My cloth diaper post continues to be one of the most read posts on my blog, so I thought I'd give an update one year into cloth diapering.
I'm just going to jump right in ...
During the transition from exclusive nursing to nursing and some solids - diapers were messy. I found myself reaching for disposables when I knew it was time for poop. There were days where I'd use disposables all day. I felt a little guilty at first since we'd spent so much money on cloth, but I had to do what worked and that was it for a while. Once we got into a pretty good routine of solids, diapers were easier and the sprayer worked. That said, I hate the sprayer. Hate, hate, hate. It's a fine sprayer, but it's messy even with the pressure turned down, and with a wiggly, crawling baby - it just wasn't great.
(bumGenius 4.0, Albert)
We continue to use cloth at home, but when we left the house we use disposables. We also use disposables when we travel because it's just easier. We did take cloth when we went on vacation for a week in the summer, but we found that since machines are all different, it takes a while to figure out what works and by the time you do that it's time to leave... At this point, we're happy still doing a mix. From time to time we do use cloth while we're out and about, but it depends how long we'll be out and where we're going. (Now that he's eating solids, I will not ever probably do cloth out and about in the summer .)
I've found that my choice in diapers has changed as Oliver has gotten bigger. I used to love (LOVE) my FuzziBunz and didn't care for my bumGenius (Elementals or 4.0) at all. Now, I rarely use FuzziBunz. I have found that poop clings to the fleece and even the really solid poop is hard to get off and necessitates the sprayer. Nothankyou. I have some liners, but I sort of feel like that is slightly against the purpose of cloth to begin with (at least partly). These days I find that I'm reaching for any of my bumGenius, GroVia, Thirsties AIO, and more recently Rumparooz.
Speaking of Rumparooz, we bought two to test them out - LOVED them - and bought six more. They are awesome. I like them so much that I might have to buy some of their tiny 'Lil Joeys' newborn diapers for down the road.
With the Rumparooz came a new set of washing/care recommendations. Lovely. They recommend Tide, which
other companies say is the absolute worst. After tons and tons of reading and asking on a diaper message board, it seems that a lot of moms use Tide for their diapers. Who the heck knew?! I've been using Country Save and really like it, but sounds like Tide is the preferred choice for both Rumparooz and for diapers once baby is on solids.
After a year I thought I knew about as much as I could on how to care for my diapers and then everything seemed to be confusing. I've finally concluded that it doesn't matter what detergent you use as long as you're aware of what kind of water you have (i.e. hard water doesn't rinse detergent well so lots of rinses if you use a residue detergent like Tide, soft water rinses better and generally takes less detergent) and that you understand that you can't ruin your diapers. ...and learning how to strip them and start over is also crucial. Pretty much, as long as you rinse really well, you're good. (At least, that's what I'm saying for now.) I'm still warming up to this whole Tide-on-diapers phenomenon.
Worst case scenario is I have a smell or leak issue (which I've never really had before) and I have to strip them and try something different.
I think I have also shared that at night we'd been using disposables (for months!) but lately I tried cloth again and no leaks. I think a lot has to do with the fact that he's sleeping more at night and not nursing as often, therefore not soaking his diaper as much. There are still mornings that are heavier than others, but so far, so good.
A few things to note...
-bumGenius Elementals seem to fit the trimmest of all of the diapers we have.
-Rumparooz has an inner gusset that is fleece and so, so soft. I love it. Oliver loves it.
-GroVia is awesome, but the side snaps on the AIO are annoying and I still prefer the AI2.
-Another reason I rarely use FuzziBunz is that the PUL is sticky and takes twice as long to stuff.
-bG and Rpr pockets stuff incredibly fast.
We recently bought a bumGenius Freetime. I. love. it. It's super soft, but different from the Elementals in that it's not organic cotton and it has two flaps like the GroVia AIO. It's amazing. We'll be getting a couple more of those.
Bottom line: one year in... all is well. I still recommend cloth. I like that we aren't militant about it and use disposable when we have to - in the beginning I didn't think I'd ever want to use disposables. Now, I'm fine with it. As parents, we try to make the best decisions we can. There is a lot of crap in disposable diapers that probably isn't the best for baby skin. There's also a lot of crap in my favorite cookies that probably isn't the best for my body. Pick and choose. Disposables every now and then, or even weeks at a time because I don't want to deal with a sprayer, is not a big deal and I'm okay with that.