Saturday, March 23, 2013

Cloth Diapering a Newborn

We didn't start cloth diapering Jack until he was 7 weeks old and at that point he was big enough to go straight into one-size diapers (which, contrary to their name are not really one-size-fits-all.  Some kids will outgrow them before they potty train and they also don't fit the majority of newborns).

With Molly we debated what to do about diapering.  Should we purchase newborn cloth or just diaper her with disposables until she fit into the one-size diapers we already have?  There are pros and cons to each approach, but after weighing our options we ultimately decided to move forward with cloth diapering from the start.

I knew that I wanted to keep things basic and simple.  I didn't want to spend a ton of money considering how quickly she would outgrow these diapers.  I certainly look at cloth as an investment, but there's a difference between spending $15 per diaper when you'll use it for 3+ years and spending $15 per diaper and using it for 2 months.

With that said, if you're looking to resell newborn cloth once you've finished using them you can usually recoup quite a bit of your investment.  Due to the short duration of use they should be in excellent resale condition!  The flipside of this same coin is if you're looking to purchase used to save some money you typically aren't getting much of a discount unless you find some well loved newborn cloth, but there are still benefits to buying used like natural fibers have already been prepped, saving you time, energy, and water, and you will get at least a small discount off of the full price of buying brand new.

After considering quite a few options we eventually settled on newborn Cloth-eez Workhorse Diapers (with snaps) from Green Mountain Diapers with XS Thirsties Covers.  I was able to purchase both on sale and spent $78.95 (shipped) for 24 diapers and $30.37 (shipped) for 4 covers.  With this number of diapers and covers I am easily able to wash every other day.

Overall I've liked this combo.  They're easy to clean and easy to use.  Maybe not quite as easy as an all-in-one or pocket diaper, but not difficult either.  It's nice that the diapers have snaps on them so that you don't have to worry about using pins or a Snappi.  We never had trouble getting a good fit with the snaps, although obviously the closure-less version will provide a more custom fit.  These are not stay-dry diapers (you could certainly use some sort of stay-dry liner if your baby is bothered, but obviously that's another piece to deal with), but Molly did not seem bothered by that in the least.

7 weeks old in a newborn GMD Workhorse

The covers fit well and hold things in well.  I like the design of the covers with the flap at the front because it allowed us to easily add a doubler for overnight.  Molly did outgrow the absorbency of these diapers pretty quickly (which is typical with newborn diapers.  You do compromise some in absorbency to allow for less bulk), but it's not that big of a deal during the day when we can change her every two hours.  A couple weeks ago we did start adding a micro-fiber doubler (just the doubler that came with our bumGenius pocket diapers) between the diaper and cover to add some absorbency at night and that has worked out just fine.

And with an XS Thirsties cover over top

The one caveat I have is that we were not able to use these diapers before Molly's umbilical cord fell off and her belly button was fully healed.  GMD shows pictures of babies wearing these diapers and their belly button is above the rise of the diapers, but that was not the case for us.  They still hit her belly button and she's now 8 weeks old.  When she was brand new they went well over the belly button.  Same with the covers.  The XS size Thirsties covers have a dip in the front that is supposed to allow for use with the umbilical cord intact, but, like the diapers, they covered her belly button completely.  There's no way these diapers would have fit her properly before her belly button healed (in fact, we tried them on, but they were huge.  Like, down to her knees huge since we couldn't hike them up over her belly button!  And she was a good-sized baby measuring 8lbs 11oz and 21 inches at birth.), but I'm sure it does for some babies since they're all built differently.  Even had I known this I don't think I would have chosen another diaper (there are some options that probably would have fit her better before her cord fell off and therefore we could have used them sooner and theoretically for longer) because of the affordability of these and the fact that we are still able to use them at 8 weeks.

Okay, I lied about having a single caveat.  Another negative we experienced was with drying time.  If I dried a load of diapers as I typically would (medium heat, sensor dry setting) everything would be dry at the end of the cycle except for the pre-fitteds.  This was extremely surprising as these were drying alongside large hemp and microfiber inserts, both of which seem like they would take longer to dry, but no, these were the ones that would remain wet, but only around the gathered, elasticized legs and back.  So each for each load, I would have to wait for the drying cycle to end, pull out anything with PUL (only because I like to limit heat exposure to PUL when I can), and then dry for an additional 20 minutes on regular/high heat in order to get the diapers thoroughly dry.  It was kind of annoying, but not a deal breaker.  I'm glad I only had to do it for a short time though because it got old fast!

With that said, yes we're still using them.  They fit perfectly fine size-wise, but like I mentioned she is rapidly outgrowing the absorbency.  She can't go longer than 2 hours during the day without a change or she will leak out of the diaper.  This isn't a big deal, but obviously it's only going to get worse and quickly!

Overall, I'm glad that we did decide to go with the newborn cloth.  I feel like we got enough usage out of them to justify the cost (plus, I will resell them at some point and recoup quite a bit of my investment).  For the time that we were using disposables (which ended up being maybe 3 weeks total because we had to wait for her umbilical cord to fall off, which it did the day before she hit 2 weeks, and then we had some trouble with her belly button healing up so we had to leave her in disposables so that it was exposed to the air) we were quickly reminded of why we cloth diaper in the first place.  They're expensive, we went through them so quickly and had to worry about buying more, the trash piled up quickly, we had at least one poo-splosion, and they smell funny when they're wet because of the chemicals :/

Right now, I'm working on readying our bumGenius pocket diapers for Molly, but 3 years of use with them currently being worn by a 35lb toddler has really done a number on them!  Both aplix and elastics (all 3) are completely shot.  I have completed my snap conversion project (finally, yay!) and I've started working on replacing the elastics, but this process is slow going (and really not fun)!  I currently have 12/23 diapers completed so she has been wearing them some.  We make sure to put her in the bumGenius for overnight (with the one-size micro-fiber insert.  This allows for plenty of absorbency) and then we have some for use during the day as well.  Just have to (find the time) and keep on trucking.

I'll be SO happy once I'm done refreshing these diapers!  They're very well loved so hopefully they'll last a while before falling apart completely!

1 comment:

  1. Any chance folding down the front of the XS cover would have provided room for the cord? My son was 8.5 lbs and everything fit under his cord from birth, even not folded down. We didn't use the same covers, we used the thirsties duo as well and a handful of others (like the bummis super brite) And the only one that didn't work was the XS Imse Vimse cover (which I never ended up liking the fit of anyway). Some of our diapers had snap down rise (KL0), but not many.

    I don't prefer to buy used diapers, since we used velcro it's generally not worth it, I have found that you can get great deals on "just washed" or "just washed and tried on" newborn diapers from families that didn't end up starting day one as planned or didn't end up liking cloth diapering. The first time around I got almost all my diapers this way. This time around, so far, I am well on my way to getting my nb stash this way. With patiences I get some great deals this way on new diapers (often fully prepped). I do have quite a variety but the first time through I was looking for variety to figure out what we liked. This time I'm not looking for as much of a variety but I want diapers main stream enough that I'm still finding them.

    New print thristies duo cover for $8 ($12+ retail)
    New swaddlebees nb fitted $10 ($16 retail)
    Capri covers (seconds from blueburry site) ~$12e (new $16e)


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