Two Cloth-Bottomed Boys

Posted by  | Friday, May 30, 2008  at 12:00 AM  
We have been a cloth diapering family for 17 months. We started Samuel in cloth when he was 4 months old (when I found out about cloth from Hollie Carson). You can read about our previous cloth arrangement here.

When Joel was born, we started putting both boys in disposables. With all that was going on with a newborn, I didn't want to deal with washing diapers every two days. Plus, Joel was so little and I thought he looked ridiculous in his cloth diapers! We started Samuel back in cloth after two weeks and then Joel at 1 month. We are currently putting Samuel in a disposable for overnight b/c he seems to store up all of his pee for nighttime. We were able to buy a box of 144 diapers for $9 on clearance at the grocery store.

Our current stash includes:

For Joel-
18 Infant-sized prefolds (green edges from Green Mountain Diapers)
18 microfleece liners (I cut these out of a yard of microfleece I purchased at Joann's - thanks for the idea, Hollie)
4 Small Proraps Covers
1 Small Bummis Super Whisper Wrap

For Samuel-
12 Regular-size prefolds (blue edges bought second hand from Diaper Swappers)
12 microfleece liners (same yard of fabric as Joel's)
4 Medium Proraps Covers

Our family has choosen to use cloth first for the financial benefit and second for the environmental benefit. We probably have one of the cheapest approaches to cloth diapering. Here is the breakdown of the items we own:

$30.00 18 Infant-size Prefolds bought second-hand from Diaper Swappers (were washed but never used)

$40.00 8 Proraps Covers bought off of Craigslist (were never used or used once)

$15 Small Bummis Super Whisper Wrap bought from Cotton Babies when I was first investigating cloth diapering

$20 12 Regular-size Prefolds bought second-hand from Diaper Swappers (were washed but never used)

$5 1 yard of microfleece from Joann's (used my 40% off coupon)

My total for diapering two boys is $110. I may need to buy the next size up diaper covers for Samuel if he doesn't potty train before he grows out of his current covers. That could add an additional $20-$30.

Also, I have no problem buying things second hand. I know others may be weird about that and should consider buying all of these items new. The total for all of my supplies new would be $153 - still not too shabby.

I realize that I have additional costs in washing and drying diapers every 2-3 days. And I do use disposable diapers sporadically. Overall, though, we still save a ton of money on diapers and have a lesser impact on the environment.

I have just recently started using the microfleece liners and I love them. Samuel was getting a little redness on his peepee from sitting in a wet diaper, but the microfleece keeps the pee off of his skin. And poop peels off of these liners really easily. The only thing I wish I would have done differently is buy two different colors of fleece so I could easily pick out Samuel's liners verses Joel's.

For diaper covers, I started out with 4 Bummis Super Whisper Wraps for Samuel. These are great covers, but they did not fit Samuel's body type at all. His diaper was always folding over weird and riding really low on him. I switched to the Proraps covers and they definitely fit my boys' bodies better. They have a wider tab and just seem to work better for us.

As far as diaper care, I put both boys' dirty diapers in the same pail (just a garbage can with a liner & a lid). I don't spray off or rinse any of my diapers. I do shake poopy diapers into the toilet. Every 2-3 days I wash diapers. Here is my wash routine:

Soak all diapers in cold water for a few hours with about 1 Cup of vinegar. I let the machine agitate for a minute or two, and then leave the lid up and let the diapers soak.

I do a hot wash with 1/2 cap of Purex Free & Clear. I then do 3 cold water rinses. My washer doesn't have an "extra rinse" option, so what technically happens is I run one hot wash/cold rinse cycle, and then another cold wash/cold rinse cycle but with no detergent. I then hang dry my covers and tumble dry my diapers and fleece liners.


Shannon said...

Your boys are SO cute! I also love the whisper wraps and pro-wraps. They fit so well, and you just can't go wrong because they're so in-expensive. Did you cut your liners different sizes for your boys? I never thought of that... mine are all the same size. And might I add (for those of you who haven't used micro-fleece liners) that you don't have to stitch them after you cut them. They are unbelievably easy and cost-effective.

Do you just fold your diaper in 3rds? I've been using a snappi, and then a cover, but I'm wondering if just folding it and laying it in the cover would help it be more trim around the legs.

I'm so excited about everyone getting into cloth diapering these days. Thanks for the great post!

Leah said...

Thanks for mentioning the liner detail - you definitely just have to cut these things up and start using them - no sewing involved.

I fold Samuel's diapers in thirds and lay them in the cover without any sort of Snappi. You can see a picture tutorial here. I fold the front down a little b/c it is a little long and the extra absorbency up front helps.

I use the Twist Method with a Snappi for Joel's diapers b/c his little newborn poops can get a little messy and the twist method keeps them from leaking onto the cover.

I find that the twist method actually makes a trimmer diaper, but takes longer to put on than the folding method (longer by like 10 seconds, maybe, but that can be an eternity to a squirmy toddler!)

Greene family said...

My son is 18 months old and we have had sooo many problems with disposables because he has such sensitive skin. He is allergic to Pampers and lately the dye of the Huggies diapers has been coming off on his skin. (maybe because it's summer and he's sweating more..I don't know) Since I will start potty-training around 2 or a little after I wonder if it's worth the switch or hassle but I hate that his skin gets so irritated. I love the Prayer of Hannah site and didn't know if anyone could point me to the easiest cloth diaper if I did decided to transition him to that. I also don't want to spend a lot of money if I don't have to. Thank you all for your great insight! This is such a joy to be a part of. You impact so many!

