Our little test over the past three weeks has been pretty fun! I’m not joking when I say that I was pretty excited to change Liv’s diaper – eager to find out how well this version or that fit my criteria (ease of use, trimness and durability). Here’s a look at the initial cd post, review #1 and review #2.
When it came down to it, there were two diapers that I really looked forward to putting Liv in: Happy Heinys minis for day and GroVia for night time. As I mentioned yesterday, all of the brands reviewed were pretty stellar and you really can’t go wrong, but these were the two that we’ve invested in for Liv’s first 16 lbs (or until she’s about 9 months).
I’ll likely revisit the stash I already have (and will continue to use!) to see what our next 16-30 lb purchase will be (I must admit, if I find a cloth diaper that doesn’t require line drying – GroVia hybrid’s only downfall – and is as great as it is overnight, I might switch it up for round 2).
gDiapers came in at a close third. The fit on g’s are terrific – they look just like a normal disposable under clothing and are so easy to use (I love that I don’t have to replace the entire diaper each time I change Olivia). Liv’s a heavy wetter and in the end the cloth outer covering couldn’t always hold up. BUT if your baby is a – how shall I say – ‘normal’ wetter, I’d definitely give em a go. Plus, you can’t beat the convenience of picking them up at Babies R Us and Whole Foods.
Now for a little Q&A that I received via email and in the comments.
I’m a novice when it comes to cding, but I’m more than happy to share what has and hasn’t worked so far!
Pricing: Is cloth diapering really cheaper?
I love that an upfront investment will turn into years of monthly savings. Here’s the quick math: the average cost of disposable diapers runs about $60 each month. That times 2.5 years adds up to $1800 per child. I figure that if I invest in two rounds of 18 cloth diapers (roughly 8-16 lbs and 16-30 lbs) at about $15/diaper, I’m looking at a $270 cost today and a $270 cost in 6 months ($540 total) for 2.5 years of use x multiple children (we hope to have 3-4!). And the water use? I calculate that to run us about $.50 a load, meaning we’ll spend roughly $65 more each year and about $500 total if you account for 2.5 years per child and 3-4 kids. That means we’ve saved ourselves somewhere around $6000 over the long haul. Not bad, right?
AND because I bought many of our cloth diapers second hand (I have no issue with purchasing dipes from someone else as long as I’ve done my research and asked important qs like, how long did you use them for? how did you wash them? (affects their absorbency) what shape are they in? I’ve received several hand-me-downs, and my score of 10 Happy Heinys for $60 on eBay came from a mom who dressed her daughter in cds for a mere four months before selling them in pristine condition ($6 a diaper? Can’t beat that). Want to try re-diapering? Check out eBay, Craigslist, ReDiaper.com, DiaperSwappers.com, PamperedBuns.com and a ton of other great sites by Googling ‘Cloth Diaper Consignment’ or the like.
Still nervous? A reader shared this link with me on the cd program ‘Changing Diapers, Changing Minds’ where you can try and return 10 different cloth diapers for the cost of shipping! (Thanks, Lisa!)
Environment: You’re using so much energy to clean the diapers, is it really that much more environmentally friendly?
This is subjective, but my feeling is that while you certainly do use a decent amount of energy and water to get these puppies clean (one hot rinse, one cold wash and a trip to the dryer) the benefits of not wrapping up waste in plastic only to sit and fill a landfill for hundreds of years to come far outweigh the water (a renewable resource) used in washing. You also have to take into account the energy used to make disposables and all of their components.
Cleanliness: Do you actually have to touch the poop?
Ha! I agree, the thought is pretty gross . Right now we have baby breastmilk poop so while ‘explosions’ can sometimes be an issue, it’s really not stinky, big kid poop (yet). And I promise, there is NO poop touching. The entire cloth dipe drops right into the wet pail (to contain the smell – read more about that in review #1) and the entire wet pail is poured directly into the wash every two-three days. When Liv starts on solids, we’ll give biodegradable liners a try, and perhaps a sprayer too.
Cleanliness, Part 2: Can you explain how you wash them?
