Now, she’s almost 6 months old and we have been using our “big girl” diapers for close to 3 months now. We finally were able to transition over to our full time cloth diapers (the ones she will use until she is potty trained) back in January when she was a little over 3 months old. I loved the newborn diapers, but I must say that I love these even more.
When researching cloth diapers during pregnancy, I wanted something that was going to make my life easy. (Story of my life, by the way. The easier, the better.) It was going to be a big enough pain in the butt to actually have to wash the diapers that I didn’t want to make it even more difficult by having to stuff liners into the diapers. Therefore, I decided to go with the bumGenius Elemental All-In-Ones.
These diapers snap in the front and don’t involve any stuffing. The liner is attached to the inside of the diaper (all in one piece), meaning I throw it into the wash, dry them, and then they’re ready to wear. While I haven’t used the other cloth diapers, I think they definitely have made my life much easier. On the down side, they are much more expensive than diapers with separate liners and take a little longer to dry since they are extremely thick. However, I think the ease of use is worth the extra money.
We have 20 Elementals and that seems to be the perfect amount right now. They are much more absorbent than the newborn diapers, so we don’t go through nearly as many in one day. We wash them every other day and have only run out once or twice because we forgot to put them in the dryer. (The downside to cloth – and having the washer + dryer in the basement.)
On our trip to Branson, we chose to put her in disposables just because it was more convenient and we didn’t have access to a washer + dryer. And let me tell you, cloth diapers have WAY less blow outs than disposables. We maybe have one blow out or leak a week with the cloth diapers. However, with the disposables, we had at least 3 in 2 days. (And of course, I didn’t pack enough clothes for M to wear, so she was in sleepers in 80+ degree weather. Oops.) Cloth diapers also don’t stink nearly as bad as disposables either, which is always a great thing.
We are still battling some diaper rash + chafing that I’ve mentioned in the past. Because the cloth diapers don’t pull away as much moisture as disposables, MacKenna’s booty stays damp and her poor sensitive skin just can’t take it. If I change her every 2 hours and slather her up good with (cloth-friendly) diaper rash cream, we don’t have nearly as much redness. We use California Baby diaper rash cream + diaper area wash (a calming spray) and they seem to work really well. After I change her diaper, I spray the calming spray, pat her dry with a dry washcloth, and rub some diaper rash cream all over. I haven’t quite figured out how to get rid of the chafing though. The cloth rubs her inner thighs just right that they get really red and dry. I guess it’s just something we’ll have to live with.
The other thing we’ve changed since switching to the big girl diapers was transitioning to cloth wipes. When we were using the newborn diapers, I was using disposable wipes, which I was not a fan of because I couldn’t just throw the diaper + wipes in the same place. I am now loving the cloth wipes! We have 36 cloth wipes that we keep in a Prince Lionheart wipe warmer so they stay moist (I get them damp with just plain water first and then put them in the wipe warmer). It’s a little bit of work having to fold them after they come out of the wash (we fold them so when we pull one out, the next one pulls out enough so it’s ready to use for the next change), but it’s nice being able to throw everything into one place. I definitely recommend cloth wipes if you are using cloth diapers!
I think we finally have our laundry routine figured out as well. We own an HE washer that doesn’t work quite as well as a top-loading washer for cloth diapers, but it gets the job done. After we put the diapers + wipes in the machine, we set it to heavy soil with a presoak and on cold/cold (this is supposed to help get the stains out) with about 1 tablespoon of detergent. Once this cycle is done, we do a second cycle on light soil with an extra rinse and on hot/cold (we don’t have the option of a hot rinse, unfortunately), again with about a tablespoon of detergent (we use Seventh Generation Free + Clear) and now we are adding 1/4 cup of vinegar to help get out some of the stink (we put it in the fabric softener dispenser on the machine). This seems to be working really well, although we do have stains (I don’t think I washed them enough initially) and they start to stink after a few weeks. Hopefully, the extra vinegar will help get rid of some of the stink, but we’ll have to live with the stains, unfortunately.
And yes, MacKenna goes to the babysitter’s wearing cloth diapers. We stock up her diaper bag with about 5 for the day along with a smaller wet bag. The sitter just puts the diapers in the wet bag and sends them home with us. We do all the laundry and send her clean ones every day. I’m not sure how Stacy likes them, but she hasn’t complained (to us, at least) yet. We do use disposable wipes at the sitter’s because it is definitely more convenient for her to use. But, we bought a super pack at Costco of about 1500 wipes and have yet to even finish even 500 of them since January.
Overall, I’m extremely happy with our decision to use cloth diapers. I love that I’m not throwing out a bunch of diapers every day and adding to the landfills. Yes, we still occasionally use disposables when it’s more convenient than cloth, but it is cloth 98% of the time. I know it’s definitely not for everyone, but I think if you are willing to do the extra work of washing them, it’s not nearly as hard as you might think.
Do you use cloth diapers? What kind do you use, if you do? If you have any other questions regarding cloth diapering, let me know! I’d be more than happy to help you out in any way!