Before I start this post I feel the need to say.... this is all just my personal opinion and what my family and I have chosen for us. We all need to do our own research, decide what is right for our own families, and be tolerant of the choices that others choose to make for their families.
Why do I cloth diaper?
I found a really great link that sums up my reasons better than I probably could here. Basically, though, I cloth diaper because it is better for the environment, better for baby (I'm sort of afraid of those little gel ball things in disposables), and better for my budget,
When you decide to start cloth diapering it is easy to get overwhelmed. I read a LOT of reviews, research, etc on www.diaperpin.com and looked for deals all over the internet for 2nds, used, and on sale diapers. I learned the difference between a pocket diaper, and all in one, a fitted, and a prefold.
With my first child, I started with pockets because they seemed like the closed in ease to a disposable without taking a gazillion years to dry (like the all-in-ones supposedly do, I still have never tried one). I know people who have an entire stash of pocket diapers and are perfectly happy with them. I think they are great! I used to call them my 'daddy diapers' until Matt became just as good at folding and snappi-ing a prefold as me. I sort of think of them as the 'gateway drug' into the world of cloth diapering. They're what hooks you and draws you in deeper. Anyone want to try out one of my pocket diapers? Mwahahaha *evil laughter*
Then, I had to stop cloth diapering for a good few months because my daughter came down with a TERRIBLE rash and we could not find the cause so we had to load her up with butt cream, which we were not able to do with cloth diapers (we did not know about disposable liners at the time that would have allowed us to continue cloth diapering). After we started it back up again, I became OBSESSED with finding 'the perfect stash.' Well, let me rephrase that... 'the perfect stash that was ridiculously cheap while still being awesome.'
My perfect stash.
So, I think I've pretty much reached stash nirvana. I mean, i don't have super cute diapers, really. Most of my diapers were given to me by awesome amazingly wonderful mama friends. Still, they are functional, and some of them are squishy and soft, and they serve their purpose... they catch the pees and poops that don't make it into the potty. Here's what I got...
So.... I had some of these when Roxie was born and... not so much. i didn't even really try them because they looked too complicated. I didn't have the most amazing invention on the planet (okay... so maybe I am exaggerating a bit), the Snappi. And the few times i did try i couldn't get them to fit right. Now, I have NO IDEA what my problem was. If anyone is in the twin cities area and wants a demo on prefolds, just ask. Or google it, I'm sure there are a million picture and video demos online. It's NOT HARD AT ALL. So now, the bulk of my stash is prefolds. Why? Well, first because they were almost all given to me and the ones that weren't I bought for cheap. My absolute favorite prefolds are Green Mountain Diaper Prefolds- so I have some that I bought from there, but most of them are random ones given to me. They aren't quite as absorbant as some other diapers, but I change my child every time he eliminates, so that doesn't so much matter to me.
I have some various fitteds that I enjoy using every once in a while. They need a cover, just as prefolds do. Buy instead of folding them and snappi-ing them, you snap them. In my *obsessed with the perfect stash that was ridiculously cheap but still awesome* phase I kind of did something bad and bought something that was *kind* of expensive-ish. A pack of Goodmamas. Goodmamas are THE cloth diaper that the cloth diaper obsessive buy the best of the best mamas buy. When i bought them they were just starting out, and now those things are a whopping $35 a diaper! Unreal. Anyway, i bought a pack because I got them even cheaper than they were originally if i bought a bunch of them. Plus, I used my birthday money to buy them. Yep... I'm the crazy girl who used BIRTHDAY money to buy a poop catcher. It's okay... I'm comfortable in my absolute awesomeness. Haha. So anyway, I have those squishy soft, bamboo velour awesome diapers. I use them for nighttime or bumming around the house. They are a little bulky, in my opinion, to wear under clothing. But they are really absorbant. So, we wear them without a cover, or pants, around the house. They are great overnight diapers as well.
I also have some other various fitteds that I've gotten from cheap 2nd deals that we wear sometimes as well. I should probably try to sell some of these because I have entirely too many, but they are such cheap ones that I probably wouldn't make much anyway. Whatev.
