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Thursday, December 1, 2011

Making A Big Change

From disposable diapers to cloth diapers, that is. Yup, after weeks of secretly thinking about it, I made the leap. I'm pretty sure I have my fellow Sweet Peas to thank for that, for without them, the idea of cloth diapering wouldn't have even surfaced in my mind. I'm super excited about it, too. It is expensive to start, but overall, it's much cheaper in the long run. Especially if you buy one-size CDs (cloth diapers). They're diapers that you can adjust with snaps to fit baby, so that they can be used from newborn to toddlers.

Now let me just say, researching CDs is OVERWHELMING! There are SO many types and brands out there, it's unbelievable. And each one is slightly different. There are pocket diapers (in which you "stuff" an insert into the back of the diaper to absorb the mess), hybrid diapers (which uses a reusable cover, and disposable liners), one sized diapers, sized diapers, pre-folds (which I actually use as burp rags, and you put a cover over the pre-fold), all-in-two diapers (in which inserts snap in and out of the cover) and all-in-one diapers (which, I believe, are the ones I got, which are also one-size). I'm sure there are more, but my brain is mush from all the researching I've been doing the last few days.

These diapers can run anywhere from $13-$25 a piece, which sounds expensive, but in the long run isn't. How many diapers you need depends on the type of diaper you use. I bought the diapers with inserts and a reusable cover, this way I don't need a new cover for each diaper change. I would only need a new insert (unless, of course, the cover gets soiled). I'm doing a trial run of two different brands before investing in a stash. There are only a few differences between the two, but I want to make sure they fit Cael well, and make sure there aren't any leaks.

The first one I'm trying is a Best Bottom diaper shell, with snap-in inserts. This makes it an all-in-two diaper because of the two pieces. It's a one-size diaper, so it has a 3x3 snap system to adjust size. I got it in the "Blue Moon" color, and ordered 3 Stay-Dry microfiber inserts to start. It will only get me 3 diaper changes, but that's ok. If I end up liking them, I'll have to order more anyway.

The second one I'm trying is a Flip diaper shell, with Stay-Dry inserts that tuck into edges at either end of the diaper. They just lay in the diaper, instead of snap in. They are also one size inserts, as opposed to the Best Bottom, which you have to order different sizes. Like the Best Bottom, it is a one size diaper and also has a 3x3 snap system to adjust size. I ordered it in Ribbit Green, and got 3 inserts as well. This diaper comes with one insert, so I'll have a total of 4 inserts to try.

I should be getting them any day now, and I'm super excited. Of course, because they're cloth diapers, I'll be doing more loads of laundry. But it won't be a problem since I'm home all day anyway. There is a very strict washing routine you should follow, though. As to not ruin the integrity of the absorption of the liners, you have to use special detergent that is made for cloth diapers. There are no dyes, enzymes, bleaches, brighteners, etc in them. This way there's no residue left behind in the diaper (which impedes absorption). You should do a rinse/spin cycle with cold water, then wash in hot water with the detergent, and then do an extra rinse cycle with cold water. It's kind of tedious, but I'm sure I'll get used to the routine soon enough. I believe it's also recommended to wash them 5 times before using them, this way you get the maximum absorbency out of the liners.

And yes, you throw the poopy diapers right into the washing machine. Well, at least until they start solids. Breast milk and formula milk poop is water soluble, so there's nothing left after they go through the wash. When the baby starts eating solids, their poop will in-turn become solid, so I believe you drop the solid part into the toilet, and then wash the diaper/insert. No biggie. However, I think Matt is bothered by the fact that you don't wash the poop out first. But hey, that's what the wash it for, right!?

In addition to saving tons of money in the long run, pros to cloth diapering also include less environmental waste, healthier for baby's bottom (although, luckily Cael hasn't had diaper rash yet), and they can be re-used on future children, in turn saving more money (which I don't think will be happening with us). Not to mention they come in a variety of colors to choose from, making them super cute, and possibly addicting to buy.

In the end, I'm super excited about starting to cloth diaper. I really hope it's something I'll enjoy as much as I think I will.

We also got Cael's BabyLegs in the mail today, and I was super excited. I got an amazing deal on Black Friday - a set of 3 pairs of BLs for $12! They are usually $12 a pair (which is why I haven't bought them yet), so I got 9 pairs for $36 with free shipping. I'm so happy, and they look so cute on him.

Finally, I'm going to share a picture I took for the photography group I mentioned the other day. Today's theme was "Love", and you can express it anyway you want. Since Cael was super fussy today, and would only be happy when I sat him on the couch looking outside, I figured I would set up my tripod and get a picture of the two of us looking outside - something Cael loves (and I love him). After some editing using PhotoBucket, this is the final result. I wasn't too happy with it at first, but then some of the ladies brought out the good parts of it, and considering what I was working with, it didn't turn out too bad. :)

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