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?!
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 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!!
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 ).
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 ). 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.
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: http://www.diaperpin.com/howto.asp
I'll come back and chime in about my personal thoughts later
Ease of use (even if it's more costly than other options):
is my go-to fold. It takes about five seconds, if that. 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.
Ease of use: My husband won't use a flat or snappi a prefold. 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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
DD ~ Evelyn Joy ~ December 14, 2011
Read more about my infertility struggle at www.ascenicdetour.com
Thank you so much everyone!!!! You are all so helpful 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 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!! awesome, we will go through it all at the same time and can help each other out too
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!