so overwhelmed!!

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.hilary.'s picture
Last seen: 3 years 7 months ago
Joined: 01/31/10
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so overwhelmed!!

After reading around online for the past few days, I think I'm convinced that I would like to use cloth diapers! However getting DH on board is not so easy. He is intrigued by the amount of money we could save, and he agrees with me that it would be best to avoid all the chemicals in disposable...but he hasn't totally agreed to it all yet.

Plus I am probably not explaining it well to him because I am OVERWHELMED with information! I have so many options in front of me and no idea what would work best. I apologize in advance because this group probably sees questions like this all the time...but can someone help me figure out what I need?! :rolleyes:

Here is what I think will be deciding factors:

Ease of use (even if it's more costly than other options)...DH won't have the patience for any folding or pinning or anything like that.
One brand/type that will last us a good long while...I feel like I would get confused if I had to keep switching between different types!
Ease of washing! I am intimidated by this part. I also don't have the greatest washer/dryer...and I find when I do a ton of extra laundry, our utility bill does jump up.
(mostly) smell free storage...DH hates smells, and for some reason he really thinks cloth will stink more than disposables. He is also like this :eek: at the idea of carrying a dirty diaper home when we are out of the house.

So from that list, can you help me narrow down my options a little and help me decide? Thank you so much!! Smile

TiggersMommy's picture
Last seen: 2 years 9 months ago
Joined: 02/14/10
Posts: 6043

OK, I think I'll start with picking apart your fears one by one and then we'll talk fun stuff like buying diapers ;).

First of all, we were all there in the beginning. I was determined to CD but SO overwhelmed when I sat down to figure out what to get. You'll get there.

Ease of use- IMO, no diaper is "hard." Even the most fumbling DH can figure it out. If he can't, he's not trying. Even with prefolds, once you get the hang of it ('round about day 3) you won't bat an eye. But, since you're willing to shell out the extra cash you might as well try options that you might find a bit easier/more convenient.

One brand- I wouldn't suggest doing that. It might sound like a great idea but the last thing you want is a stash full of diapers you HATE. Most parents have a diaper preference for one reason or another and the only way to figure that out is to try different brands/types. Different brands/types also fit babies differently. A lean baby might need a different diaper than a chunky diaper. A heavy wetter or prolific pooper might need a different diaper than a more, uh, reserved baby. It sounds like a pain but trying different diapers will ultimately bring you joy (and lead to CD addiction :p).

Ease of washing- Most diapers are washed pretty similarly. You use the same 2 wash cycles and an extra rinse. Your washer and dryer and your water condition matter more than what kind of diaper you're using. Older washers can actually be better. I have an ancient top loader and it washes diapers perfectly. As for your dryer, an older dryer might require longer dry times. Some diapers do take longer to dry than others (AIOs in particular). You can line dry and avoid that completely! Besides, even with the added utility bill, you're still saving money.

Smell- Stinkies usually means you have to strip your diapers. IME, disposables smell way worse than cloth. They smell bad on your baby whereas a stinky CD smells bad in the wet bag. I can smell diapers when I walk into a house that uses disposable. I cannot smell diapers in my house or in the houses of my friends that CD. As for carrying the diaper home, tell your DH that you're supposed to put it in a wet bag and stuff it back in the diaper bag ;). Not much additional handling is necessary. The one thing to consider is if he's THAT squeamish (which, BTW he will get over very quickly once he's been spit up on a few times) you might want to avoid pockets as you'll probably have to pull the insert out of poopy diapers (not fun IMO).

Here's what I suggest: Get a variety. Prefolds and covers are the easiest for NBs. They fit the best, work really well, and are the cheapest option. Plus, NBs don't move around so they're the best to practice folding on! Beyond that, just get what you can afford and think is cute (really the most important part by far :p). You really can't go wrong. We've all had our struggles with one diaper or another but the VAST majority do the job and do it way better than disposables.

cactuswren's picture
Last seen: 2 years 9 months ago
Joined: 10/19/09
Posts: 4658

First of all, don't worry--my DH was totally poop-phobic before baby too, and although of course it's not like he loves it now, he did just kind of get over it when it became a reality.

