Cloth Diapering: How it’s going

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby on. Posted in New Mom Experience

{This is not an example of how a CD should  fit. It was simply fastened to take a picture}
It’s funny for me to be writing this post now versus a few weeks ago, because it would be VERY VERY different.

Let’s start from the beginning…

My reasons for cloth diapering were pretty much the same as most people who decide to do it, except for financial reasons. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the idea of saving money, but health was the primary aspect of it. Plus, somehow it seemed fun to me. Rather than having Alexis wear these boring white paper diapers, she’d get to wear colorful fun ones.

I was not intimidated by the idea of having to do laundry once a day or dealing with poop. I figured I’ll do what I have to do for the sake of the healthier option.

When Alexis was born, based on people’s recommendations coupled with sleepless nights, we went with disposables for the first week or two. Honestly, I wasn’t very happy about that and feel that we should have just started with the cloth. Alexis was a big baby and most of my cloth diapers would have fit. What I DID like about using disposables in the very beginning was that little pee stripe that would let us know the diaper was soiled. It was invaluable in the first few weeks when we were trying to make sure Alexis ate and peed enough. Looking at it now, it’s not like it’s impossible to tell if a cloth diaper has been peed in. It’s usually pretty obvious. Again, a rookie mistake brought in by the overwhelming responsibility and newness.

So after some time we switched to cloth diapers during the day and used chlorine free disposables at night. My husband ABHORED using cloth diapers!
He’s the diaper guy, I’m the boobie girl- that’s how it works here.
So if he hated putting cloth diapers on, there was little I could do without expending too much energy on arguing with him and making sure he puts on a cloth diaper every time and doesn’t take the easy way out. The energy I didn’t have at the time. So I’d do my best to remind him to use cloth and ask him why he hadn’t each time he’d put a disposable on.

I found it funny how every time something was more difficult than he expected, he’d do a complete 180 on all our plans. “Cloth Diapers? Awesome idea! Oh, it’s not as easy as I thought? Let’s ditch them!” However when it was something I had to do for the sake of Alexis’ health, he was vigilant about it. Men!

Anyways, after a month or so of constant reminders from me to use cloth diapers, he seemed to have gotten used to them and would put them on without complaining.

That’s where I started analyzing the whole cloth diaper situation.

There were TWO things that bothered me about using cloth diapers. Neither one of those I had heard about or anticipated (not that I read too much on cloth diapering, I was sort of winging it) before I started using them.

1. Being as bulky as they are, Alexis had trouble moving around when we’d put her on the floor. The diaper would weigh her down.
The last thing I want is for something to delay her development and I was starting to feel that the extra weight around her tushy was preventing her from moving they way she’d normally do. I saw her trying to roll and move around and the gravity of the diaper would definitely be pulling her down.

2. Being a big girl as it is, she started growing out her 3-6 months clothes around her 3rd month, and add a cloth diaper to it and all my zulily purchases in 3-6 months were bagged upon receipt for the next baby. No good! I didn’t just spend hundreds of dollars in clothes only to have the cloth diapers prevent her from wearing them. Most of the clothes aren’t cut for a pillow between her legs, so that was a little bit frustrating.

So while the clothes issue isn’t really a biggie, I didn’t want Alexis to keep trying to roll over and move and get frustrated over her inability to do that due to the heavy diaper. So since we had a pack of #2 disposable diapers that she was almost too big for, I decided to spend a week using them up and see how it goes.

To be completely honest, I still don’t like the idea of using disposables. I just don’t.
I had a little bit of a mommy guilt over that one.
BUT… and that’s a huge BUT! The week that she’s been using disposables, she started moving around on the floor, attempting to roll over from back to front. As a matter of fact, today was the first time she scooted over to the picture she wanted to see on the play mat.

So I am a little bit torn. On one hand, I like the idea of chemical free, reusable diapers, but on the other hand, with the chlorine/dye/perfume/latex free diapers, how much safer are they really? It’s not like cotton and fleece are all that “clean” and chem free either. The things that initially drew me to cloth diapering are still there. I knew about the extra laundry and extra work and the yuck factor (it’s really not that bad) and they don’t bother me. But I just can’t get over the bulkiness of the diapers and how uncomfortable that seems to make Alexis.

So I have decided (tentatively) to use the chlorine free safer disposables for the time being and come back to cloth diapers when Alexis is crawling. They look cuter on older babies anyways. That way the diaper won’t be bigger than herself and she’ll be able to handle it better.

All that being said, I really do like using cloth diapers. It makes me feel good about doing something beneficial for Alexis and the environment. But at the end of the day, I gotta figure out whether it’s just another “trendy” thing to do or has the actual measurable benefit to Alexis vs using “green” disposables.

If I decide to continue with cloth diapers, I have a few favorite that I will probably buy a whole set in. Initially I bought about 10 cloth diapers, all of different brands and received three from companies to try out. My goal was to use them for a while to determine which brand works best for us and Alexis. I will have to write about them in the next post, but my favorites were Fuzzibuns and Oh Katy. Gro-via were interesting and my husband liked Kawaii Baby.

UPDATE: There are a few more things I’d like to say since it seems some people are reading things in a certain way.

  • I have NOT read any studies that say CD delays development, I am not saying it does or doesn’t, nor do I think it does. I didn’t even know it’s a common misconception until this post. It was my fear based on my observations of how Alexis moves with a diaper versus without one. She is perfectly on time with her milestones, so I wasn’t overly concerned, but it WAS something that played with my mind. ( If you read the post carefully, that’s exactly what I say). I am saying that in Alexis’ case, every time she’d be moving around, the gravity of the diaper would pull her down and I didn’t like that. It’s my personal experience with her and has nothing to do with scientific reality.
    The truth of the matter is right now the CD doesn’t work for us for many reasons, those two being some of them. 

    Before I decided to give in and try using disposables exclusively, I tried to find any studies or information that would tell me that the difference is really significant. I couldn’t find anything that wasn’t just someone’s opinion. If you have links to STUDIES about either way of diapering, I’d be very grateful if you could email/post them/. If anything, it’ll be a great way to convince my husband to give me more support in cloth diapering since he’s the one who does most of the diaper changes.

     I do plan on resuming cloth diapering when Alexis starts sitting up unassisted and seeing how it goes then, most likely using either Fuzzibuns, OhKaty or Grovia. By then I think the one size diapers will be more proportionate to Alexis’ size and will feel more natural to both me and her.
  • Someone asked about prefolds and  unfortunately, that’s not something I ever wanted to get into.

    I am still all for cloth diapering. I think it’s great and would commend any woman on doing it as well as encourage every new and “old” mom to try. I’m not down on the whole CD thing, I just don’t think I want to do it right now until Alexis is a few months older.

For those who asked, for disposables we use WF chlorine free diapers, but I want to compare ingredients of Honest.com and Earth Best  ( they are on Subscribe and save + Amazon mom discounts on amazon).

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