Cloth diapering?

Birdman and I are working on making ourselves a little chick, and I’ve basically gone baby crazy. I’ve been doing a ton of research into cloth diapers recently and think it might be a good idea. My reasons follow:
[li]Cheaper by a buttload (ha, found the pun on preview)[/li][li]Better for the ol’ environment[/li][li]Cuter[/li][li]I like being old-timey[/li][li]I like crafting and you can Make Your Own cloth diapers[/li][li]Did I mention they are way cuter?[/li][li]I can be totally smug around mothers with disposables[/li][/ol]
So of course all the mommy blogs and message boards I’ve read are all “Yay Cloth!”, but I don’t trust most of those bitches. They also tend to be anti-vacc and pro-organic and try to teach the baby sign language in the womb and all that other happy horseshit, so their word is taken with a grain of salt.

Which is why I’m questioning you lovely cynics. Tell me your experiences with cloth. Did you hate it hate it hate it after two weeks and switch to disposable? Did you love it so much that you quit work and now manufacture organic hemp flats dyed with elderberries in your home? If you like it, do you have a fav brand?

Thanks!! :slight_smile:

IANAP but I have to wonder at some of the claims about eco-friendliness when, in the interest of hygiene, diapers have to be washed in the hottest water possible. That’s a lot of a) energy to heat the water, and b) a lot of clean water that now has human feces in it.

I know disposables make a friggin’ mountain of trash, OTOH. I may not be a parent, but I do know that! :slight_smile:

  • forehead slap * Oh, yeah … duh. Slate covered this a while ago. Here ya go.

I’m about to have my first adventures in diapering, too, so I don’t have any actual advice… but there sure are a lot of threads on mommy boards about “stripping” the ammonia smell from diapers washed in hard water. I guess some people have a hard time with it and some don’t. It involves extra chemicals.

Also, I’ve seen as many people say that the environmental/cost savings are nil, due to detergent, electricity, hot water, and initial investment. It gets more economical with every baby you re-use the diapers for.

(watches thread with interest)

As for the “better for the environment” thing, that may not necessarily be the case. You’ll be washing the diapers, and thus introducing more stuff for your sanitary sewer to take care of, along with dumping more phosphates from the detergent into whatever body of water your sewage company dumps the treated waste. You’ll also be using more water. Is that better or worse than dumping plastic into a landfill? I don’t know–I just know that it’s not as simple as the pro-cloth people make it.

Also, cloth diapers are a pain in the ass. My sister used cloth on my first niece, the second time around, she used disposable.

True, but you only have to do the wash cycle on hot, and the rest can be cold. Also, doesn’t the washing machine water go to the same place as the toilet water–also very full of feces–to a water treatment facility? Whereas the disposables go into the landfill where they are not treated to be safe.

My brother does cloth. I know they saved an asston of money when the baby was newborn and pooping constantly (as a corrollary, they were never NOT doing laundry). Since he’s gotten bigger I’m not sure of their stance. I do know it is not a hardline “no petroleum product will ever touch my baby’s hiney” – they use disposable when on the road visiting family, etc – It’s just too inconvenient otherwise.

I’m pretty sure environmentally, it’s a wash (heh). You use a lot of detergents cleaning all that poop, and that’s not so great for the water supply either. If you use a service, there’s the added non-environmentalism, of someone having to deliver/pick up using fossil fuels (and then, there isn’t any cost savings really).

Are you going to be a stay-at-home or working Mom? (Or Dad?) My guess is that most daycares probably have requirements about this, so it’s something else to consider if it applies.

I tried them for a few weeks with my last-born; what a PITA. ha! Anyway, I might have gotten them too small, or perhaps did not wash them enough times prior to using (another non-eco-friendly recommendation with cloth).

At any rate, he peed through them like mad. My bedroom constantly smelled like pee from all the wet diapers and wet clothing. Poop was contained OK.

I intitally thought it would be great since I thought I’d have TWO washing machines at my disposal — one that we purchased with the house, and another that had been at the old house. We did not, however, immediately hook up the old one in the basement (new house had a laundry upstairs) and by the time I’d had enough, we didn’t bother and just sold it. The washer, not the baby. :stuck_out_tongue:

We have a two months old. At the insistence of my wife, we’re using cloth diapers.

