Friday, April 20, 2012

Snaps are our friend!

I am not really liking most aplix (velcro) diapers these days.  The only exception to that is our two TotBots and three WonderWraps.  Our HappyHeiny is okay as is our Flips (but only okay on the Flips), but I just don't use them very often.  Instead, we are almost all snaps these days.  About 2 months ago, I had my Thirsties Duo wraps replaced because of bad aplix.  I still have one snap left on each side of our snap version, so I know they aren't too small for my youngest.  But, they weren't staying closed.  I first noticed the problem around Christmas when her diaper opened up in the middle of the night.  From then on, I haven't used them at night because of that.  Now the new ones are having the same problem.  I can use them with pants that will "hold" the aplix in place, but otherwise I don't even risk it.

Now, for a NB, I would still want the aplix.  They are great when you need a good fit those first few weeks to months.  But, once your baby is mobile, you will want snaps.  Well, unless you can afford the TotBots or can get  your hands on some WonderWraps (which aren't made anymore).  The problem with these two is that the aplix isn't soft, so it isn't great for small babies.  And the WonderWraps are still too big for my youngest (at 8mo), so they would only be good for larger babies/toddlers.

If I had to buy a stash for a baby over 15lbs, here is probably what I would get:
2 Flip covers (snap) with organic inserts (~$40)
4 Econobum covers with 12 prefolds (~$48)
1 dozen flats  for night time diapers or in the Econobum/Flip covers until the "bulkier" inserts are needed (~$24)
2 Kawaii snap pockets (but wouldn't use the inserts) (~$22)
2 FuzziBunz Elites (if the baby is petite) or 2 "nice" snap pockets like BumGenius 4.0 or Blueberry (if the baby isn't so petite) (~$40)
1-2 TotBot Easy Fit as a splurge item (since they aren't cheap) ($24-$48)
Hemp doublers and/or Thirsties hemp inserts as needed (probably less than $20)

That is under $250.  You could add 2 wet bags, detergent, and some CJ's samples (for diaper rash) for about $300.

For a younger baby that isn't a newborn (i.e. from about 1mo until 15-18lbs), I would get:
3 Thirsties Duo wraps (size 1 snap)
4 OS covers/shells (I haven't found a brand I LOVE for this size, so I would personally get a variety that I liked the looks of)
3 FuzziBunz Elites
2 TotBots EasyFits
1 dozen flats
4 Thirsites duo hemp (size 1) insert packs

That is under $275, and it would fit until at least 25lbs.  All I would HAVE to add to this for my 2yo son is either more hemp inserts or some Econobum prefolds.  I would maybe add a couple of Econobum covers to replace the Thirsties when those are outgrown, but other than that, it would grow with the baby to toddler-hood (and trainers).  Also, there are some newer two-sized covers out there that might be nicer than the Thirsties.  But, they are more expensive by at least $4.  Also, you might find a OS cover that fits at 1mo, and buy those instead of the Thirsties.  My kids are petite, so I don't get a good fit with most OS things until much later.

Friday, February 17, 2012

What We Are Using - 2yo and 6mo

I now have a 2 year old and a 6 month old.  They are both about 20th percentile in weight (2yo about 25 lbs and 6mo 14.5 lbs).  So, here is what their stashes look like:

3 Flip covers (2 snap and 1 aplix)
2 Econobum covers (snap)
3 WonderWraps (aplix)
1 Happy Heiny pocket (aplix)
1 Kawaii pocket (snap)
1 Blueberry Deluxe pocket (snap)
12 Econobum prefolds
3 Flip organic inserts
2 Thirsties Hemp inserts (size 2)
Flats and Preemie prefolds (shared with his sister)

4 Thirsties Duo size 1 wraps (1 snap and 3 aplix)
2 Econobum covers (snap)
1 GroVia shell (snap)
3 Fuzzibunz OS pockets (snap - Elite version mostly)
1 Rumparooz pocket (snap)
2 TotBot EasyFits (aplix)
2 Thirsties Hemp inserts (size 1)
1 BabyKicks OS hemp insert
1 JoeyBunz premium hemp insert (cut in two)
3 FuzziBunz organic inserts
Flats and Preemie Prefolds (shared)

We have 24 flats and 6 preemie prefolds (Bummis) that they share.  The 2yo uses the flats at night (2-3), and the 6mo uses them in the covers exclusively.  We use the Thirsties inserts in the FuzziBunz pockets, with a preemie prefold as a doubler for each.  So, the 6mo gets 2 of hers with the hemp and 1 gets two of the FB organic inserts.  The 2yo's other pockets are stuffed with the Econobum prefolds.

