Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Switch to cloth diapers

Over the weekend, we made the switch from disposable to cloth diapers. At almost four-months, I feel like we’re tardy. I think we’d made the change by two months with River. But we received some free diapers I thought we may as well use. And I admit to a little reluctance. One because I’m tired and I’m hesitant to do anything that takes any more effort than necessary. Two, because the breastfeeding challenges in the first months sucked up all my free time. And finally, because the cloth diapers really swell the butt size. Trivial as that may sound, clothes fit better with a more proportionally-sized butt.

But when my friend told me how she’s using cloth wipes as well as diapers with her five-month old, I started to feel guilty. The thought of filling up the landfills really does concern me and we’re reaching a more balanced point where I can exert small amounts of additional effort for a good cause.

So I pulled out River’s cloth diapers (he just had his first completely dry night, so it’s a perfect time to switch!) and passed them along. The verdict on the reusability is:

BumGenius, velcro version. Fail. The diapers themselves held up well, but the Velcro closures can’t last through two children. At least for those who machine-dry, like we did. We had replaced some of the Velcro before, but even those are weak now. I’m too lazy to replace the Velcro yet again, so these will be passed along. I see they now offer a snap closure version. Go for that one.

Fuzzi-Bunz. Held up perfectly. We received a couple of new Fuzzi-Bunz that are even better, with adjustable elastic in the waist and leg to make for a perfect fit. The liners on the new version are velvety soft. These are winners.
Kushies. We inherited several of these on freecycle. They are Velcro closures, but are working well for us at the moment.

Motherease. Another snap-closure diaper, these are in perfect shape. Since we got the simple, non-leak-proof cotton version, we are waiting to put them to use until we begin elimination communication, in another 2-3 months.

We needed to get some more diapers to replace the BumGeniuses that didn’t last. I discovered a few inexpensive ways to pick up some cloth diapers.

1. Post a wanted ad on Craig’s List or other local want ads. I bought five diapers from two different people this way. One shipped them and the other dropped them off at my house.  

2. Post a wanted ad on freecyle. A nice person gave me about a dozen BumGeniuses.

3. Check out This can be a time suck to figure out how it works, post enough to be allowed to sell, and get the diapers you want. But there are a lot of people buying and selling used cloth diapers there – probably the best online market I’ve seen for this commodity. A friend of mine said she got all her cloth diapers there.

4. Let friends know you are looking. We are borrowing four from my friend who told me about diaperswapper.

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