The Set Up

I’ve been asked about our set up before, probably because it’s fun to peek in at other changing areas, so I decided to post ours. I’m not trying to go back to talking just about cloth diapers but it’s been fun to share this stuff with everyone. I apologize in advance for random dark shadows and stuff. I’m not a professional photographer at all…in fact, still trying to get used to my camera! And I was kind of in a rush because with two kids…actually, that pretty much says it all right there.

This is our changing area. It’s right off of the bathroom and laundry area so it’s not an issue if there is a smell (not an issue so far) and doing diaper laundry is a breeze. We use a regular 13 gallon trash can with a swingtop lid (you can see the sticker that I still haven’t taken off even though it annoys me) and pail liners.

There’s a laundry basket and trash can for obvious reasons and a huge counter that used to be full of clutter and isn’t any more. Woohoo for purging the home of a black hole!

To the right, on the counter, our wipes. The basket is full of various cloth wipes that I just use with water (since the sink is within reach). The plastic wipes container is from the hospital and perfect for holding random little things like Snappis, Boingos, CJ BUTTer samples, etc. Then a flip top pack of Target wipes which I looove because they are as softer than a cloth wipe and pretty tame as far as chemicals go.

The full “stash”! Yes, I managed a picture. I’m full of back pats right now, let me tell you. First shelf is a plastic container to keep all of the pockets and all-in-ones in. Super easy to see what I need and grab it and keep everything we actively use nice and neat. The bottom shelf has a box of disposable wipe packages (for the diaper bag, mostly) and fitteds, covers, wetbags, etc.

Ahhh, pretty. I love the vibrant colors! These are our pockets and all-in-ones. The aesthetic side of me wants to turn the diapers so the “pretty” side shows (like the back left) but Joshua likes being able to see what he’s grabbing and that sounds fair. On the right we have the Bumgenius 4.0 pockets, in the middle we have Bumgenius Elementals and on the left, the night time stuffed 4.0s (hemp insert AND a prefold) as well as assorted AIOs/pockets. Sometimes I miss our prefolds and then I change Liv’s diaper and remember how squirmy she is. Pfft.

Purple container: Assorted WAHM fitteds (8), spare small prefolds for stuffing pockets, hemp inserts, bamboo doublers, and PUL covers (3). I tend to not touch this stuff very often right now. Maybe later.

Wetbags, spare pail liner and a little roll of garbage bags for that trash can. Lavender scented, so I can avoid the smell of used wipes until it’s time to take out the trash (it takes a while to fill up that can).

Here is the inside of the diaper bag with the other three Elementals we own. These tend to sit in there for when it’s time to go out. On shorter trips, we don’t have to change her, but on longer trips, we’re ready to go. If she doesn’t poop, this could get us through 4-6 hours alone, not counting her fresh diaper when we leave. If necessary we pack more, of course, but this tends to work well for us.

I’ve changed up our set up a few times but now I just LOVE it. Diaper changes are easy and even Noah knows where everything is. He spent a few minutes earlier telling me what a diaper pail was, though I’m not sure why…honestly, that kid just talks. And talks.

And talks.

Oh! I can’t forget the little cutie who GETS her diaper changed. She was helping me take pictures. I have no idea what the black shadow is on the right…I think it might be the strap, actually. Oh well, I’m learning.

(More information on our “stash” is in the last post here.)

 

Nirvana: A Cloth Diaper Stash

Since my last “stash” post, we’ve discovered Bumgenius Elementals, a love for “one step” systems (at least at the changing table end; I don’t mind stuffing pocket diapers TOO much) and bought/sold/traded diapers. Our diaper stash looks a lot different now… while we still have prefolds, they tend to sit in a drawer in the closet instead of out by the changing table. Instead of 10+ covers, we have 3 (and I recently bought one just for the nostalgic reason that it was the same cover I first put on Noah, a Froggy BSWW).

We’re still “making money” by using cloth diapers. Olivia is now 8 months old which puts me at a conservative estimate of $500 spent on disposables, with coupons and Sam’s Club deals. Since that’s about what we’ve spent on cloth as a whole, anything from here on out is money saved. That doesn’t even consider that I can resell what is left for something when we’re done with them. We’d be doing even better on the cost ratio except that I chose to splurge a little and get some unnecessary colors as well as have extra so wash day wasn’t such a rush. The “wear & tear” on our diapers isn’t so bad this way either. Since pretty fluff is kind of my hobby right now, I can also consider some money per month saved, haha!

