Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Cloth Diapers - What started it all

So, how did I get into all this "green-ness"??

It all started with researching cloth diapers before Y. was born.

The first thing that REALLY caught my attention was the ENORMOUS pile of diapers in the landfills. I just imagined thousands of diapers that Y. used as a mountain of non-biodigradable trash just sitting there for ever and ever and ever. If there was a way for me to avoid that, I wanted to do it. Even if it's just ME that does it... I wanted to know that my daughter's diapers weren't sitting in the landfill.

Or at least, I wanted to try.

That was the biggest thing for me. I didn't want to be too hard on myself. I wanted to research it as much as I could, try it out, and if it somehow did NOT work out for my family, I didn't want to be too hard on myself. I kept telling myself that it would be OKAY if I ended up using disposable diapers. Cloth diapers isn't for everyone.

I had another blog where I posted what I found during my initial research.
I'll paste it on the bottom of this post.

I started purchasing cloth diapers before Y. was born because I wanted to use them on her as soon as she was out of the hospital. People kept posting that it's just easier to use disposable diapers at the hospital especially with the meconium (the early newborn poops... that are, um... tar-ish). FINE WITH ME! hah.

We were really lucky. During the time that I was researching (ok fine... obsessed with) cloth diapers, there were a million ways to get free ones. I got most of my stash for free. Yes. I did. and I'm so thankful. But the free ones were mostly pocket diapers. I really wanted to try prefolds so I bought some newborn prefolds from GMD. I'm SO glad I did. They were TINY TINY TINY. When they arrived, I couldn't believe how small they were. I actually asked an online forum if these were the right size and if newborns were really THAT small. They all laughed and reassured me that newborns really ARE that tiny. hahahah.

Prefolds and covers worked THE BEST during the newborn stage. THE BEST. Absolutely no leaks, no blowouts, and they were the easiest to clean up. H. and I LOVED THEM.

Oh, I mentioned H. He's my hubby. He is very supportive of me becoming more green. When I told him about cloth diapers, he was all for it. The online forums talk about which diapers are "daddy friendly" and whatnot... and they all point to like the all-in-ones and stuff, but H. REALLY liked the prefolds the best.

During the newborn phase, we also used fitteds with covers. We also made a bunch. Hehehe. They were so cute. :) The first thing we made, actually, were fleece covers. So tiny and so cute. aww, I miss them.

Ok, this post is all over the place, but I have to talk about how we cleaned them, especially during the newborn stage, because it was kind of a challenge. We lived in an apartment complex where we didn't have washer and dryer hook-ups in our unit. There was a community laundry room, but we had to walk up some stairs and walk a little bit to get there (our apartment complex was huge with multiple buildings). I knew this would be a challenge especially because I was about to have knee surgery to replace my torn ACL. There was no way I could wash the diapers alone and my hubby works long hours. BUT I REALLY WANTED TO CLOTH DIAPER! So... I found a used washer on vivinavi (it's like a Japanese Craigslist). H. went to check it out and the lady gave it to him for free after he told her we were gonna use it to wash our baby's diapers. :D SCORE! H. hooked it up into our second bathroom. We used the sink as the water source and the output went into the bathtub. No one used this bathroom so at least now it was getting used. That way, I could at least wash the diapers in a timely matter and I could just hang dry it OR if H. got home, he would walk them to the community laundry room to put them in the dryer. It totally worked out. And I'm thankful it did. :) (We moved to our own place since then and have our own washer AND dryer... I have to admit, it makes things a lot easier).

Now that she's 19 months old, we love pockets. BUT!!! NOT with the microfiber inserts. We actually stuff them with either prefolds or Flips organic inserts. I HATED HATED HATED the Flips system, but I looooove their organic inserts (which actually just look like thin prefolds). I sold all the covers and some of the inserts and kept the rest. So glad I did.

You ask about her poop? Especially since she eats solid food now? I had a lot of fleece left over from making random stuff, so I made fleece liners for her cloth diapers. Her poop just rolls off and I dump it in the toilet. Yes, sometimes I have to swish it in there a little bit, but I just put on rubber gloves and swish swish and throw it into the diaper pail (which is just a trash can I bought at Target with a pail liner). Done.

We also have all-in-one diapers and some all-in-2 diapers.
I love them, too. :D

Not only have we saved A TON of money, we're helping out the earth by not creating more waste.

It's also better for her. She hasn't had one single bad diaper rash since she was born 19 months ago. NOT ONE.

I <3 fluff. :D :D :D :D :D :D :D
I'm SO glad we chose to do cloth diapers.

Ok, here's the cloth diaper entry that I posted on my other blog. This was posted 4 months before Y. was born. I've learned so much more after I wrote this and I'm sure I'll learn more and more. Anyway... here it is. Enjoy~!

March 29, 2010

For the past 5 days or so, I've been obsessed with.... diapers.

Yes, diapers.

Cloth diapers to be exact.

I'm obsessed. I think I'm addicted.
Hello everyone. My name is Yuri and I'm addicted to cloth diapers.

I can't stop researching and I actually think I've ordered more than enough! lol... the baby has NOTHING but diapers. hah.

Why cloth diapers? Oh, so many reasons!

