Friday, November 4, 2011

Newborn Fluff pt. 1

Instead of this being a one-right-after-the-other type of two part series, part two of this will be a long time in coming, but I wanted to take time to post about what we are planning to try with this new baby. (Have I even posted on here that we are expecting again? It's been a while since I've been on here, but Hooray! We are expecting a baby girl Lucy Soul, in February.)

I'll start with a little history. With Efrim we got gDiapers as gifts and used disposables until he fit them. In the end gDiapers were a disaster for us anyway. With Julian we used the small gCloth inserts in my covers to start with since they were comparable to other name brand newborn inserts, but he was peeing through them before he was two weeks old.

Since then I have been on forun for almost a year, and learned a whole lot about what works and doesn't work for other people.

So with Lucy we are still going to use my small/size 1 covers, which she will be able to wear for a while, but inside we are going to go with something more absorbent, and we want to use something we can pin or snappi so it fits more snugly around a tiny baby inside a looser cover.

So here is what we have planned:

18 covers (because they're homemade so I can have that many if I want)
12 cloth eez workhorse fitteds
6 gmd infant fitteds
6 bamboo fleece trifolds
6 newborn prefolds

As I discussed in the prefolds and flats comparison Cloth Eez workhorse fitteds, by, have a very good reputation as a newborn diaper. They should be both trim and absorbent.

Green mountain diapers also makes an "infant fitted" for just a little more that is supposed to fit from 5-13lbs. I read a review that says they fit even longer, and were her favorite for the newborn stage. I got 6 used off fsot (for sale or trade), but they look bigger than I expected, so we will try those out, but not register for more.

I have a few homemade trifolds that probably won't pin, but they will be about as trim as the gCloth were with a lot more absorbency, and will fit someone really tiny.

We have a few trimmed econobum prefolds that Julian wore when he flooded everything else. They will be too bulky at first, and probably too stiff and thick to snappi. I am also going to get some newborn imagine prefolds as well. I saw a pic on diaperswappers of one snappi'd on a little newborn, and it looked so trim and great.

This gives us a variety, so if we find we are needing more I know what works best.

In any case the small flats the boys are outgrowing will fit pretty soon, and then she will be golden.

I will post pics when we get them, and let you know what we think once we actually get to try everything.

Why use cloth diapers.

Would you rather consume over 300 pounds of wood, 50 pounds of petroleum feedstocks and 20 pounds of chlorine per year, and throw all of that in a land fill (roughly doubling your families current waste out put), OR about three laundry baskets worth of renewable resources for all of your babies birth to potty, and water (the most renewable resource, water cycle in second grade anyone)?

Would you rather spend about $300 on diapers or $3000? This is a really rough estimate since you can choose a large or small stash, fancy or plain jane, and use it for one baby or five.

Would you rather wrap your baby's tenderest parts in wood pulp and harmful chemicals, or in 100% cotton? All quoted from, "Disposable diapers contain traces of Dioxin, an extremely toxic by-product of the paper-bleaching process. It is a carcinogenic chemical, listed by the EPA as the most toxic of all cancer-linked chemicals. It is banned in most countries, but not the U.S. Disposable diapers contain Tributyl-tin (TBT) - a toxic pollutant known to cause hormonal problems in humans and animals. Disposable diapers contain sodium polyacrylate, a type of super absorbent polymer (SAP), which becomes a gel-like substance when wet. A similar substance had been used in super-absorbency tampons until the early 1980s when it was revealed that the material increased the risk of toxic shock syndrome by increasing absorbency and improving the environment for the growth of toxin-producing bacteria."

Would you rather give your baby something unique and precious or something mass produced in a chemical plant for the purpose of being thrown away? I like to put my cheap flats and prefolds into cute work at home mom covers (mostly made my me of course). There will be less than a dozen of any of these covers available in the universe. My baby can wear them again and again, and even pass them on to siblings. Precious. It just makes sense to me when I spend hours agonizing over what to feed them and cloth them, and sleep them in to put something precious on their bottom too.

These are all straight forward, but there are som pretty valid reasons people choose not to cloth diaper. I want to show that those reasons are also easily surmountable.

"I just can't add anything to our busy lifestyle. Caring for small children is so much work already."

Trust me, I totally understand this. There is a lot that goes undone in our house. But cloth diapering really doesn't have to be the load of extra work you imagine. If you have a house of small children you are doing laundry every day or two anyway. Diapers are one extra load 2 or 3 times per week, and a lot of people never bother to fold them. You can set up a cute changing table with pretty little baskets, or you can use them right out of the basket. To me it is a lot easier than running to the store every time we run out of diapers- just throw them in the washer, and then the dryer.

