Monday, February 25, 2013

Why I Cloth Diaper...

Moms from past generations will tell you that it's too much work.

New moms will tell you they think it would be gross.

But moms that I've talked to who use cloth diapers OVERWHELMINGLY tell me they love it!

And so do I.

There are three main reasons I do it (not in any order):
  1. The cost - we raise our support for my husband's job and pretty much need every penny we've had donated so far. There's no way I could afford disposable diapers. No way. They cost SO MUCH!
  2. The convenience - we live over an hour (one way) from the closest grocery store and Walmart. We don't have the option to just run out when our stash is getting low. And, shipping is hit or miss here. Some things come quick, some take forever… so I can't count on online orders of diapers either.
  3. It is not that hard… or gross - They've come a LONG way with cloth diapers. They are not hard to maintain or clean. And, the benefits for the kids are awesome… no sitting in a chemical mess, no plastic.

Alright, let's break these down.

1. The Cost:

I saw this online and thought it was pretty eye-opening.

Essentially, what this is saying is that the average start-up cost to build your CD stash is anywhere from $300 - $500, depending on which brand you choose. But, you'll spend around $1,000 PER YEAR PER CHILD on disposables.

So, the choice is $300-500 one-time (possibly having to replace a few here and there)
$3,000 (per child) if you use disposables for about 3 years (which is about how long kids are in diapers these days)

Between the two brands I use, I pretty much have it all covered. I have the Fuzzibunz AIO's and Gro-via Hybrids with snap-in inserts for now, the Gro-via shells can act as swim diapers when you leave out the liner, and I'm planning to use them as training pants, too, when the time comes. (There are options for cloth training pants, and who knows? Maybe we will be purchasing them as well… we'll see.)

2. The Convenience

While most people who will read this won't have to drive a 3 hour round trip to pick up diapers like I do, they still are super convenient. There's no late night runs, no special garbage bags for diaper disposal systems, etc. Your kid leaks at night? Put in an extra liner! You're getting low on diapers? Throw them in the wash!

They're always here. I can never run out of diapers.
(or wipes - cause I use reusable wipes, too… more on that later)

3.  They're not that gross!

Seriously, let's put this myth to rest right now.

This is such a hang up for so many people I talk to.
But, honestly, they aren't that bad.
(Not to mention the fact that your child is so much less likely to have a diaper blowout with cloth. So, while you have to clean the diaper, you don't have to scrub their clothes or throw them away!)

You just need to find a system that works for you!

Here's my story:

I was introduced to Shawna from The Styleberry Blog when I was searching for tips on how to make my own baby food for the Little Mister. Then, I read her post on CD'ing. (She's a rockstar. I totally wouldn't have been brave enough to try it without having read her posts. Head over to her blog and look it up. You won't be disappointed. She also has a lot more info on her blog about sizing, washing, etc. Check her out!)

I was intrigued. It was something I never considered doing.

So, one day after having the Little Miss, I walked into RG Natural Babies just out of curiosity. Michelle was so unbelievably helpful. She shared her story of CD'ing with me and let me know that it was ok to try it out and NOT choose to CD after all. She took me into the back of the store and had me pick a few different types of CD's off the clearance rack to try out over a couple of weeks. She told me to come back to let her know what I thought.

So, I went home with 3 different diapers: Fuzzibunz, Bum Genius, and a Gro-via.

I'd have our daughter wear them all one day, wash them the next while she was in disposables, and then try them again the next day.

I love that the Fuzzibunz fits and gets put on very similarly to a disposable diaper. I could stuff them straight out of the dryer/off the clothes line, stick them in the drawer, and then ANYONE can put them on… they seriously work like a disposable. The only differences are that there are snaps instead of velcro and you put them in a wet bag instead of a garbage can. You adjust the hidden straps to fit your baby and expand them as your baby grows.

The Gro-via's are awesome, too. I use the Gro-via shell snap closure hybrids. I was torn between these and the Fuzzibunz (my stash later would consist of half these and half Fuzzibunz). I was using the regular fleece snap in liners and it was almost impossible for our daughter to leak in them. They hold in leaks incredibly well!

