Posted by: raesalley | August 10, 2010

Cloth Diapering – Part 2: wear and tear

So now we knew what to do with cloth diapers – the question facing us was what brand and more importantly – how many? The what brand was a fun one as the Bald One and I considered a bunch of options and decided on the Cadillac of cloth diapers and went with BumGenius 3.0*. To come to this decision, we went and spent some time at Smart Momma in North Raleigh. In the store, we were encouraged to open up and play with a variety of cloth diapers ranging from ones for which we had read reviews to ones we’ve never heard of. The BG 3.0’s had several things that were key to us: similar to the disposable experience in put on and pull off, the quick and easy velcro, the fact that the diapers would grow with Miss Gummi Bear and weren’t about to break the bank to stock us up. In debating how many to get, well, the retailers were brilliant enough to give us a sign – quite literally. In the cloth diaper display was the average number of diapers a baby would go through at various life stages. We decided on the number 32 as perfect. It suited our (ahem, my) strange math issues (eight colors in four stacks) and allowed for us to have a two-day supply for early babyhood (12-16 diapers per day!) and still have a bit extra for when we’re doing laundry. My fabulous coworkers baby-gifted us a fabulous gift card to the store and we purchased our first dozen before lil Gummi showed up.


We did cheat though, when Gummi Bear finally made the scene. While her weight class (chunk) allowed for her to be clothed in the latest science could make in a cloth diaper, we were both a little squicked out by her umbilical cord stump. In the land of things you aren’t quite prepared for when you have a child is what the heck is that THING coming out of my baby’s belly?!? My mother, who confessed she chose her OB-GYN on his knot tying skills, was baffled by the clamp marks that were indented into the purple piece of flesh. Eventually, this iodine stained dead flesh thing fell off like the scab it was and we were thrilled to see it go. At that point, her belly button had healed completely and we were okay with it being covered up by the cloth diaper.

Once we put her in one, we then began the careful negotiation of where and when were we CD’ing versus disposables. The first few outings were done with disposables until we got a wet bag to toss the dirty cloth diapers in while on-the-go. From there on out, we’ve been keeping her exclusively in the cloth. In our experience, it just fits better and we don’t have to worry about the Dry Max leaking strange chemicals causing burns on her delicate butt. We don’t have diaper rash as badly…and the few times it flares up are first thing in the morning after she’s slept through the night. Plus, who wouldn’t want to show off how cute our matching bottom can be without caving to the fad of diapers in denim? One note about being on-the-go that bares mentioning: we have a backpack for a diaper bag. This means that we stuff two or three of these bad boys in the bag, it isn’t taking up the entirety of the diaper bag like might happen with some of the smaller satchels. And those cute little wristlet types for quick trips? forget about it for CD’ing.

The bumps we’ve run in to involving cloth diapers have been fairly minor. Recently we started experiencing some leaking diapers. It took a few moments, but we finally figured out that Gummi Bear had grown. She’s put on about five pounds in the past four months, which has knocked her into the medium size on our all-in-ones. With that, we had to let a row of snaps out and switch from the newborn inserts to the full size inserts for absorbancy. Since we did that, we haven’t had a problem. Another trick has been the washing of the diapers – or more correctly, the pail to the shelf part of the diaper journey. We finally figured out at what point to start the laundry (barring incidents) and what cycles to do, but inevitably the Bald One and I do our repacks differently. It isn’t the end of the world, but we both have a system and they conflict. The only reason it deserves mentioning is nothing is quite so amusing as watching conflicting (OCD) tendencies. We’ve both gotten the sort (color, inserts), stuff and fold rhythms down to a quick process, but it still can be boring at points.

That’s it for my thoughts for now. Our collection (at a whopping four months in) is holding up quite well and not showing any abuse, despite what they’ve had to contain. I couldn’t be happier. Unless there’s a self-cleaning version out there. No? Bugger.

*BumGenius discontinued the 3.0 all-in-one diapers shortly after we filled up our stash. The 4.0 is the replacement, and from what I’ve seen is more awesome than what we have.

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