Scared to Make the Leap Into Cloth Diapers

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This post was generously sponsored by Pico Boo Baby! Thank you!

 

Cloth Diaper Q & A Volume 6

Robin asks: (bolded areas are my emphasis and will be addressed below)

I am still not sure about using cloth diapers. I am going to potty train my 22 month old and would like to use cloth training pants instead of pull ups when we go out. I will be using regular underwear at home.

My 4 month old is not having any sort of problem with disposable diapers, but I think it might save us money. We have had “blow outs” (using disposables) with my oldest and do not want the same thing with my 4 month old.

My 4 month old is a pretty heavy wetter and sometimes he leaks out the top in the front of his disposable. I looked at the flip diapers and seem pretty interested in those, but I’m not sure if I’m ready for the cloth diaper world. I am kind of scared of making the leap and then finding out I don’t like it.

Have you had any problems with “blow outs”?

I also wanted to get the flip day pack, but would doubling the insert at night be enough?

I also read on their website that you should line dry the cover, do you line dry the cover or put it in the dryer? If I make the switch it needs to be before we buy our next box of diapers so I am not wasting money, but putting the money we would use on the disposables towards the cloth ones. Thanks for the website (:

Robin, I completely understand being scared. I was for months before I finally made the leap.  I was pushed off the ledge, so to speak, but getting there is what matters!

I will now address the bolded points in order.

  1. Although you aren’t seeing any problems with disposables, there are chemicals present that aren’t healthy.  Dioxin and sodium polyacrylate are the big ones. You can read more about them by clicking the link.
  2. Cloth diapers will most certainly save you money! I know moms that cloth diaper their child for $100! That’s amazing.  My Budget category will introduce you to a number of different options that will save you money over disposable diapers.  Tiny Tush cloth diapers put together this chart that may help you see how much disposable diapers are costing: If you compare that to the cost of 24 Tiny Tush cloth diapers (one-sized pocket diapers) $18.45 * 24 = $442.80. That’s crazy, isn’t it!!
  3. Cloth diapers are awesome for nighttime! Hemp and microfiber are two super absorbing fabrics that don’t create the problems that “super absorbing” gel crystals do in nighttime disposable diapers. I have written a ton on nighttime cloth diapering.  There are many options out there but for saving money I recommend 1 of 2 options: a. Pooters hemp fitteds. They are extremely affordable and very absorbent.  You can use them day or night but they shine in my book as a nighttime diaper.b. If you don’t want 2 different things for day and night, go with a pocket diaper.  A pocket allows you to vary the absorbency by adding more “stuffing” to it.  I recommend a substantial microfiber insert like the Rumparooz 6r soaker paired with a Hemp Babies underneath.
  4. Blow outs happened all.the.time with our first 2 children who wore disposable diapers.  For babies 3,4, and 5 I could count the number of blow outs on one hand total.  With elastic at the back of most cloth diapers and gussets available on many brands you have super containment.  Will it still happen in cloth? Sure but it’s rare.
  5. With Flip, yes doubling the stay dry inserts works excellent at night.  However, it will be HUGE on a 4 month old.  I recommend something trimmer like the options above in #3.
  6. Line drying will help extend the life of the elastic in your covers.  It isn’t a must though.

I hope this helps!


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About Autumn Beck

Autumn is a wife, mother, homeschool teacher, friend and most important a follower of Christ. She began cloth diapering in 2005 and has experienced many joys and trials throughout the years. You can read more from Autumn over at https://www.facebook.com/beautifullyblessedlashes.

View all posts by Autumn Beck

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29 Responses to “Scared to Make the Leap Into Cloth Diapers”

  1. Jordynn Says:

    Hi, I am a first time mom and am considering cloth diapering my son. He will be here in about three months, so I am trying to get everything together now. I see the benefits of CDing both financially and for my little guys buns, but I honestly have no idea where to start! I want to register for cloth diapers to eliminate some of the cost… I have done some research and read most of the information of this site… I am convinced for the most part that CDing is the way to go, but I don’t know if maybe doing disposables when we go out might be more convenient. Could someone help convince me otherwise or give me suggestions about what cloth diapers to use when we are out and about? Also, I don’t know what I should register for in terms of sizes, inserts, brands, detergents, etc… Could someone please help me with a starting list for how many to buy/register for and what sizes and all of that good CD stuff? I feel so lost!