We rarely have leaks with these combinations, and I like that it is almost all natural fibers (except the TotBots which I love).  I rarely use liners too, as they don't mind the wetness against the skin.  Hopefully the 2yo will potty train before the 6mo outgrows the Thirsties wraps.  If not, I will have to add some of our "emergency pockets" back into the rotation probably (we have 7 I think stored away).

Monday, October 24, 2011

Moving into One-Sized Diapers

My newborn is now a little over 2 months old.  And she is wearing a mix of the Thirsties Duo wraps (with flats or 2+ preemie prefolds) and one-sized diapers.  The first one-sized diaper we used was a Rumparooz.  I stuff it with 1 Thirsties Duo Hemp size 1 insert, and it fits well.  Since ours is snaps, it is sometimes hard to get a great stomach seal, but she never leaks.  Then, we put a TotBots Easy Fit on her.  I LOVE this on her, and we now have 2 of them to use.  They are my go-to diaper when I have to change her outside the house.  She also has 2 FuzziBunz OS in her stash.  One is basically the new Elite diaper, and I love how the buttons are on the inside.  These are stuffed with the Thirsties hemp or with the preemie prefolds/doublers too.  Getting the 6 snaps on her isn't always easy, but it does fit GREAT on her.

At 2 months old, she was only 9.75 lbs and 24 inches long, so I am happy that these three brands fit her so well.  We have a few other OS diapers in our stash, but I am not ready to move them to her just yet (as her brother is still in them).  I MIGHT try the BabyKicks on her next though!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Newborn Adventures

Our newest arrival is almost 4 weeks old.  We put her in her first cloth diaper a few hours before she turned 3 days old (since she finally was done with the nasty tar poop).  Her first cloth was a Bummis Super Lite wrap (in brown) with a Bummis preemie prefold.  It worked well for the short period she was in it.  I used disposables on her later that day because we were going to be out of the house (since we hadn't had enough time to confirm the diaper fit well and wouldn't leak), but she has only been in I think 4 disposables since then - two that day and two for her two doctor's appointment.  The only reasons I use disposables for doctor's appointment is weight checks and mainly because we don't have an hook and loop pockets that fit her yet.

Our stash for her is 12 OsoCozy natural flats, 6 Bummis preemie prefolds, 3 Thirsties Duo size 1 cotton doublers, 1 Bummis Super Lite NB cover, and 4 Thirsties Duo Size 1 wraps.  She was born at just under 7 lbs, and she never lost much weight.  The Bummis cover is definitely a better fit for the legs, but it is too short for the inserts.  And since she needs more than just one of the prefolds, the cover normally doesn't work out great.  But, it is very trim, so I use it when I want cute pictures without a huge rear end.  The Thirsties Duo wraps are hard for me to get a good leg seal with.  We have teh tabs crossed over as much as possible, but the legs are still a little loose.  So, we have pee leaks occasionally.  I have them stuffed with a flat, and luckily we never had poop leaks at least.  I bet as she fills out they will be great though.

I now wish I had bought at least one HH Mini I think.  I love that it is hook and loop and adjustable size.  It seems similar in sizing to the Thirsties Duo, so it might not give us a great leg seal though.  But, it would be something we could use for the doctor's appointment... But at this point, I don't think it is worth buying it.  Before too long she will fit into our FuzziBunz OS and Rumparooz.  Unfortunately, these are both snaps in our stash.  She will probably fit into our TotBots soon though too, and it is hook and loop.

I am loving using cloth on a newborn though.  It is great to not have to take so much garbage out or run to the store for diapers.  With three kids now under 4, those things are huge!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Made It! Flats Challenge

So, we only had to use flats through Sunday night.  And I was kind of glad after my son had dirtied 3 of the four covers we were using.  So, yesterday morning we used pockets.  Plus, I had to finish a product trial (I am a tester for a company), so I didn't feel bad about switching at all.

But, I had to finish with hand washing all the diapers used on Sunday.  Luckily the washing int he sink wasn't terrible.  It wasn't fun, and it isn't something I would want to do on a regular basis, but it wasn't the end of the world.  It is definitely something I could do in a pinch.  Maybe if we travel again for a short period of time I might wash in a hotel sink.  But, I don't see myself handwashing on a regular basis, that is for sure.

I think if a low-income family had an adult at home at least half of the time, using cloth would definitely be doable this way.  But, many low income families have all of the adults working more than 40 hours a week.  I really don't see families in this situation using cloth to save money.  The time with the kids is more important than using something reusable in my opinion.  Also, day cares won't accept flats and covers a lot of times since they are a little more work than disposables to put on.  So, they would only use them at home.

