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Friday, January 29, 2010

Frugal Friday: Cloth Diapering

I typically use disposable diapers in the colder months and cloth diapers in the warmer months, since I like hanging the diapers on the line and not using the dryer for them. But the stash of disposable diapers that I wrote about here is now exhausted of it's size 5 diapers and the size 6 are still too big. So this week I switched back to cloth diapers. I'm happy to know that spring is on it's way (or should be, but I'm starting to wonder if it will ever get here!) and that I will only have to be drying them for a few months, at best, before I can start using the clothesline for them. There are two reasons I dislike using the dryer on cloth diapers. 1. It wears the diapers out faster that way. 2. The sun bleaches all the stains out of them. I do hang the diaper covers on my shower bar to dry though, as using a dryer on those is a no-no since it breaks down the waterproofing quite quickly, as well as any elastic.

I have a wide assortment of cloth diapers. Some I bought from stores or on ebay, some I got free for doing reviews, and some I found at garage sales. I don't have any pre-folds. I just do not like the hassle of them, but some people find those to be their favorites. When considering cloth diapers I advise you to get one of each style (all-in-ones, pocket, fitted, and pre-folds) and figuring out which ones you like best before buying your whole supply.

Two of my favorite diapers are pocket diapers. The covering has a small insert in the back to insert the "stuffing". Some people use pre-folds in the pockets but I buy the inserts that come with the diapers. You can double up on an insert for a heavy wetter or nap or bedtime.

Fuzzi Bunz is my favorite pocket diaper because it is thin and doesn't add as much bulk as typical cloth diapers. The fleece which lines the diaper is so soft and the insert is an ultra absorbent material which seems to wick away all wetness from baby's skin. Fuzzi Bunz close with snaps which are adjustable, so fit all types of babies from skinny to ultra chub! You don't need to worry about leaking with these diapers.

Happy Heiny's are another pocket diaper which I like. They also have fleece material inside which helps baby feel dryer. The inserts that I have are a thick cotton/hemp material which stops leaks but is a bit more bulkier. I do like using these for nighttime and going out and about the best. The designs are cute too...I have a zebra print, baseball, and dolphin.

Kushies is an all-in-one diaper. There is nothing to stuff into a pocket and it needs no cover. These are such soft cotton and hold leaks pretty well, though they do leak if I don't catch a wet diaper in time and leave it on too long. The designs are adorable and the velcro tabs make changing just the same as a disposable.
Once my babies start to go to solids I like to use these Kushies disposable diaper liners. They are like a thick piece of toilet paper and you just set a piece in the diaper. If baby has a bowel movement it is easy to just shake the liner and poo into the toilet.
When it comes to diaper pails, I do the dry pail method. I have a dry bucket which I stick all the dirty diapers in. Once it is full I dump into the washer, do a rinse cycle on cold, and then do a normal hot water wash. You can use a wet pail method, but then you need to have a secure lid as it posses a threat to small children in the house. I've tried both methods and find the dry pail much easier.
I use my homemade laundry detergent or whatever detergent is on hand to wash the diapers. Sometimes I will add a sprinkle of baking soda to the wash water. If lingering odors are beginning to be a problem you can add 1/2 a cup of white vinegar to the rinse cycle.
I then hang the diapers out on the clothesline, or in the wintertime dry the diapers in the dryer and hang the covers (when I use the fitted diapers with a cover) on the shower curtain. Once they are washed and dried I keep them in a laundry basket and pull one out when needed.
Cloth diapering is not like it was even 15 years ago. There are so many options and changing the diapers take about the same as it would if it were disposables. Washing them a few times a week doesn't take a whole lot of time either. It saves me money and is also better for the environment (did you know a disposable diaper will sit in the landfill for 500 years?!). The beginning outlay when buying a stash of cloth diapers can be a couple hundred dollars (or less if you are buying on ebay or other cheaper sources) but within a year you have saved that much and more by not buying diapers and you can use this stash for future children or sell it for some cash, as even used but good condition diapers bring in good money.

Do you cloth diaper or use disposables? What brand(s) do you use?


  1. These diapers are sure different than the ones that were around when my children were babies. I tried using cloth back then for a while but switched to Huggies which was so much easier. But, if if these cute ones has been available, I would have given them a try. I'm still not sure I understand how they work, but I'm old!!

  2. I use cloth now, and wish I would have with my other children. I think about all that money I could have saved.I didn't know alot about them though, and it can be overwhelming for someone wanting to try them out.
    I actually bought the brand BabyLand on Ebay and got a great deal- 50 diapers w/25 extra inserts for $77, they are alot like the SwaddleBees & the Fuzzi Bunz.
    I still can't figure out how to keep my little boy dry and not leak at night, so we are using disposables at night.
    So any suggestions on that?

  3. Tracy-
    Have you tried putting two or three inserts in the diaper at night? I put two inserts in my son's diapers at night and haven't had any leaks. There are some sugar absorbent liners that you can buy that they say are for nighttime use, maybe you could try one of those? Best of luck to you!

  4. Hi! I'm visiting from MBC. Join us in our celebration of followers on Friday Follow!!

  5. Hi! I'm a new reader- (mostly) stay at home mommy to 19 month old Aedan, and baby boy #2 (Landon) due in April. I wanted to use cloth diapers with Aedan, but money was always soooo tight that it was just easier to find the money every week for disposables than save up $200 for cloth. Now that I have the money to spend, I've done a lot of research and would love to switch to cloth, but there's so much information out there it's kind of overwhelming! I'm scared of switching and then not liking it and being out a couple hundred bucks!

    Tracy- I'd never heard of the Babyland brand, but they look a lot like the Fuzzi Bunz I was considering and are much less expensive? Do you like them? Are they adjustable? I'd like to find some I could use on both boys (Aedan is a tiny thing- just 18 pounds at 19 months). Would those work?

    Thanks for any input. I look forward to reading more of your blog posts!

  6. Hi Michelle-
    I, personally, like a variety of diapers. Have you check ebay to see if they have "lots" which come with different brands? That might be best before investing in one certain brand and then deciding you don't like them.
    I do like Fuzzi Bunz and think you can't go wrong with them...so maybe the Babyland diapers would be the way to go? Hopefully Tracy comes back to comment on that. :)
    I do recommend forgetting about infant size diapers, as they grow out of them so quickly and I'm always too tired to think about cloth diapers the first month or two. Feel free to ask any other questions.

  7. Thanks for responding, Elizabeth! I hadn't thought about trying a mixed lot with different brands, but I may check that out. I know that it would save us so much money in the long run, as Aedan is nowhere near being ready to potty train, we have a newborn on the way, and I'd like a few more after this one! :) The only person I know IRL who uses cloth diapers is the one who recommended Fuzzi Bunz, which is why I'd decided on them, but if the Babyland ones work just as well, I'd be tempted to at least try one order since they're so inexpensive.

  8. When my sons were young, there weren't so many cute reusable diapers.

    I used the regular whit flannelet and when going out I used Pampers.



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