Many of you have asked about cloth diapering, which is so encouraging to me! So far I’m loving them! I’ve been using them for about a month now, but I have a system in place. It’s really not more work, in my opinion, than disposable diapers.
In our collection, we have 3 Happy Heinys, 14 Bum Genius 4.0s (a combo of both velcro and snaps), and 7 small & medium gdiapers.
These diapers are one size fits all. The rows of snaps you see are used to fold the diaper down, snapping it together, to make it smaller or larger. The great thing about one size fits all is that the diaper works from the time your baby is a newborn (or really about 8 lbs) to potty training.
I like how the velcro tabs on Happy Heinys are thicker than the Bum Genius. And the pink on the left can velcro onto the white on the right, making for a tighter fit. On that note, it also seems slimmer than the Bum Genius, in my opinion. I like that about it. However, this diaper does seem to wear more. In a stash of used diapers I bought, Happy Heinys showed much more wear than the Bum Geniuses. I think that may have to do with the type of fabric lining. Update: After a year and a half of cloth diapering, these diapers (which we bought a few years used) are still working great! The velcro is worn, so I try to use them just for nap (and under pants!), when she is more still. But despite the fact that the showed wear so quickly, they are still absorbing great!
I include these two together because the only difference is whether you choose velcro (“hook and loop”) or snaps. Like the Happy Heiny’s, this diaper is one size fits all, a major plus financially.
For both the HH’s and BG’s the cloth insert slides into the diaper’s pocket. This is how it absorbs. They come with newborn and standard size inserts.
I love the snaps option because velcro diapers can create what the cloth diapering world refers to as “diaper trains” in the wash… the velcro adheres to other diapers and snags the fabric, making them more worn.
I’ve had great look with the Bum Geniuses, and would recommend them! They’re great quality. Update: I will no longer recommend these. Read why here.
The gDiaper has a different configuration than the diapers mentioned above. Instead on sliding the cloth insert into a pocket, the cloth insert fits into a liner which snaps into the gpant, shown above.
gDiapers, unlike the two mentioned above, are not one size fits all. The upside to this is that they are as slim as disposables. The downside is the need to buy multiple sizes and spend more money. Still, an entire stash of g’s could end up costing the same as a stash of BG’s or HH’s. At BabiesRUs (BRU), a two-pack of g’s sells for $26. A package of ten cloth inserts is $26 as well. And to buy extra liners, a ten pack is $20 on Amazon. (Mediums and large pants share the same size inserts and liners though, which helps.)
The unique thing about gDiapers is that it can also be a hybrid diaper. So someone who doesn’t want t use cloth but still wants to be green would like this option because it still uses the washable pants and liners, only the insert is disposable and biodegradable. Someone gave us a package of the disposables to try, and I’ll just say that I don’t get it. You have to take the insert to the toilet and rip it down the sides for the filling to fall out. Then drop the outside in as well and swoosh it with the wand the give you before flushing. So basically you get messy! Ew. Not for me.
I have enjoyed how slim these are, due to their individual sizes, but I do prefer the configuration of the HH’s and BG’s, where the cloth insert slips into the diaper, rather than snapping in. We have had some leaks in these, but when I double the cloth inserts up, they work really well. Still, the only reason I decided to add some of these to our stash is because BabiesRUs carries them, which meant I could register for them and use gift cards to purchase more, so it cost me nothing out of pocket.
UPDATE: Since writing this post, I got rid of our medium g diapers. The smalls worked well, but as my baby grew, I had to double the inserts. Without a pocket, this was hard to do and left her diaper really bulky. And even then, the gpants still got damp sometimes. This method just did not work for me. I still have the smalls for a future baby – hopefully they’ll work the first couple months.
For more on cloth diaper brands I have reviewed, see these links:
I have a drawer solely dedicated to cloth diapers. And I have a separate diaper bin to throw soiled cloth diapers in. When I change Lil’s diaper, I go ahead and velcro the laundry tabs in. This prevents those velcro diaper trains I was talking about.
I line it with Kissa’s Antibacterial Pail Liner, which is essentially a wet bag. I have two of these liners, so when the pail is full, I toss the entire bag into the wash and put a new liner into the pail.
I throw the whole bag into the wash! So I do NOT have to pull out each diaper and touch them in order to do laundry, I use a drop (literally – very small amount) of an approved cloth diapering detergent. (Another one is Dapple, which isn’t on this list, but it says on the bottle it’s safe for cloth diapers. I found it at BabiesRUs for $4.99.)
I wash them the first time with a drop of detergent on cold and then again a second time with a drop of detergent on warm. Then I hang them up on the clothes racks to dry, though the dryer works too.
I do this about every 2-3 days.
Normal diaper rash cram cannot be used with cloth diapers because it affects the absorbency. Therefore, I use liners, which are strips of flannel or fleece I cut up and lay in the diaper, creating a barrier between the ointment and the diaper. There are approved diaper rash creams though that are cloth diaper safe. You can find a list here. I sometimes use California Baby as well.
I set out to just use cloth diapers, not cloth wipes. But once I was using cloth diapers, I realized it just didn’t make sense not to use cloth wipes. You see, when you change a disposable diaper, you grab a wipe to wipe the baby’s bottom. Then you put the wipe inside the diaper and wrap the diaper around it before throwing it away. You can basically do the same thing when you use a cloth diaper and cloth wipe, only instead of the trash diaper pail, you toss them in the cloth diaper pail. Using a cloth diaper and disposable wipe, you now have trash in one hand and laundry in the other… more gunk to touch… you see why it’s just easier to use for cloth for both.
I bought these GroVia Cotton Cloth Wipes, and I also made some cloth wipes as well by cutting up flannel into squares, double layering them, and sewing an edge. Nothing fancy, but they do the job.
So far I have just been using water with the wipes. I’m sure a master cloth diapering mommy would tell me to slap my hand for that one. But it works. I would like to try this wipe solution recipe that a friend gave me though. Here it is: 4 cups water + 1/4 cup olive oil + 1/8 cup baby wash. She puts the solution into a disposable wipes container and fills it with her cloth wipes. You could also just put some of this solution into a spray bottle to spray onto your wipes. Whatever works for you!
I spent $25 for a mixed lot of 7 Happy Heinys and Bum Genius from Craigslist. I then bought 7 refresher kits to do my own repairs (replacing elastic and laundry tabs) for $1 each, so $7 total. I have bought 6 BG 4.0 snaps from Cotton Babies during a sale for $91, plus an addition 4 more BG 4.0 snaps and velcro during the Seconds Sale for $48. The gdiapers are tricky because as I said earlier, we received some as gifts from our registry and some we bought with BRU gift cards. Out of pocket we have spent $20 on gdiapers to get extra snap-in liners and $52 in gift cards to get extra cloth inserts. While we are set for medium gpants, we still need large gpants. To get 4, it will cost about $52 in gift cards. So altogether, we will have spent about $285 on cloth diapers. (The wipes I got for free using a $10 Amazon coupon found in a baby magazine.)
So basically once we hit 5 months of using cloth diapers, we will begin saving! You can see how even if I buy a few more to increase our stash, it won’t make a huge difference. We will still be saving a lot!