So now what you really came for…the pictures! I was having a hard time deciding which pictures to share so I’ll show you a couple of versions. Why not? I did not include a picture of our current changing table set up (which has definitely changed) because I’m still figuring out exactly how I want it. I’m kind of a control freak about organization. (My mother-in-law is probably laughing at me and remembering her Christmas visit last year when I was pregnant and nesting…)

This is just our Bumgenius diapers. This brand just really works for us. It fits well on our chunky girl with her big thighs, they’re easy to adjust and the learning curve is relatively small. I also like how easy they are to wash up and I prefer the suedecloth of the Bumgenius 4.0 to the fleece of other diapers.

Here are the Bumgenius diapers split up. On the left are the pockets: the Bumgenius 4.0s. That’s the three stacks in the back and two in the front. On the right are the Bumgenius Elementals. Four stacks in the back and two in the front. Whew!

And here…is our whole stash. I didn’t include our prefolds (24 GMD red edges) or our covers, which were dirty. Technically two fitted diapers are missing, but they are plain white and would have been hidden by everything else anyway.

For those who wonder, our stash consists of:
- 22 Bumgenius Elementals
- 19 Bumgenius 4.0s (4 exclusively for night time and small sized prefolds for stuffing)
- 1 Bright Star Baby AIO (the pirate diaper)
- 1 Blueberry Pocket (giraffes)
- 1 Swaddlebees Simplex (owls)
- 1 SugarSugars hybrid fitted (brown owls)
- 6 Goodmama fitteds (white fitteds with colored serging)
- 1 Diapey Doo fitted (fishes)
- 24 Green Mountain Diaper prefolds (medium)
- 3 covers (2 Blueberry coveralls and 1 BSWW)

Then, of course, assorted inserts (Thirsties hemp), Snappis, Boingos, a couple of flats, etc.

It’s a pretty streamlined stash with some diversity thrown in for when we need it. Joshua can easily grab whatever he wants and he actually does match diapers to outfits just like I do. We have fun with it, because, well, why not? A diaper is a diaper and if a pretty one doesn’t cost more than a plain white one then I see no reason not to pick out the really fun colors!

I think we’re really happy with this. I may trade off that Owls Simplex for a Blueberry pocket if I can (I am just NOT a fan of side snaps!) but everything else is perfect. I can scroll through a b/s/t site for buying diapers and not be interested. That makes me think we may have hit the infamous-in-the-diapering-world “stash nirvana”.

Disclaimer: I used a white blanket to cover up our ugly sofa. I wasn’t trying to make these look like professional diaper shots. Colors are pretty true to life but I wouldn’t base purchases off of these pictures!

Diaper Laundry Helpers

My next post about cloth diapering was going to be our “stash” but this was too cute not to post about.

This isn’t all of our diapers but it gives you an idea of what we use and what diaper laundry is like for us. There are sometimes threads on forums called “OTD/RTG” and the idea is that you post the pile of diapers that are fresh out of the diapers and then the pile “ready to go”. Since the kids were being really cute about helping me do diaper laundry, I thought I would snap a few pictures!

Here we have alll of the diapers in this load. No, this is not all of the diapers but yes, this is mostly prefolds, so that volume isn’t SO bad.

  
Noah was helping me stack the prefolds by color so I could either straighten them (the reds) or trifold them for stuffing (the yellows).

 

Olivia likes to chew on wipes so she got covered in wipes and flats. Very helpful cute.

Annnd, ready to go! Stacked so nice and pretty. :) Too bad they don’t stay that way, just like all laundry. They get used and then re-washed and the cycle starts all over again. *sigh* (Sidenote: some of these aren’t actually in rotation yet. There is a small stack of Swaddlebees Simplex that are size Large so they don’t fit Olivia, but we’ve been selling and buying lately. That Retail Therapy Bumgenius on top? New-to-us and I LOVE it.)

Oh well. At least they’re really cute on her, right?

Review: Imagine One Size All In One (Initial Thoughts)

I did not forget about my cloth diaper series. After my last post, my husband started a new job and sprained his ankle, so I’ve been on duty 24/7. Then we needed to move to a new server, but we’re back in action now!

I’ve been really excited for the mail to come all week. Nicki’s Diapers put out their new Imagine products this week. Among them is an all natural fibers inner, one size, All-in-One! That alone was really exciting to me since we’ve been discussing switching to pockets or AIOs (diapers that have the absorbent part and waterproof layer as one diaper – or, all “in one”) as Olivia gets squirmier on the changing table, but it’s not all that excited me. In addition to the all natural fibers, the introductory price is a very low $12.95. No, that’s not a typo. It really is $13!

