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Diaper Thesis

(Sun Nov 15 20:15:25 2009)

Jennifer, I have spent more hours and days than I'd care to admit researching cloth diapering. Ther

Jennifer,
I have spent more hours and days than I'd care to admit researching cloth diapering. There are so many things to discover, and it can truly become addictive. However, I would like to provide you with what I consider to be the best sources of information.

http://www.pinstripesandpolkadots.com/
If you read everything they have in their "diapering basics" section,you will have 95% of the information you could possibly ask for to diaper with. They also have an attached store with a decent selection of brands. I hope you don't mind the commentary I will provide. If I were to do things again, I would use a bidet or diaper liners for dirty diapers. FLushable liners might be a good solution to your public laundry problem. (there is a brand of paper towel that is soft, strong, and much less
expensive than flushable liners) [Vivex?? it's listed on the PIN - see below]

I use Planet 2x HE detergent. It is pricey $9 at kroger, but as you read,you will find that you use MUCH LESS detergent on diapers to avoid detergent build-up. One "50 load" bottle has lasted my 6 months. $9 does not sound so bad that way. I also keep Calgon water softener on hand and use it maybe 1x/month to preempt any mineral build-up. Something I discovered that saved me a LOT of trouble was Simple Green. If ever you have urine repelling issues, it is natural, oil-cutting and inexpensive.
Every 2 weeks, I put a downy ball with 1tbsp of simple green in with the diapers to help strip them. My final item is baking soda. It cuts odor in the pail and out of the wash. I have an economy size box that I keep near the pail (I use a dry pail method) and sprinkle a tad on 1-2x/day.This dramatically cut the odor problem of my pail.

http://www.diaperpin.com/home.asp
oh...the pin. Go to their "product reviews" section and you will find more than 1500 diapering products reviewed and ranked by category. Whenever I heard of a diapering item that was unfamiliar to me, I went to the pin. A company will always tell you the ideal story of their own products, but users are honest. when a product is good, they are excited to share. When the product is mediocre, they offer a reason. If it is below expectation either in price, use, or customer service, they will explain exactly how. Diaperpin GREATLY influenced my choices when picking diaper varieties.

http://www.diaperswappers.com/forum/
Can you believe that there is an entire community dedicated to discussing and buying cloth diapers? If ever you have a question or trouble, rest assured it will be answered thoroughly here. They also have a MARVELOUS "for sale or trade"(FSOT) section. This is where I purchased that bulk of my diaper stash. They are meticulous about condition, take good pictures, are honest, and charge fair prices. The moderators see to these standards. Some people disdain the idea of buying "used" diapers. I disdained the idea of paying $18 per diaper. Most diapers that I purchased from I got for less than half that price using Paypal. Interestingly, they have in many cases, outperformed my new diapers!

http://diaperkit.com/store/
If you would like to save money and make your own diapers, this is the place to get kits. you could be truly ambitious and buy all the patterns,pieces, etc. However, to save searching, cutting, worry and wonder, this company offers MANY options (orgainic materials, even!) and with bakers dozens available for $83 on pockets, you cannot ask for a better deal! Those are all the links that I have to offer you as the best that I found in, I'm sure, my hundreds of hours of searching. Now, I hope you will indulge me sharing my opinions on the diapers I have used.

My "stash" has been between 30-40 that fit Xan at any one time. In total,I believe I own about 80 diapers. 8 came to me off freecycle online,the rest I purchased. I spent no more than $500 on all of them, though some were new. I have always had a fairly even distribution of:
a dozen fitted diapers (Motherease and Kissaluvs)
a dozen pockets (Fuzzibunz and Knickernappies Disposanots)
and a dozen OS (one-size) poskets (Bumgenius, Happy Heinys, Mother's
Touch, and Tiny Tush Elite)

The Fitted diapers were used much more when Xan was small. On a delicate little bottom, you don't want to leave anything caustic on their long at all. And, they do pee a LOT until about 3 months. I used Kissaluvs size 0 with my handmade crochet wool diaper covers. Yes, it was a bulky combination, but with cotton and wool, I know there was good air circulation. With wool, I NEVER had a leak, and with Kissaluvs, I never had a messy blowout or a red mark on his skin. They fit from 6lbs until 15lbs, which is a good newborn span. Nowadays, I keep 10 Kissaluvs around. The larger sizes do not get such great reviews on absorbency as the size 0, and I no longer used covers for them. Thus, I use these if he is just wandering around the house in only a shirt and diaper. In texas,it is rarely a worry to me that he will become cold. Because they are fitted, I can immediately see when he is wet, which is more comfortable for him, I know.

