Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The cloth diapering challenge

I really wanted to cloth diaper these little guys. I was so determined that I didn't want any disposable diapers in the house and I tried to see if I could get the hospital to use cloth on the boys when they were born (they wouldn't).

I ordered cloth diapering service from Tiny Tots, learned how to do it, bought all the equipment, and felt very comfortable with my decision. I firmly believe it's the best option. It's better for the babies and better for the environment. I don't buy into the bull put out by the disposable diaper manufacturers that says the environmental impact is the same, if not worse, with cloth diapers. They say that laundering the cloth is as bad as throwing the disposables in the trash. They fail to mention that laundering the diapers can use less water and pollutants than it takes to just manufacture the disposables, and they don't include the environmental impact of packaging and delivering the cargo to the stores to sell them. They fail to mention that a disposable covered in a landfill can take at least 250 years to "biodegrade." They also fail to mention that disposables are now a possible link to rising rates of male factor infertility.

Oh, I'm making myself feel worse for using all these disposable diapers! Aack!

Dave refuses to use cloth diapers like Bum Genius that we'd have to launder ourselves. Maybe later in the game, but we are so busy with two babies that laundering the cloth would be tough, even though I'm very willing to do it.

Another option is gDiapers, though they are not the ideal option. These are sort of a combo between cloth and disposable. Dave is on the fence on these and won't decide as to whether or not to try them. Fortunately, we don't have a septic system and by what I've learned, and I could be wrong, our municipal sewage system is compatible with these diaper inserts. I don't know if our plumbing would cope, though.

We can also try 7th Generation diapers but their website has really ticked me off. Their fancy way of giving coupons is not compatible with my printer and I have to request for them to mail me printed coupons, which they send me one at a time, which defeats the purpose. I have heard that they have sent very good coupons and deals to other mothers of twins, but I have failed to reach the right people, I suppose. I don't think their website is very user-friendly, at least not to this user. I've read, too, that unless these are composted, they don't do well with biodegrading, either.

I have attempted to use the Tiny Tots prefold diapers on the boys several times over the last 2 months. They're super cute, even if they were super huge initially. I love photographing the boys in nothing but their cloth diapers.

Until recently, the cloth diapers were really big on the boys and practically engulfed them if I used the Litewrap covers. I tried without the covers but that was futile since they would soil through to their clothes and blankets without the added polyurethane covers. Also, with them being so huge, it was pushing the little guys' legs out too wide and making them so uncomfortable, not to mention added concerns about leg development (hey, I'm a first-time mom and it's my prerogative to be concerned about everything).

I tried again a few days ago and while they were still a lot bulkier than their disposable counterparts, they weren't so bad and no longer splayed out the boy's legs so badly. I used them all day and went through many changes, about one every hour or two per baby. I was pleased with how they are more absorbent with breastmilk poops, which made cleanup easier with fewer wipes. The boys seemed to be fine in them, too. By the end of the day, however, the boys had developed the worst diaper rashes I've ever seen. I was surprised, since cloth diapers are supposed to be better about these things and typically cloth diapered babies get fewer rashes.

I'm not giving up just yet, though. We still subscribe to the diaper service, though so far it has been a big huge waste of money. I'll continue for another few weeks and will try to cloth diaper starting one a day, then two a day, and so on and so forth, to see if I can build these guys little bums a tolerance to the fabric, which is more harsh than the disposable diapers. These cloth diapers aren't soft, by any means.

I hope someday that we can graduate to using all-in-ones and launder them ourselves. Actually, I am reading "Diaper Free Baby" to see about using elimination communication as an alternate method. I think I can do it with William quite easily; Ronan will be more of a challenge. I'll keep you posted.


Lisa said...

LOL Lizzy. Sounds just like me. I bought Bummis prefolds with PUL outer shells in a starter kit. Since the twins were so small at first they were imposibly large. By the time they got bigger, my friend's new company Bebebums was up and running so I got a sample of her diapers- a combo of bumgenius technology pocket diaper system with microfleece liner. Very nice! All that being said, I just don't have time to add that much laundry to my already huge amount of laundry. I don't like the smell, they need to be changed more often, their clothes don't fit and I can't tell if they are wet or not without taking the diaper off. As if I wasn't busy enough. So...I have decided NOT to be a full time cloth diaper momma, but just a part time one. I try to use the cloth diapers for the first part of the morning before we go out to do anything and then again at night once our long nap is over. Even saving 4-6 diapers a day makes an impact. I only need to do an extra load of laundry every 2-3 days this way too. That I can manage. As for Liam, he's too big for these diapers already and is selfpropelling himself into toilet training anyways. We'll see how that goes!

I loved all your descriptions of your options with all the lovely pictures. I love the way a cloth diaper looks when it just a naked baby!!

Megan said...

Hi, stumbled on your blog tonight and had to comment. I love my cloth diapers(I use Fuzzi Bunz and some one sized fitteds) and my husband who was VERY on the fence about cloth now prefers them to the disposables. So you never know...

I don't have twins, and I launder every 2-3 days for one 8 mo. old. It's not really too bad.

Good luck!

Barb said...

Very very interesting. Thanks Lizzy!

As for the landfill stuff.. even food doesn't biodegrade well in a landfill. There's just not enough air circulation. It sucks. :(

Parenthood For Me said...

Congratulations on your boys. They're beautiful.

I am an adoptive mom who rode the infertility roller coaster for four years. I just started a not for profit called Parenthood for Me.
Our mission is to provide financial and emotional support to those starting families through adoption and medical intervention.
I am reaching out to the adoption and infertility community to spread the word. Please visit my website and sign up to be on our mailing list.
Also, if possible, pass the link on to your circle.

I appreciate the help.

Erica Walther Schlaefer