We received ours in the mail yesterday: a beautiful Raspberry one size AIO in snaps. It is gorgeous. I actually had opened it outside in the sun and the color was so vivid and rich that I immediately wanted to like this diaper. I was a little worried I wouldn’t like the color because the stock photos on Nicki’s Diapers aren’t as vibrant but that’s not the case at all. My pictures are not really true to life either as far as shade goes, but I hope they show some of the vividness of the diaper:

(Small, medium and large rise snap settings.)

The PUL is very soft and the entire diaper is very stretchy. The bamboo inner isn’t as soft as others I’ve felt but it’s not really rough, either. Probably about the same roughness as your baby’s washcloth on the terry side. The elastic is also not the most gentle that I’ve felt, especially compared to diapers/covers with more relaxed elastic (like Thirsties or Flips), but it’s still gentle enough for me to be willing to put it on Olivia’s skin with her chunky thighs.

The soaker snaps in, which is supposed to decrease drying time, and there is a back flap that goes over the top of the soaker. This flap covers up the tag and top of the soaker for added comfort for baby.

I prepped it (by washing and drying multiple times) and tried it on Olivia to see what the fit was like. As with all natural fibers, there was some shrinkage for the soaker and, actually, the diaper over all. The dry time was pretty rough: for the first prep round it took just under two hours in the dryer with a full load of towels and then being set out overnight to finish air drying, and it was still damp in the morning. I’m hoping this is something that will improve over time but for me, it’s a very big drawback. I already have to run my prefolds through the dryer twice; anything that takes longer than that is not my best friend. Electricity is finite and expensive!

Moving on. The fit isn’t super trim but it’s not something that can truly be considered bulky, considering it’s an AIO. Initially, I put it on Olivia using the medium rise snap and I found that it seemed a bit short for her long rise. She is in the ballpark of 14-15 pounds and she is 5 months old but her rise is about 16″ or so. Since it seemed small, I put it on the largest rise snap (or rather, left it unsnapped).

See what I mean by squirmy? Also look at what I mean by the lack of bulk. The rise was actually wonderful on this setting but the elastic around the legs was too loose. Definite potential for leaks, so this setting wasn’t going to work yet. I feel I should also point out that the waist is a little on the smaller side so wide babies may need some adjustment. Out of 8 snaps, I leave 2 unused in the middle. That’s not exactly the right fit, but close enough.

Since the largest rise setting was simply too large, I went ahead and tried the medium setting again:

I actually love the way this looks on her. For one, such a pretty pink! And two, it’s really not a bulky diaper. Bulkier than a pinned or snappied prefold, maybe, but just as trim as any of our pockets. You can see that the elastic is still somewhat loose, but not so loose that it will cause a blow out. I can’t really make it tighter at the thigh snap because of her thighs and the smaller rise setting is just not going to happen. Olivia doesn’t have a “plumber’s crack” showing or anything but this setting isn’t going to last as long in this diaper as it would on one of our Bumgenius 4.0 pockets.

I can’t really speak to the absorbency yet. I don’t exactly have a super soaker, though she is no light urinating machine, but bamboo isn’t really prepped until quite a few washes. The absorbency will get better and better with each subsequent wash. I will comment on the fact that the soaker seems somewhat small but it’s working for us so far, even with my tummy sleeper. You don’t have to snap the soaker in, either, which is part of what makes the back flap so great (because it’ll cover the snap sockets). You can slide it up to go more between the legs, in the middle of the diaper.

I haven’t decided yet whether or not we’ll keep this diaper. I’d like to give it a couple more tries, of course, because I think it could be a great diaper bag diaper with some more prepping and adjustments.

If we do keep it, I’ll try to update in the future about how the quality of the diaper holds up over time. Honestly though, at a $13 introductory price (plus shipping unless your order is over $75), it’s an inexpensive way to try out an all natural fibers inner AIO, considering that some alternatives are over $20 each. (Bumgenius Elementals and Swaddlebees Simplex come to mind.)

Pros:
- All natural bamboo inner
- Gorgeous color combos; very vivid
- Soft, stretchy PUL that accomodates some for the smaller rise
- Low introductory price!

Cons:
- Long dry time (took just under 2 hours in the dryer and the rest of the night to air dry)
- Smaller rise than some other diapers
- Short soaker (though this can be remedied)

Did you buy one? Do you think you will after reading this review? Let me know what you think!

This is not a sponsored review. Nicki’s Diapers has never heard of me, other than to answer my inquiries as a regular customer. All opinions are mine and I have not been compensated in any way.

Why I use cloth diapers, part two

I am writing a series of posts about cloth diapers this month, in an attempt to help answer questions that newbies to cloth might have. This is inspired by pregnant friends that have been asking me questions! If you’re knowledgeable about cloth diapers and you are reading this, please feel free to chime in on the comments, whether you agree with me or not. I think discussion and commentary can be very helpful for the learning process.