They are just a little trickier than the Fuzzibunz in that you have to unsnap the soiled liner and snap in a clean one while reusing the outer shell. I rely on these diapers when we go to camp and I need to know that she will not leak. You can also add liners for more absorption. (I throw an extra Fuzzibunz liner in-between the layers of the Gro-via liner when we need more absorption or overnight.)

Not to mention, they're SO CUTE!!!

The Bum Genius were not my favorite. I chose not to buy anymore of those because when the diaper needed to be sized smaller, the liner would be very bunchy and all I could think about was how uncomfortable they must be to sit on.

*There are LOTS of other kinds. I recommend reading other blogs and going to a store where you can actually see the different varieties. One kind may work for one family while another kind is best for you!

How I make it work (or the method to my madness):

As I said before, half my stash are Fuzzibunz One Size Elites. The other half are Gro-via Hybrids.

I love them both.

I use up one kind before I use the other. While one kind is being used, the other gets washed (using Rockin' Green Soap and the occasional dash of OxiClean).

Fresh out of the dryer or off the clothes line, I stuff the Fuzzibunz and place them in the top drawer of the Little Miss' changing table.

Then I can pull them out right when I need one.

I top them with the Bummis liners (they make cleaning off a #2 diaper so easy - it literally peels off. I use the diaper to keep my hands clean while I kind of roll the poo up so I can drop it in the toilet and flush. No disposable liners to touch. Nothing to spray off. No soaking or scrubbing. Easy Peasy.)

Then, I pull out the liner and drop the whole thing right in my PlanetWise wet bag.

When it's time to wash, I dump the whole bag into the washer, run a rinse, add detergent, wash, and dry! Totally doable.

The Gro-via's are a little different in that there is nothing to stuff. The liners snap into the shell. So, at diaper changing time, I unsnap the liner, drop it in the wet bag, snap a new one it and she's good to go. One side of the liner is waterproof so my hands stay dry.

The only downfall to these is for some reason they are always a bit stinkier than my Fuzzibunz… I'm not sure why. You may not experience this, though.

The plus side, as I previously mentioned, is that they NEVER leak. It's amazing. These are wonderful for when we head to camp because I never know what our schedule will be like. It's so great to not have to worry about leaks!

I've also used the shells as swim diapers. It's super convenient to not have to buy a different kind of diaper just to go swimming.

Gro-via liner covered in a Bummis fleece liner

Gro-via liners folded and put away

The little yellow patterned thing is one of the shells folded and put away

Gro-via also has a great option for traveling. They have biosoakers which are disposable liners that you can put in the shell while traveling so you don't have to drag your soiled liners around with you. If the shell gets dirty, they are super easy to just wash in a sink and they air dry surprisingly fast!

For wipes, I use a Prince Lionheart wipe warmer with a homemade solution. Typically it is boiled water, tea tree oil, lavender essential oil, thieves essential oil, and a squirt of Dr. Bronner's Unscented Baby Mild Castile Soap. You can use any wipes you'd like… really you could probably use strips of fabric, too.

I chose to use homemade wipes when I got tired of having to throw away the baby wipes I was using when changing her cloth diapers. It only made sense to me to be able to throw the wipes right in with the diapers.

So, there it is. Think I'm crazy?
That's ok.
I'm saving tons of money and my little one looks darn cute in her diapers.

Let me know if you have any questions!

The Styleberry Blog - where I was first introduced to cloth diapers being possible
Gro-via - one great option for cloth diapering on the go
Fuzzibunz - my staple. I love them.
Bummis liners - reusable and affordable liners
Rockin Green - great detergent
Planet Wise - wonderful wet/dry bags
Charlie Banana - I've heard great things about these, but haven't tried them. (Sold at Target)

*I am not being compensated in any way for anything written in this post. These are all my own opinions and the reason I wrote it is simply because people ask me so many questions about cloth diapering.


  1. I don't think you're crazy at all. I used cloth starting with my second dd and loved them! I made a ton of hemp fitteds so that she had a trimmer bum for leggings. I also made a bunch of aios with hemp liners that I fold so that they were thin and dried fast.

    1. That's awesome! I've heard great things about using hemp!
      Thanks for posting!


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