Sunday, June 29, 2008

cloth we do it

Tess' cloth dipes have gotten a lot of comments lately, including some interest in why we use them and especially how we wash them.

First, Maria was a disposable diaper baby. I never really considered using anything else. I had no knowledge of cloth diapers except for my mom's stories about how horrible they were and how much she hated them. I first considered using cloth diapers when I read about the money we could save in the Tightwad Gazette. When I was pregnant with Jack I met some moms who used cloth diapers and started picking their brains. They all used very expensive all in one diapers. These looked really nifty and got rave reviews, but I would've spent hundreds of dollars just to get started. It would have taken me a long time to recoup that money in disposable diaper savings, and I just didn't have it to spend. I started asking around in online communities, making sure people understood that I was looking to save money with this whole venture. I also picked their brains about washing methods and over time developed our own. Altogether, I probably spent a couple hundred dollars on everything we bought to diaper Jack for the first year and a half..that included two different sizes of diapers and the related stuff. I doubt I could buy 6 months worth of disposable diapers for that. And the greatest savings happens now- Tess is using the same diapers..they are still in great shape...essentially for free. Here's everything I bought---some of it necessary and some I could have done without if I needed to---

---two diaper pails. Real pails, not the "diaper genie" kind. I actually started with one, and we are just using one now, but as the diapers get bigger they take up more room and I ended up needing two pretty quickly.

--chinese prefolds. How many you'll need depends on how often you wash the diapers. I bought two dozen and this lasts me a good three days. Some buy more and wash less often, but I honestly find that the pail starts to get a little, ah, ripe after three days. I wouldn't really want to wash less often. Don't buy the tiny ones unless you have itty bitty babies. I bought the standard infant and then when he outgrew those I think I bought the regulars.

--I bought these prowrap covers. I have two newborn ones (don't bother..Tess didn't even wear these once!), 6 smalls, and later 6 mediums. They are *awesome*. I hardly ever have leaks. Disposables leak more often. And they are cheap as far as covers go.

--When Jack outgrew the second set of prowrap covers, I decided to try these dappi covers. They are awesome! Cheap, cheap...they worked just as well as the prowraps, and they were more trim, which was nice when he started learning to walk. I may get some of these soon in a smaller size to try now for Tess. But I suspect they may be harder to get on and off neatly with that super runny newborn poo....

--I bought two dozen flannel doublers on ebay. Doublers are basically an extra piece of material you can put in the prefold to increase absorbency, especially as they get bigger and wet more. They come in different materials...fleece, hemp, etc.

--I bought two dozen flannel wipes as well. Yep, cloth wipes too. They clean *so* much better.

--Also, when he got bigger, I bought two arisocrat wool soakers. He was starting to leak at night. These worked very, very well, nothing gets through them. They are *expensive*,,,but you only need two, one to wash and one to wear, and I got mine on ebay for half as much.

---nice extras,,,these snappis to use instead of pins...these garmet extenders to help onsies fit over bulky aristocrat soakers at night...and a diaper duck to make rinsing out nasty toddler poo and bit easier.

Ok, that's the "what we bought". I'm tired and going to bed. Tomorrow..."how to wash"....

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