Per the instructions on the cloth diapers, each load gets a cold rinse (just a pre-rinse, not a full cycle), a hot full cycle and a trip to the dryer (though I hope to hang them outside in the summer). I use Charlie’s Soap and I hear Rockin’ Green is awesome, too. So far so good!
Okay, you’re probably so done seeing half naked pictures of Liv. Back to home updates and great entertaining/decorating finds. And to all of you non-cloth diaper readers out there, I still love you! To each his own. Thanks for being patient through these posts.
Posted in Family & Friends, Going Green | 7 Comments »
In our efforts to go green, we’ve decided to switch over to cloth diapers for Olivia. (Read more about that decision and the beginning of our experiment here.)
When I began my cloth diapering adventure two weeks ago, I was as much a novice as anyone can be in the world of cding. I scoured cloth diapering blogs only to find myself more bewildered with the more research that I did – this isn’t your mama’s cloth diapering! No sirree, times have definitely changed.
Words like ‘pocket diaper’, ‘hybrid’ and ‘all-in-one’ made me wonder which style and brand would be best for us. Despite all of the reviews for this diaper or that, the only way to truly nail down what worked for Liv and our fam (and to learn the lingo) was to take three of the main cloth diaper styles out for a test drive.
Just to make sure there was no cheating involved, we began our little experiment as soon as we ran out of disposable newborn diapers (alright… I kept a few for traveling) – meaning Kev had to give each one a whirl as well. Above is the line up of the first three cloth diapers we tried out.
And now for the tools of the trade:
1. A large hanging diaper pail or wet bag keeps dirty cloth diaper smells in and makes laundering easy. I just pour my entire contents of the bag every other day into the wash (tossing the bag in, too) for a quick cold rinse and a hot cycle – voila! Clean diapers. Most can be tumbled dry as well.
2. A small travel wet bag is key – this zippered version comes in a ton of cute patterns and holds 2-3 cloth diapers on the go.
3. Charlie’s Soap Powder does an excellent job of cleaning tough stains. 1 tb per load means over 80 loads out of this little container – plus it’s biodegradable.
Not bad, right? After all, it’s as one reader put it: You can either drop your dirty diaper into the trash bin or into the washing machine – it doesn’t have to be difficult.
Cloth Diaper Review #1
My top three criteria: ease of use, trimness and durability.
My ideal cloth diaper needs to be easy to use (dad-friendly) whether we were changing diapers at home or on the go. The cd would be trim – it would be nice if the diaper fit nicely beneath Liv’s little newborn clothing (and not resemble an over-sized stuffed bum), and finally (and most importantly!) the diaper needed to do its job and do its job very well.
First up: BumGenius
BumGenius is a popular cloth diaper that offers a variety of different sizes and styles for cding. Before Liv was born, I invested in a white, one size pocket diaper after reading rave reviews. “Pocket” refers to an inner lining that fits a pad-like cloth insert for absorbency. The insert can be pulled out for washing and then re-stuffed into its pocket for quick drying (at first I thought that was silly, why have to stuff anything? but I quickly learned that it can take quite a few dryer rounds – or days of hang drying – for an all-in-one diaper to dry, and that the pocket is really sort of genius).
Pros: The diaper does its job well – it easily holds up to long nights (especially when two inserts are added) and is my go-to diaper for absorbency. The one size diaper means one investment on diapers that will fit Liv from 8-35lbs, no need for multiple sizes.
Cons: There is nothing trim about the one-size-fits-all look. Any diaper that can fit an 8lb and 35lb baby (despite the numerous snaps for resizing around the legs and belly) is bound to be bulky on an infant. So bulky, in fact, that I reserve this diaper for night time use only. Kevin doesn’t get the stuffing of the pocket quite yet and finds it a bit silly. My easy remedy is to have the diapers stuffed with their lining and ready to go in the changing table for anyone to use.
Conclusion: Great night time diaper for infants! I think this diaper will begin to get more use as Liv grows into it.
