If you have zero interest in cloth diapers, just ignore the writing and scroll for the cute pictures.
I’ve been interested in cloth diapering since before I even got pregnant. I’ve had a few friends who have gone the cloth route and did some reading online that got me really interested. The main benefits to us were the cost savings (we spent a little over $200 for our entire stash), the comfort for her (less diaper rash and blowouts), and the environmental factors (our few weeks of using disposables quickly showed us how much trash they generate!).
We used disposables for the first month of her life. And as we were using them I began to get really worried. They were easy! Would cloth diapers be so hard that my early experience with disposables would spur me to go back? Bella reached the nine pound mark right as we ran out of newborn disposables though, so the time came to give our cloth diapers a try.
Backtracking a little…we picked out our cloth diapers, the BumGenius 4.0, back when I was around 20ish weeks pregnant. I researched and researched trying to make the best choice. The BumGenius brand got almost universal positive reviews. They also seem to hold their re-sale value the best which was reassuring in case they didn’t work for us. The 4.0 is a pocket diaper, which means that you stuff it with a microfiber insert. We were also contemplating the Elemental or the Freetime, both all-in-ones, but I read online (and my friend Kate verified) that they took a really long time to dry. Since we didn’t want to have to buy a ton, and we didn’t want to have to wash them every day, we decided to rule all-in-ones out. So when a good sale came along, we were able to pick up 22 diapers online and have them shipped to our house.
Luckily, the transition to cloth was way easier than I thought it would be. Once they are stuffed, it is really no harder than a disposable. As long as Bella is exclusively breast fed, her poop is water soluble, which means it can go directly in the washing machine. With each diaper change, the dirty diaper goes in our wet bag and a new diaper goes on her. We also use cloth wipes which go straight into the wet bag as well.
Every other day, I dump the contents of the wet bag and the bag itself into the washing machine. The washing routine (pre-wash cold no detergent, wash hot with detergent, extra rinse) took some time to get used to, but after a few weeks it is like old hat. When they finish in the washer, the inserts and the wet bag go into the dryer, and the diapers go onto a drying rack to air dry. Right now, I do the laundry every other day starting first thing in the morning. Once I go back to work, we’ll switch to doing it in the evenings.
As for what Bella thinks? She hopefully likes them! They certainly look cute on her. They are definitely bulkier than a disposable, but my worry that her clothing wouldn’t fit over them so far seems to be unfounded. I think we benefit from her shorter build with chunky thighs. I could see how fit might be an issue with a tall and skinny baby. Right now, she also only needs one insert and can sleep for eight hours straight at night without a leak. When she starts having heavier wet diapers, we can add in the second insert that they came with or even invest in some super-absorbent hemp inserts.
So far, my impressions of cloth diapering and specifically the BumGenius 4.0 are great. The work hasn’t been nearly as bad as I thought and its nice to not have to run out and buy diapers and wipes all the time. Her daycare has agreed to use her cloth diapers (as long as we send them stuffed every day), but that will be an adjustment that hopefully goes well when the time comes. We’ll also see how it goes to travel with them. I’m definitely not opposed to using disposables when we travel if it is more convenient. We did survive our first out-of-home cloth diaper change the other day when she had a come-apart at the mall.
We’re happy with our decision so far, but I’ll definitely continue to update as things change.