With that being said, the families that are reusing disposables might find using a fw flats and a cover possible.  If you only used 2-3 flats a day, you could easily wash in a sink every other day to every third day.  It wouldn't cost much (you can get cheap covers for under $10 each, and they would only need one or two), and they would be more sanitary.  There are even wasy to go without official cloth diapers.  Some people use old t-shirts with fleece as a cover.  Some people use old receiving blankets.  It could be done for under $10 total if one had to.I am just glad I don't have to!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Flat Challenge Update

So, I knew the using flats would be easy.  I also knew the drying rules would be easy.  I already do those two most of the time, so it wasn't a big stretch for me at all.  But the washing - oh the washing!

I first tried to wash in the bathtub on Tuesday.  It wasn't a huge success.  I found it hard to agitate them enough, possibly because I had too much water in there, possibly because of the smaller number of diapers in such a large tub.  They were okay, but I wasn't 100% happy with the results.  Plus, I did it later in the day so I didn't get to let the dry int he sun (which helps make the smell better).  So, Wednesday morning I washed 4 diapers as my son took his morning bath.  I washed in the sink where I could easily access the diapers and watch for them to be clean enough.  And it seems to have worked.  I am using Tide because everyone can find it, and I empty the sink 3-5 times each time I wash.  But, since the sink holds around 1 gallon, it isn't a HUGE amount of water really.  And since I am washing in the morning, I get to dry in the sun.  Luckily my son only goes through 4-6 diapers a day (depending on his nap schedule and milk consumption).  So, I can just wash daily in the sink until Sunday or Monday.

Now, if I was doing this long term, I would probably buy a hand-powered machine.  There is one on the market for around $50 that would fit 10-12 diapers.  If I didn't have the money up front, I would probably take the diapers to the laundromat at least once or twice a month to get a "good" cleaning in.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Flats Challenge

Kim over at the is having a flats challenge next week.  Basically, for a week you only use flats and covers and you have to hand wash and air dry everything.  The goal is to show that cloth diapering can be done without a lot of money and without having a washer and dryer (which most low-income people don't have).  I am really considering giving it a try.

We already use a good number of flats.  I would just have to not use my hemp/pocket combination during the day, which I only do some of the time anyways.  The big thing I am worried about is the washing.  First, my husband isn't too kean on the cloth diapers anyways.  So, the thought of me washing them by hand might not be cool with him.  But, I already have bleach in a spray bottle (with water)That I use to sanitize the sink in the bathorom when I have to rinse out a particularly dirty diaper, so I don't think it would be any different.  It is the time that worries me.  Luckily flats and covers are fairly easy to wash because flats are only 1 layer of material and covers are normally just a plasticy layer.  And I already dry my diapers outside 99% of the time. so that isn't an issue.  So, I guess it won't hurt to try it!

I will be deviating from the 5 covers rule a tiny bit though.  I am going to use 4 covers (2 GroBaby and 2 Econobum probably) and a pocket.  The pocket is for three occasions - when I leave my son with a friend as a backup diaper (he will only be there without me for under an hour, so he most likely won't need changed), when I leave my son with my husband Wednesday night (I change him before I go into his night time combination, but occasionally he dirties his diaper and needs a change before going to sleep), and his 18 month doctor's appointment.  I will stuff the pocket with a flat, so I don't think it is really breaking the rule.  The pocket can be a little harder to wash, but since I probably will only use it those 3 times, it should be a problem.

I will post on how the week goes and if I succeed or fail...

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Preparing for a Newborn

I knew that a third child was on the way, so I had been keeping my eyes and ears out for good options for newborns since I really got into cloth diapering.  When we found out we were pregnant at the beginning of the year, my search intensified.  Since I have no issues with prefolds (and now flats) with covers, I knew we would probably go that direction.  It is just cheaper than AIOs and pockets!

I started to be drawn to the Thirsties Duo system.  The idea of having something that will probably fit for almost a year with the size of my children really sounded like a great plan.  The only downside of the covers is there is no umbilical cut out or snap down, so you have to be careful using them before the stump falls off and heals.  But, I am planning on using the covers as a primary diapering system.

The next question was what to put in them.  I ordered one cover and flats when I had to order more detergent (to get me to the free diaper and shipping amount).  I have folded the flat to fit into the cover, and I agree with things I read finally that it can be a little bulky.  I don't think it will be TOO bulky for around the house, but I don't know if all of the cute outfits we have/will get will work great with that combination.  So, now I am taking the suggestion of others and getting another brand.

I plan on buying one or two Bummis Super Brite covers (these do have the umbilical cut out) and one package (of 6) preemie prefolds.  These should give me a trim look when I want it without spending a lot of money.  I don't love the patterns of the Bummis only because we don't know the gender of this baby (we have waited until birth with our other two children too).  I think there are only two without pink in them OR that are all blue...  So, I will probably only buy one of them.

