for about a year and a half now, and I really love it. They're so cute, they save us money, and they are better for babies bottoms. Disposables leaked like crazy for us before we switched, and I'm so glad I found cloth!

If you have any questions, feel free to PM or email me at [email protected]____.com . I'd be more than happy to answer any specific questions you may have.

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S.T.

answers from Los Angeles on

I love cloth diapers!!! Personally, if I can get out of doing more laundry, I will. So, I'm a big fan of Dy-Dee. I don't know if I saved money, but I definitely didn't spend more than disposables. I loved the convenience of not washing, rinsing, late trips to the store, and lugging huge boxes when grocery shopping. Dy-Dee was awesome in that they just picked up the dirty diapers and delivered clean ones each week. They do take up more room in the nursery, but I just got big baskets from Ikea and put them on the shelf of the changing table. They also take up more room in the diaper bag, but I had a big one. And, who can beat the convenience of having a cloth diaper ready to wipe up emergency spills, spit ups, etc. My only complaint is that with my baby girl, the diapers are bulky and girls clothes are much more form fitting. I had trouble with jeans or jean-like pants fitting around the bulky diaper. I reverted to leggings and dresses more often. I did not have this problem with my baby boy where boys jeans are fuller. Also, to answer one more of your questions, I found that my children got more rashes when I switched to disposables, so I just stayed with cloth. I didn't mix them except in emergencies. Congratulations on the addition of your baby girl. I can tell she's entering a loving family. Best wishes!!!

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G.L.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi Julie,
We used cloth diapers for our daugheter for about the first couple of years and am very glad we did. There is only one diaper service in the area, Dy-Dee in Pasadena, just look in the yellow pages. We used the folding diapers with the velcro covers that we purchased from the diaper service. Because we changed her more often then if she were in disposable diapers she never got diaper rash. As she got a little older and sleeping through the night we would put a disposable on her at night so we didn't wake up to a wet bed. We would also use disposable diapers if we were going to be out for a while and it wouldn't be easy to change her. Since she was a little late in potty training (3 1/2) she spent about the last year in disposables just due to the volume she could pee at one time. When we switched we used 7th Generation brand diapers since they had no chlorine.

Good luck,
G.

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A.L.

answers from Los Angeles on

Julie,

I read some of the responses to your inquiry and found that so many of the moms had diaper services. All the moms I've ever talked to about cloth diapers have washed their diapers and say it's not that much more laundry.

I started CDing my daughter when she was a year old, so I don't know yet what it's like to have a newborn in them. However, I AM planning to CD my next child, which I just found out I'm going to have in 9 months, so it'll be a different world when I have 7-12 diapers a day to wash versus 3-5.

Right now I'm doing maybe 2 extra loads of laundry a week. It's not that hard to keep up with. And I could do even less if I had more diapers for her. And they can go in with anything that handles hot water. I use my regular detergent (kirkland free & clear for HE machines) and about a tablespoon of oxyclean on the hot water/stain removing/soak setting. The diapers come out clean every time and they don't smell.

As for types of diapers, there's prefolds, pocket diapers, all-in-ones. You can use covers made of wool, plastic, polyurethane-lined (PUL) polyester, fleece and so many others. There's organic ones, snap fastening, velcro (hook and loop) fastening, snappis (it's like a little rubber band with three claws for prefolds instead of pins).

Here's a cost comparison: http://www.diaperdecisions.com/cost_of_cloth_diapers.htm
It's amazing what you can save. Cleaning your own diapers will save you so much more money too. A friend of mine said her water bill only went up by $5 a month. I'll take that! And the more kids you have, the more you end up saving.

So far I use a fuzzi bunz, a bum genus 3.0, and a bunch of homemade diapers. I'm still perfecting my homemade designs, but there are patterns out there if you know how to sew.

Good luck!

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C.D.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi Julie,
I applaud your decision to you use cloth. I used cloth diapers on my 2 boys , who are now grown, and it's one of the decisions I feel best about when I think back on choices made for them. I would do it all over again. The environmental, economic and comfort of my babies(I wouldn't want to wear plastic undies, why should my babies?!)just makes sense to me. I used Dy Dee diaper service, which came to my house, picked up the dirty diapers and returned the same ones to me. They give you a plastic container to keep them in and they don't smell bad at all. They are sooo soft, and the service was exceptional. The diapers came with a parenting newspaper that was really good called The Wet Set Gazette. The service was cheaper than plastic, and I like that I am leaving less in my babies'landfills. I used "Diaperaps" brand diaper holders w/ the diapers instead of pins. Very Easy!I like that I didn't contribute to my babies (and THEIR babies and THEIR babies) landfills by using plastic. Plastic diapers are the 2nd largest contributing factor in landfills. It also takes a lot of resources to make plastic in the first place. Congratulations on your pregnancy!
Warmly,
C. DeMonte, MFCT

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E.R.

answers from Los Angeles on

Cloth diapers are actually not so "green" because of the water and energy that goes into washing and sterilizing. We use g diapers are love them. Gdiapers.com is the website. Its a cloth underpant with a completely biodegradable,flushable, even compostable, insert. Because they don't have the silicon material that absorbs the urine, I use a disposable for sleep, like 7th generation diapers.good luck and best wishes to you and your baby!