"It just costs so much to start up with cloth, even though it is more expensive in the long run, it is easier for us to spend $25 every week or so than all at once."

We have been here too. Living pay check to pay check it seems impossible to afford the start up costs. But I beg you to do what is best for your family in the long run. Find the money somewhere. I regret every dollar we spent on a package of disposables because I didn't think we could afford a better cloth stash. What a great stash we would have now if I had known how to buy in to cloth wisely. I will elaborate in a later post, but it is this simple you can get by with 4 covers and 12 diapers, for as little as $64 dollars you can have enough cloth diapers for 24 hours. Find that money anywhere you can, and then you have $75/month to add more time between washes, and more convenience a little at a time.

"I want to use cloth with my baby, but I don't know how to register for them. So many people will give us disposables anyway. None of my friends and family know how to shop for cloth diapers."

Again, we've been there and done that. I'm there again, trying to get a newborn stash for this baby, but we can't get it all ourselves. Most people register at more than one place, and you probably have a few close friends who are willing to buy things on line, even though it's not as fun as shopping in a store. So this is what we are doing- I'll let you know how it works. I am making a regular Target baby registry for my grandmothers who are not tech savvy, and really just want to pick up something cute, and then I am making an Amazon Universal Registry. My sister or another hostess will have the permalink for this, plus people can find it by searching my name on Amazon. This has a few special baby products that aren't widely available in stores yet, and also our cloth diaper wishlist. That way if someone is willing to shop online for something we really need, they have a straight forward link to the shop and instructions about sizes and colors.

Choosing Prefolds and Flats, Part 2:How

I just posted this Prefolds and Flats Comparison on Diaper Swappers. I won't burden you with all of the charts here, but I wanted to give a little commentary on my findings, and some recommendations for those of you who are in the market.Link

Best Price for Value (best over all): Imagine ( hands down.
Just to prove my point, there was a thread on Diaper Swappers the other day where a mama asked whether she should go for cloth eez from green mountain diapers, or imagine from nickis diapers. She had 12 or more responses saying Imagine are shorter (fit better in trim covers), softer, cheaper, etc. Imagine are $10 less per dozen than the other major brands, (ie: brands of the same quality). It is $7 cheaper per dozen for Imagine organic than for the cloth eez or diaper rite in conventional cotton. A lot of times in diapering you get what you pay for, and these price differences would be nothing if the product was poor quality, but I have had both imagine and clotheez prefolds, and just like the diaperswappers mamas said, Imagine are just as durable and absorbent, but softer and better fitting than other brands for an average of $2 each rather than $3.

tip: I always think you should size down in DSQ prefolds. They are almost all 4x8x4 ply, and I always find the size for my boys weight range too long and bulky.

Diaper Rite Large Flats (
A lot of companies including Nickis/Imagine have only 27x27" flats and consider them one size, but as much as I like to size my boys down in things for trimness, these are getting a little short when we pad fold them, and will not snappi at all. Cloth Eez( and Diaper Rite are the only ones I have found with two sizes. So if you need smalls, I stand by Imagine being the best price, but if you need something bigger, go with Diaper Rite which are $4.50 less per dozen than Cloth Eez.

For special types of diapers: Cloth Eez by Green Mountain Diapers
While their prefolds and flats are more expensive than other brands has some other neat types of diapers for way below the competition. I have not tried these three things myself, but they are on my newborn list, because they are highly recommended all over.

1. Workhorse Fitteds- These are "prefitteds" meaning a prefold made into a fitted. They come with snaps or no closure and are an especially poular newborn diaper. We are registering mostly these for Lucy in no closure. It is like using a prefold or flat, but with long wings to wrap around, trimmer between the legs, no folding. These are 4.95 each in newborn no closure, or 7.40 each in the other sizes. compare to other prefold to prefitted conversions at $10-12 each, or $7-10 if you provide your own prefolds.

2. Sherpa Diaper- For a while I was making "trifold inserts" out of hemp and bamboo fleece, because they are trimmer than a regular prefold, with 2 body layers of fleece and then you trifold like a prefold and lay it in a cover (or snappi). Making these got very tedious with no serger, and the materials are very expensive. Numerous other work at home moms make these, but because of the cost of materials you are giving away your time if you sell them for less than $6 each, and some sell for as much as $14. Cotton Sherpa is a bit cheaper, but it is still not very profitible for wahms to sell them for an economic price range. Clotheez has Sherpa diapers for 2.95 each in newborn or small and 3.25 in medium. Their Small is the same size as my "one size" was, and if you are trifolding should be plenty of diaper for an average wetter until potty learning. This is just not that much more than a prefold for a really trim luxurious diaper. Even other "name brand" fleece or jersey prefolds (flip and thirsties) are $7-8 each.