Now, if I wasn't cloth diapering on a budget (it is the only reason my husband is okay with it), I would love to get some GroVia AIOs and FuzziBunz size XS in hook and loop.  There are some cute GroVia prints, but like the Bummis they tend to be fairly gender specific unfortunately.  The FuzziBunz (like all FuzziBunz) are just solid colors, so I would have a few more options there.  But, again the budget is keeping me from buying them anyways.

As a splurge after the ababy is born, I might buy a new GroVia snap shell though.  Those and our FuzziBunz (which I have 4 of now thanks to being a product tester a few times) should fit earlier than other One-Sized options out there.  And, if this one is a boy, I don't think I can resist the GroVia planes shell (that I have been eyeing since it came out since the uncles all love planes).  But, if it is a girl, I don't know what my splurge item will be...  Suggestions?

New Laundry Routine

I have given up on Rockin Green.  It just wasn't getting our diapers 100% clean/stink free.  Plus, I am not a huge fan of the "rock and roll" theme of that company, so I didn't mind switching.  So, I tried Tiny Bubbles.  This seemed to work a tiny bit better, but it still wasn't perfect.  We have hard water, and I think that is part of the problem.  So, I decided to try a little Tide with the Tiny Bubbles, and it seems to be working well.  So, here is the new routine:

Cold short cycle wash with about 1/2 teaspoon to Tide Liquid
Regular hot wash cycle with 1 scoop of Tiny Bubbles
2-4 Warm Rinses to get all the soap out

It seems to be working well.  There is a slight smell of Tide on a few diaeprs out of the wash, but that is the only smell I can detect.  All smells are gone after line drying.  I will probably keep these wash routine up, as it seems to get everything clean and smell free.

I also added a pail to store my diapers in.  I had just been using a bag, but I was tired of having the bag hang on the door and slowly releasing a smell to the top of our stairs.  I got a plastic laundry basket, and now I clothes pin the bag to that and it works great.  It has a lid, and even with 3 days between washes, the ammonia smell was very minimal when I dumped it into the wash this morning.  So, I think between the new wash routine and the newway of storing dirty diapers, the smell inthe house is going down!

Where we are now

Over the past few months I have only made one cloth diaper purchase, but our diapering sure has changed!  First, I realized my son doesn't need hemp at night.  This happened when I realized I needed to strip my hemp inserts because they were starting to stink.  So, I decided to put hemp in his pockets instead of the standard microfiber (since daytime diapers aren't as prone to stink anyways).  This makes for a trimmer diaper, which I like.  Then, I bought flat diapers.  I bought these for the baby on the way mainly, but I knew I would use them on my son until then.  I loved how trim they were, so I replaced most of my prefolds with flats.  I still used the Econobum prefolds at night for a while because a single flat isn't as absorbent as the prefold by a long shot!  But, thent he Econobum prefolds started to stink.  I bleach stripped them, which worked, but I also learned that with so many layers sown together that I was going to see the stink back soon.  So, I decided I wanted to use flats at night.  But, I knew it would take 2-3 flats to match the absorbency of one prefold!  I only had 12, and I didn't want to give up flats during the day.  So, I bought 4 flour sack towels from Target.  Two towels wasn't quite enough.  So, I tried one flat and one towel.  This seems to work pretty good.  If I am not on top of it in the morning, we can have a slight leak, but it isn't a mess at all.  His fleece pajamas keep the moisture inside, so the only way I know is when I take them off for his bath. 

So here is our currently used stash:
3 GroBaby Shells - used with flats during the day, but since they are hook and loop, he must be wearing pants!
3 Econobum Covers - used during the day with flats and any (or no) pants/bottoms because they are snap.  Also used at night with a flat and flour sack towel.
12 flats
4 FuzziBunz pockets - used with Thirsties Duo hemp inserts or FB microfiber inserts during the day
3 Kawaii pockets - used with Thirsties Duo hemp inserts or the single JoeyBunz insert during the day
1 BG 4.0 pocket - used with the flat/flour sack towel combination at night.
1 TweedleBug pocket - used with a flat or Gerber DSQ prefold during the day.
4 MotherEase Fitteds - used with a prefold or flat inside for more air circulation.  Only used at home since it isn't a waterproof combination (but great for hwen he is a little red or I am doing laundry).
3 Econobum and 3 Gerber DSQ prefolds - back-ups, etc in covers, pockets, and the fitteds.
4 flour sack towels

I could easily go with just the flats and pockets with hemp, but I still used the prefolds and fitteds some.  It is nice to give my hook and loop diapers a break occasionally, and using the fitteds is one way to do that!