I'm passionate about philosophy, but after having my girls I'm even more passionate about Mommy Matters

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Cloth Diapering: Disposables Are No Longer An Option

     Since I started to experiment with cloth diapers and try the three different brands I originally bought (Rumparooz, bumGenius, and Fuzzibunz) I have fallen in love with cloth diapering. I have also been converted to using cloth wipes with them and find it easier than separating the garbage from the laundry. I still like using disposable wipes for some things, such as when I am cleaning Squeaker's face and hands. Now that I use cloth diapers I have found that disposables are actually more annoying and less enjoyable over all. I had far more leaks with disposables and I also had to apply Desitin to Squeaker at least every other day, but I no longer have those worries with cloth. I even use cloth diapers overnight now and have not had any issues to report.
     This is where I stand with these three brands: Rumparooz are great, but to be honest I think they are a little overpriced (between $23 and $25 each) and I can't find them on sale or for a more practical price anywhere. The Rumparooz I have has a Velcro closure as well and I prefer snaps because they do not wear out as easily (however snaps do not always provide the perfect closure fit and Velcro fills in gaps where snaps do not). Fuzzibunz have a great custom fit and are the least bulky pocket diapers I have seen, but the elastic system that makes them custom fit is still too cumbersome for me. I don't like messing with buttoning up the waist and leg elastics as Squeaker grows into the bigger size, I also imagine that if I had two children in diapers Fuzzibunz would not be practical (unless I had two different sets for each child) because I would have to change the elastics every time I used them. The Fuzzibunz are also harder to stuff with extra inserts because they are slimmer, so I would not trust using them overnight. BumGenius, on the other hand, are my favorite! They are slightly bulky, but I have found that many clothes give some extra room in the butt anyway and they fit just fine. I haven't had the bumGenius leak, even over night, and they are easy to stuff with more inserts when I need to. Sometimes that same website (www.cottonbabies.com) has clearance and "second sales" that make them even cheaper (I bought some for $11 each). I have been doing more research on other brands and their reviews as well, such as Thirsties and Oh Katy! They also seem to be viable options, but many reviews say that Oh Katy! are worthless after the infant reaches a certain age because they always leak. Thirsties are very popular and could be good too, but they come in different sizes instead of one-size options like the three I've already tried. I don't want to buy multiple sizes if I don't have to. So, from my experiences so far these have been my results.
     I also decided to use cloth wipes after reading several blogs and other sources that made them sound like a better option than disposables. There are several options for cloth that can be used when making cloth wipes. Flannel is supposed to be very good, but I haven't used it yet, I plan on cutting up some receiving blankets that Squeaker never uses to make more wipes. For now, however, some small thin Carter's washcloths that I got for a baby shower gift have been working well (I was given about 20 of them and only need a couple for her baths). I have also been making my own wipe solution to make wet wipes: 
        1/4 Cup baby shampoo/body wash
        1/4 Cup olive oil
        About 12 squirts of aloe vera gel
        3-4 Cups of warm water    
I mix these ingredients together gently and put them into used pump or spray bottles that I've cleaned out really well (put any extra in a mason jar for later use). I have tried several different methods for making the wipes damp when I use them and the way I have found least wasteful and most useful is to spray or pump a little bit of the solution on the wipe right before I use it. They clean Squeaker's bum so much easier than disposables and I just wash them in the same load as the diapers. 
     When I get a new diaper I wash it once before using it and since it hasn't even been used yet I don't mind washing it with other loads of laundry (some sources say to wash and dry them around 4 times before using them because it helps to make them more absorbent, but I am lazy and just do it once). When I do a load of dirty diapers I wash at least 7 at a time, it really depends upon how many diapers you have and the size of your washer because the load shouldn't be too big or too small. I put the load on a cold rinse cycle first, then wash with some detergent (color and scent free) with hot water, I then rinse them again with warm water, and the final step is to dry very thoroughly. If I had a clothes line then I would line dry the covers, I am thinking about making a clothes line myself to use in my backyard, because the sun is supposed to be really good at bleaching out stains and killing any remaining germs. So far no stains have remained on my diapers anyway, but I will be adding about 1/4 cup of bleach with the hot wash cycle once a month as well. When Squeaker starts eating solid foods I will have to write more about the cleaning process because it will be slightly more complicated when she isn't solely breastfed anymore. I am planning on using a sprayer that attaches to the toilet and possibly flushable liners to get rid of the extra waste before washing them. However, it is interesting to note that even disposable diapers are supposed to have extra waste flushed before they are thrown away, according to toxipedia "It is illegal to throw away human feces".  
     The APHA (American Public Health Association)  is also wary of disposable diapers, "Knowing that more than 100 different enteric viruses, including polio and hepatitis6 are known to be excreted in human feces and that these viruses can live for months after the stool has passed from the body; and realizing that the product labels instructing consumers to empty the feces into the toilet before disposing of the diaper are not commonly followed by consumers... [the APHA]  
1. Supports public education to educate consumers about diapering choices and their potential environmental consequences so that they can make an informed choice;
2. Supports consumer education so that if disposable diapers are used, the users dispose of them in a prudent manner so as to minimize the risk of disease transmission;
3. Supports research on the health implications of disposal of disposable diapers in the solid waste stream;
4. Encourages disposable diaper manufacturers to modify products to develop a recyclable product or one that generates less solid waste;
5. Encourages disposable diaper manufacturers to provide better instructions on the packaging about the proper disposal method of human excreta;
6. Urges manufacturers of disposable diapers to act responsibly in marketing their products; and
7. Supports research on the health, safety, and handling of various types of diapers (home-laundered, cloth diaper services, and disposable diapers) in day care settings in order to guide the development of standards for these settings."   
     So, in a way cloth and disposables are the same except most people don't flush the extra waste and just throw everything away together. Plus, when feces is thrown away it can cause issues. Anyway, this is just some research I have done and information I have found in a short amount of time. Let me know if any information you have found contradicts me or if I am in the wrong. I hope this post helps some of you to become a little more interested in cloth diapering because I love using them and disposables are no longer an option for me. I say they are no longer an option for me because I obviously don't want to force anyone who is babysitting Squeaker to use cloth diapers if they don't want to and I am not judging people who use disposables instead. Cloth just makes me happier and I think it makes Squeaker happier too.