Second of all, I know it all seems sooooo overwhelming from the outside, but once you get started, it's REALLY EASY. I promise. I know, I was totally and completely overwhelmed too. Now that seems so silly, but I remember the feeling!

Third, I really liked this web site a lot when I was trying to figure out what the heck was going on, and maybe you'll find it to be a good resource too:

I'll come back and chime in about my personal thoughts later Smile

Last seen: 4 years 5 months ago
Joined: 08/29/08
Posts: 303

Ease of use (even if it's more costly than other options):
is my go-to fold. It takes about five seconds, if that. Biggrin I'm a prefold-and-a-cover kind of gal. AIO's and pocket diapers are even faster, because all you have to do is secure the diaper, but I was surprised when I didn't care for the AIO's or pockets as much as I'd expected I would.

One brand/type that will last us a good long while
I actually found that I liked different diapers at different stages, or at different times of day. Pocket diapers are nice for just hanging around the house, but they're not such great travel diapers since my prefolds are more absorbent. I adored my Bummis Super Whisper Wrap covers for ages, and they were always the covers I used first out of the stack, but the velcro tabs are starting to curl on the ends a bit and snag on clothing (too many well-intentioned "helpers" giving me snakes in the wash!)-- and I'm finding I like the snap-fastening covers better these days. It's not confusing to switch between brands or types; it's nice having that kind of flexibility or choice.

Ease of washing/smell!
I've got an older washer (12+ years old?) and it does just great. I find that when I have stink in my laundry, it's because I'm trying to cram too many items in there and they can't agitate freely. I'm able to wash my diapers on a hot wash with a cold rinse, with the local store's Hispanic brand detergent, and that's great. On occasions where I've ended up with musty laundry for whatever reason, I break them into two loads and add baking soda to the washwater, let it dissolve, add the laundry, and then come back to add vinegar to the rinse cycle. I've got two dedicated hampers for B's laundry: one for wet stuff/diapers, the other for regular clothing. But I have found that if I give a wet diaper the chance to dry before it goes in the hamper, the smell is almost nonexistent. I do my laundry every 3 days or so, but it does give me a way to prioritize the diaper loads. We use wetbags when we travel (if we forget the wetbag, a plastic grocery bag works in a pinch). DS1 has always been a morning-pooper, so we rarely have to worry about anything other than wet when we're out and about.

alwayssmile's picture
Last seen: 2 years 11 months ago
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Ease of use: My husband won't use a flat or snappi a prefold. :rolleyes: Half of our stash is pocket diapers. I prestuff them ready to go and that's what he uses. No thought on his part. And grandparents and babysitters haven't had issues with them either! Once pockets are stuffed they're like an all-in-one diaper. All-in-one diapers are the closest thing to disposables you've got.
I got a lot of looks from DH when I switched over to cloth. It took a couple of months, but now he enjoys it too and doesn't see it as a pain whatsoever. Smile

One brand/type: I recommend getting a few different ones that interest you. Then find out what you like best. Not everybody likes the same diapers. I only know one CDer that only has all one brand. That's my next door neighbor who only uses Bum Genius. Though I think I saw a Happy Heiny cow print out on the clothes line last week. lol.
Like Erin said, prefolds are what most recommend for the newborn stage. They're not in them very long and the kid doesn't wiggle around so it's easy. A lot of "one size" diapers claim to work at 8lbs, but they really don't. More like 10lbs at least. Keep that in mind. Smile

Washing: Keep it simple! I have a cheapo top loader and it works great! I do a cold rinse (I have to manually make it do that), then set it to a hot wash with detergent, and then finish with an extra cold rinse. Yes, you'll go through more water but even in areas where water costs more you'll still end up saving over disposables.