S.F.

answers from Los Angeles on

We used Mother Ease "One Size" diapers. They were WONDERFUL. We purchased them online.

https://usshop.motherease.com/shopdisplayproducts.asp?id=...

Soft terry-cloth, fitted, snaps, snap-in liners, easy to wash. Good luck!

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C.L.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi Julie!

You can get GREAT info at diaperpin.com- lots of reviews and advice. I know it can be a little overwhelming!

I love cloth diapers. So soft, no chemicals on baby, and you never run out! (Just have to wash). We started with Dy Dee for a couple of months, it was a little pricey at first, about $90 per month since our baby went through so many diapers at the beginning. After I got the hang of it I just bought the diapers from dydee, about $2 each, and started washing at home. My baby is 8 months now. At night we use the fancier "pocket" diapers because you can stuff them with extra absorbancy and the liner against baby's skin feels dry all night. When we go out I use disposables.

If you want to try different types of diapers to compare them, just buy one of three or so brands, then a few more and so on- don't blow your budget buying a whole lifetime worth. I'm very happy with the basic prefold for day time, and the pocket diapers at night.

Oh- the basic "prefolds" from dy-dee are sized, so we bought 24 in each size; our fancier bum genius ones are "one size" and are supposed to last till she's out of diapers, so it's a great savings. Even more so if you have more kids! By the way, you'll have to buy online- nothing in the stores is worth using. But lots of places offer free shipping if you buy enough. Diaperpin.com will give you ideas of websites, too.

Good luck!

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K.W.

answers from Los Angeles on

Julie,
Many congrats on your new little one. I used a diaper service with my son and washed my own with my daughter. When I used the service I also kept some "back" and washed them myself if I was out of town or stuck with a really yucky diaper (once they start solids). I used a variety of covers, but I liked the Nikky covers the BEST. My children are school age so it has only been a little while. I purchased the diapers from the service in Pasadena (they are no longer in the IE). The only thing that I really needed to add was to the wash information if you wash your own. Rinse with hot water, double wash with "free and clear type" of detergent, regular rinse cycle, restart the washer in the rinse load and add one cup of vinegar. I would randomly bleach them just to "brighten" them up, but not every load. Good luch on your decision.

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A.R.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi Julie-

I cloth diapered my son (6 years ago) and used a diaper service. I don't think it saved me any money, but I definitely felt better about not throwing away disposable diapers. And keeping the chemicals off his bum. When my daughter was born 2 years ago I was planning on using cloth again. Then I found out about gDiapers. We've been using them and LOVE them. My daughter refuses to wear anything else. I could go on and on about why I love them, but I'll wait to see if you want to hear it first since you asked about cloth. I do use cloth at home still and put them (prefolds) in the gDiaper covers. They work better than my regular cloth covers did. They weren't as bulky. Going between the two (cloth and g's) keeps the price down and the laundry not as bad. There are a lot of cute fitted diapers too, I just didn't like having to use plastic pants. FuzziBunz are good. But check out the gDiapers website too and see what you think. gdiapers.com. I live in the San Gabriel Valley too, in Pasadena. good luck and Congratulations.

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F.C.

answers from Los Angeles on

Julie,

With my 5 year old, I used cloth diapers (Dy-Dee Diaper Service our of Pasadena- you can google them) and with my 1 year old I am using disposables (trying to use gel-free or chlorine-free though I haven't been as consistent).

So, the cloth diapers are a little annoying because you have to carry them around (even the soiled ones) and you can't just dump them in the trash. Also, they take a while to learn how to properly fold and place so that there isn't an eruption each time your child goes. They are bulky which is funny on a newborn. The diaper service delivers and it's great that you can use those cloths as a protective layer when changing your baby or to clean spit and stuff. In terms of money, you are saving a lot!

The disposables are more convenient- BUT, I don't like that some of the brands (most brands except for Tushies) have gels in them to absorb the pee. It's not healthy for my boys' family jewels to be around all that gunk. Also, it's hard to tell sometimes if he's actually wet- like I've got to get my face into the diaper so I suspect that he sits around without being changed as often as my first-born was.

I chose not to use the cloth ones with my second one out of convenience really. Still, I used the Tushies delivery system for a while (then my child outgrew the sizes. Once potty training begins, though, I am going back to Dy-Dee Diaper so that we can have an easier (and hopefully faster) time with training. There is a new diaper on the market- gDiapers and they are flushable. I don't know about standing over the toilet and swiveling waste, but you may want to look into it.

I guess you have to find what is best for you and your family. I do feel guilty about some of the disposables I've used. I just know they are going to sit in a land fill forever and I feel bad about leaving that as an inheritance to my children. Well, good luck with delivery and congratulations on your pregnancy!

