Thumbs up, Thumbs down

Back in April when I finally decided to switch to cloth diapers I was SO EXCITED, partly because I knew it was the eco-friendly, responsible choice…but also a little because I was finally going to be part of the cool kid’s diaper club, where everyone knew what AIO and AI2 and pre-fold and PUL and insert and pocket meant. I thought maybe someone would even teach me the secret handshake.

Turns out the handshake is just my EW EW EW EW EW! reaction to getting poop on myself AGAIN and I still don’t know what all the abbreviations mean. Luckily, it turns out you don’t have to know all that stuff to use cloth diapers, especially if you’re like us and still haven’t switched full time. It’s not an all-or-nothing experience and every cloth diaper I use is one less disposable in a landfill – and one more adorable fluffy butt I get to squeeze.

Our experience so far:

The good:
– The Katydids are my favorites by far, both because they’re super easy to use and because they’ve never leaked. I stopped using both inserts all the time and they still hold a whole morning full of pee. I also love that they’re easy to carry with me in my (admittedly huge) diaper bag – just once piece & easy to stuff in the wet bag.
– I also really like the one Happy Heiny and one Swaddlebee diaper we have. I’ve quickly learned that pocket diapers or all-in-ones are my favorite and would switch to them full time if I had a budget that allowed me to stock up.
– E has figured out how all our diapers work and will voluntarily put them on Baby Evan as long as they’re stuffed, stacked and available next to the changing table. Most of the time.
– My biggest fear – the WASHING – has been easy-peasy. I use Charlie’s Soap for the diapers and All Free & Clear for the rest of our laundry and haven’t had any trouble with build-up. I also really love hanging my diapers out on the clothes line. Which I know makes me a weirdo.

The bad
-We can’t bring ourselves to give up the disposables at night or when we travel. For a while Baby Evan was doing all his pooping at night, which made a disposable just too tempting. Now it’s just because I know he won’t wake up at 2 am screaming for a diaper change because he’s wet. We also used disposables this weekend when Baby Evan’s teething/new foods diaper rash got out of control and we went through a tube of Desitin every day. I haven’t found something that works as well and is safe for cloth.
– As much as I WANT to love my adorable GoodMamas, the extra step of using a cover makes me sort of dread them. They work great, my new Thirsties Duo covers work great, they really are NOT THAT HARD…but in my diaper stash they’re my second to last choice (last choice being regular old-fashioned pre-folds, which I have yet to even try, despite having 3 dozen stripped and ready to go).
– Although our diaper sprayer does get the poop off the diapers, it also gets the poop on the toilet, the walls, the floor and the person spraying the diaper. Maybe we just have really high water pressure. Maybe we are just not smart enough to do it right. It doesn’t really matter when tiny bits of poop are flying ALL OVER YOUR FACE.

The ugly
– I picked just about the WORST TIME EVER to make this switch. Not only did Baby Evan finally start eating solid food regularly, he started eating meat. If you haven’t had the joy of smelling meat-fed baby poop yet you’re a lucky, lucky person. These diapers are GROSS. The fewer seconds I have to look at or smell the poop the less likely I am to puke on the changing table. It doesn’t help that my super-power-strength sense of smell (thanks pregnancy!) is at an all time high. I can smell a dirty diaper from 30 yards and have to hold my nose when I toss my diaper pail bag in the machine. I’m reallyreallyreallyreally looking forward to trying full-time cloth with a new, exclusively breastfed baby whose poop doesn’t make me throw up in my mouth.

So to sum up: Good change, poor timing. I’m definitely going to keep using cloth at least part-time, and hope to switch to full-time in the future. Anyone have any newborn/small/medium sized all-in-ones or pocket diapers they’re looking to unload?

(Oh! AND! If you’re one of those people who have no interest in switching to cloth but had trouble with a certain diaper brand that may or may not have caused ugly chemical burns on some babies – including ours – may I recommend Luvs? I know, right, who uses Luvs?!?! We needed some disposables for our vacation a few weeks ago and they were the cheapest option at BJ’s so I picked up a box. They work great! They don’t smell funny! The box says something about a money-back guarantee although I know nothing about that! This endorsement is in no way sponsored by Luvs – they don’t know me from a hole in the wall – but my dislike of a certain other brand makes me want to support companies that don’t give my baby a horrible rash.)

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23 Responses to “Thumbs up, Thumbs down”

  1. Thanks for this – I was using G-Diapers for a while but got annoyed b/c every poopsplosion = change everything and omg lots of laundry to do.

    We’ve been full time disposables (Huggies) since then but now that ivy is mostly on solids and uh, her poop is less ‘splosion prone I’ve been thinking about giving cloth diapering another go.

  2. TMae says:

    Hmm…you don’t make the diaper sprayer I’ve been eyeing sound like the BEST.SOLUTION.EVAR that I had imagined it would be. Sad.

    • bebehblog says:

      It does help get the poop off the diaper. I just fail at keeping the poop off of other things. I supposes it’s still a better option than using a spatula.

      • Hey, I bought some flushable diaper liners from Diapers.com and those worked really well! It’s like a little sheet of toilet paper that goes into the diaper, then when he poops on it you just dump the liner and the poop into the toilet. It’s amazingly non-gross!

        • bebehblog says:

          When I bought the diapers from Emily she sent me a roll. They work ok, but the poop never stays totally on the liner.