Smell Free Storage: If you keep the diapers closed up, they WILL stink eventually. I have a cheap Walmart trash can that I put a pail liner in. No stink. I have a lid that I find myself using more often now that DS has becoming a trouble maker, but I still don't have a smell. Want to know what does smell (and I used disposables the first few months of DS's life) DISPOSABLES! As soon as a disposable diaper is used, the chemical smell is all over the place. I had one of those nice diaper pail things for disposable diapers with the baking soda and all. Still didn't help. Made it worse!

Please ask away any questions you might have! CDing is very overwhelming at first, but before long you'll understand it all. The nice part about all the options is the fact that there are so many great options! You no longer have to fold a flat, pin it, and stick a kid in plastic pants. YAY for modern cloth! :mrgreen:

mommys's picture
Last seen: 3 years 9 months ago
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90% of my stash is bumgenious. I wanted something easy for DH. That said, I kind of want to branch out now. Yesterday she spent the day in prefolds with covers to see if I could get the hang of it.

Pockets do require pulling out the insert when washing but they dry much quicker than all in ones. I line dry to save money and get stains out but will probably stop that for winter except on very occasional days and mostly to sun out stains.

beccasweet's picture
Last seen: 2 years 9 months ago
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I don't have any advice really because I am also new to cloth but wanted to let you know Carrie and I from our December board are going to be using them for the first time and we have a couple BTDT Mom's in December who CD so you won't be alone! Smile

As far as the decisions being overwhelming I agree but I found these ladies very helpful! I did a search for the threads discussing Newborns and found a lot of great information for starting to CD. I am going to start with prefolds and covers and then plan on adding some pockets as they start to fit.

mlle_carrie's picture
Last seen: 1 year 10 months ago
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"beccasweet" wrote:

I don't have any advice really because I am also new to cloth but wanted to let you know Carrie and I from our December board are going to be using them for the first time and we have a couple BTDT Mom's in December who CD so you won't be alone! Smile

As far as the decisions being overwhelming I agree but I found these ladies very helpful! I did a search for the threads discussing Newborns and found a lot of great information for starting to CD. I am going to start with prefolds and covers and then plan on adding some pockets as they start to fit.

Yay! Another one crossing over to the CD side! I don't have any experience yet, but so far I have bought some bumGenius, Kawaii, and Sunbaby diapers. They are all pocket diapers because I figured that once they are stuffed, they will be really easy for DH and daycare. I am also planning to get some prefolds for the newborn stage. I am really looking forward to using them! Smile

.hilary.'s picture
Last seen: 3 years 7 months ago
Joined: 01/31/10
Posts: 1505

Thank you so much everyone!!!! You are all so helpful Smile This is exactly what I needed. I feel way better informed now, and have a much better idea of where to start and what to tell DH. He's agreed to go check out some local stores this weekend that carry lots of diapers this weekend so we can play around with a few and then go from there. I will be back with tons more questions as we go, I'm sure Wink thank you for the help! I am so excited to try this (lol...who would have thought I would be excited about changing diapers?!?)

Also hi to my Dec 2011 ladies!! Biggrin awesome, we will go through it all at the same time and can help each other out too Smile

AshnBill's picture
Last seen: 2 years 9 months ago
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I had a huge response typed out, but lost it. UGH!! So because I'm lazy...I'll just say "Hi" from another December momma! Lol

waitingimpatiently614's picture
Last seen: 4 years 4 months ago
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Posts: 386

I was totally in your situation when I initially decided to try cloth diapering while pregnant with DS1, except my DH was even more skeptical than yours!

Everyone has different favorites and preferences, but after months of trial and error, and dozens of brands/types of diapers, here's what we've settled on, and it works great for us.

First of all, I don't use cloth 100% of the time. We have disposables in our diaper bag, DS is in a disposable when I drop him at the church nursery, etc. We also use disposables at night because I haven't found anything else that works and doesn't leave DS with a red bottom in the morning. And we used disposables for the first 6 weeks until he was big enough to fit into our stash of one-size diapers.

