Friday, August 20, 2010

Dipes and Wipes

I've mentioned a few times on here that we are planning on using cloth dipes for our babe. I've had a few people comment and/or e-mail me asking me a few questions about our choice so I decided to write a little posty post about it.

Keep in mind that I don't have my baby yet and I haven't figured all of this out yet so there is only so much I can say. I have a plan as to how I'm going to tackle the task of cloth diapering, but I'm sure it will change a great deal as I sort out motherhood and figure things out.

First of all, let me start by discussing our decision to use cloth diapers. To be completely honest, my decision to use cloth diapers stems mainly from a cost perspective. Sure, I know there are definitely other benefits to cloth as they are better for the environment, gentle on baby's skin, and often help toddlers potty train sooner. But, to me, these are secondary benefits. I'd be lying if I did not say that my choice rests mainly on the fact that I am a cheapo. I'm not going to go into detail on the financial comparison of cloth to disposables but check out this link for a great breakdown, that even includes depreciation on your washing machine and water etc.

So, now that that's out of the way, let's move on to talking about how I chose what type of diapers to invest in.

I've known a lot of women who waited until after their baby's were born to try a number of types of cloth diapers in order to figure out which ones they liked the best and then they purchased them. That is a perfectly good way to go about it if you think it will work for you, but I felt like it would not work for me. I was pretty certain that if I gave birth to my baby, spent the first month or so using disposables and then tried to figure out how to get into the cloth diapering scene, I would say forget it. My thinking is that by purchasing all of my cloth diapering supplies before the baby arrives, and knowing that I invested a significant chunk of mula in them (remember, cheapo Lucy speaking), that I would not allow myself to throw in the towel.

So, after a great deal of reading, researching and discussing cloth diapers with other Mama's I know, I settled on Motherease One Size (MEOS). Because cost was a significant factor for me, I knew that a one size was best for us. This means that one set of diapers, with proper care and use, should get me through my baby's entire diapering career. And, in fact, they will be able to be used for multiple children as well.

I was attracted to the MEOS for a number of reasons. Primarily, from the research I have done, I have found that MEOS is one of the best one size diapers on the market because they increase and decrease in size using a series of snaps, rather than velcro or elastic. This means that while the diaper is growing with your baby, you are not actually stretching the diaper itself, so even after diapering a 25 lb baby, the same diaper can again be used to diaper an 8 lb baby in the future. The MEOS line also features snap in absorbent liners to be used for overnights and heavy wetters and waterproof covers that can be used 3-4 times before needing to be changed.

I also liked that the ME diapers are manufactured and sold locally. Although they are available online all over Canada and the USA (and internationally, I believe), I found it helpful to be able to actually visit the location where they are manufactured and discuss some of my questions with a representative.

I was so grateful to receive gift cards to Mother Ease as well as some money from groups of women at both of my showers so in the end, we were able to cover the cost of purchasing our package of diapers.

What we got includes:

36 MEOS diapers
18 absorbent liners
6 waterproof covers
Diaper pail
Two mesh bags for the diaper pail

This should be all I need for cloth diapering, aside from needing to purchase some larger covers as the baby grows and replacement carbon filters for the diaper pail (which cut down on odors). And, of course, I will be investing in some super cute swim diapers for next summer.

As you may remember from my nursery reveal post, I mentioned that the plastic organizer drawers under the change table would be used for my cloth diapering supplies.

As it stands, I have the bottom two drawers filled with diapers, the second drawer filled with liners, and the top drawer filled with the covers and mesh bags, as well as wipes, creams and lotions.

My plan is to use disposables for the first 2-3 weeks until I get into a routine. Depending on the size of our baby, I may be able to start using cloth earlier or have to wait until later. The MEOS are made to start at 8 lbs but I have been told by a number of people that you can actually make them work for a baby as little as 6 lbs if you want.

As far as wipes go, I plan on using a combination of cloth wipes and disposables. I have a whole basket of cloth wipes on the changing table but also have a stash of disposables to be used when we're out and about and so on. I'm also planning on being flexible about using disposable diapers when we're out and about, on vacation, or when the baby is with a sitter. I do have a wet bag to carry in my diaper bag, so using cloth while we are out is definitely a possibility, so we'll see how it goes. I also have a few rolls of biodegradable liners that can be handy to use when we are out.

I am planning for the diaper pail to be stored in the laundry room and with the amount of diapers I have, I should be able to manage by washing diapers every 3 days. Sometimes I will likely need to wash more often and sometimes, perhaps, less often.

The wash and care of the diapers seems quite simple. You toss the diapers into the mesh bag in the diaper pail (rinsing in the toilet first if necessary) and when it's time to wash, you place the diapers, mesh bag and all, in the machine and let it go.

I am going to try to line dry as much as possible because the sun acts as a natural bleach which will minimize staining of the diapers. Through the winter this might be difficult, but we're going to see what we can rig up on our patio.

I feel like I've already covered a lot but of course, there is the one big question that everyone asks me that I definitely should touch on.

Don't you think it's gross?