Helpful links with more information:


  1. I am so glad you like it! We loved it! When Elanor started solids, it was not too bad for us mostly because her poop became a lot more solid and as long as she was changed right away it was not too messy.

    Also, Elanor was always in cloth, even for babysitters. They just had to change her and put the diaper in the bathroom and we would take care of it when we got home. Granted she was not baby-sat very often, and when she nursed she only pooped once a week, and with solids only pooped every 1-3 days. She was easy, I guess...

    I did not do cloth wipes (I wanted to!), I just never got around to it. Next time around I will for sure do it!

    I remember reading that about disposables as well. It grosses me out that people throw poop away when it could just go down the toilet. Disgusting and way more smelly.

    Also, this is a website i really like and I want to buy all of my diapers for my next kid here. She does a good job at having a lot of variety, explains everything well, has a ton of pictures of babies in diapers at all ages, etc. Here is the link: http://www.greenmountaindiapers.com/

    1. I hope that Lydia is easy like that too then! I think that most people would be OK with cloth diapers, but some aren't and I might just get to the point where I won't want people like that to babysit because I don't want to buy any disposables ha. Thank you for the link, I will definitely look at what she has.

      I think throwing poop away is gross and weird too, but for some reason a lot of people think it is weird to empty a diaper into the toilet. I guess I'm just not afraid of touching my baby's poop if I have to either.

      I am planning on having a cloth diaper party June 1st with a lady named Wendy, here is her website: www.chicdiapers.com and I like her a lot. If you want to come you are welcome and you can bring anyone you know who might be interested, even though you aren't using diapers right now :)