Monday, May 9, 2016

Cloth Diaper Update - May 9, 2016

EDIT 7/12/2018 - I really should have updated this well, at least a year ago, but never got around to it. DO NOT buy DiaperRite AIOs. I will add more information below, but the tl;dr version is just do NOT buy them.

Ah, nothing like a Monday to talk about pee, poop, and diapers.  Josephine is now almost 5.5 months old, and we've been using cloth diapers (almost) exclusively since she was about 1 month old.  We're quite pleased with them.  Sometimes I do get sick of doing the cloth diaper laundry, but then I remind myself how much money we're saving by not using disposables, and I get over it.

Today, I thought I'd share with you what products we use, links to the product, and maybe a brief review.  If you're not familiar with cloth diaper lingo (because, yes, there's basically a whole language), you might want to look into that before you read on.

It's hard to purchase cloth diapers before your baby is born because different brands fit differently. Some brands are great for skinny babies; others are better for chubby babies.  Therefore, we chose a few different brands and hoped for the best.  Thankfully, the style of which we purchased the most was also the style that fit her the soonest and the best.  Josephine is pretty small and skinny, so if you're looking for reference for your own baby, keep that in mind.  Here's the breakdown of what we have:

DiaperRite AIO and BumGenius AIO

DiaperRite One-Size All-In-One Diapers (15) - These were on clearance when we purchased them, which meant that we got them for $9.31 each (plus tax).  These are the ones that fit her at 1 month, and they're still our favorites. The waterproof fabric on the outside is much softer than on other brands, which isn't necessarily important, but is a nice bonus. I prefer these to the BumGenius diapers because of the angled rows of snaps; it's much easier to find the center snaps with these.  It's a small thing, but with a squirmy infant, every little small thing adds up.

7/12/2018: Do NOT buy the DiaperRite diapers. We bought them in the fall of 2015 so we'd be ready for when our baby was born. She started wearing them in December of 2015, and 5 months later they were leaking out the stitching. I contacted the company, but they wouldn't refund anything, as I had purchased them more than a few months past. (I actually passed the refund date before she even started wearing them.) They gave me some tips on how to potentially fix the problem, but none of their tips worked. I ended up with 15 diapers that I couldn't use at all!

We ended up finding a Craigslist listing for 35 BumGenius Freetime AIOs (below) for $100. Despite already being used, they are STILL holding up (almost 2 years later). It's worth the extra money to buy a better product!

BumGenius Freetime One-Size All-In-One Diapers (2) - These are basically the same idea as the previous diapers, but they're one of the more popular name brands.  We found these on clearance at Buy Buy Baby, so we got them for about $13 each.  These didn't fit Jo until about 2.5 months, but they're still nice.  I don't know that they're any nicer than the off-brand so far, though.

Here you can see the different styles of the absorbent inserts.  So far, I don't prefer one over the other:

DiaperRite AIO and BumGenius AIO
Pocket Diapers: DiaperRite, BumGenius, and Imagine Baby

DiaperRite One-Size Pocket Diapers (2) - These were also on clearance (sensing a theme?), so we paid $9.31 each for them. Unfortunately, these are no longer listed on the Diaper Junction website (as of this posting), so they may not be available for purchase anymore.  These didn't fit Josephine until about 3 months, but they work well for nighttime diapers, since we can add extra inserts. As with the AIOs from this brand, I prefer these to the other brands because of the angled rows of snaps.

BumGenius 4.0 One-Size Pocket Diapers (2) - Believe it or not, we found these on clearance at Buy Buy Baby, so we paid about $12 each for them.  These fit Josephine at about 3 months, and they're very similar to the DiaperRite Pocket Diapers.

Imagine Baby One-Size Pocket Diapers (3) - These were actually purchased from our registry.  To be honest, we haven't even tried them yet.  They didn't fit her at first, and by the time the other pocket diapers did fit her, we realized that we prefer to use pocket diapers for nighttime use only.  See, when you remove a pocket diaper from your baby, before you can wash it, you have to remove the inserts, which means grasping a wet piece of microfiber and pulling it out of the diaper.  Kind of gross, but worth it when it means your baby can sleep all night without a wet (or leaking) diaper waking her up.  Not as worth it during the day.  Anyway, the DiaperRite ones fit her sooner, so we've been using mostly those, and then the BumGenius ones when needed.