Deciding to use cloth diapers with Olivia didn’t take as long after her birth but I had months before she was born to really consider the option. My Livejournal friends can attest to the fact that I spent a lot of time going “should I or shouldn’t I?” about using cloth. At first, it wasn’t really the money factor but the environmental factor. I felt bad hurting the planet with more disposables but I was, again, daunted by the idea of laundry. There are also a lot more options in brands and companies than there used to be when Noah was a baby and I had a lot of research to do. I tend to stay current on baby-related topics since I have friends who are planning to have more babies than me and I like to know things, but I was still unprepared for the onslaught of information I found when I started researching cloth diapers.

I decided to do disposables and figured I could change my mind later. Then Joshua lost his job and I started to save money wherever I could. We figured he’d find one pretty quickly so I planned to use coupons. We actually didn’t spend much money on newborn and size 1 diapers; between coupons and a sweet Craigslist person who passed on diapers that her son had outgrown and the hospital, we had a good number of diapers to get us through the first two months.

Except, Olivia started getting rashes more and more often. “Nakey time” gave her a chance to air out and lose the rash, so I started my research. I had learned that prefolds came in different sizes and that sized prefolds were trimmer. (I’m not one for bulk.) I had also watched Youtube videos and realized that prefolds are actually pretty simple to use! I decided that prefolds and covers would make up the bulk of our stash because I wanted “the cast iron of cloth diapers”. Basically, natural fibers that could take a beating and still wash up beautifully (and they do).

Picking the cover was the hardest part, I think, but once I make a decision I tend to stick to it, so once it was made, we ordered the diapers. This time around, we had just received our income tax return, so we went mostly new. I also bought some secondhand Bumgenius 4.0 pockets for Joshua because I wasn’t sure how he would like prefolds. (He’s answered that question for me since then!)

When Olivia was six weeks old, she had her first cloth diaper and we haven’t gone back. I’ve had some issues with stink (because Houston apparently has hard water) and working out how many diapers we needed per day has been a bit of trial-and-error. Now I can go about two days without washing and wash on the third day, though I usually don’t wait that long.

Honestly, there are so many reasons to cloth diaper that even though Joshua has a job now, I don’t see myself going back to disposables. We will still continue to save money on diapers, even if I continue to buy a few more because of how cute they are. Adorable prints are another reason to cloth diaper, by the way. A diaper gets used more often than pretty much any outfit you will buy your kids and during hot summers like we have here in Texas, kids can often go around in a shirt and diaper and no one thinks anything of it. Therefore, if you have a cute print you want to show off, you can! And the savings you will get from not buying disposables will still make it worth it financially, before you even touch the resale value.

Yes, that’s right. You can sell used cloth diapers if they are in functional condition. Some diapers that are “hard to find” and really sought for are known to go for hundreds of dollars on eBay or Spots (a smaller selling site). Of course, if a diaper is pretty used up, you may not get as much back as a diaper in near-perfect condition, but really, what kind of resale value do disposables have? Exactly. (A personal example with reselling are the prefolds I bought. I spent $56 on yellow-edged Green Mountain Diapers prefolds and sold them for $50. After shipping and fees, I basically got $36 back on diapers that had already saved me money to begin with!)

There is also the community aspect. The cloth diapering community online is pretty small, considering, and there are a lot of amazing people out there. Like I told you in my last post, many cloth diapering parents are so willing to help others because they want more people to be able to cloth diaper and bring awareness about modern cloth diapers to the world. I’ve passed on used diapers myself and just been happy to help another mother out the way I was helped. Plus, sometimes it’s just fun to talk about fluff with someone who “gets” it!

If that’s not enough of a reason for me to cloth diaper, then there is my kids’ health. Disposables have a ton of chemicals in them and, for Olivia at least, cause rashes that cloth diapers don’t. Instead, I swaddle Liv’s bum in cloth and make sure there is a waterproof layer and call it good. She might as well be wearing only clothes, with no extra chemicals added!

Basically, there’s five reasons:

1. Financial (both cost effectiveness and resale value)
2. Environment (helping to not add to the already enormous waste on this earth)
3. Appearance (cloth diapers can be CUTE!)
4. Community (a great group of parents you can chat with and help each other)
5. Health (no chemicals on that sweet little baby!)

Like I said before: we are not an anti-disposable family. We never will be, because we used them with our son and cloth diapers do not always work. There are so many reasons for us to use cloth diapers though that we will continue to do so as long as we can and put that money towards something else, like a zoo trip. :)