    Thank you!

    Reply

  2. tarin Says:

    @NIKKI the same salt you put into the dispenser in your dishwasher. Otherwise coarse unrefined salt will work as well. Make sure to dissolve in boiling water first.

    Reply

  3. Catalina Says:

    Hi there, my daughter is 8 months old and I would like start cloth-diapering, but the only thing that’s holding me back is the laundry aspect. I live in a place with a very low-flow well and we use rain catchment system too but with 8 people living in the house we have to keep our water usage very low, so reading things about pre-wash and extra-rinse cycles freak me out. What kind of diapers and washing system would work well in a household with limited water available?

    Reply

    • Autumn Beck Says:

      Flats would be a great system for you! Don’t be intimidated by “old fashioned”. They are fun, easy and simple!

      Reply

  4. Shelby Says:

    I really appreciate you sharing Robin’s dilemma. I was very much in the same boat about 7-8 weeks ago. Since I have gradually worked on acquiring and trying several different varieties of diapers and found what I like and am now just waiting to get them all in.

    Robin, I found a handfull of odds and ends on Craigslist and got those and then went to rediaper.com and Sweetbottoms (add above on site). Both have great clearance pages and Sweet Bottoms has an offer where you can trial diapers for 30 days and return them. Sweet Bottoms has kind of become near and dear to my heart because once you find what you like, you can put together your own stash, submit it to the company and they will make you an offer/deal on it. I have about 25 diapers that consist of AI2’s, AIO’s, covers and inserts and have kept my initial investment under $200. Now, I am saving to get some more!

    Really the fun for me has been trialing different kinds of diapers. I have a good friend that is a WAHM and she is even taking my suggestions and ideas and making her own diapers and selling them to me. I even got my hubby to hook up a kitchen sprayer to the back of the potty.

    My question to everyone is, I try to line dry my covers as much as I can, but what about AIO’s? I want to take it easy on them and dry them outside as much as I can, but it takes them forever to dry and they smell “swampy” on a humid day, so I find myself going back to the dryer. Any suggestions?

    Reply

  5. NIKKI Says:

    I love the FLIPs. I only have one organic cotton insert, so I use a trifolded prefold (Green Mountain Diapers). Sometimes I will wrap it around a hemp insert for nighttime. I have Thirsties and Hemp Babies. Hemp Babies I have to lay under the prefold because it’s too wide to wrap the prefold around it. I also have the Econobum covers. I found them for $5 as seconds (slight imperfections, usually in stitching, I guess). I noticed a little nick in the binding on one, but I’ve been using it for months and no problems. I have no idea why the others were considered seconds, they seem perfect to me and work great. I also love GroVia AI2. It’s a similar system to the FLIP but the inserts snap on to the cover. The inserts are really nice. I also have their boosters, which I also wrap prefolds around for the FLIP or Econobum covers. The only problem I’ve had with GroVia is that the leg elastic has come loose on both the covers I have. I’ve only sent one back so far and they fixed it without any trouble, but I did have to pay to ship it there. I’ve had a LOT of trouble with leaking with my BumGenius 4.0 and FuzziBunz. I’ve managed to get the BG working again pretty well, but not the FB. I think I’m gonna sell them so I can get more FLIPs! I think it’s the lining that is repelling, which I think is a result of using diaper cream. I’ve only ever used Grandma El’s so supposedly it is safe, but from now on, I will only put her in a prefold when I use it and definitely use a liner if I have one available.

    Reply

  6. tarin Says:

    Guys please try using dishwasher salt if you have hard water. It does soften the water and I think many people have forgotten about the healing and antibacterial properties of salt.

