I can’t believe that L is almost two months old! What that means, along with the fact that my little man is growing up too fast (!!), is that we’ve officially been using Fuzzibunz cloth diapers for one whole month! I wanted to stop in and tell you a little about why we cloth diaper, why we chose to use Fuzzibunz versus other brands, and how the cloth diapering is going.
First, a few notes. We used disposable diapers (the Huggies Natural brand, if you’re curious) for one month before making the switch to cloth. Why? Well, as you’ll read below, we chose to go with the Fuzzibunz One Size diapers, not the Fuzzibunz Perfect Size individually-sized diapers, so we had to wait a month before L could fit into the One Size diapers. I had read online that typically, an eight-pound baby fits into the One Size diapers with no problem, and since L was born at 6 pounds, 11 ounces, he had a bit of weight to gain before he was ready for the One Size diapers.
What did we learn about disposable diapers during the first month of L’s life, when we were using them? First of all, the disposable diapers have an awesome system of letting parents know when their child’s diaper is wet – I love those little yellow lines on the diapers that change colors when the diaper needs changing!
Secondly, however, we learned that going the disposable route is EXPENSIVE. We aren’t trying to judge anyone who goes the disposable route – we’re big fans of doing what’s right for your own family – but for us, we couldn’t stomach the cost of purchasing boxes and boxes of diapers. At $20 a pop for 72 diapers, we went through a box about every week and a half. Needless to say, the costs added up quickly! In addition, Jord joked that L liked “a clean bathroom” (read: a new diaper) to poop in, so as soon as we would change his diaper, he would soil another one right after that! I literally felt like I was throwing money in the garbage. Finally, disposable diapers leak. A LOT. During L’s first month of life, I swear that I had at least three or four outfits or blankets or clothing of any kind that was soiled on a weekly basis; I would set the clothing by our kitchen sink to soak in stain remover before washing. Let me tell you: I grew quite sick of diaper explosions by the time we were ready for cloth diapers!
Why cloth diapers? Well before Jord and I decided to start trying to conceive a child, I did a bunch of research online about cloth diapers. I’m a big fan of eliminating extraneous waste from the environment (that was a big reason for our eco-friendly wedding, which you can read about here), and disposable diapers seem so wasteful, not only environmentally but also financially. After only a bit of research, I quickly learned that cloth diapers have come a LONG way since Jord and I were babies, when cloth diapering consisted of fastening safety pins to cloth wrapped around wiggly babies.
But don’t cloth diapers leak, too? Sure. All diapers leak; there’s no foolproof system that can guarantee that 100% of the time, your child will never, ever have a diaper explosion. Big poops happen, people – that’s what diaper explosions are all about. But, what we’ve found with Fuzzibunz is that we have much fewer leaks than with the disposable diapers. Most of the time, disposable diapers leaked out the back side of the diaper onto L’s back, soiling his clothes and necessitating a bath right away. But with cloth diapers, if a leak occurs, it’s usually out the side of the diaper around L’s legs, which not only is an easier spot to wipe up, but also doesn’t always render the outfit completely soiled. Sure, sometimes we still have to have bath time and an outfit change after a diaper explosion in cloth diapers, but I’m being honest when I say that it’s happening A LOT LESS than it did when we were using disposable diapers.
Why Fuzzibunz? We chose to go with Fuzzibunz diapers for a few reasons: 1) a few bloggers that I follow (Melissa and Kristina, being the main two; also John and Sherry and Sara) all are cloth diaper users, and the general consensus seemed to favor Fuzzibunz over other brands, such as BumGenius; 2) a local mama shop, Elegant Mommy, sells Fuzzibunz, and we’re a big fan of shopping locally; and 3) while purchasing our first few diapers at Elegant Mommy, we learned a lot about Fuzzibunz’s amazing customer service. Needless to say, we were sold!
How many did we buy? To prepare to cloth diaper L, we purchased 24 Fuzzibunz diapers in a variety of colors. We purchased mostly gender-neutral colors, as we plan to reuse these diapers for any future kiddos, but after we learned that L was a boy, we did purchase 6 or so blue-hued diapers just for him, knowing that if we have a daughter in the future, we’ll purchase 6 or so pink-hued diapers for her as well.
Obviously, the more diapers that you have, the less often you have to wash, but 24 is a great number for us. If we had multiple kiddos in cloth diapers, I would want at least 36 diapers, if not 48, but with just L around for now, 24 is working out wonderfully.
