Thursday, February 24, 2011

Diapering Update

I can't quite remember what I've written about our diapering experiences so far.

When Jen was still pregnant we decided that we would like to try cloth diapering. I had been reading a lot about it, but was a bit hesitant to bring it up for fear of being shot down. Eventually I did bring it up though and Jen was TOTALLY on board. My sister gave us a pretty good stash of (mostly brand new) diapers she had picked up from Goodwill and we decided we'd add to it.

Jen's parents weren't so on board when we told them our plans. Jen had been cloth diapered as a baby, and it wasn't a fond memory for her parents. They recognized it was our decision to make, but insisted that they would have disposables there whenever we came to visit. Then, as a surprise Christmas gift, they subscribed us to a diaper service for three months.

Our first delivery was made the week before The Bean was born. Since he was so small, their smallest size didn't fit him right off the bat, so we called and had our start date delayed. In the interim we used disposables, which was fine.

After maybe a week or two of cloth diapering, we noticed The Bean getting a pretty bad rash. It started out as some redness, and then some bumps started showing up. In order to get it cleared up, we switched back to disposables and slathered him up with zinc oxide for a couple of days. As soon as we switched back to the cloth the rash came back, so we switched to the disposables again, but this time with a plan. Every couple of days we would change one element of our diapering routine. First we changed from disposables with zinc oxide, to disposables with a cloth diaper-friendly zinc ointment. Then we changed to our own cloth diapers with the cloth diaper-friendly zinc ointment. We just finished up on re-rinsed diaper service diapers with the friendly zinc. Next we'll try non-re-rinsed diapers with the zinc or maybe re-rinsed with non-zinc ointment. Jen doesn't seem happy about having to re-rinse the diaper service diapers, but to me it's an extra $4 for two loads of about 50 diapers each in the washing machine, they line dry in less than 12 hours, and we don't have to wash the dirty ones, which is really the yuckiest part of cloth diapering. I guess we'll see how it goes, but so far, so good.

All that said, my real reason for wanting to post about cloth diapers was to talk about the different ones we've tried so far. We weren't planning on being with a diaper service, and may or may not continue beyond the three months we were gifted (I love the service, and the price is reasonable, but not as reasonable as washing our own diapers)... the point being, we had already accumulated quite a stash of cloth diapers and have added to it since I last posted about cloth diapering.

We have three Bumgenius 4.0s. These are one-size pocket diapers. We bought the ones with snaps because they're supposed to last better. I'd read great reviews of them and they do behave more like a disposable, which I thought I'd like, but thinking now about the prospect of having to wash so many diapers, they don't seem as great. They're still very convenient, but I don't think they'll be our go-to diaper.

Next we bought a two-pack of Flip "Stay Dry" diapers. In some ways these are similar to the Bumgenius (one-size, also snap closed), but I like them better so far. They're comprised of a cover plus an insert, rather than a pocket. When the insert gets dirty you take it out and replace it. Unless the cover is dirty too, it can be reused. They came with 6 inserts and two covers, which I thought was really good.

We've also bought a couple different covers. We have four Thirsties Duo Wraps. They're meant to fit babies 6-18 pounds, so not one-size, but definitely long-lasting. These are Jen's favourites to use with the diaper service diapers. The cover is similar to the Flip covers, but with an easily wipeable lining. I like them a lot too, but since I do all the night time diaper changes, I prefer velcro to snaps on the covers in terms of ease of use.

Which brings us to the Bummis covers this past weekend: one Super Whisper Wrap and one SuperBrite. I like the SuperBrite better so far. The inside is wipeable, whereas the Super Whisper Wrap is not. The SuperBrite also has leg gussets, whereas the Super Whisper Wrap doesn't. Both are sized, so they won't fit as long as the one size diapers we have, but they fit better. They've both got velcro closures, which I don't like because of durability, but as I mentioned earlier, they are easy to use. I think the SuperBrites are my favourite to use with the diaper service diapers.

The Bean in his Bummis Super Whisper Wrap.

We may not have tried the Bummis because I was set against velcro, but as a part of our diaper service package, we had been renting MotherEase Rikki Wraps. I like them, but the ones we had were kind of worn out and not the most leak-proof. I definitely like the Bummis SuperBrites better.

The next cover I hope to try is a wool (cashmere!) cover for overnights. I ordered on small one and one medium one off of a seller on Etsy, which was much less expensive than buying them in a store or from a manufacturer. I hope they help wick away the wetness that can accumulate overnight. We suspect that the overnight wetness might have been a part of what was making Ollie's rash so bad. We also purchased a couple more microfibre doublers from BumGenius to help with the overnight wetness, so I guess we'll see how it all goes.

Any tips or suggestions would be much appreciated!


  1. Thank you for doing the cloth diaper research for me! ;) I definitely want to consider it for the twins.

  2. I know I'm late in the game for commenting, but I wanted to chime in and say that diaper services, specifically ones without a "Green" bent, are going leave more detergent and most likely detergents you don't want on your babies skin, in their diapers. We wash our own, use extra sensative cloth diaper friendly detergent, and always do an extra rinse. You've probably perfected your routine, but washing diapers is SUPER easy and much cheaper than a service!

  3. Hi Meredith,
    Thanks for the comment. We're planning on finishing out the three months with the diaper service and then switching over to doing our own diapers. We have a pretty good stash already and hopefully the extra laundry won't be too much to manage. Do you mind me asking what type of detergent you use? We've looked at a few but haven't bought any yet... we still have about a month to figure it out. :)
    P.S. The hardest part of washing (at least in my mind) is that we are in an apartment and have to share a coin-operated machine with the 5 other families that live here. I'm sure it'll all work out fine though.

  4. Hi Allison!

    We use either Rocking Green (made specifically for cloth diapers, I order it online) or Charlies Soap (when I run out, its available at our local co-op and works pretty well).

    Because I've bought mostly used diapers, I have a fairly big stash and only wash once or twice a week. Probably much to the dismay of many a cloth diapering guru- you will not ruin your cloth diapers by letting them sit. A good pre rinse, hot water wash, and correct soap gets out all the stink. Any stains will be taken out by the sun when you line dry!

  5. Thanks Meredith! Rocking Green is one of the names that stands out as being recommended by various sites, so we'll probably order some of it and hope it works as well for us as it seems to for other people. Also good to hear that you don't find problems with letting the diapers sit for a few days. A voice of experience is always appreciated!