Below you can see the different openings for the inserts. DiaperRite pocket diapers have a slit at the waistband. Both the BumGenius and the Imagine Baby pocket diapers have a slit about an inch down from the waistband, but the BumGenius ones have a little flap to cover the slit, too.

Inside the pocket diapers: DiaperRite, BumGenius, and Imagine Baby

You can pay an awful lot for cloth wipes that were specifically made to be cloth wipes.  Or you can make your own from old t-shirts.  We didn't actually have any t-shirts to recycle for this, so we chose a middle ground and purchased a set of 24 baby washcloths from Amazon.  They work just fine.  Since we used disposables for the first month, we had an empty wipes box, and this is where we keep our wipes.

Wet Bags:
After you remove a diaper from your baby, you need somewhere to put it until laundry time.  There are a lot of different solutions for this, but we went with the wet bag route.  We have two large Planet Wise wet bags.  Every day, I take the current bag, dump the contents and the bag itself into the washer, and then bring up the bag (and diapers and wipes) I hung to dry the day before.  These do a very good job (so far) of keeping the smell in.

Planet Wise wet bag in 'Monkey Fun' (We also have the 'Jewel Woods' print.)

We also have smaller bags for travelling.  I originally thought that we'd just use disposables when out and about, but honestly, cloth is just as easy when you have the right tools. We have two of the Damero Travel Wet Bags.  These don't keep the smell in quite as well as the Planet Wise bags, but they do a decent job.  I like that these bags have two pockets; I put the dirty diapers in the big pocket, and wet or dirty clothes in the small pocket. The large pocket can hold up to 6 AIO diapers (plus wipes) if you really stuff them in.

These are the two travel bags - next to a diaper for size comparison

Most cloth diaper users will tell you to use a special detergent to help keep the diapers nice.  Some people just use their regular detergent, but just in case that would damage them, I chose an all-natural detergent instead.  We use Nellie's All-Natural Laundry Soda, and so far, we've been quite pleased with it.

Diaper Cream:
Diaper rash cream has been called 'cloth diaper's dirty secret', and that has some truth to it.  As great as cloth diapers are, you can't use most diaper rash creams with them.  Most diaper rash creams contain petroleum, which does not wash out of cloth diapers very easily, reducing their absorbency.  Now, cloth diapers can help reduce some kinds of diaper rash, but not all, so you might still need to use a cream.  Here's a good list of safe and unsafe cream ingredients for use with cloth diapers.

We use aloe vera (which we got at our local grocery store) and coconut oil.  (We also have little travel size containers with these two products to keep in the diaper bag.)  When we need a little extra protection, we use Shea Moisture or Cetaphil creams. I found both of these at our local grocery store, also.  The Shea Moisture cream has a really pleasant smell and is completely cloth diaper safe.  The Cetaphil cream is a good barrier cream, but contains zinc oxide.  The cloth diaper jury is still out on whether or not zinc oxide is safe for cloth diapers; therefore, we use it sparingly.

Our travel containers for the diaper bag

On a side note, we also tried Babyganics Non-Petroleum Protective Ointment, but were very unhappy with it.  Not only did it have a very unpleasant feel, but it also gave Josephine a rash!  (She does have sensitive skin, which I'm sure is why it gave her a rash, as most reviews of this product are very positive.)  In addition to this, it also didn't wash out of the diapers very well.  I would not recommend Babyganics ointment for use with cloth diapers or sensitive skin.

Swim Diapers:
We haven't had a chance to use our swim diapers yet, but I picked out two brands that reviewers said fit small babies well.  I'll probably post a review of these later in the year.

AppleCheeks swim diaper and a Bummis Swimmi swim diaper

And that's about it.  Please let me know if you have any questions; I'd love to try to answer them. :)

Love and Snaps,
Leah Joy

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