    Reply

  7. young Says:

    Hi Autumn, would love to see an article on cloth training pants and your recs for those. Thanks!

    Reply

  8. Laura Says:

    Hello Autumn,

    Sorry to put this here, I wasn’t sure where it should go… I am hoping that you will be able to help me get back to cloth. I’ve all but given up. Here’s our story.

    My daughter is 18 months. She wore cloth from about 1 month to 13 months. We used bum genius 3.0 exclusively during the day, with a happy heiny’s hempy pocket over night. Things were great, I loved cloth. Sure, I had the occasional smelly diapers that needed stripping, but that was no big deal.

    Around 13 months, my baby developed these sores in the diaper area. It started off with just general redness all over, then these sores popped up. Just 3, but one of them eventually started bleeding. So we took baby girl to the doctor, and they prescribed creams and such. That necessitated using disposables, but we had to be super careful with those, too, or she’d get the usual kind of diaper rash.

    Basically, I think the sores were caused by a strange case of sensitive skin in my girl, and the wetness of the cloth. We changed every 2 hours, she never sat in a dirty diaper … We did everything I could to make cloth work. Once the sores healed, I gave the diapers a SUPER cleaning, getting them smelling better out of the dryer than ever before. In less than 2 days in cloth, a sore returned.

    I resigned myself to being stuck with disposables, but I guess I haven’t fully abandoned cloth. I keep trying to make it work; we tried the night time diapers again because she always looked better in the morning after cloth than when we put them on the night before. But one morning, she was super red, so those were out.

    Now … nothing has really changed, but I guess I feel like I need to exhaust all my options before I can feel okay about my decision. I was wondering if you’ve heard of anything like the sores or know of anything that could help. Also, I am willing to try cloth again (happy to!), but I don’t want to go back to my old diapers. I’d like something new, something similar to the happy hempy pocket we used overnight. I’d love any advice or help you can give!

    Thank you!

    Reply

  9. Kylynara Says:

    I have to weigh in here. I made the switch to cloth diapers about a month ago (well technically the switch isn’t complete since we’re still using up disposables). I started with a flip day pack and a couple other covers I wanted to try. After about a week I told my husband we are not going back to disposables. Quite simply cloth diapers are just plain better at being diapers. I can not stress that enough. I’ve not read it anywhere in all my research, but with all the options they simply fit better and as a result leak less. Money is not the issue for me (although I of course don’t object to saving what I can), but it is for my brother and sister in law. I let them try one of my flips and a couple inserts and they like it so they’ve bought more. If you really want to go cheap buy prefolds and trifold them to use as inserts. They work as well in my opinion so far. And honestly there is basically no difference between using a flip with an insert or any diaper cover with a trifolded prefolds. I use a flip with two inserts for night diapering and I haven’t had any leaks doing that. I did have a leak last night because I was trying using just one bamboo insert, but that isn’t enough.

    I have loved cloth diapers because they are cute, but I didn’t want to deal with the poop. Well starting around 3 months my little guy started having poop explosions several times a day. After a month or so it hit me that if I was cleaning poop out of 2-3 outfits a day what difference did it make if I started cleaning it out of diapers too. So I started researching cloth diapers and made the leap. I was delighted to find that cloth has largely saved me from scrubbing it out of his clothes. I don’t really care if the diapers get stained. By the time I switched he had also started leaking at night and needing changed in the wee hours of the morning again. Again I was delighted that cloth diapering offered a solution where disposable simply couldn’t.

    Once you figure out what works, they aren’t hard to clean. As far as line drying I hung a clothes line in doors for them although I want one outside soon too.

    Reply

  10. Beth Says:

    Hi, just want to note that the Flip covers line-dry really, REALLY fast, so you shouldn’t even need to worry about the dryer issue. I use Flip and I just have an itty bitty laundry rack on the wall next to the changing table in the nursery, where I clip the covers as they come out of the washer. I’d say they’re dry within a few hours, and that’s even with the super-high humidity we have here.