Why the One Size diapers? When we were purchasing our first few diapers, Fuzzibunz had not yet come out with the Fuzzibunz One Size Elite diapers. But, by the time we were ready to finish purchasing our diaper stash, the One Size Elite diapers replaced the regular Fuzzibunz One Size diapers, so the majority of our stash is Fuzzibunz One Size Elites. We went with the One Size diapers (versus the Perfect Size diapers, which come in extra-small, small, medium and large) because we weren’t sure how big our baby was going to be at birth, so we were nervous about purchasing the smallest size of diapers – what if we had a chubbier newborn? Additionally, we didn’t want to have to guess how quickly our child would move through the sized diapers; we wanted to have the adjustable settings so that we could customize the fit of the diaper as our child grows. What do I mean by “adjustable settings,” you ask? The Fuzzibunz One Size diapers all have adjustable elastic at the waist of the diaper and around the legs. Additionally, the front of the diaper has a variety of snaps that help to customize the fit to your baby. Plus, the One Size diapers come with extra elastic, so that you can replace the elastic casing if the elastic wears out! In other words, the One Size just made more sense to us.
What is a pocket diaper, and why did we buy only pocket diapers? A pocket diaper is a diaper that has a pocket on the inside of the diaper that you slip a microfiber insert into. What this means is instead of an All-in-One diaper, like this one by BumGenius, which has no microfiber insert, but instead has extra absorbent padding built into it, our diapers have a microfiber insert that is “stuffed into the pocket” of the diaper. We purchased pocket diapers largely because of the bloggers that I follow who cloth diaper, as well as our friends Jared and Amanda from Seattle, who are big fans of pocket diapers for their son, Miles. We also heard that the All-in-One diapers take forever to dry in the dryer, and we didn’t want to have to worry about that.
What do you do with the dirty diapers? Here’s the process we use: when we change L’s diaper, we simply snap one of the Fuzzibunz diapers off and snap another on. In other words, just like disposable diapers, one entire diaper comes off, and one entire diaper goes on. We then take the dirty diaper to our master bathroom, where we have installed a diaper sprayer attachment on our toilet. If the diaper is just wet (read: only pee), we simply snap up the diaper at the top and place it in a large-size, zipper-close Planet Wise wet bag that we keep in the bathroom just for this purpose. If the diaper is soiled (read: poopy), we open the diaper, spray off the unmentionables in the diaper into the toilet, snap the diaper back up at the top and place the sprayed-off diaper into the wet bag.
Isn’t it gross to spray off the poop? I don’t want to be that close to my child’s poop! What we’ve found when comparing disposable diapers to cloth diapers is this: there is no way around getting up close and personal about the poop, no matter what diapering philosophy you follow! When we were using disposable diapers, before L was big enough to fit into his One Size diapers, leaks and diaper explosions happened SO OFTEN that we got used to the poop. And now, with cloth diapers, like I said above, while our leaks and diaper explosions have decreased DRAMATICALLY (seriously, by like 90%!), we still have to deal with the poop. But you know what? Spraying off the poop is, dare I say it, enjoyable at times! We may be big cloth diapering nerds, but we like knowing that we’ve saved so much money by cloth diapering that spraying off a little poop is the least of our worries.
Don’t the diapers smell after a while? They sure do! But guess what? All of that smell is contained inside the zipper-close wet bag; we haven’t had any issues with odor “oozing” out of the wet bag and making our noses wrinkle.
How do we wash and dry the diapers? Are we doing laundry constantly? When the large-size, zipper-close Planet Wise wet bag that we store in our bathroom is full of soiled diapers (it fits usually about 15 diapers), I do a load of cloth diapers. This happens about every other day, so I wash cloth diapers about four times per week. Plus, I do all of the diapers in one load, regardless of the color of the diapers (no, I’ve never had any colors bleed!), so it’s quick and painless.
Here’s our washing process: I take the wet bag to our washer and unzip the bag. Because we use pocket diapers instead of All-in-One diapers, we have an extra step here that other cloth diaper families don’t. Instead of just tossing the diapers into the washer and calling it good, we have to “unstuff the pockets” before washing. In other words, we reach into the back side of the diaper, where the pocket is, pull out the insert, and toss both the insert and the rest of the diaper into the washer.
Once all of the inserts are unstuffed, the inserts, the diapers, AND the wet bag go into the washer for a rinse cycle. After one rinse cycle, we wash the diapers on warm or hot water. (We use Rockin’ Green laundry detergent for our cloth diapers, and we love it! No lingering smell or residue at all.) Then, after the diapers have worked through a rinse cycle, then a warm/hot wash and a rinse cycle, we run one more rinse cycle to make sure that all of the detergent is out of the diapers. Then, we throw the inserts and the wet bag into the dryer and we hang dry the diapers.
As I mentioned above, using pocket diapers involves more steps when washing; just like you have to “unstuff the pockets” before washing, you also have to “stuff the pockets” again when everything is dry. Just open the diaper, open the pocket at the back of the diaper, and slide the microfiber insert in. Then the diaper is ready to go!
Would we do it all over again if we had the choice? We most certainly would! We love cloth diapering, and we’re so happy with the Fuzzibunz One Size diapers. They wash up so nicely, feel so soft against L’s skin, have eradicated any diaper rash that he had when using disposables, and help us to financially provide a better quality of life for L. We couldn’t be happier!
Let me know if you have any questions!