Well, no, I don't. It's my baby. It's my baby's poop. And I'm going to clean it up. Sure, it might mean that there are times where I need to wear a nose plug into the washroom while I rinse the diaper in the toilet, but I feel like that's okay and it's something I'm willing to do. We'll see how I feel about that 8 months down the road, but for now, that's my thought.

If you have any more questions about our choice to cloth, please ask! And if you are a Mama who has/does use cloth - please leave any advice you may have for me! I am obviously new at this and, like I said, everything is theoretical right now since I haven't actually had a chance to do this whole cloth diapering thing yet.

I am sure I will write a number of posts about cloth diapering when baby arrives and we get settled and learn just how cloth diapering really works. But, until then, I hope this post answered some of your questions!


Sarah said...

Great plan! I used Bummies for almost 5 months and once he great out of them, we switched to gDiapers. One thing you may want to get later on is a sprayer for the toilet to spray poop off. If you are planning to nurse, you don't have to do this because breastmilk poop is easily disolved in the wash. However, if you plan on doing formula or when you switch to solids down the road, the poop gets something nasty and you HAVE to swish it out in the toilet. A sprayer just helps the process. Good luck!

Rachael said...

I'm so inspired :) If I had my own washer/dryer I would have a set up like yours going but unfortunately that's not the case. I am planning to do a diaper service (cloth) and then use disposables when we are out and about. I am still working out the kinks but I am only 33 weeks so I'm sure I'll figure it all out.

Gina said...

Good for you. You are a better woman than me. However, if I was staying at home, I'd definitely consider it.

Jackie said...

It only gets really smelly once they start on solid foods. :) Being a breast milk is totally different, so that's another blessing.

This Texas Momma said...

Good for you! I can tell you, I am SO SICK of buying diapers! If I didn't know how counter productive forcing potty training before they are ready was, I would start ASAP. I hope that it really works for you! Between nursing and cloth diapers, believe me, you will save THOUSANDS of dollars.

Shannon said...

you might want to reverse the order of the drawers. since you will be going through diapers a whole lot faster than covers and wipes. I only wipe if it's poopy. At first you will have more poopy diapers but eventually they only poop 1-4 times a day. You will be bending down a lot more for those diapers. just saving you the work.

Jaclyn_Rose said...

I used cloth diapers for awhile when I was at my in-laws and it really was a lot easier, and less gross, than I thought it was going to be. Did you know that even with disposables you are recommended to scrape the poo into the toilet??

I just used some left over cloth diapers that a friend gave me, I honestly don't think there's a whole lot of difference with the actual cloth diaper, but I did find a HUGE difference in the diaper covers, some just leaked and leaked... so you might have to try different covers if you don't feel yours are working out.

Anyways, yes don't start for a few weeks, until you feel more like yourself, otherwise you might give up because you feel you can't do it, but it's only because you are still getting used to the babe. And cloth diapers and meconium (the gross tar poo that they do for the first few days) don't mix.

And yeah, you will be reaching for more diapers than wipes, although with a boy I only used wipes for poo diapers, but with girls I think most people use wipes with every change.

Otherwise I think you'll do great!! I'm getting so excited to her your birth story in a few weeks and getting to see pics!!! But I'll bet you're more excited than I am :)

Amy Silver said...

I'm sure you will get the hang of it in no time! You seem like you've done a lot of research, so you probably already know this. But you can make your own wet wipes! It is SUPER easy and though I don't know about the cost comparison, I bet it's huge because it's like two ingredients and a roll of paper towels. Anyway, thought I would throw that in there.

Laura said...

I looked at the website for the Motherease kind you're using. I'll definitely look into that brand if I don't think the Bumgenius are working out. I agree with you though about people saying "isn't that gross?" and other have to change the poopy diaper anyway! Either way, disposable or cloth, you have to take the diaper off and wipe it all off their bottom so what's one more step where you rinse it into the toilet? Let's hope I didn't put my foot in my mouth there, but seriously, I don't think its that big of a deal either.

I'm doing the same thing with using disposables for the first 2-3 weeks. Not only do the diapers (even on the small setting) just look like they will be too bulky for a newborn, I want to get the hang of taking care of the baby before I start on the cloth.

Oh, and the only reason we're doing cloth is to save on money too! I'd love to say its because of the environment, but its not!

Land of Blissful Chaos said...

I think it is a great idea. I didn't use cloth diapers, but I did make our own wipes which helped a lot!

d.a.r. said...

Thanks for sharing!!

Samantha said...

you have my respect for this decision girly. i totally could not b/c of the poop smell.

Mandi @ Finding Home said...

Awesome choice girl! I loved reading all you had to say on cd-ing it. Even as I read, I asked my hubby if we should cloth diaper. He's never been too keen on the idea and I just never read that much into it so we are going the disposable route. I'm excited to go see your nursery reveal post! I'm so behind in blog reading. I can't believe your little one will be here so soon!

Laura said...

Sounds great!

We are also going to try out cloth diapering...also for the same main reason - cost. How bad can it be for what you're saving?

We are going with gDiapers, and I am also going to attempt (ATTEMPT) to make my own diaper covers and things. We'll see how that goes.

P.S. The nursery is so cute!