The G Diaper
The G Diaper is a hybrid diaper that can hold both cloth and disposable/biodegradable inserts. I use the cloth inserts 99% of the time but appreciate the flexibility of the disposable inserts for travel. There are three components to the diaper: the insert, a plastic lining snapped into the cover that holds the insert, and the actual cloth cover.
Pros: The G is by far the trimmest of the bunch and hides itself well under any infant outfit. I have found it to be about as reliable as a disposable, meaning it won’t hold in the occasional explosion but does a really great job at containing just about everything else. The disposable insert can be tossed into a landfill and will biodegrade within 30 days (granted it’s not encased in a plastic bag) – better yet, it can even be flushed. When we have our new bathroom I look forward to taking advantage of this feature (I did get to try it out while at the in-laws – fantastic!).
Cons: The three-part diaper is both frustrating and convenient. It’s a lot of pieces to assemble and break down which can get quite annoying, but on the other hand you only have to change out what gets dirty during that diaper change. For example, I usually am replacing the cloth or disposable insert but reuse the cover and plastic lining for future changes (not possible with a pocket diaper). The separate plastic lining helps to contain messes that might come out of a traditional cloth diaper at the legs.
Conclusion: The disposable inserts are nearly as expensive as disposable diapers so motivation to use them is purely environmental. The cloth inserts on the other hand are an easy option and are definitely wallet-friendly. With the reusable lining and cover, plus the slim fit, this is a great around-town diaper!
Thirsties Cover + Prefold
Last but not least is the final style of diaper reviewed: a traditional cloth diaper covered by a water repellent (and super cute) cover. I’ve since learned that there’s an actual fitted cloth diaper option for underneath the cover, but since it is also made to cover the most economical cloth diaper out there (a prefold – the rectangular square of cloth that is today used as a burp cloth and twenty years ago was pinned into place) I gave it a trial run.
Pros: Absorbent is this cloth diaper’s middle name. It not only holds in everything, the water repellent cover keeps any wetness on the inside from affecting outfits and blankets on the outside.
Cons: Liv is now 11lbs and super lean (97th percentile in height and just 50% in weight), which means that her skinny legs easily allow messes to sneak through the diaper leg holes. Because this Thirsties cover has no elastic around the legs, I was cleaning up my fair share of outfit messes.
Conclusion: I’d like to try a fitted diaper for under this particular cover. I’d use again for night (yeah, absorbency!) but it wouldn’t be my first choice for everyday use.
Before I can announce any cloth diaper winner…
It was near impossible for me to stop my testing here. After having learned what I love and hate about the above three cloth diapers, I jumped online and purchased three more brands/styles that will hopefully help me track down the best option (do they make a trim, hybrid, tight-elastic-in-the-legs diaper, for example?). Come back soon for Review #2!
Posted in Family & Friends, Going Green | 18 Comments »
A friend of mine recently brought Liv a most unique gift – a plant for her nursery that’s known for eliminating harmful pollutants from the air.
Maryam, & co-founder Jennifer, began the company Green Your Air earlier this year and specialize in selling plants that have unique chemical-eliminating properties.
I was checking out their new website and they have a great selection of plants in the cutest pots. I love this pink zinnea print (even the pots are made from bamboo fiber, rice husks, wheat straw, and corn stalks that can biodegrade in 2-3 years after discarding). I’m sure I’ll use it again and again though!
From their website: “Green Your Air products are a natural, effective way to eliminate harmful pollutants in your home or office. Each live plant is backed by NASA research proving its ability to green our air naturally – each with its own specific and unique chemical-eliminating properties. (Oh yeah, and they’re designed to look as good as they work). Green Your Air: Brought to you by two moms trying to make the earth a little greener.”
And I love how it looks in the animal-themed nursery! (Gotta love that cute little Olivia the Pig book, too – have you heard of the series?)
Can’t wait for the nursery reveal. The glider’s custom cushion covers, DIY crib bedding and basket liners are all nearly finished!
Tags: Decorating, Home, Kid's Rooms, Nursery
Posted in Family & Friends, Going Green, Home, Renovating Adventures | 2 Comments »