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Saturday, February 27, 2010

Going Green with Cloth Diapers

No, I didn’t create cloth diapers.  And I’m not obsessed with them.  I’ve never beaten someone up for going disposable.  (Because I would also have to beat up myself every few days and I'm SO not into that anymore.)

Cloth diapers are very doable is you are NOT completely neurotic and you don’t mind laundry and poop.  And let me tell you, if you are having a baby, get used to poop. Poop in the hair (the baby’s).  Poop in the fingernails (yours).  Poop in the mouth (don’t ask).

I use cloth for both my children (until about a year before E potty trained), but the most reasonable green-bottom plan I have is to offer is with #2. (Pun INTENDED)

I use a combination of bumGenius, g-Diapers and disposables.
bumGenius 3.0 are pocket cloth diaper covers that GROWS WITH YOUR BABY.  Genius!  Yes, the velcro is giving on some covers after a year of washing.  BUT I did not like having to buy more and more cloth diaper covers as my first baby grew at a ridiculously ginormous rate (doubled his weight at TWO MONTHS!).
We used other cloth diaper covers for E and the one's that I managed to use for a long time?  Well, they got gross.  And I even had this ridiculously retentive way for washing them.  bumGenius just doesn’t stain easily.

And they have NEVER leak.  Let me tell you that our cotton prefolds with a wool covers did not have as good of a track record.  And the plastic?  Awful.
Oh and my baby’s butt isn’t HUGE in the bumGenius which for us vain moms is wonderful.

g-Diapers are a bit different because they use a flushable insert that goes into a nylon liner which snaps into the cover.  This is great because one diaper cover usually lasts all day.  Sometimes I don’t even have to change the liner.  So less laundry which equals less water wasted.

I just rip up the insert over the toilet.  The only drawback is that we have always lived in OLD homes and if you don’t time the soaking of the torn insert right (20 minutes to 6 hours), you get a clogged toilet.  If you go g-Diaper, buy a plunger.  It’s no big deal to me but if you hated plunging your toilet, go another route.
I also need two hands to tear up the g-Diaper insert which means I find them lying around my house because N is NOT OKAY with being left post-diaper change (or really post-anything).  But I find my cloth diapers covers do the same thing (perhaps they like watching tv because I’m SURE that I put them in the diaper bin, but WOW there they are on the couch!)  I've even been know to go to bed with a disposable diaper or two.  Hey, they make nice snuggly.  Maybe it's not a g-Diaper issue?

How do I work these green diapers into my life?  I have a small plastic trash can with a top in my kitchen which contains all things peed, pooped and nasty food-ed on.  Every other day (on my good weeks) I throw the contents of the basket in the wash on warm.  Throw them in the dryer on DRY.  And I’m ready to go.  (Side note: If I hung them to dry which I occasionally do, the velcro on the bumGeniuses would probably not be pulling off.)

I’ve tried all sorts of combinations which worked fine for us (so feel free to ask questions), but the above is my routine today.

We own about 7 bum geniuses and use 3 or 4 of E’s g-Diaper covers for our ten month old.  We have to buy the flushable inserts every few weeks, but they are available at our local natural food store.  And bumGeniuses 3.0 are at Whole Foods.  Both are also available on the Internets.

We use disposable at night.  Not because we must.  E actually slept in cloth for quite awhile, but I just got too paranoid about sleep.  You’re awake? Maybe your diaper a LITTLE WET!  Maybe that’s why you haven’t slept in the last hour or FOR MORE THAN AN HOUR! But I think that the bumGenius would be great at night if I was willing.  I probably wouldn’t do g-Diapers at night.

We also use disposable when we travel unless we will have easy access to a washing machine.  You do NOT want to travel far with a bag of stinky cloth diapers.  Especially in the summer.

So there you go. I also have Cloth Diaper Cheat Sheet in pdf for you to download.
My work here is done.  You are welcome Earth.

This post is written by Alex Iwashyna, a happily married mom of two children with a BA in Political Philosophy and a Medical Degree and the drive to become neither.  She is too busy writing poetry, blogging, and staying at home with her children.  Find her on Late Enough and @failebg but be prepared for baby poop and liberal bias.

1 comment :

  1. I love Bum Genius cloth, they are easy to use and fit great!! I would suggest a diaper sprayer if you have a thing against swishing a poopy diaper in the toilet.


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