Cloth diapers...

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

First and foremost I want to start this post with the following... 

Opinions expressed and brands I choose to talk about are those of mine, are not endorsed nor the be-all end-all on what to use. I have sold cloth diapers for 16 years, my first 4 were working in a children's boutique with the most knowledgeable lady who did cloth herself, and then 12 in my own store. My customers and I have trialed many brands and the ones mentioned are the narrowed down brands that had the best success rates and happiness. If a different brand, or washing detergent works for you and you hate everything I suggest please keep this post in mind. The cloth diaper world is incredibly overwhelming and can be worse than pregnancy advice. Mom's do not need negativity, and if they choose something different than you do, it's not appropriate to express your opinions to them. Cloth diaper forums can be bully forums and this is not a place for negativity. So please, when you see a mom using something different than you, think twice before telling her how much better your system is. You don't go around telling people their cars, husbands or homes suck. 

Ok, now that's out of the way!

I'd like to start with one of the most important thing to me. It's called transparency with a company. I am not one to put a company down or like getting into a negative situation. But it is a serious issue that I think needs to be addressed and exposed. A company who calls themselves Canadian or American with the intent to sell China made diapers as a North American made brand is wrong on so many levels. Now this is not wrong to say your business is a Canadian/American business, and I'm not against China made either, but to not fully disclose on your website or to your buyers the diapers are made off shore is wrong! Unsuspecting moms are being taken by this! Not only do some of these "relabeled" brands sell as a North American diaper but they use other companies hard work and design. Getting it made cheaper, often lower end PUL, and allowing new buyers to think they have something they don't. I have come across MANY moms in my business who say they only buy Canadian and when I ask what brands they are currently, they are in fact China. If production is important to you and you're purchasing from a company you don't know ask what the label inside the diaper states. Made in ____ . The exterior labels can be done Brand designed in ____ or Brand a ____ company. (Often the too good to be true is that.)

Now let's get on to the nitty gritty of why you came to read this post!! 

•Are cloth diapers hard? Only if you make them hard. 
•Cloth Diapers are so gross in your house! Nope, you can flush or rinse away the solids and they don't sit around in a bin for a whole week until the garbage truck comes. 
•Cloth is so expensive! Only if you make it that way. With many affordable options you can have full-time cloth as low as 300.00 and that's all you spend until potty training. Throw always cost upwards of 2500.00+.
•My friend tried cloth and said its the worst! Your friend wouldn't marry your husband either. Take it with a grain of salt!
•There are too many options out there! Agreed. 

Here is what I will be using for Apple. I have chosen a mix of brands I like. But one thing stays the same in all and that's natural fibre inserts. I am doing mostly bamboo with a handful of hemp blend inserts. I prefer bamboo for the softness over hemp's stiff and scratchy feel. (Hemp does absorb more for the most part and that will be in her night diapers.) Microfiber is cheaper to start but can be harder to get build up or stink out, and has a very low resale value. Natural fibers can easily be deep cleaned at home and are always sought after on the bst markets. That helps recoup some of your out of pocket expense. 

I'm doing a mix of covers by Applecheeks, Softbums,AMP and Peachy Baby. My reason is because I enjoy a change in style at times, I find some to work better for night stuffing, some are cute diaper butts with ruffle edges, and my boys prefer hook and loop (Velcro) when changing baby. I personally do not choose all in ones because the outer shell can be damaged easily by deep cleans and they take much longer to dry. They aren't a bad option at all for a mom who doesn't want to stuff diapers, just not for our house.

The made in USA Softbums I use come in two versions. Echo cover you lay the insert on top (or if you use their insert snap in), Onni cover you can stuff insert in or lay on top. The Echo has a slightly trimmer fit. These are both Velcro but do come in snap although not the same fit or ease with snap. Both have an adjustable elastic inside and work brilliant for every size of baby!

The Applecheeks are sized covers made in Canada. Come in size 1 and 2. This means you get a better fit for baby in size 1 and bigger child size 2. But, it also means you purchase covers twice. Keep in mind resale on this brand is high!! And often discontinued diapers go for more than you paid - even after using them! Customer service is the best from this company. And they always have the best release parties on social media. 

AMP and Peachy Baby are the same ownership both made in Canada. AMP makes a few styles and options for diapers but I'm choosing their one sized and sized cover only. The one size are stuffable and have snaps to adjust the rise. The sized are two options size 1 and 2. Again sized require purchasing twice. Peachy Baby covers work from newborn to toddler with rise snaps. Peachy baby have no pockets to stuff inserts.Although many diapers that do this (one size) are hard to fit real newborns, PB design does. The snaps overlap at the waist and they adjust enough in rise to give a perfect fit.