I’ve been convinced. Cloth diapers are cool.

At first we used G-Diapers, which were really expensive per diaper and relatively difficult to use. Then we found a company called Kawaii. The diapers are $7 apiece, come in tons of colors and patterns, and wash clean after each usage. Also, they have button snaps that allow you to keep using them as your baby grows.

We just ordered our second batch of them yesterday and so we’ve spent approximately $160 on diapers over almost three months and that’ll probably be all that we end up spending. Even if you add in the cost of cloth wipes, water and detergent it still won’t touch what disposable diapers would have cost us.

Now, my wife breast feeds and i’ve been told that formula produces different poop that may not be water soluable. Also, when the kid starts to eat regular food we’ll have to reevaluate. But for now? It’s working just fine.

We did it for 16 months with our daughter - we used a laundry service, so they would drop off new ones and take away the stinky bin every week. Cheaper than disposables, but obviously more expensive than buying your own stock. Although I’ve seen all sorts of reports, I was generally persuaded that this was a reasonably eco-friendly option too - issues about efficiency of the hot water use and so on.

It’s probably significant that we stopped after 16 months, but my daughter wasn’t toilet trained for more than a year afterwards. We’re also cooking the next one, and I won’t be going for the same option this time. In the end it was just too much bother. If we were going out for any length of time, I’d put her in disposables or I’d risk having to change her completely a couple of times. Similarly she was in disposables at night once she started sleeping through. Eventually we just weren’t using the cloths at all. My childmnder was very good and co-operative, but I know for a fact that she heaved a sigh of relief when we went to good old Pampers - easier for her.

We had no problems with the nappies themselves (apart frojm the seemingly elevated risk of leaks). She seemed comfortable, we had no issues with rashes particularly. We used pre-folds and waterproof outers, so they were very easy to use, but to be honest dealing with any sort of nappy is not hard, you just need a couple of times to practise. A couple of friends in my baby group have their own stocks and used them happily on a couple of children each. They seem to have had fairly positive results.

I did (and do) have a twinge of conscience, as I do feel that the use of disposables is generally a Bad Thing to Do, but there’s all sorts of things I can choose to feel guilty about - that’s just one.

When I lived in Oregon there was a brand of disposables called Bunnies that was made out of cornstarch and biodegradable.

Perfect for me because I hated using cloth and didn’t want to add to the landfills.

Not sure if they’re available online, but they rocked.

I had a diaper service for my first kid. Liked it just fine. And it’s like Christmas when you put out a bag full of poopy diapers and get a bag of fresh clean ones back! Drawbacks: there is no way to make them entirely leak-proof.

I got burned out with Kid #2, who was born at the same time as kid #1’s potty-training. Went disposable after that. I liked that just fine too.

I don’t know that either is better/worse for the environment, and if you get a service it costs about the same.

We did cloth diapers for our first…for about the first year. Yay Cloth!!, but that diaper pale and the washing and then bagging those suckers while your out…what a pain in the ass.

More power to you. But for the next two kids we did disposables. Yep, more expensive, but a convenience I’m willing to pay for.

I figure I make it up by recycling everything else.

The FTC filed suit against American Enviro challenging the biodegradable claims of the Bunnies diapers:

We did cloth with our first child. Used a diaper service
I loved it. Get plenty of diapers covers. Hell do it for the fist couple months anyhow. You don’t know any difference. Then when you know better and the second one comes around you can use disposable like everyone is cuter And not all that bad. The service is the way to go though. We movedback to alaska and there as no service. So to be truthful we may have done it again.

So were you putting these diapers in your compost pile? Because if you’re just putting them in the regular trash, I very much doubt that they’re going to biodegrade in a typical sanitary landfill.

My parents tried to use cloth diapers when I was a newborn, but whatever the diaper service used as a detergent was way harsh on the delicate skin most redheads have, especially as infants. They switched to disposables and there was no more open-sore style diaper rash, so they didn’t bother trying again when my little brother (also a redhead) came along. Hopefully they’re using much gentler detergents these days.