I prefer pocket diapers for normal use. They dry quickly since they come apart, and the waterproof PUL is marvelously waterproof, but still more breathable than a disposable. I have a dozen Fuzzibunz. Andrew and I both love them for a few reasons. First, we have only ever needed 2 sizes small (7-18lbs) and medium (15-30lbs) and since we plan to potty train by 2 years, do not plan to need any more[we did not need more]. Second, the snap placement allows for a great fit. Despite everything a baby digestive system can throw at them, I have never had a blowout in one. They have a large pocket opening and are easy to stuff with as much as needed. Finally, as they snap closed, toddler fingers can't open them!

I do love OS diapers, and keep a few different varieties on hand. I have 5 Bumgenius. when you look at them, you can see that they operate remarkably the same as a disposable. Whenever we go someplace where Xan is being looked after (babysitting or church nursery for example) I always pack a BG, because people are the least intimidated by them of any kind I've used. Also, they inner fabric of the BGs is marvelous for dirty diapers. Fuzzibunz and most other pocket diapers use a microfleece that is soft and water-repelling, but gets pilly. The BG inner is microsuede and remains smooth. For dirty diapers,this makes clean-up a snap. If I expect Xan may do his business and I might miss it (being out and about) I often put him in a BG because when you are away from home and don't have a sprayer or time to fuss with the
mess, it is marvelous to have something that the mess just won't stickto! I also can let him go longer between changes without a leak in a BG
than any other diaper (3-4hrs rather than 1.5-3hr) so they are great for running errands. Xan has also been wearing the same BGs since he was
born, because they fit him at 7lbs and will fit him up to 35lbs! They are a very economical choice. The only negative thing I can say about them is
because they are velcro closure, I can't let him wear them without pants or they will be removed!

I also have some Happy Heiny and Tiny Tush diapers that have done very well. The only OS pockets I have that I would NOT recommend are my Mommy's Touch. PUL material is reputed for having diminished waterproofness if it is patterned, and this is true of my Mommy's Touch. Also, though they say they are one size, I couldn't manage to get a comfortable fit onto Xan until around 15lbs. Still, today at 25lbs, the solid Mommy's Touch, being large and reliable with snap closure on mine (they are available with velcro) are great naptime diapers because they may be stuffed a lot and not leak).

We used a Knickernappie Disposanot in size small. They are very trim-fitting, which is great under clothes as they are not bulky, and side-snapping, which makes the fit great and the makes them slimmer still. We loved it, and if we'd had the $$ would have gotten more. They run on the small side on rise and in the crotch, so be forewarned[they recently redesigned them to make the crotch wider]. For our next child, we plan to get 4-5 in both baby and toddler size.

At about 10 months, we gave up cloth for overnight. This was after 4-5 weeks of trying to find a nighttime diaper that would not leak at 5am! It is common for babies to start becoming heavy wetters at about that age. When even 3 diaper inserts inside a BG was ineffective, we agreed that we would spend $7/month to use 1 disposable for night. He doesn't mess at night, so I don't worry about the contaminating factor of waste, but I am upset about the pollution factor. There are specific diapers for nighttime use that are cloth, but it was not within our means this time around. For our next child, I intend to buy 4-5 Toddler sized Crickett's Hemp Fitteds and crochet up some large sized wool covers, since wool has never failed me. If you look on DiaperPin, you will see that Crickett's are highly thought of diapers. They are a small company, as many are, and are in high demand. Hemp is 30% more absorbent than cotton, so I have faith in their ability to perform their duty for 10-12hrs.[we have bought them for Ian, and thus far they are doing VERY well!]

I have a high opinion of hemp as a diaper stuffer, and purchased 12 large hemp inserts from a WAHM (work at home mom) whose site is called SMJAE etc. (Sewing Mom's Just Accessories Etc.) I purchased from her because she is reputed for her high quality craftsmanship, and she has the least expensive prices around. If I'd had my druthers, I would have bought Happy Hempy inserts or Knickernappie's Loopy Do inserts. But the cost was prohibitive and I have nothing but praise for the products I chose instead.

I use cloth wipes for a few reasons. They are softer for the baby, they pick up more (I use 1 wipe for a mess with cloth, but 3 with disposable wipes)!, and they can be used for anything. Mine have been washcloths, tissues, mess-fixers, you name it. I got so many receiving blankets as gifts, that I cut them into the traditional wipe size 8"x8", and had my mom hem them. I got 40 wipes and have done well with that amount. My mother did comment that never in her life has she experienced such a
boring sewing project as endlessly hemming squares... but they were free to me, are soft cotton, and work marvelously. I do not deny owning some disposable wipes, mostly for others who find the cloth ones daunting or gross.

I could continue my thesis here by telling you about wetbags, wipe solutions, troubleshooting, and many other topics, but I'm sure I've given you more than you bargained for already. I am, as you may have guessed, excited about this topic.

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