Cloth Diapers

The verdict

>I was so psyched to try the diapers, they arrived so fast and were adorable.  I chose the grasshopper, butternut and twilight colors.  They are soft green, yellow & blue, though a little brighter than they had looked on my computer screen.

The instructions said I only had to wash them once, though some other materials become more absorbent with each wash.

I dried the inserts in the dryer, laid the diapers flat to dry and waited impatiently.

While I was waiting for them, I had figured out how long it would take for one diaper to pay for itself with full time use, for those 3 to pay for themselves with once daily use, and how long it would take to recoup the cost of a full stash with full time use.

Finally, they were dry, and within the first diaper change, I was hooked.  They were a cinch to put on and were adorable to boot.  Hubby called him a bubble butt but I thought the fluffy but was too stinkin’  cute (get it?  stinking?  ’cause it’s a diap…oh never mind).

It didn’t take long to see how much less irritated his bottom was during the hours he was wearing cloth.  But, since we only had 3, we had to put him in disposables the rest of the day, and slather him with diaper cream.

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Cloth Diapers Detergents

Detergent Drama

>Since I can’t leave well enough alone, I kept researching and found more, conflicting information on the safety of the detergents we found locally.

I also found an awesome group of cloth diapering mamas on cafemom and asked a barrage of questions, including what their washing routines were, and what detergents they used.

The general consensus was that everyone loved a cafemommy made product called lil outlaws.  Cloth safe, none of the no-no ingredients and smelled great.  No one had any problems with buildup, smelly diapers or hiney irritation, even for those moms whose babies had sensitive skin.  The best part was that a bag was $15 postage paid, and would do 140 loads in my HE washer!

I sent my poor hubby to return the detergent he’d purchased and impatiently waited for my detergent to arrive.

Long story short, I’m happy to see a conclusion to the diaper detergent drama!

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Cloth Diapers Detergents Diaper Cream

Take Two

>So my daughter never really got a “diaper rash” to speak of.  A handful of times, she got a tiny bit red, we put some butt paste (which my Mom got as a joke but turned out to be awesome) on it & she was good as new.  So, arrogant first time mother that I was, I assumed that if a baby had diaper rash issues, it must be (diaper) operator error (i.e. the parents).

Well, I sure got my comeuppance with my son.  His pediatrician has commented that he is “rashy,” and it’s true.  He has had baby acne, bumps and redness galore, and his bottom is no exception.  That combined with a rasp he’s had since birth makes him suspect eczema.

That gave me a renewed determination to make cloth work for us.  I found another detergent chart that had other detergents listed, and we were able to find two of them at a local organic market.

Satisfied that I’d be able to safely wash them, I ordered three Bumgenius 3.0 one size pocket diapers and eagerly awaited their arrival.

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Cloth Diapers One Size Diapers

That new baby smell

>Fast forward a bit and I’ve effortlessly given birth to my 6 pound baby. 

No, not really.  My son was born at 40 weeks 6 days, after a rash of ridiculous 90 degree days in freaking May, weighing in at 7 lbs 15 oz.  My husband said he should have cut the umbilical cord a little longer to make it an even 8 pounds! 

8 pounds may not seem like a “big baby,” as I’m always hearing the story of the woman who had an unassisted childbirth and had a 25 pound 3 year old in their bathtub (not really but you know).  In any case, he was big for me.  I am 5 feet tall on a tall day, though my license says I am 5’1″ (hey, I am with shoes on darn it!) and was maybe 100 pounds soaking wet pre baby #2.

I figure his weight was solely because of the ginormous case of newborn diapers I’d bought.  My 6 pounder was the result of my having purchased none, and the newborn diapers being out of stock at nearly every store in the county.

So anygiantheadedbaby, had I known I was going to have an 8 pounder, I may not have been quite as eager for the drug free childbirth AND I would have gone ahead and bought those one size diapers!

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Cloth Diapers Detergents Washing

I’m too poor to have convictions

>I had found this calculator to help determine the cost of cloth diapering vs. disposables.  Because our new house has a well, there’s no cost for the water itself.  We have an HE washer so when using hot water, it’s not more than absolutely necessary.  I don’t know how much the electricity to run a loan (ha typo but it’s funny so it stays) through the washer costs, but I doubted it was excessive.

That left the detergent.  I had gotten a crazy deal on method baby detergent, and that combined with the HE washer and our soft water meant that I barely had to cover the eensy teensy cap of the 3x concentrated detergent in order to wash a load.

Unfortunately, I discovered that there are a lot of ingredients that are no-nos for cloth and that only certain detergents are cloth-diaper safe, none of which seemed to be locally available to me.

Since I am used to paying a maximum of $3/bottle for our detergent, or up to $6 for baby detergent, $15/bottle BEFORE shipping put me off.

I wanted to cloth diaper so I wasn’t putting chemicals on my baby’s butt or diapers in the landfill.  The potential savings sounded great too.  Even if cloth cost the same as my rock bottom price for disposables, I’d still be interested.  But more?  Not so much. 

I’d have to order 4 bottles to bring the price down to $12.50/bottle (more than double what I’d usually consider paying for baby detergent) and I simply didn’t want to invest that much in my little cloth diaper experiment, since I didn’t even know if this would work out.

My hubby and I joke that we are too poor to have convictions.  If it were my choice, I would shop locally, organic, do everything green and so forth.  Unfortunately, we just don’t have the financial resources to do so.  We pick & choose and do what we can afford and what’s most important to us.

With that, I pretty much figured I was done & wouldn’t get to try them.

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