Thursday, March 10, 2011

The straight poop

I do love to be proven wrong, so imagine my delight when we transitioned the baby from disposable to cloth diapers. Thank you, reality. So generous! I mentioned cloth diapers in this post and then went on to discuss them in detail in the comments. But I didn't have an actual baby on hand when I wrote all that. Considering I had never changed a diaper before January and didn't know yet that babies poop dijon mustard, are you surprised that my views have shifted? Let's revisit diapering since I have some actual experience under my belt now.

We are using Bambino Mio cloth diapers with Maureen. This system consists of an outer shell, a cloth tri-fold diaper insert, and a flushable (which we are not flushing into our old septic tank) paper towel-like liner that captures solid waste. It's a basic tri-fold diaper system (see demo above). I did not do a lot of any research beforehand. *shame* I chose this system because it was available through Target, and that's where Mo's baby registry was. And then it must have terrified all gift givers (except my SIL Chere who found it cheaper online somewhere else), so we used our Target gift cards to get it. I do not recommend this flying-by-the-seat-of-your-pants method of choosing a cloth diaper system for your little one.

As The Nappy Lady explains below, a basic tri-fold system like Bambino Mio has some shortfalls. (Her YouTube channel is chock full of useful info on cloth diapering. I especially like the British perspective as disposables are taboo over the pond, so by necessity she's done her homework.)

The Nappy Lady is right about poop getting in the elastic leg bands. Not every time but often enough to be noteworthy. (That said, we have had more problems with leakage onto clothing with disposable diapers, namely Huggies. What they mean by "leak lock" is not precisely what I imagine it to be.) The outer shells aren't good at holding the tri-fold securely against baby's bum. Which is surprising because one of the features that (on paper) appealed to me about Bambino Mio is the fit. The outer shells are sized like so:

XS (newborn) - up to 11 pounds
S - 11 to 16 pounds
M - 16 to 21 pounds
L - 21 to 27 pounds
XL - 27 to 34 pounds

And the tri-fold inserts are sized as well:

Size 1 - for use with XS and S shells
Size 2 - for use with M, L and XL shells

They are not as fitted on baby as I would expect with all that detailed sizing going on. It probably also depends on your baby's actual shape/size/proportions, too.

I also got two 2-packs of the bumGenius 4.0 pocket diapers to try out. The Nappy Lady has a nice presentation (above) on these too. We are not using the bumGenius diapers as directed because that requires the outer shells to go into the hamper after a single use. Instead of stuffing the pocket with the microfiber insert, we put a tri-fold insert in the shell (not the pocket) same as we would with the Bambino Mio shells. It works fine. Better, in fact, than the Bambino Mio because the bumGenius is nice and stretchy around the legs and across the back. And it's soft. It just seems like it would be more comfortable for the baby to wear.

There are several things I like about the bumGenius shell. The snaps on the front allow the diaper to adjust from 7 to 35 pounds. I had my doubts about how it would work on the smaller settings, but it performs well. The only thing is it's bulky on a younger baby. You will find yourself graduating out of the 0-3 month onesies quickly to gain extra torso length. (I am tempted to sing, "Maureen's got a big old butt!--oh, yeah!") I realize that mass produced baby clothing is not designed with cloth diapering in mind.

Let's get down to nuts and bolts. At this moment we are using three (3) Bambino Mio outer shells in size S, twenty-four (24) Bambino Mio tri-fold inserts in size 1, four (4) bumGenius outer shells, and four (4) bumGenius microfiber inserts. We put disposable diapers on Maureen at night because we value sleep--hers and ours. When she is wearing cloth diapers, I change her about once every hour to hour-and-a-half. We do three (3) loads of diaper laundry a week.

If you are considering cloth diapering I definitely recommend purchasing a sample pack of any cloth diapers you are considering to see how they work for you and your baby before investing in the entire system. All of the major brands offer some kind of sample kit or the option to purchase diapers singly. There are several different styles on the market. And don't be shy about asking your family and friends for samples of different brands as baby shower gifts. Or Visa gift cards to help with the purchase once you decide.

One variable you won't be able to assess until you try these with your child is diaper rash. I have heard anecdotal evidence on both sides--some babies get rashes in cloth, some in disposables. It's not something you can predict. Maureen's tush seems to do better in cloth, but I think that's a factor of her being changed more frequently when she's in cloth diapers. It would be a shame to invest a couple hundred dollars in a cloth diaper system and then not be able to use it.

I hope this is helpful if you were wondering how the cloth diapering is going. I wish I had done all this research beforehand, but what we ended up with works just fine for little Mo.


Tmomma said...

the disposables actually have ingredient listings. we were able to do pampers just fine for Roo and then once we got past the pampers swaddlers stage with bug, the regular ones tore him apart. after trying lots of different brands i was suprised that we ended up with regular huggies.

i look forward to the day i don't have to change poopy bums anymore!

Anonymous said...

i've inherited most of my cloth diapers from friends and am excited to see how they work. i did a ton of research on ravelry in the cloth diapering group and a bit on and have a pretty good stash with some diversity in it.

of course, i won't have a baby to try anything on until june though ;)

bbmowery said...

Tmomma - My SIL Jamie had the same problem with Pampers for Colin, but after she switched to Huggies he was fine. I didn't realize they listed their ingredients--good to know.

Cosy - There's a cloth diapering group on Ravelry?! I'm going to have to check it out. A diverse stash is a good place to start.

A lady at my nursing group uses tri-folds on her son and got all of her supplies from Green Mountain Diapers. I can see why she liked that shop--lots of info on their products & reasonable pricing.

old dog said...

Way back in the day I was knee deep in diapers and poo I used cloth. They were not fancy and to beef up the middles you just folded another inside it. It was super bulky and made your kid look like a sumo wrestler. Then it got wet and could fall down to their ankles. We had plastic rubber pants that didn't break the bank account and when they were shot, you threw them out and bought some new. Easy. These new diapering systems seem to be so advanced, you would think you couldn't fail with them. It will get easier once Dijon has some form to it. Then again, it stinks bad when that happens. It just is one of those things...

Shalom said...

Thanks Barb! I'm glad you posted the pros and cons, since we plan to use cloth. I was pretty sure we'd end up with the type you are using, my reasoning being "of course Barb has done tons of research on this!" One of my new mommy friends uses and loves bum genius and is giving me a few lessons before little Nugget arrives!

By the way, every time I think Maureen can't get any cuter, you post another picture and she does it again! :)

bbmowery said...

Hey Shalom, on the Green Mountain Diapers site they offer package deals. The Economy Kit is $224.45 and comes with 24 small organic cotton diapers, 24 large organic cotton diapers, 5 smaller covers, 5 larger covers, some pins, and 2 packs of wipes. That's a really good deal and should give you a good core kit from birth to potty. That's much less expensive than Bambino Mio...wish I had known about this site before.