Shannon said...

Hey, "Greene Family"!
Since your son will still have 6 months or more until he's potty trained, maybe you could start with a small stash to see if this does better for his skin. Even if he's only in them 6 months, you can save the diapers to use for any more children you have, or pass them on for someone else to love.

If you little one has sensitive skin, you might want to stick with cotton pre-folds (I think Snug-to-fit diapers may be cotton too) instead of any diapers made with synthetic materials.

I'm sure these other moms will have some suggestions too.

Leah said...

"Greene" Friend,
If you'd like a cheap way to experiment with cloth to see if it helps, I would suggest buying a dozen prefolds & 2 cheaper covers. I would also buy 1/2 yard microfleece (polar fleece) from the fabric store.

Here's a question - do you think you could use microfleece liners inside of a disposable? You could just wash the microfleece liners and it would keep the diaper off of the skin. Hmm???

If you know someone near you that uses cloth, I wouldn't be afraid to ask if you could borrow a few of their items to experiment.

Good luck!

The Eckerts said...

I am curious to know if anyone has calculated how much money they spend washing their diapers at home. Our electricity and water are included in our rent and we are moving to a place where they won't be anymore. I would love to know how much extra a month it costs with all the added loads of laundry. Thanks!

Leah said...

I hunted around for some prices, and I came across a few points of interest. First, check this out for an interesting cost analysis for various types of cloth diapering (energy costs included). I also found someone who calculated out washing costs - they say $3.20/week, $16.00/month.

Leah said...

So you like the Pro-wrap covers better? I have the whisper wraps, and while they work well, they ride up in the back and gap (A LOT) in the front on my 25+ lb. little girl. I haven't thought about trying a different cover, mostly because my covers were given to me, but I might have to do that after hearing that you made the switch. On a different note, since we recently bought a house that is bigger than our apartment, I cannot solidly testify to the water cost, but I don't think it is costing me more than $10 "extra" a month to wash the diapers--and it may be less!

Leah said...

An "aside" to the Greene Family--
I did not start cloth diapering my daughter until she was almost 18 months old. There is a little bit of a hassle in making the switch (just figuring out your supplies and your washing routine), but I think it is completely worth it! I feel great about the money I am saving, and the fact that not as many diapers are filling up the Wake County Landfill right now:-) Plus, I hope it will be helpful as my daughter learns to potty train, since CD babies often potty train sooner. I did have a friend give me her supplies, so my expense was not as much as it could have been, but I still think I would have made the switch. Just my two cents on the matter!

Nicole McCurdy said...

God had used POH to totally convict me about using cloth diapers. I will be using prefold with pro-wraps on Hannah at 3 months now, cloth pull ups on Katherine at 2 years and cloth pull ups at night on Faith at 4 years.

I have been trying to figure out if buying the sprayer is worth it or not. You mentioned that you do not rinse out you diapers before putting them in the pail. Do you spray anything like Bac-out on them or anything else? Also does anyone use cloth wipes too? What spray if any do you use on their bottoms when you wipe? Also, does anyone actually use the cloth diapers at church? If so, how much trouble was it to teach the workers and what complaints did you have from them?

If I go cloth I would like to go full time. Is there a way to travel at all with them instead of using disposables. How did you do it?

Christina said...

I can address two of your questions. Yes, we use cloth wipes. I do not use anything but plain water on their bottoms. It is really all that is needed! Think about it - do we use soapy wipes on ourselves?? I just keep a little squirt bottle with a stack of cloth washcloth-like wipes on the changing table. Throw them in the pail with the diaper when I'm done! For Will I bought Kissaluv wipes, but for the baby I bought very cheap washcloths at Babies R Us. They work just as well for us. I have 2 dozen per kid.

Travel with cloth. We have done this, but only by car. I haven't dared deal with cloth when flying. They take up a lot of room to pack and I'd be afraid they would get lost by the airline! We've used cloth on weekend camping trips and also on a four day trip to Atlanta. The camping trip - we just threw them in a pail liner and kept it in the car. Washed when we got home. Atlanta was a little trickier since it was four days. We did have access to a washer/dryer, but I chose to use disposables for the first half of the trip. Then we started using cloth the last two days. This way, the cloth didn't sit dirty too long and I didn't have to wash on our vacation. I just washed as soon as we got home. Worked fine for us!

If you were gone for a longer time - you could do it if you had access to a washer. Just like at home!

The Simple Shepherdess said...

Just a little note:

Using vinegar in your diaper wash will void any warranty with most cloth diaper manufacturers because it eats most types of elastic.

Keith said...

Thanks for the microfleece liner suggestion! Our system is similar, but maybe simpler. We bought 40 infant prefolds and 40 regular prefolds, a few snappi fasteners, and the plain old vinyl covers that are available at Walmart on a good day. Total cost was about 180 or 190. So far so good using the stash with baby number 2! We tried homemade pocket diapers with both and finally got rid, they leaked so bad. Any tips on washing cloth diapers in a front loader? I have a method, but wonder if there's something better.

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