My inserts are mainly Applecheeks bamboo. The quality is great, they stay soft after many washes; you fold them to the size you need. They are my favourite by far!! I do have a few hemp blend inserts by AMP for heavy wetting stages and night and very little Softbums mini bamboo. The mini can be used as a newborn insert and later as a doubler. I do recommend for price conscious inserts the Peachy Baby in size large. Even though I'm not using them with Apple they are great and my customers loved these budget friendly inserts.

My laundry and routine is pretty simple. The easier you make it the more enjoyable cloth diapering is.
•I use diaper friendly soaps and *gasp* Tide free at times. There are so many options out there for soap I don't want to get into brand naming them. This is a very personal choice. What to look for if you are purchasing commercial brands is no dyes, scents, fabric softeners for sure. DO NOT use dryer sheets! Wool balls are best if you choose to use your dryer or go to Walmart and pick up an inexpensive drying rack.

A typical week following along our cloth use. (With previous son as new baby isn't here yet)

Stuff diapers so they are ready to go. • Time to change and baby is wet only - take diaper off and drop wet diaper into wetbag (or just the wet insert if you choose to lay inserts on top and not stuff in pocket) . • Next change - baby pooped - if breastfed only, drop into bag as is, if starting solids brush poop into toilet and drop diaper into wetbag. Once this happens enough to either fill the wetbag or you are running low on future changes its time to wash. • I then dump my diapers into the laundry sink, fold back velcro tabs to prevent diapers sticking together, pull liner out of pocket and as I'm doing this throw each diaper into the machine. If one of my prize older children or daddy left a poopy in the dipe, I set aside and at the end when sink is clear rinse poo off with cold water, it falls off easily with cold, then use hot and down the drain it goes. (You could take it to the toilet but like I said .. I'm simple) • My wash routine is add soap, set machine to hot wash and cold rinse with an additional rinse. That's it! I don't mess around adding soap 4 different times, or bulking up the laundry with towels or rinsing everything first and all the extra routines you can do. I do not do a cold rinse ahead because I have pre-rinsed poop or bad off while loading. •Once my load is up I drape my covers on the drying rack and put my inserts either into the dryer or on drying rack. •This next step depends on how busy I am. 1) be the perfect mom and stuff all the diapers neatly and put away. 2) grab as you need from laundry rack. 3) shove in a laundry basket and set beside the change table until you are option one. 

Now at times I forgot my diapers at work and they would be disgusting! (I took babe to work with me from birth) Or if we were travelling into another country and they were only lightly washed in the hotel sink. I'd need to extra clean this load.... I would wash my inserts only in a super hot sanitary wash with a diaper soap booster or use a diaper stripper like Funk Rock. This is where natural fibers work best for us and most homes since they are easy to bring back to life, and get the stink out. DO NOT use super hot with sanitary cycle on covers often or at all. This can damage your plastic lining called PUL on the cover causing it to leak. I suggest checking with your diaper manufacture on ultra hot washes.

Even though the following brands aren't in my line up I did use some of these with my son. Grovia covers (made in China but honest about it) were good for travel. No fleece lining so they washed and dried well in hotel rooms. Handmade wool covers were great to put over diapers at night for heavy wetting leaks. Bamboozle fitted were cute for the odd days I wanted something different and would use them cover free at home.
A good balance in diaper cover to insert ratio is 3 inserts to 1 cover. If you lay inserts on top you can possibly get up to 3 changes before you need to wash the cover for smell reasons. If you want to stuff every diaper then 2 inserts to 1 cover. Inserts are like socks in my house... They can go missing!
If you are trying out cloth it's best to commit to 12 covers at least. Working with less becomes challenging to keep up with laundry. If you are doing 12 covers you will not be able to stuff unless you love daily laundry... Babies go through a lot of changes as newborns and poo often if you hadn't heard this a million times so far. The poop can get on leg seams and you have to wash covers more without being to reuse. If you are more flexible with your budget 36 is a dream and anything up from there is diaper hording awesomeness. I'll admit I had at one point 150 diapers for Kingsley *self admitted hoarder* it was a real problem having the get the next cutest colour or print that was released. Baby Apple will have 60 to start with, this is not normal or needed at all!! It is because I am ridiculous and buy in excess at times. (Hubby if you read this 60 is far less than King's stack so be happy!)

Stock photos of shells - my diapers have not all arrived at time of this post. I will be doing only white in all covers. Some say brave... I say photo perfect... 

Applecheeks (sized 1 and 2 - pocket - best resale)

Softbums Echo (no pocket - slide to size elastic adjustment) 

Softbums Omni (stuffable - slide to size elastic adjustment) 
AMP (one size - pocket)
Peachy Baby (one size - no pocket)
AMP (sized small - large) 


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