I am so excited – my cloth diapers arrived in the mail today. I had thought that they wouldn’t arrive until next week, but I am so excited that they were in the mailbox tonight! I am also happy that I bought a bucket for her dirty diapers today! I may end up replacing it, as it isn’t air tight, but we’re going to see how it goes. Anyway! Here are my pictures:
A couple of days ago (in preparation for receiving my diapers), I got a few things together. I put my face cloths in a basket, with a water bottle for cleaning Kitten’s bum. In the spray bottle I put water plus a few drops of baby wash, as per instructions for a way to clean her bottom. I figure that if I’m going to wash diapers, then I don’t really need to be putting lone wipes into the garbage can. Truthfully, I’m not completely sold on this system yet. I think that the wash cloths might be a little rough for her bum, so I might switch to some cheap baby face cloths that are much smoother. I could buy some special Sherpa fabric cloths that are made for that, but I’m not sure that I really want to. We’ll see – it’s a decision that we’ll make when we decide to cloth diaper permanently… or at least for a while (we’re going to do a trial month, for now).
This is the bucket that I’m using to keep her prefold cloth diapers, her PUL diaper covers (these ones will outlast and outperform vinyl ones, as the PVC will eventually dry out and harden, not to mention that it doesn’t breathe like the PUL ones do), and the microfleece liners. I am borrowing 6 indian cotton prefolds (ICP’s) from L. She doesn’t get through her stack of 24 or whatever before she does laundry, so she graciously offered to let me borrow them for a long time. I’m pretty grateful, as a 6 pack of ICP’s are about $23. This caused our “trial” cost to come down to $40-something, rather than almost $70. The ICP’s are really soft, and fairly thick in the middle, as that’s the part that has the most absorbency. Depending on how you fold the diaper to fit inside the cover, you can have varying degrees of absorbency. Personally, I prefer the Bikini Twist fold, as it is the least bulky. I haven’t had a chance to try all the others with Kitten yet, but it seemed to work good tonight. The details of the Bikini Twist say that it’s good for babies who are at the low end of the size charts for their diapers (which Kitten is) and have heavy thighs (which applies to us as well). We also used a Snappi, which really helped her diaper stay in place. I tried the Super Brite Cover tonight, and I really, really love it. It’s higher in the rise than disposable diapers, but it did a great job at closing snugly around her legs and tummy. It also really held in that diaper! It was impossible to tell that she was wet (from the outside), although it wasn’t as though she’d been in the diaper all night, or anything (just a couple of hours). Tomorrow morning I’ll put her in the Super Whisper Wrap, to see if there are any differences. I think that the only difference will be the leg openings, as the Brite covers have different detailing around how it closes. It just seems like there’s more room for the diaper right by the leg opening, but I’m not sure if that’s necessarily true. I also used a microfleece liner, which I absolutely love. Well, kind of. It works really well, and I’m very happy with it. I touched it while I was changing her diaper (it was wet), and it felt almost completely dry. Definitely just as dry as touching wet disposable diaper (and truthfully? Kitten typically blows through a disposable during the night, so she’s not dry when I get her in the morning, anyway). My only complaint is that it really isn’t big enough. I wish it were bigger, to cover more surface of the ICP. Yes, her private parts are dry, but as the ICP soaks up urine, it spreads out, and not ALL of her skin is covered by the fleece. We haven’t had a poop yet, in our new diapers, so I can’t tell you how that will work. I am hoping that her poops continue to be more solid, which means that I’ll be able to dump them into the toilet right away, and not have lots of mess in the liner. Good luck, I know. Here’s the picture of our bucket o’ diapers. If you want to see the notes, the what’s-what, click on the picture and you’ll go to the flickr page with the notes.
One of Rob’s main concern, other than the fact that she doesn’t stay still for diaper changes and that this is pretty much a completely foreign concept (and not what he thought that he’d be doing – he never thought I’d suggest cloth!) is that she’d have a GIANT bubble butt from the bulk of the cloth. Truthfully? Her bum is a little boxier, but I can’t say that it’s terrible. I think that the Bikini Twist really cuts down on the bulk, but yeah. You could hardly tell that she was in cloth, and it didn’t seem to inhibit her mobility at all. I don’t think that she thought of it as any different than wearing a disposable. Well, that’s not true. I bet she thought “hmmm… something feels all soft and gentle on my bum, and not like crappy paper and plastic! Sweet!”
As a final note (for today, because I see us talking cloth a lot in the future), with only 6 diapers, I will be doing laundry every night. If you’re thinking about starting with cloth, it’s a pretty cost-effective way of starting. Most kits start around $130, but you get a lot more for them. If you get only 6, you have to be committed to doing laundry every night, otherwise you’ll not end up using the cloth and you will have wasted your money. Buying the full kit will give you a better idea of how cloth diapering will actually work for you and your family. The benefit of ordering less is that by doing laundry every day, your diaper pail will have less time to sit there and stink! 🙂 Also: We didn’t buy any doublers or soakers for extra absorption, so we’re still using the disposable at night. I do plan on seeing if I can get my hands on one or two locally, to try it at night. I’m not sure that I really want to commit to using the cloth at night, but considering the fact that I have to change her before I go to bed, it might not be much different to go from the disposable to cloth. Even if I don’t switch completely to cloth at night, I feel good knowing that in one week I’ll have saved 28 diapers a week. That’s a significant amount, for me!