I ended up hating pockets, sold them all, and now exclusively use Bum Genius Elemental (Organic) All-in-Ones. They are so easy to put on and off, no stuffing or un-stuffing, no velcro to curl and get all messed up in the laundry, and organic cotton inside, which I like. They are super absorbent, and we've never had a leak, even when I leave them on longer than I should. They do stain easily, but the sun gets the stains out for us. I also have a crappy washer and dryer, but have never had a problem getting them clean and stink-free. I use All Free and Clear detergent, cause I can buy it pretty cheap with a coupon at Costco.

I also ended up hating our lidded diaper pail with pail liner (stinky) so now we use a Planet Wise hanging wetbag (hangs by a loop on DS's closet doorknob). It zips open and closed, and when it's zipped closed there is absolutely no hint of a smell. And then you just invert it into the washer (to dump out the diapers) and toss it in, too. You can buy smaller ones to keep in your diaper bag and use them to bring home dirty diapers when you're out and about. They totally contain the stink and mess.

So, that's my two cents! Hope that helps! I promise it really is SO easy once you get started. There's so much laundry to do with a baby, that the extra laundry hasn't really bothered me. I just do a load first thing every morning (every 2 days it's a diaper load and on the other days it's just a load of our clothes or towels or whatever). I love never having to run to the store to buy diapers! Like I said, we do use sposies sometimes, but the big box of Huggies from Costco lasts 6 months at our house. And now that we have #2 on the way, we'll really get good use out of our one-size BGs and save even more!

cactuswren's picture
Last seen: 2 years 9 months ago
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Amanda's post reminded me--I definitely found that I liked snaps better than velcro in the long run, even though they do take slightly longer to put on/line up, when baby gets old enough to start pulling off velcro, you will love your snaps Smile (Also, the curling and laundry chains are suuuuuper annoying after a while.)

I wanted to just pick and stick with one kind too. But over time, sales, hand me downs, etc., I ended up trying a few different kinds, and ultimately, it really does help you figure out what works best FOR YOU. Everyone's situation is different!

CaityA83's picture
Last seen: 7 months 2 weeks ago
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Wow, it looks like you got tons of great advice. I agree with pretty much what everyone says.

I think sposies smell way worse. When DS was first home from the hospital, we used the leftover sposies at night time so we didn't have to fumble with prefolds... we quickly noticed how strong his pee smelled compared to when he was wearing a CD. As for stinky storage, its basically the same. In both scenarios (CD vs. Sposy) you still have a pail with a liner full of dirty diapers. Ours never smell unless you open the lid. The only difference is that instead of carrying the bag full of diapers to the trash, you carry them to the washer instead (which is a way shorter walk at our house Wink ) We also have a wet bag that unzips at the bottom. So its super easy to gather the top of the bag shut, carry it to the washer, then unzip the bottom and they all fall out. Then you just throw the bag in.

I also agree that your DH is gonna get the hang of it all. Whether you use cloth or disposables, your baby is still gonna poo and he is still gonna have to deal with it. As for being out in public... we just have a small wet bag. so when we change a diaper it just zips into the bag... you can't smell it at all.

I agree with everyone else also about getting a varied stash. I too have liked different things at different times. Even from day to day, I prefer a different diaper for different situations. The prefolds seem daunting, but they really aren't that bad. We use the fold that Midori posted about. Its super fast and easy... although we use a snappi to hold it in place. My suggestion would just be to order a couple different types. If I were doing it all over again starting right now, I would order a dozen prefolds, about 3-4 thirsties covers, a couple BG AIOs and a couple BG and FB pockets. We had a tiny baby so we mostly just used prefolds at first b/c that was pretty much all that fit him. Now I like to use pockets at night (or a huge fitted with a cover) and prefolds at home and AIOs when we are out and about, or if we have someone watch him.

