Back to Basics with Nappies
By: Andrea Deihl
My memory of changing cloth diaper when I was 13 was old tri-fold diapers with giant pins and a rubber liner. It was truly a nasty business changing soiled diapers. With my oldest I toyed with the idea but never looked into it as those memories made me shudder just thinking about doing it all again. When I was pregnant with my second some six years later I thought about it again. This time I work in a Montessori school that also includes infant and toddler care. I see these young kids at my school in cloth diapers that look much different that the old tri-fold and rubber outer covering. I start inquiring from these teachers about cloth diapers. First they support the use of cloth diapers on infants and toddlers and they will use whatever we provide. They will not wash them, but they will send home soiled diapers to me to wash and replace with clean one each day. At first I was not ok with this but after they explained the care for these diapers can help the life of the diaper I was intrigued. I put it off until after my child was born. I started using disposables like my first, all the while I was still toying with the idea of cloth. Finding the right disposable was hard. I used Pampers® with my first and loved them, however, my sons’ skin didn’t like them. So I tried Huggies® diapers. That did not go well either. BM would come right out the top back. Yuck! After three months of having my sons’ skin reddish from diapers and using natural creams (coconut oil and red clay) I decided to dive head first and decide which cloth to use. I started to research what kind of diapers to buy, and holy cow there are many kinds and makes and models. I think buying a car might be easier that choosing a cloth diaper.
I found a brand that sell and All in One, one-size-fits-all diaper. That sound simple, right? After all the confusing could it really be that simple? Yes, it was. Blueberry Diapers make an AIO diaper with an insert that fits 10 lb – 35 lbs! That means no buying one small set until he out grows them and then having to fork over another $800 on another size up. So I purchased 5 diapers to do a trail run. It would mean I would have to do laundry each night but it was worth it. I never looked back after that first week. I loved it. It was not gross. We also purchased a hand help spray nozzle that attaches to ones toilet water line so it is right by the toilet for easy cleaning. My sons’ skin was finely clearing up from being irritated the three months. I purchased another 6 so my total came to 11 cloth diapers. I do have one different style that I don’t care for as a last back up with washing the rest of the diapers. Brand not to be named. I pack five diapers in a dry bag. (Blue berry also sells these. They are made from the same outer material as the diapers so they don’t leak.) I also pack 4 dry wipes clothes and an extra empty dry bag for soiled diapers to return home for washing. His teachers are great with using these and are very knowledgeable.
Some blogs out there suggest having 20-50 diapers. I find 11 to be a very good number. I use about 4 per day when I’m caring for my son. His school uses 4-5 during the 8 hours he is there. That brings school day totals to 7. That leaves one for bed time and one for the morning. I was diapers every night. They do have a learning curve on how to wash them properly and how to strip them with the ammonia builds up after a time. But that only took a month or so to have my routine down.
The cost of cloth diapers was another thing that motivated me and I broke it down. We have to figure in the cost of soap, however I make my own and that comes to $0.03 per load. We also have to figure in water, and electricity. Our electricity bill hasn’t gone up that much. We are coming out of winter so our bill naturally went down. However it is around normal cost for time of year. So really we have just the upfront cost of diapers that was 11 diapers @ 25.95, 2 dry bags, and 1 spray nozzle + tax and shipping came to just above $400.00. Compare that to disposables for two years is around $2.000.00+.
Bonuses to using cloth diapers; cool patterns!!! These brands have all kinds of cool patterns that are gender neutral or boy or girl. The Blue Berry Diaper Company also sells other products for babies and women. They also make reusable panty liners! I can’t wait to try these out because we all know after giving birth naturally to babies we all have leakage problems for a bit afterwards.
A guide video for this diaper is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=uKqtYEiTgGo
Benefits of Cloth Diapers: