Cloth Diapering Update

4 11 2011

Just in case any of you care how we are catching our daughter’s poop…

So, I imagined, pre-baby, that by now we would be 100% cloth, or, you know, 99.9% cloth.  But I also imagined I would have, you know, a front porch accessed by steps rather than a ladder.  Things turn out differently than we imagine, right?

Cloth or disposable? Hazel prefers neither.

First, let me share some of the challenges we’ve faced in our cloth diaper experience…

Challenge 1: we live in a tall, narrow house, which means that to get from where baby is napping down to the washing machine, I turn a half dozen corners on three flights of steps and cross the garage.  Assuming she naps.  And with the number of diapers we have, this means 6 trips up and down each day just for diaper laundry.

Challenge 2: I am still adjusting to rural living, which means bringing in wood and keeping the stove going constantly (that is where ladder-to-the-front-door gets in my way).  Also, there was that 6 hour stand off with the mouse.  Who left a trail of poop through our drawers, which I am still cleaning up.

Challenge 3: we’ve spent a total of nearly 3 weeks traveling since the baby was born.  Not enough cloth for a multi-day trip.

Challenge 4: some residual health concerns from Hazel’s birth have doubled the number of appointments we have to attend (the concerns were minor and have been addressed).

Challenge 5: severe reflux has made our days long and, at times, trying (as in, “No thank you, I don’t want to nap all day, and if you put me down I will scream myself into convulsions.  Or I might scream myself into convulsions anyway, just for a change of pace”), which needs a post all on its own.  Also, the cloth diapers are super bulky, and compress her tummy when she sits in them, possibly exacerbating the reflux.

And Challenge 6: our house in under construction, so to get to the washing machine, I have to take all those stairs and turns through an obstacle course of tools and detritus.  Also, due to the dust and noise, I have spent some of the time at my mom’s house, which means packing up all the baby necessities and my own stuff and wrestling a screaming, arching, wriggling baby into a car seat.  And a nail in my tire.

This seems to happen occasionally NO MATTER WHAT DIAPER she is wearing.

Which brings me to the lesson I have learned in cloth diapering: FORGIVE YOURSELF EVERYTHING, including that package of disposables you just bought.

Seriously, my mantra has been just doing a little bit still counts for something.  If I continued to hold my standard at the pre-baby 100% through all these challenges, I would have given up weeks ago.  Instead, I just remind myself that 6 cloth diaper changes reduces my waste by 6 disposables, and that’s making a difference.  My goal is still to get nearly 100%, but for now, I’m probably 75% at home and not at all on trips.  Maybe 50% overall?  Which feels significant to me.  Cutting our impact in half feels good.

As for the diapers themselves, Hazel is mostly in Fuzzibuns Perfect Size diapers.  It’s hard to get a good fit (I truly hope that she is enjoying her skinny thighs now, in case they don’t last), but we haven’t had any more blowouts with the cloth than with disposables – just lots of pee leaks if the diaper isn’t adjusted correctly.  My favorite diaper is our one Thirsties Duo.  It just fits her legs better than the FBs, and is a little trimmer.  The cotton prefolds with covers hold the least and are very bulky, but I use them to get through a whole day of diapering.

I have to say, the disposables are nice in that they are thin; Hazel is in a different size of clothing with her cloth diapers than in disposables, and her carseat has to be adjusted when she goes from one to the other.  They also are so absorbent that she can go a criminally long time between changes (only at night, and only when I am so exhausted that I fall asleep during her nighttime feedings).  They also pack nicely in the diaper bag – bulky cloth diapers are more challenging to fit if we are going to be out for a whole day.  I will probably always keep one in the glove compartment of the car for emergencies, and probably one in the diaper bag as well.

So that is our diapering adventure so far… With a year or two left to go…

Totally unrelated pic of Hazel practicing her brand new motor skills





5 responses

4 11 2011

I’m feeling just a bit guilty here. We have had a bag of diapers sitting by the door for you to borrow for most of Hazel’s life and I keep forgetting to bring them. I stayed up a couple nights in a row sewing little green stars on the tags so we could tell them apart from yours (don’t judge – I’m totally not a seamstress, and some of the stars may look like pot plants). I think most of them are Thirsties duos. There aren’t a ton, but they would sure help reduce the frequency of your laundry. And now we’re in Vegas for another month and a half. If Travis is ever coming over, MAKE HIM BRING THEM TO YOU.

5 11 2011

Did you read my post??? My first rule of parenting (not just cloth diapering) is FORGIVE YOURSELF EVERYTHING (including, in my case, not brushing my hair in the morning now that it is cold enough to wear a hat). Now that I’ve lived with a baby 24-7, I’m amazed at how much traveling you’ve done for work while still managing to show up at restaurants and our house and carry on normal conversations… Remembering to bring diapers to a friend would make you even more of a superhero, and I just can’t stand up to that kind of competition in my backyard…

1 12 2011

Ha ha. Well at least your kid is young enough that you still have an excuse for showing up places without a shower and with food and spit-up smeared all over you! My rationale was that everyone’s always looking at the baby instead of me, so I just made sure that he was cute and didn’t worry about myself. Now I have no excuse – but hey, it’s funny how much I just don’t care what other people think anymore! All of the sudden my attitude is F-off, you haven’t walked a day in my shoes – this is the best I can do. 🙂

12 11 2011

50% at a few months of life is AWESOME!!! with your FIRST KID! Great job. I started gDiapering G at 3 months or so and have never been 100%. Nights have always been a struggle for us. Torin is 100% cloth with the exception of a flushable in his first nighttime diaper, on top of the gCloth insert. That is his longest stretch (6-8 hours) and he soaks his cloths if I don’t use a flushable insert too. My kids pee like fountains! A TON!

1 12 2011

I’m glad you found something that works for you! We spent months with wet beds – tinkering with different diapers before we found our night-time solution.

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