The Cloth Life.

Here we are, almost 15 months into this adventure called parenting and 9 months into the wonderful world of cloth diapering. We were so, so blessed by the generosity of our friends and family when Levi was born–we had enough disposable diapers stockpiled to last until he turned 6 months old. I kid you not, we did not have to buy a single diaper for that dude for 6 months. Such a blessing!

Levi at 6 months old, sporting his very first cloth diaper!

Around the time he turned 5 months, we realized our nice little “diaper closet” was dwindling in supplies and we needed to make a decision about continuing to buy disposables or take the leap and purchase a stash of cloth diapers. I’ve mentioned on here before that we had considered cloth diapers when I was pregnant–but after seeing how many disposables he received at our showers, we put a hold on that thought.

I researched for hours and hours and I was just overwhelmed with all of the options. The world of cloth diapering has, what seems like, an entirely different lingo. Snappis, prefolds, fitteds, 2-in-1’s, pockets, blah, blah, blah. It was confusing! I just wanted something simple to use, simple to wash, and reliable when it came to catching his pee and poo.

One thing I found super helpful when researching diapers is watching reviews on YouTube for each kind. Real-life cloth diapering mamas give their pros and cons of their experiences with each diaper. They can also point out features of the diapers in the videos that you often can’t see a picture of before you purchase the diapers–which can help you make an informed decision. Because you can do that, I’ll refrain from listing all of my pros and cons here for the diapers we use.

A few friends recommended the BumGenius brand very enthusiastically–so I decided to buy two 4.0 pocket diapers with some Babies-R-Us gift cards. I mean, I hadn’t spent a dime from my own pocket (no pun intended), so it was worth a shot! Around the same time, we also considered gDiapers again (we had when I was pregnant)–Brian liked them solely for their “look.” He is such a sucker for that kind of thing. gDiapers are not one-size, meaning they do not expand and grow with the baby, so I wasn’t loving that idea. This was supposed to help save us money after all–and buying a new set of cloth diapers every 6 months defeated that purpose. But we had a few more gift cards, so we also decided to give those a try (with some of their disposable inserts at first, since the cloth inserts are not included).

BumGenius 4.0’s
gDiapers

Overall, after trying both types, I really liked the BumGenius 4.0’s much more than the gDiapers (for various reasons), but they still weren’t quite what I was hoping for. I didn’t love that, because the 4.0’s were pocket diapers, I had to wash both the covers and the inserts every time he dirtied a diaper. At $18 per diaper, multiplied by 12-16 diapers needed for a 2-day span, that was a pretty high start-up cost. More than we cared to spend.

And then I found the Flip system. Made by Cotton Babies (just like BumGenius) Flip diapers are the exact same exterior as the 4.0’s, but instead of having a pocket that you stuff the insert into, they are simply a waterproof shell that you lay the insert inside of. This allows you to reuse the unsoiled cover multiple times, with clean inserts, before washing. We purchased two of these combo packs, which is just enough to get Levi through 2 days of diapering before I need to wash. $100 for all the diapers he will need until he is potty trained! Quite the bargain.

Flip Diapers (also shown below)

 

I have only recently found one downside to the Flip diapers as opposed to the 4.0’s. Since Levi is so active now, it is a bit more of a pain to make sure the insert is positioned correctly in the diaper when putting it on him. This isn’t a problem with the 4.0’s because the insert stuffs inside, so it is all in one piece when diapering. But, with a bit more of a conscious effort to always double check the fit of the diaper and position of the insert before letting him crawl away, any potential leaks can be easily avoided.

Here is a look at our small, but more than sufficient diaper stash (we’ve added a few items since we first started with cloth):

  • 3 –   BumGenius 4.0 One-Size Pocket Diapers with inserts (I mainly use these for nighttime diapering)
  • 5 –   Flip One-Size Diaper Covers
  • 12 – Flip Stay-Dry Inserts
  • 9 –   Flip Stay-Dry Newborn Inserts (I have started using these as doublers with the large inserts, since Levi is now drinking larger quantities between changes)
  • 1 –   Miscellaneous diaper cover (very similar to a Flip diaper, gift from a friend)
  • 2 –   gDiapers, size medium (I use these with the Flip inserts, usually just on wash day)
  • 1 –   Econobum Diaper with 3 prefolds (I bought this in the very beginning of exploring cloth diapers, because it was super cheap. The prefolds were just way too bulky for my liking though.)
  • 1 –   gDiaper wetbag with $10 pail from Target
  • 1 –   gDiaper mini-wetbag for on the go
Diaper cover (brand unknown)
Econobum Diaper with Pre-fold
Mini-wetbag that I keep in Levi’s bag for on-the-go changes
The diaper pail, which stays in Levi’s closet (so that little hands can’t get into it…)

So 9 months into cloth diapering and we (I) love it! Well, as much as you can love something that comes in contact with human feces. Brian doesn’t change Levi often, but when he does, even he can handle the cloth diapers with ease! While there are a few (rare) exceptional days, it is not at all as gross as it seems. As a mom, you become pretty accustomed to handling human waste, so I find it is really not a huge deal to flip a poopy diaper over the toilet instead of rolling it up for the trash can.

What I love most about cloth diapering–besides the obvious cute factor–is the savings! In the last 9 months, we have saved nearly $350 because we use cloth.*
Now, I am by no means saying that disposable diapers are a terrible option. We all know they are super convenient! And we still buy a small pack every two or three months for when Levi is in the church nursery or with a babysitter. But, personally, I just can’t get past the savings of using cloth diapers, especially when they require very little effort on my part. Every other evening, I just dump the diapers into the washer (wetbag and all), transfer them to the dryer before heading to bed, and they are fresh and ready to go by the next morning.

So this is my experience with cloth diapers thus far! Once we have another baby, I’ll be anxious to try them for the 6 months and younger age range, since I never did with Levi. I would definitely recommend giving them a try!

*Based on an average of 6 diapers per day, using Pampers brand. Price of laundry detergent, water, and energy taken into account.
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