HTHs!! GL!! As prepared as I was from all the reading and studying I had done, I was still very nervous about whether we would actually be able to stick with it. I was thrilled to find out that its ridiculously easy. I honestly have no idea why people even use disposables. I will even say that we moved last weekend and my dad kept Corbin for about 6 hours and he hasn't taken care of a baby solo since we were babies, so it was a huge step for him. He even changed his diaper a couple times and had no problems!! If he can do it, ANYONE can do it! haha!

ambie719's picture
Last seen: 1 year 1 month ago
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Switching to cloth is very overwhelming! I have a friend IRL who is TTC her first and asked me what I think about cloth, and I sent her like 10+ paragraphs in 5 separate facebook messages with all sorts of information to consider and answers to her questions, so it is a LOT of information to take in.

Ease of use: On this point, we decided to go with pockets. I have no interest in prefolds whatsoever, and I knew pockets would be my best bet for convincing DH to switch. I just prestuff everything, put them in our diaper drawer, and they are ready to go just like sposies.

One brand/type: I agree with the others, this is not the best idea. I totally recommend seeking out a diaper trial. I did that and it was beyond helpful! I thought I wanted velcro, but ended up preferring snaps. I thought BumGeniuses were the brand I wanted, but they fit DS weird and I ended up loving Fuzzibunz instead. Having a trial where I could try 5-6 different brands of dipes was exactly what I needed as a newbie to help me figure out what worked for us.

Ease of washing: Like the ladies said, they all pretty much wash the same. And I've heard that old top loaders often have an easier go than HE machines (like mine.) I have to do lots of extra rinses to keep the stinkies away, but I haven't noticed a change in our water bill at all.

Smell free storage: Our DS1 is in sposies (he's being potty trained and we didn't see the point in buying cloth for him when he'd be out of diapers shortly) and DS2 is in cloth, and I must say that our diaper pail does NOT smell any worse than our diaper genie. As long as it has a lid and you don't leave it too long between washes you should be just fine.

I hope you can wade through the mass amounts of information to find out what will work best for your situation Smile

Marite13's picture
Last seen: 3 years 5 months ago
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You've gotten so much good advice already!! I'll just add...

We used prefolds and covers from two weeks old until 6 mos old (and probably could have gone til 7 mos with those same diapers, but we moved and they went into storage). My DH got so used to the prefolds that he couldn't figure out a disposable. He kept breaking them and putting them on backwards!! So, yeah, even though you might think they seem harder it just comes down to what you learn and get used to.

Because a few people mentioned it... Don't the BumGenius 4.0 pockets have inserts that are supposed to come out on their own in the wash?? We use BG AIOs and Flips (love them now that DD is older! cheap and super easy!) but I thought I read that about the new BG pockets.

Also, as everyone else has said, once you actually start you will forget so quickly that it was ever overwhelming. It will become just the way it is, and chances are you will love it!!!

GinnyP7's picture
Last seen: 4 years 11 months ago
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Posts: 39

I hope this doesn't overwhelm you more but I wanted to add.

One of the best parts about cloth diapering and my husband totally agrees, cloth wipes! When we were out of town and had to use disposable diapers and wipes we could never get his butt clean. Both of us agreed the cloth wipes are the best! You just wash them with the diapers. What I did was get a diaper wipe warmer (a good one from Prince Lionheart I think, it even broke and they replaced it for free). Then I wet a stack of cloth wipes put them in the warmer on the dresser changing table and had a small foaming soap bottle for poopie clean ups. The foaming soap was made for cloth diapers I think Northern Essence? it's been a while.

I did try a few pockets but prefolds (tri-folded in the cover, no pins or snappies) were the best, least likely to leak/blowout. The cheapest too and now I'm so excited to cloth diaper again in February. Another good thing about cloth diapers is your child may potty train early. My DS potty trained at 23 months, it was over about 2-3 months and very easy for my husband and I, he just needed a little encouragement and some rewards. I will have had a year off diapers (he's also night trained too by last Feb) and I look forward to getting all the diaper supplies out again.