Take Care,
F.

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T.J.

answers from Santa Barbara on

I have 2 children, now 20 and 15. I used disposable on the first, but she kept getting rashes and I eventually went to cloth. Luckily I had a clothesline in the backyard, which helped keep the drying part of the expense down. For my second child, my mother-in-law gifted me with 6 months of diaper service. WHAT A GREAT RELIEF!! the diapers are cloth, which is kinder to baby's skin, you have no guilt about contributing to landfills, and the service made using cloth so simple. You don't even have to use pins, because they supply you with a velcro-tabbed 'pant' to put the cloth into and onto your baby. I loved it.

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M.J.

answers from San Diego on

Hi Julie,

We just tried cloth for our first baby for the first 5 weeks. Because I'll be going back to work & barely get my own laundry done, we used the San Diego Diaper Service. The breaking point for us (me) was that the diaper wraps that go around the cloth were constantly falling victim to poopy blowouts. To be clear, we weren't leaking, but the gussets of the wraps would take the hit in preventing leaks-- which meant I was *constantly* washing the wraps. (think sink of soaking poopy wraps).

I felt that if I had some of the fitted cloth diapers, this wouldn't happen, but our service only uses and cleans the prefold cloth diapers.

As a side note of pros/cons, we did like the flushable liners, but the bag of diapers got really smelly over the course of the week.

If I had the time and inclination to wash the diapers myself, I would buy a system with fitted cloth diapers. Mother Ease were looking best to me in my web research. Here are some links I found:

AirFlow Snap Cover:
http://www.mother-ease.com/database/scripts/store_product...

diapers and accessories:
http://www.mother-ease.com/database/scripts/show_page.pl?...

http://www.kushiesonline.com/Flushable-Biogradable-Diaper...

http://www.diaperaps.com/home/dp1/page_9/Flushable_Liners...

http://www.bumgenius.com/one-size.php

We canceled the service and went to disposables. Pampers fit our girl well, but we found a biodegradable disposable called Nature Babycare. These are great, all natural diapers, and don't seem to cause any rash. From what I could tell, Seventh Generation has the same gel stuff that other regular diapers get criticized for (i.e. chemicals next to baby's skin -- though maybe I'm wrong on this). You may see criticism of biodegradable diapers saying that diapers can't actually biodegrade in landfill because they don't have enough air, but it's got to be better than nothing. For awhile I found them at Target, but as of this week, it looks like they are discontinued. You can order them online from http://www.diapers.com/Shop/Brands.aspx?CategoryID=1&...

Best of luck, and enjoy parenthood :)

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N.R.

answers from Los Angeles on

I started with a 21 day trial from www.jilliansdrawers.com. You get to sample different types of cd's...pockets, all-in-ones, prefolds w/covers, etc. Then you keep what you want and send back the rest. I'm so glad I did because it made me realize I liked the ease of the the pocket dipes the best. They even let you order it before your baby is born and date the 21 days from birth.

They also have good newborn package specials. There is a brand called Swaddlebees that you use with a cover that is great for newborns....they held in the really explosive poops!

We wash every other day...a cold wash w/ no detergent, then a hot wash w/ detergent. Then dry. At 5 months we have 19 pocket dipes and it seems to be just enough.

Good luck! It's fun and easy and it feels good to not contribute to the landfills!

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J.T.

answers from Los Angeles on

HI Julie,

I used cloth diapers for my kids, and it was not difficult at all. I had a diaper service that came once a week. I just put the soiled diaper in the pail and they picked it up and left clean diapers - no laundering, rinsing, etc - easy! I even used them out and about - you can buy scented plastic trash bags to put the old diaper in, when you change your baby away from home - then into the pail it goes when you return home. I loved the soft feel of cloth for their sweet, baby skin, and I felt good knowing that I wasn't filling up a landfill to overflowing - I have 4 kids! It wouldn't hurt to start, and then if it doesn't work out for you, you can cancel the service at any time. Good Luck! J.

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T.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi julie,
i have 2 babies a 1 yr old and a 2yr old 11 months apart. With both of them i tried cloth diapers in the beginning. In my opinion not only is it more work that you really don't have time for but i found my babies to get rashes easier and they're hard to get rid of. I thought maybe my son just had sensitive skin so i started using pampers swaddlers til he out grew them, then had to switch to huggies supreme because he would leak in regular pampers. However with my daughter she really didn't get rashes but she was really irritable and if she was asleep she'd wake right after she wet herself. I then put her in huggies supreme, the same as my son but she'd leak so i have her in pampers cruisers never had a leak yet or diaper rash. So in my personal opinion cloth diapers are nice but and a lil' bit less expensive, maybe a few bucks a month, but when it comes to keeping my babies content huggies supreme for a boy and pampers cruisers for a girl. Good luck and congratulations on your new arrival. :)

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