  3. Amy says:

    Before I had a diaper sprayer, I used what my husband dubbed the poopula – a quite firm plastic spatula. A quick scrape in to the toilet and the poop was taken care of. My diaper sprayer had a huge learning curve. That said, my husband is trying to convince me to use disposables on our upcoming trip and I am a tiny bit tempted.

    • bebehblog says:

      Even the moms I know who are dedicated, full-time cloth diaperers use disposables when they travel. If it helps, you could buy some 7th generation or biodegradable ones & call it an environmental draw.

  4. Amy says:

    Oh, and SmartiPants are great and on the cheaper side for pockets.

  5. so sorry you’re not completely loving the goodmamas! those are still by far my favorite cloth dipes i’ve ever tried – it’s different for everyone tho (and obviously, you know how well i fared with the full-time cloth!) ;D

    i agree that luvs are great. i use them pretty much full-time and poppy never gets a rash (ok well, she has one today but i swear that’s a freak accident. SWEARS.)

    hope you get more comfortable with the whole cloth shebang. at least baby even looks dang cute with his fluffy bum!

    cheers!!

    • bebehblog says:

      It’s not that they don’t work REALLY well or are too hard for anyone to figure out – I am just so incredibly lazy that having to put a cover on makes me not want to use them.

      I figure that for every day we use 90% cloth and only 1 disposable I’ve saving almost $1, so as long as I do it for a few more months I’ll break even on my investment and start saving money. I really can’t complain!

  6. The Mother says:

    I can’t wait to have our diaper sprayer installed. It’s going to make my life a whole heckeva lot easier.

    We use Goodmama’s Good.Nights for night time but that’s it. We have to add an extra hemp layer which makes him looking like he has bowling ball for a rear!

    Prefolds are my favorite, but are quicking falling out of favor due to his incredible need to squirm. We are making our way to all AIOs, AI2s, and some fitted just for S&G.

    • bebehblog says:

      Dude, do NOT pay someone to install your sprayer. It takes 2 seconds and is truly idiot proof. I asked my husband to do it but I could have just as easily done it myself.

      Of course, you might have just meant you can’t wait until one of you gets around to installing it, in which case I’m an idiot.

  7. Eileen says:

    Did you know that Luvs are the older versions of the brand that must not be named? As in when they make an “upgrade” or change the Luvs are the former type. I think some of the Luvs are just like the Baby Dry in the “other” brand.

    Just a heads up.

    I would’ve loved to do cloth, but with daycare they won’t allow it, and I’m not making the investment to use only on the weekends.

  8. Elle says:

    I’m totally not a mama yet, but I plan to be one soon. And I really love reading about different people’s experiences with children… Plus you’re funny and keep me entertained! But anyway, I’d love to read a post about the basics of cloth diapering, I can never find someone who write what everything means, what require covers and what doesn’t, what is suitable for new borns or toddlers, etc. But then also with their experience! I do hope you choose to write a blog post regarding that ;) :D

    • bebehblog says:

      I may not be the best person to write that since I am definitely still learning, but Kim over at Dirty Diaper Laundry writes (and videos) GREAT reviews. But I will definitely do a much more complete post when we try cloth diapering from the beginning with Baby Davis #2!

  9. ryan says:

    Jude just got big enough to fit into her fuzzi bunz and i couldn’t be happier with them. we bought 18 one size for about $300. if you put them on correctly, tucking in the legs so the fleece isn’t showing, they do not leak. i’ve been using charlie’s soap with a splash of bi-o-kleen bac-out to wash them but, honestly, i’m thinking about switching to baking soda and vinegar in an effort to save even more money. if i’m going to remain a stay-at-home-mom i’ve gotta earn my keep! i wash a load of about 10 diapers every other day. it’s labor intensive – washing, drying, stuffing, resizing if necessary – but well worth it.

    and i don’t even want to know what a diaper sprayer is and why on earth you need to use a spatula to get the poop off. breast milk 4 LIFE!

  10. Amy says:

    We have been using gdiapers since Mia was 1 month old and we love them. We did have a few problems with explosions, but then she started pooping only once or twice a week (normal for breastfed babies) so even if there was an explosion, it wasn’t very often. Now that she’s eating tons of solids, they are great! And SO CUTE on her little bum!

  11. Rebecca says:

    Do you have just the sprayer? If so, you might look into something like the Potty Pail which is basically a bucket with a hole in it. I think that contains the poop splatters pretty well. Plus you can use it to soak diapers.

    I ended up throwing in the towel on cloth diapers once I got to the point where my baby would only consent to be changed while standing up. I got kicked in the mouth enough times that I just gave up trying to get her to lie down unless it was a super-massive poosplosion. It’s hard enough getting a disposable onto a person who is walking around, much less try to do up a snappi and add a cover. Sorry, environment, maybe next time.

  12. Merin says:

    holly solved the poop-spray issue by cutting out the bottom of a five gallon home depot bucket and putting it over the toilet when she sprays. i’m too lazy to even buy a diaper sprayer so I just scrape the poop with toilet paper and flush it all down. it doesn’t get it all but its good enough that the washer can do the rest. cora had on a disposable the other day and pooped in it…of course it was matt’s turn to change her diaper. wtf, cora?????

  13. Marisa says:

    I use Luvs! I’ve used them for years and they are my favorite. I thought about switching to cloth even took a cloth class but after two kids in the disposables I wasnt willing to learn something new!

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