    Reply

  11. Rachael Says:

    I have a hodgepodge of cloth diapers. Some hand-me-down pockets, a slew of flats and a pile of pre-folds. I’ve sewn a few diapers, also. Its been totally worth it, even if we had to buy more ourselves. As for “blow outs”, sure we’ve had a few –3 that I can count. And they were HUGE blow outs, and/or the diaper was on wonky. We’ve had a few issues with leaks, but I’ve got those mostly figured out.

    Reply

  12. Athena Says:

    Hi Katie, I’m not sure if this is true where you are but here in California Bac-out is available in most health stores and even stores like Raleys/Bel Air/Nob Hill Foods and Holiday market carry it in their health food isles.I too use FB OS and have had stink issues but the Bac-out really helps.

    Reply

  13. Sarah B Says:

    Autumn, thanks for the cost/savings table! What a great resource to share with other potential CD’ers.

    My daughter is 3 months old and we frequently use the Flip system (with two stay-dry inserts) at night. Yes, it is really bulky, but I find myself reaching for it over other pockets we use just because it is so easy!

    Reply

  14. Katie Says:

    Autumn,

    I need your help! I have tried to order Bac-out through Amazon from two different sellers and gotten shipping delay messages, and after the third delay from each seller I gave up. I use fuzzibunz OS and Bum Genius OS and I have stink issues. I use Charlies Soap, and have tried adding Oxiclean to the wash, vinegar to the rinse, baking soda to the wash, and stripping with Dawn. I always do an extra rinse too. I hate for this to be the reason I quit cloth. Where do you get Bac-out?

    Katie

    Reply

    • Kim Says:

      I use 1/2 c. vinegar and 3 of 4 drops of tea tree oil…….. I wash them in that, then again with their rockin green.

      Reply

    • Jen H Says:

      Our Whole Foods store carries it.

      Reply

    • Lynn Wilson Says:

      you might want to consider switching detergent as well. Charlies might not be what is best for your water and washing machine combo. Also if you have hard water, vinegar won’t help you out much. Also adjusting the amount of detergent you use could help. I found I wasn’t using enough detergent and when I added more the stinkies went away!
      It is a lot of trial and error to find the best combination for you. Don’t give up!

      Reply

    • Kelly Says:

      I think I finally got rid of my stink issue by using Country Save and 3 squirts of Bac-Out then doing 4 or 5 washes in just hot water. I think I had detergent residue that was causing problems and REALLY needed to be rinsed out. Good luck!

      Reply

    • Rebecca2 Says:

      We have been pretty happy with Ecos detergent…..no stinky diapers so far. You might also want to try Rock’n Green as I know a lot of people love it and you can get samples at soap.com and locally at some JoAnn fabric stores.

      Reply

    • Kate Says:

      I’ve had success ordering Bac Out from drugstore.com

      Reply

    • Katie Says:

      THANK YOU everyone for all the suggestions!

      Reply

  15. Thyme Says:

    With Flips I have also noticed that you’re more likely for skin irritants, as they sit in their insert, as oppose to pockets where it goes through the fabric and onto the insert. Just a thought :)

    Reply

  16. tarin Says:

    Hi autumn. I made the choice to cloth diaper our first son months before he was born, for no other reason than because I thought it was fun and different. Using cloth is very rare in south africa because up until only a few years ago the only option available was terry towelling flats. Today there are a number of different imports and sa made diapers around, but I didn’t know about them until my son was born. I started with bambino mio prefolds then ordered some handmade fitteds off ebay befor graduating to nubunz one size diapers. These look exactly like BG and work like them, but cost far less. Today I have a stash of over 100 diapers, a combination of bambino mio prefolds,as they are the only ones available in sa, nubunz one size, cheap chinese one size off ebay, wahm fitteds, flips, gro baby’s, gdiapers and yes, terry towelling flats, coz they are so darn fun to fold! I have never regretted my choice and am proud to say I’m a cloth diaper addict!

    Reply

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