Cloth Diapers Part 3: Our Experience

Today is the third istallement of my series on cloth diapering.  First I wrote about the “ew” factor and other myths of using cloth.  Next I wrote about the different types of cloth diapers.  Today I want to tell you a little bit about our experience with cloth diapering Little Man.

We knew we wanted to use cloth diapers from the get-go.  It seemed like a good thing to do for the environment.  When I multiplied the average number of diaper changes per day (6-12 depending on the age of a child) and the number of days per year, the amount of diapers to be used was staggering.  Assuming Little Man was to be fully toilet trained by roughly 2 years of age, and that number doubled.  What an immense waste!

While the Dreamboat and I didn’t agree on which type of diaper to go for at first (I was aiming for the much cheaper prefolds), we finally settled on the Applecheeks pocket diapers.  We were lucky enough to get a deal on them because the store we were purchasing them at was closing that spring.  Once we purchased the diapers, all we were lacking was Little Man.  He came along soon enough.

Being first time parents, we were new at a lot of things.  This was especially evident when it came to diapering.  Although the diapers we use have two rows of snaps along the them to adjust for any sized baby, we were a little afraid to put the diaper too tight.  Now that I am used to babies I know that I could have gone a lot tighter with the diaper in order to avoid leaks.  Little Man was not a crystal egg as I imagined.

LM woke up often from not only a wet diaper, but also a wet outfit and wet sheet.  Had I had the guts to put the snaps tighter, I am positive that we would not have had any issues.  While parents sometimes find that smaller babies leak in cloth diapers, our son was a decent sized 9 lbs. 7 oz at birth.

Because of the leaks, we opted to use a disposable diaper at night and cloth diapers during the day.  A few of our friends with babies using cloth have also done this, but I also know people who use cloth all of the time.  I would love to say that we didn’t do this, especially when you consider that even one diaper per night is 365 disposable diapers in the landfill each year.

Other than the night issue, the cloth diapers have been a huge success.  A few of my favourite things about using cloth diapers included:

  • they are soft on Little Man’s delicate skin and do not contain harmful chemicals (like the blue gel in disposables that absorbs that appalling amount of urine)
  • we have never used store bought detergent or dryer sheets with them, which means less chemicals on Little Man’s skin (note: dryer sheets are a no-no because they coat the diapers and keep them from absorbing urine)
  • they are easy to use, especially now that Little Man likes to move around/fight the diaper change (I can do up the snaps even when he is standing or on the move)
  • there is way less chance of a poop blowout than with disposables (and usually only if you do not do them up tightly enough)
  • they are not messy and I rarely get my hands dirty (remember, you can wash your hands; they won’t be dirty forever)
  • they are very low maintenance (I don’t actually use a wet pail; I just throw them in the wash)
  • they are pretty and give LM a cute balloon bum (especially amusing when he was a newborn)

I’m sure there are a million more reasons that the Dreamboat and I love using cloth diapers for Little Man.  In the end, I would do it again [not that I will! :)] in a heartbeat.  I think it is a large part of walking the walk when it comes to caring about the environment.

I hope you enjoyed this series.  If you have any questions or comments about cloth diapers, feel free to include them below.  I would love to hear from you.

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4 thoughts on “Cloth Diapers Part 3: Our Experience

  1. We also struggled with leaking issues at night. We opted for Kawaii super soaker diapers and used bamboo liners. Now at 18 months we find we have to put an extra liner in the daytime diapers because he is consuming much more water in a sippy cup (and milk). We still aim for changes every 2 hours. We also do use a bit of bleach once per month to keep the nasties at bay.

    • Yes, liners are such a help. We originally had the Applecheeks bamboo booster, which is horrible (bunches up and is very bulky). Now we use the Bummis fleece liners and they are amazing (especially for dropping poop in the toilet). I hadn’t heard of Kawaii cloth diapers, but they look great. I like that there are different types for different types of wetters (i.e. regular to heavy). Thanks for your comment Eve.

  2. Pre-folds are definitely bulkier than the newer diapers they have available, and they don’t wick away moisture as well – meaning way more diaper changes, but I never had any leaks with them, which was nice. Of course, every time my oldest peed, she would freak out and we would have to change her diaper…there was a slight learning curve, especially when we had just changed her 5 minutes prior 🙂 Once we figured out she just hated being wet, we always checked the diaper first. And she was potty trained at 20 months 🙂

    • Thanks for sharing your experience with prefolds. It’s good to know that you didn’t have leaking issues. You must have developed great patience with all of the diaper changes. The pocket diaper definitely wicks away the moisture well, but that is not always the best thing when it comes to LM’s comfort. He doesn’t always let us know when he is wet, so we have to do a lot of checking. That is just his personality, though. What’s a nice way of saying stubborn? 🙂

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