We used Cloth for both our daughters, and had a service.

However, we started using disposables at night, since they do keep the skin dryer than a cloth.

I used a cloth diaper service for the first year or so. I loved it, the only drawback was that pickup was once a week and the smell would get a bit ripe. I know a few people who have done the washing themselves and they have no problem with it. When I changed to disposable I chose a slightly more ecological option. I know its not perfect, but it doesn’t give my kid rashes like Pampers did.

I love cloth diapers, but it seems to be one of those personal preferences things. My primary reason is the cost is so much less, and I don’t do organic or save the environment, just so you know where I’m coming from. Secondary reason is that I hate things that smell.

I use a mix of chinese prefoldsand gerber prefolds, with Thirsties covers. I prefer the chinese prefolds, as they are more absorbent, but the gerbers were a gift. I like the prefolds because they are easy. I just fold them in thirds in the cover and velcro it on. I never did get the hang of snappis or pins, but I didn’t have to! Some people prefer snaps because they last longer, and although some of my velcro looks kinda crappy now, I prefer the more precise fit of it. I do love the Thirsties brand though, because they have extra gussets that keep everything in. I tried a couple of different brands (bummis whisper, and prowraps I think) in newborn size to start off with, and after that I went with only Thirsties because they are just better than the others.

I’ve been doing it for 9 months. I used disposables for trips where I wouldn’t have access to my washing machine. First time I used 7th generation, and they were pretty cool because they didn’t smell but I got that pack for free, and then next time I just used store brands, but those had fragrances added to them, and they stank! And my husband also used disposables in the hospital for the first newborn poops that are really gross, and he said that was the grossest shit ever, so I would suggest waiting until all that is gone until you start cloth, but most of the time it only takes a couple days.

I was doing warm wash with cold rinse for about 5 months, but then I had a bit of the stink (ammonia smell) issue, so I ran them on a hot rinse a couple times, and now I do hot wash, cold rinse, and I have not had any other issues with stink now. I use planet detergent, but there is a list for other good detergents that work well with cloth. You really don’t need that much detergent. I use less than an ounce per load. Less is better because otherwise you might get buildup. My husband was using too much. I do one load about every or every other day, about 12 diapers or so per load.

I don’t find the convenience factor to be any different for me. Yeah, you put the diaper in the wetbag when you are out; that takes 2 seconds. How long does throwing the disposable away take? About 2 seconds. Pretty much the same. But I have no problems with doing a load of diapers. It’s super easy laundry because you just throw it in, add detergent, start the wash, wait a while, throw it in the dryer. My prefolds dry within an hour in my bottom of the line dryer. No folding, I just use the diapers straight out of the laundry basket. But some people just really hate doing laundry and think it’s the worst thing ever, so if you are one of those people, you might not like cloth. The only thing that is really that different is that I’ve had to buy one size up in baby clothes to fit over the diaper, but it’s not really an issue because I buy carter’s brand and they are more narrow, so they fit well over the diapered bottom.

I’ve never had any leak problems except when I’ve done something stupid like not velcroing one side of the diaper properly so that it comes undone later. Never had any rash problems (in either cloth or disposables). Never had any poop blowouts in cloth. The poop does get on the cover though, but you should wash the covers once in a while anyway. My baby is still mostly breastfed, so the poopy diapers go straight into the wash, no scraping or spraying poop. I also do EC now though so I don’t even have that many poopys now that we are out of the newborn poop every time you pee phase.

And if you do end up using cloth, you might as well use cloth wipes as well, which I definitely prefer to disposable. I think they work a lot better. Disposables are always soapy and too slippery. I bought some wipes, and they were okay, but if I were to do it over I would just use baby washcloths because they are a lot cheaper and work just as well.

Honestly, even if I were to suddenly become rich, I would still do cloth again just because it is what I’m used to. I would probably just buy more of a variety of diapers. I really do like them better now. I changed disposables when I worked in a daycare, so it’s not like I have no experience with them. The only kind I would consider using is those without fragrance. I just hate things that smell! But that’s just my little quirk.