6 months and chunky. a flip cover and small prefold.
i mentioned way back when i was pregnant with avery that we were planning on cloth diapering and then i never said anything else about it. i figured i would write a bit about what it's been like for us to cloth diaper a breastfed baby.
i'm going to be completely honest. i bought a cloth diaper stash, prepped all the diapers before avery came, and then .... didn't start cloth diapering until avery was 3.5 months old. there were a few reasons for this. the biggest was that i was nervous about diving into it all: putting the diapers on, washing them, etc. was all overwhelming and the few times that i had tried when she was younger the diapers looked so big and bulky and just, not right, that i gave up and went back to using disposables. i finally started because i spent a decent amount of money on the diapers and was beyond annoyed that i was wasting money by not using them.
when i was pregnant i started researching cloth diapers and found that there were so many different options out there. i honestly think this is great but also beyond overwhelming when you're trying to look into something. also, a lot of diapers are expensive (some are over $20 a diaper) and if you've never done it before that can seem like a huge investment to make before you even know if a system is going to work out for you. in the end i decided to go the cheapest route: prefolds with PUL covers. i bought 2 dozen small organic indian unbleached cotton prefolds from green mountain diapers and 6 thirsties duo covers in size one. this is a way smaller 'stash' that anyone recommends starting out with but it's been the perfect amount for us.
i hadn't planned on starting cloth diapering until avery's cord fell off and even then because the prefolds are so thick (something i love now) and avery was so tiny, they were huge on her. i probably should have started with the newborn size or some fitteds, but again i had no idea what i was doing and was trying to save money and not invest in something she could only use for a few weeks.
about 3.5 months old in a thirsties duo. so small and so cute!
by the time i started when she was 3.5 months old and probably about 12 pounds the size one thirsties duo's were about maxed out in size. i looked around for some different covers and ended up finding flips on sale at cotton babies (buy 2 get one free). i ordered 6 of them and absolutely love them. the thirsties covers i had were aplix closures and the flips i ordered are snaps and i have to say that i like the snaps much better. i skip the pins and snappis and just trifold the prefold into the cover and then put the whole thing on like you would a disposable. the small size refolds are still working really well at this point even though avery's way passed the size recommendation for them. she's currently still using the middle rise on the flips so we'll see if we have to order some medium prefolds when she moves to the highest rise.
for us i've found that the cloth diapers fit her better than disposables and we never have leaks or blowout with cloth. i haven't tried a bunch of disposable brands (we've used 7th generation and earth's best) so there may be some out there that fit her better than the ones we've tried.
once we started the 2 dozen prefolds and 6 covers were more than enough and i do laundry about every third day. i have two large planet wise wet bag that i throw dirty diapers in and wash with the diapers. since avery was exclusively breastfed for the first 6 months, laundry was really easy. i just threw the diaper in the wet bag, no rinsing or spraying necessary, and when laundry time came i dumped everything in the wash for first a cold rinse and then a hot wash with detergent. as far as detergent goes i never bought special diaper detergent, but just use our regular stuff. it's perfume and dye free and seems to do a great job of cleaning the diapers. we've never had staining problems. i don't dry the covers, but the bag and the prefolds go into the dryer.
i originally had 3 reasons for cloth diapering.
1. it saves money.
seriously. a ton of money. the amount of money i spent on our whole cloth diaper stash i less than it costs us to do 2 months in disposables. crazy.
2. it's better for the environment.
i've heard quite a few arguments against this one, the biggest being energy usage. and while i've never done the math i would say when you look at the energy used to manufacture all of those deposable diapers and then the money to package them and ship them to various stores and then think of the landfill space they're taking up, it really doesn't even seem close.
3. it's cotton on my baby.
avery has sensitive skin and had eczema when she was younger. i think cotton has helped both of those issues.
eating a peach in telluride.
i will say that we still use a disposable at night and when we travel. 4 days in telluride with no washer and dryer meant we brought a pack of disposables instead of figuring out a way to do cloth. as far as night goes i just haven't quite ventured into that world yet. i've looked at a lot of options and i haven't moved forward with anything yet. i'm not ruling it out, but i'm not sure what direction we're going to go. also, sometimes clothes are difficult to fit over the diaper. certain brands are better and i actually think that boys clothes are better than girls. whoever decided that babies should wear skinny jeans never had one. summer is great because dresses and one-pieces are really easy and work well with cloth diapers. plus, the diapers look pretty cute under a dress. pants are the hardest and i have shopped in the boys section just to get wider pants.
overall, i still get annoyed when i think that it took me so long to jump into cloth diapering but i've really enjoyed doing it. while it's worked out for us, i think part of the reason that it's been successful is that we don't feel pressure to do it 100% of the time. sometimes i don't get a chance to wash the diapers one night because i pick sleep over laundry and she spends a few hours the next day in disposables and that's fine with me. i figure each diaper i do is making a difference but using a disposable is just fine, too.