So, fitteds and prefolds need covers because they are not waterproof on their own. I use Bummis super whisper wraps because in my experience they contain the poo and pee and they work well. I wish they had cuter designs, I grow rather tired of the froggy pond and the space exploration baby... but they work so I'm not going to complain too much. They are, after all, just poop catchers, right? I also have some WOOL COVERS. Which, in my opinion, are freaking awesome. Wool is breathable, unlike my waterproof PUL material bummis covers. This is good for babies bum. AND they are so adorable!! I have some I got from a really cool work at home mama with a great name, Lindsay at Rainbow Waters and I have some that were recycled from old sweaters, and some that were knit for me. Unfortunately most of them are girly and were used for my daughter. If anyone wants to get some wool yarn and knit some wool pants for my son I would give them a big hug :) :). But yeah... the good thing about covers is that you don't have to wash them all that often. I think you only really need about 4 covers in each size. Wool you have to hand wash, but I don't think it's that hard. I just use wool wash from Ewe Need It .... mine is Chai tea scented and I LOVE supporting real people instead of buying another 'made in china' product.
I have maybe 10ish of these? I'm actually trying to use them more often because they are so nice and easy and I find myself 'saving' them and then they never get used! I put Jasper in a pocket diaper when he's at the gym drop off childcare because they won't change diapers and these are absorbant and wick away the moisture from the baby (like a disposable does)- so he won't scream for a new diaper. Or at least it's less likely. I have some bumgenius 2.0s (yes, i got them at heavy discount because they were just releasing the 3.0s), but I personally wouldn't recommend them. They work and serve their purpose for us, but I'm only on my 2nd kid (and my first was fully out of diapers at 16 months) and the velcro is already loosing it's life. I have 2 diapers made from a work at home mom (who i can't remember now, she didn't put a tag on them!!! ACK1) that I love because they are one size so they grow with your baby like the bumgenius does, but they have SNAPS instead of velcro. Hooray!! Anyway, I think that it's a good idea to everyone who is cloth diapering to have at least a few of these... they are nice to leave with the babysitter or the unsure daddy.
I have some on loan to a new cloth diaper mama (convert??) but the ones I am currently using are big pail liner ones. Then, I splurged on my cute ones.... I have a hanging wetbag in the bathroom (also used for our dirty family cloth paper) from Goodmama, and a medium sized one that goes in my diaper bag to bring home dirty diapers from our excursions out of the house.
That's it! My stash. After writing it all out, it doesn't REALLY seem like stash nirvana is the exact right word. It's comfortable. It works. It serves it's purpose. It doesn't have all the frill and fluff of some other stashes I've seen, but it's fully functional and will be used for many kids to come (including, hopefully, some nieces and nephews someday if my sisters decide they want to cloth diaper when they have kids).
MY WASH ROUTINE.
I'll end with a quick look at my wash routine. When my wetbag gets full I bring it down to the washer and dump in all in there and then throw the wetbag in as well. I am currently using powder Tide free and clear but I think any free and clear detergent will get the job done... just so long as there is no optical brighteners or bleach or perfume in it. With cloth diapers, less detergent is more... you do NOT want to overdue it on detergent because your diapers may start to retain the soap and therefore smells! Yuck. Anyway. I do a cold rinse first. This is to make sure I don't set any stains with hot water. Then, I do a HOT/COLD wash with my detergent. Then, I do a cold rinse. The extra rinse at the end is to make sure ALL the soap gets out. Then, I just toss it all in the dryer on HOT. Prefolds and my goodmamas take a while to dry since they are so absorbant- so I always have my dryer on high. I know others who meticulously line dry their diapers to preserve their life... but well, I live in North Minneapolis without a yard, so in the dryer they go on high. I've not notices any extra wear or tear from it. i use dryer balls (don't use dryer sheets!!! chemicals= bad for diapers!) when my kids haven't stolen them to play with, otherwise I use nothing.
Feel free to comment any questions you have.... it might seem overwhelming but it's really a whole lot simpler than I make it sound... I promise!