I don’t define myself as a super “crunchy, granola or green” type of gal, but I do really like cloth diapering! I’m all for helping the environment, but I mainly wanted to try it to save a little moolah!
Note: we don’t currently pay for our water- for whatever reason, our landlord covers it. Whenever we move out of our current rental house, I’m sure the cost of washing our diapers will certainly have an impact, but I’m pretty sure we’ll still continue using this cloth because we like it! And sorry for all of the links- cloth diapering terms are CONFUSING, and I wanted to provide links to different terms and various products. I’m not getting paid for any link clicking, they are just provided for convenience!
When we Started
I think we started using gDiapers when Adeline was 5 or 6 weeks old. She was just a squirt, weighing just 6lbs 11oz when she was born. Newborn babies have SO MANY wet/dirty diapers in those first few weeks. Like, 12 diapers a day. So we happily used our gifted newborn size diapers (from showers and FROM THE HOSPITAL- TAKE THEM HOME WITH YOU!) until we felt comfortable with diving into the world of cloth.
We started with gDiapers because our good friends Ashley and David used them with their daughter Lydia. Here is Ashley’s post about cloth diapering! I really liked the gDiaper system because you really only have to wash the cloth insert unless there is an absolute blowout. The gDiapers are considered a hybrid cloth diaper (because you have the option of using a disposable insert- regular diaper meets cloth diaper. But it can also be used solely as a cloth diaper). Plus, the gDiapers have a nice, trim fit. They fit our little peanut well, and her cloth-diaper bum still fit into her 0-3 month clothing!
(source: gDiaper website)
If you look in the picture above, there is the colorful cloth shell (the cover), a snap-in plastic liner, and in this photo- the woman is putting in a biodegradable disposable insert. Before Adeline was born, I bought 2 gDiapers brand new and I bought 3 gently used gDiapers off of eBay (when I say gDiapers- I mean the whole thing- cover, liner and cloth). We did use some disposable inserts, but we also had 5 gCloth inserts. With just 5 cloths, we weren’t able to go 100% to cloth diapering with just the gDiaper system. We could do about a day of cloth, but then the next day would be a disposable day (when the cloths were being washed). The only downside to using the gCloths was the drying time. I usually dried them in the dryer on a SUPER low setting, but we still had to let them air dry for several hours before using them.
Purchasing more Diapers
I really liked using the gDiapers, and I wanted to commit to using cloth, so I needed to get a few more diapers and inserts. I thought about getting more gDiapers, but they are pretty expensive. They always seemed to fit her funny, and I wasn’t sure I wanted to stick with the “g” system long-term.
I also knew that I probably wanted to invest in some diapers that would grow with Adeline (the gDiapers come in 3 sizes).
ALVA baby Diapers
I actually purchased a 6 pack of ALVA baby diapers before Adeline was born. They are EXTREMELY cheap pocket diapers from China. The ALVAbaby.com website is a pain to navigate, so I actually purchased my ALVA’s off of eBay! I’m pretty sure we got this bundle of 7 diapers and 7 microfiber inserts for under $40. Compared to the price of gDiapers ($25-$30 for TWO diapers), this was a STEAL! The ALVA baby diapers are super adjustable- you can adjust at the waist and the rise (length) of the diaper. These SHOULD last us until Adeline is potty trained!
HOWEVER- these diapers are my “last resort” diapers. They work well, but I really don’t like tossing the entire cover and the insert into the wash. You stuff a microfiber insert INTO the fleecy pocket of the diaper.
DO NOT leave any of the microfiber cloth hanging out- it will wick the moisture up from the diaper and all over baby’s clothing! Also, you CANNOT place the microfiber insert on TOP of the fleece- it will leak everywhere (speaking from experience!)
I have re-used the cover before, the fleece liner helps to pull the moisture onto the microfiber cloth insert, so the fleece feels pretty dry even after a wet diaper . But again, I really don’t like tossing a whole cover+insert into the laundry. They are pretty cute though, and I do like how adjustable the leg openings are! I have a feeling that feature will be necessary for when she starts to move more.
Flip Diapering System
I saved the best for last These are our current favorite diapers! The Flip diapers are the perfect mesh between the adjustability of the ALVA diapers and the ease of use of the gDiapers. I purchased 2 new Flip covers and a 6 pack of BumGenius microfiber inserts off of Cottonbabies.com. The Flip diaper is an “All-in-Two” diaper, and it’s also considered a hybrid diaper since you can use it with disposable inserts.
I loved our Flip diapers so much that I purchased 2 more Flip covers from the “seconds” section of Cottonbabies.com (basically on clearance because of some blemish, and they don’t sell them for full price). I also purchased 6 cotton prefolds to use as inserts, and we LOVE them!
We can use our ALVAbaby inserts AND the BumGenius inserts in the Flip diapers. Flip also makes their own inserts, but we purchased the BumGenius because they were cheaper (same material- standard microfiber). As you can see above, the Flip diapers also have an adjustable rise and an adjustable waist, so the diapers should grow with us! They DO NOT have the adjustable leg openings, but the elastic fits well around Adeline’s legs (she’s got a bit of chunk, so it may not work as well for skinny-legged babes).
The only important step in using the Flip diapers is to make sure your cloth insert is tucked under the flaps of the cover, otherwise the moisture will wick out of the diaper and on to baby!
I like that the Flip diapers could be used with a number of inserts. The BumGenius inserts have a snap for adjusting the length (which makes them pretty bulky, but they still work fine), and they should be able to grow with us. But, if you wanted to use another type of insert it wouldn’t be difficult to just lay them in the Flip cover.
There are *some* websites that say to NEVER place the microfiber insert up against the baby’s skin, but Adeline has never had an issue with diaper rash or excessive stinky-ness of the diaper. HOWEVER- the microfiber inserts do feel wet at each diaper change. I’m cutting up some fleece that I purchased at Michael’s to make some fleece liners to lay on top of the microfiber inserts. That way, her bum will feel dry!
Whew! That was a TON of information, so here is where we are at now (after we moved on from the gDiapers):
- We have 13 microfiber inserts (7 ALVA and 6 BumGenius)- that means that I do a FULL load of cloths every other day (the microfiber inserts dry quickly).
- We have 4 Flip covers and 7 ALVA pocket diapers (but we rarely use the ALVA’s).
- We still use disposable diapers at night, mainly because we still have them from baby showers. I think I’ll start using the ALVA diapers at night. I’ll be sure to post if we make that transition
- I’m happy with our “stash”, although I am cutting up fleece to make liners so that Adeline’s bum stays dry. I wouldn’t mind a few more microfiber inserts (or other materials) so that we could do diaper laundry less frequently.
As far as washing goes, after a diaper change, I put the dirty cloths into a grocery bag hanging in Adeline’s room. (Poopy cloths/covers get put in their own grocery bag and get tied up so they don’t stink up the house). Regular garbage (wipes, disposables from the night) go into one bag, cloth stuff goes into the other). I use a grocery bag for dirty cloths when we’re out of the house too.
I throw all “cloth diaper” laundry into the wash and do the following:
- Cold Rinse so stains don’t set
- Warm or Hot Wash with a tiny bit of unscented detergent
- Cold Rinse to remove extra detergent
- Tumble dry on low heat for the cloth inserts, air dry for the covers.
There are a ton of different washing instructions, but this method works well for us!
Any questions about anything?!