Now that we have been using cloth diapers for 3 months, I though I would give a recap of our thoughts and experiences.
Alot of people said that we wouldn't last very long, which probably made me even more determined to continue since I am stubborn, but when we did use disposables one weekend while camping, it didn't seem any easier - you still had to change the diaper and throw it in a bag to deal with later. I found it really hard to tell if my daughter had even peed, so I would just change the diaper anyways, so this means that you could leave the diaper on much longer - but is that really what you want? And an extra load of laundry every other day doesn't really bother me.
Why I choose Cloth.
Most people seem to assume that its for environmental reasons - less waste and although that is great, its not my primary reasons. My mom used cloth for all of us growing up and so it seemed like an obvious choice for me and when I looked into it more, I liked the natural aspect. Would you want to wear a plastic diaper all day? It doesn't breath. I want cotton on my bum so thats what I will use on my baby. Also, you can tell much easier when the diaper needs to be changed which I think is a plus and some people say that cloth diapered babies toilet train earlier. Also diaper rash hasn't been an issue.
We went to a fantastic workshop at extraordinarybabyshoppe in Waterloo, Ontario. They explained all the types (there are ALOT of options out there!), laundry, benefits and also sell lots at there store. They also have a store located in Ottawa.
We primarily use cloths (some sold as cloth wipes, some designated baby face cloths), wet them in the bathroom and then wipe away. Add them to the dirty diaper laundry.
We also use traditional disposable wipes, I like to research the brand on cosmeticsdatabase.com to see the ingredients and potential hazards added. Generally I choose something for sensitive skin with no scent, organic if possible.
We have a front loader high efficiency washing machine. We wash each load of laundry on a normal setting with extra water, hot water, high soil level and add a pre rinse as well. We find the diapers always come out clean and never stinky. Some times there are still some stains but I am not too concerned since they are diapers and always covered by clothes. Some people are more concerned with this and I hear that hanging to dry outside the sun is great as a natural whitener (although I havent any experience with this).
You also have to be careful with the detergent that you use on cloth diapers, many soaps have additives which leave a residue on the diapers which will reduce their absorbency over time.
I was intrigued to learn that dryer sheets actually leave a residue on your clothes - I believe all fabric softeners do. With cloth diapers this reduces the absorbency which isn't great. So we have stopped using dryer sheets and switched to dryer balls. Dryer balls bounce around with the clothes and lift and seperate the items reducing static as well as decrease the drying time. We use Nellie's dryer balls and have been satisfied so far, although it is louder than a typical load in the dryer. It takes our diapers about an hour of drying time which is longer than our typical load.
And for all types of cloth diapers - you are saving money, waste and putting something more natural on your babys bum.
Thoughts on cloth diapers? Would you/do you/did you use them? What was your reasons or what's stopping you?