(Disclaimer: I'm not preaching about cloth diapers... this is just the research I did, which convinced me to at least give cloth diapers a try. I'm not trying to convert anyone and I do plan on having some disposable diapers on hand. Also, if this doesn't work out for me, I won't be ashamed to switch to disposable diapers).

1. Financial - If you go the most economical route (because there are different types of cloth diapers), you can save like $1500 - $2000 with one child using cloth diapers! And if you keep them, you can use them with your next child! Most people use various kinds of cloth diapers and so the savings come out to more like $700 - $1000. Also, cloth diapers have HIGH resale value, so you can sell them afterwards (like if you get newborn sizes and then your baby outgrows them, you can sell those so you can buy larger size ones). You DO have to pay more up front for cloth diapers, but within a few weeks/months, you've made up for it. You can make your own, too~!!

2. Environment - Um, so I found out that an average child goes through 7,000 to 10,000 disposable diapers before he/she is potty trained. ONE CHILD! Now multiply that with all the babies using disposable diapers! That's BILLIONS and BILLIONS of diapers that end up in landfills... and stay there for 200+ years! Some people even estimate 500 years! yikes. Also, Over 300 pounds of wood, 50 pounds of petroleum feedstocks and 20 pounds of chlorine are used to produce disposable diapers for one baby EACH YEAR... and they all go to TRASH. There was an attempt to recycle disposable diapers, but they concluded that it wouldn't work on any level. I'm really not the green-est person (although green's my favorite color hehe), but the thought of 10,000 of my baby's diapers sitting in a mountain somewhere for 250+ years just makes me think...

3. Baby friendlier - Cloth diapers are made out of materials that don't contain harmful chemicals. Disposable diapers, on the other hand, contain dioxin, which is a by-product of the bleaching process. It also contains Tributyl-tin (can cause hormonal problems) and sodium polyacrylate, which is the stuff that makes the pee into gel.... pee into gel? just doesn't sound right... especially rubbing up against the baby's bum. It's also been found that babies get diaper rash more with disposable diapers because they keep those on for longer without feeling too wet, even though the moisture and heat will be there(because of all the chemicals).

4. Cuteness - LOL. It's true, though. Cloth diapers are SO cute!!!!!!! They come in all different colors and prints and they're just SO cute!

And, of course, I had lots of doubts... like...

1. Washing??? - well, it actually doesn't seem bad. You don't have to do laundry every day. You throw the solid waste away in the toilet. You throw it in the pail or wash. You DO have to prep the diapers before you use them so that the natural fibers reach optimum absorbency. I'll also be using cloth wipes (the CUTEST by the way) so that I won't have to put the cloth diapers in one pail and the disposable wipes into a different trash can. I'll be putting the cloth wipes into a disposable wipes container, though, and making my own diaper wipe solution!

2. Too complicated? - actually, some of these are used EXACTLY like disposable diapers... like the All-in-1's... you just put it on, just like disposables, but you don't throw it away.

3. Too expensive to start? - well, ya, you need a stash to start off, but like I said earlier, it's way cheaper.

4. Water wasted during the washes?? I heard it still does A LOT Of damage to the environment?? - actually, it's just 2-3 more loads a week... way more environmentally friendly than what I mentioned above under "Environment".

One of the best part about cloth diapering is the huge supportive community of cloth diaperers. I'm a part of several cloth diapering forums and such and these people really help each other out with any question you might have. If I have an issues, I can just turn to them and get advice! These people are obsessed with cloth diapering like I am, but with LOTS more experience. :D

More work? Yea, it is... I can't just throw it away. For me, though, the pro's outweigh the con's so I wanna give it a try. Like I said, if it doesn't work out, it doesn't work out. *shrug*

A lot of moms make their own!! I want to make my own!!!!!!!!! I already have a few patterns, but I'm not ready to sew anything until I see what it is my baby will need... but I'm really excited to make my own! :D

So, yes, I talked about how there are different kinds of cloth diapers.

1. Flats (need a cover)
2. Prefolds (need a cover)
3. Fitteds (need a cover, unless they're just too cute and you're at home)
4. Pockets
5. All-in-one (Ai1)
6. All-in-two (Ai2)
7. One Size diapers
8. Diaper covers
9. Hybrids (most like disposables... u can flush the liners down the toilet)

You don't need to use pins, like what I imagined! A lot of these come with velcro/aplix or snaps. You can use prefolds and fitteds with these things called Snappi's... so no pins! :D

I can't go into detail about each one... it would take me forever.

You can get just one kind or you can get a variety. You can be economical and just buy flats, prefolds, and covers... or you can spend more and buy the other kinds. It's all up to you.

Ok, I think I'm done blogging about diapers lol.

Here are some photos of for you. :D

Who knew diapers could be so cute!!!! (These are NOT my diapers... I'm waiting for mine to come).

(photo by someone who posted on BabyCenter's Cloth Diaper Board - so helpful)



and look at these cloth wipes!! I'm getting some of these custom order! :D
Cloth wipes can be used for anything!! Mine will be flannel on one side and organic bamboo velour on the other!

(photo by Eli's Wipe-E's - these are amazing)

Fun fun!!


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