Dog Days & Cloth Diapers

Here’s a little peek behind the scenes at our house (oh what glamorous and exciting lives we lead). Cloth diapers can be laying out in a sunny windowsill to dry, and a strange devil-may-care chihuahua might come prancing along…

… and decide to do a little birdwatching…

… followed by some leisurely lounging…

… right on top of the diapers. What a weirdo, right? But he’s our weirdo. (Cue the collective “aww.”)

And since one of the most common questions that we get has nothing to do with home improvement we figured we owed you guys an answer. It’s always some iteration of “How are you liking cloth diapers? Is it harder now that Clara’s on solid food? Do they show any wear and tear? Have you purchased more? Do you still like that they’re all in ones with snaps? Do they still fit since they’re one size fits all?” So we thought we’d share a quick little update on that front. Oh and if you have general cloth diaper questions please check out this post first (along with the comments) since it can answer any basic questions (and then some).

As for the cloth dipes, we still love them and use them pretty much all the time except when we’re traveling (since we don’t have access to a place to wash them). And we haven’t ordered a single additional cloth diaper or tried any other brand. Yup, for the last year we’ve stuck with the original 12 Bum Genius Elemental One Size All-In-Ones that we purchased over a year ago (more on them here). And they all still look mint and don’t have any smell issues or staining (thanks to our diaper sprayer – more on that here and here). And also thanks to laying them out in the sun to dry from time to time, which bleaches out any stains and keeps them as white as Ryan Seacrest’s teeth.

Since we still use the same diapers that we got about a year ago you can imagine how much loot we’ve saved (we did some how-much-will-we-save-math back in this original diaper post). And since we’re cheap-os, that alone should explain our downright obsession with the whole cloth diapering thing. And for those wondering if the cost of washing cloth diapers compares to buying disposables, our Energy Star front loaders are estimated to cost $15 a year to run (assuming you do eight loads of laundry per week). And we probably only do 5, (so perhaps they cost $12 or $13 to run for a whole year?!). Which puts our washing costs at about a dollar a month (and includes all the other laundry we do besides diapers). Pretty sweet.

For anyone who worries that it’s some sort of intense 1900’s hardship, cloth diapers have come a looong way since the safety pin days. We honestly expected them to be a lot harder (to take more time, to be more annoying to put on, to somehow be inferior to diposables, etc) but it’s a pretty simple process (detailed here) that’s completely second nature to us by now. We’ve even taught the grandparents how to do it. Plus it really seems to agree with Clara (she has far fewer blowouts and issues with diaper rash than she does when we travel with disposables). So that’s the icing on the cake. Well, that and the cute colors they come in (and the added softness thanks to fabric instead of plastic).

As for the whole solid food thing, we both agree that there’s a definite adjustment that occurs during that time, but it has much more to do with your nose than the whole act of cloth diapering (stuff actually gets stinky, but that happens no matter what kind of diapers you use). Just like any other parent of a kid who has started solids can attest, we had to work on the gag reflex and the whole hold-your-breath-while-you-change-them approach, but I think that’s pretty universal with disposables as well. And in some ways cloth got easier with solid stuff because as gross as this sounds, you can shake out the diaper into the toilet and the “stuff” rolls out instead of needing to be sprayed out (like the liquidy baby-poo that preceded solid foods, but that’s not too bad because it smells like buttered popcorn – at least Clara’s always did). Although we still give the diaper a shot of water even after we roll things off – just to be on the safe side (we think that’s why ours still look so good, we’re generous with the diaper sprayer and we love setting them out in the sun to bleach them back to spotlessness).

Hmm, maybe I need a little disclaimer not to eat while you read this post. Or not to read this post while you eat. Oh well, I hope you figured out where this might go when you read “cloth diaper update” so you don’t have a mouth full of oatmeal or something.

As for if we’re still loving the all-in-one with snaps choice (as opposed to cloth diapers with separate inserts or liners and velcro tabs) we’re very happy. We’ve heard that snaps tend to last longer than velcro tabs (which can wear out in the wash) and so far ours are all in great condition (not one bad snap of the bunch after lots and lots of washing). We also don’t have any issues with loss of elasticity or absorption. And as for the decision to go with all-in-ones over separate inserts, we just thought stuffing diapers sounded like an extra step, so we appreciate the simplicity of the all-in-one feature. About the fit, although Clara has gone from a tiny bean to a much bigger baby slash soon-to-be-toddler (sniffle) they still fit well and we don’t have any leaking issues. We just adjust the snaps from time to time to make the diaper larger to accommodate our growing girl.

As for detergent, we still use and love Charlie’s Soap (and Seventh Generation Free & Clear whenever we run out). Both work well for our front loaders (there’s a lot more on washing and caring for cloth diapers here in the original post by the way). And The Amazing Clara is now sleeping 12-13 hours straight in one diaper (we don’t wake her up to change her or use extra inserts and we don’t have any issues with leaks or rashes). I’m sure every baby is different, but the whole cloth diaper thing definitely works for us. And we know it’s one of those completely personal parent-how-you’d-like-to decisions, so we’re just sharing our experience when it comes to the whole thing. We’re not anti-disposable by any means (tons of our family and friends opted to go that route because it worked best for their household and we still rely on disposables whenever we travel). So consider yourselves updated. And let me know if you hear of any circus acts involving walking over a pile of diapers. Burger would be all over that.

Psst- Check out the original cloth diapering post here for tons (and tons) of info about how we chose/wash/care for/adjusted to cloth diapers.

Pssssst- We announced this week’s giveaway winner. Click here to see if it’s you.






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