or your baby’s, that is.
if you would have asked me several years ago if i would have been the cloth diapering type, i would have had a very clear answer:
i could definitely think of better things to do with my time than having to wash, rinse, hang dry, and deal with fabric wet and soiled with poo. besides, even though i changed countless diapers over my years of working at a daycare, i was never good at wrangling the really squirmy babies. the thought have trying to safety pin something on them didn’t seem like a good idea for my, or the kid’s, epidermis.
however, by the time i had really wrapped my mind around having our first baby, i already knew i wanted to cloth diaper.
i would love to say it is because i want to save the earth from X many pounds of waste and year and lower my carbon footprint, etc. etc. etc.
and although that’s a nice effect from preventing thousands of diapers going into a garbage pail, that’s not the major reason.
can we say $$$, anyone?
you start tabulating how much money the average house will spend on diapering 1 child… and you might as well tape dollars bills on your child’s bumkies. seriously. it’s ridiculous.
so as soon as i knew we needed to keep the budget for this baby as manageable as possible, i knew that cloth diapering would be the primary coverage for our offspring’s toosh. (we do use disposables when we go out in public and when we travel. the thought of carrying bags of poop in a diaperbag until we get home is kinda the line for me.)
let me tell you, for any preggo people out there, cloth diapering has definitely evolved past safety pins and is now way more than wrapping and securing a napkin around nether regions.
(as a side note, i’m curious as to how many nouns there are to use for “bottom.” we are up to 4 in this post so far…)
in fact, it’s overwhelming. (at least it was for me.)
do i want pockets? no pockets? covers? no covers? stuffing? no stuffing?
do i want all in one diapers? all in two?
snaps or velcro?
and with cloth diapering being a bit of an investment at the beginning, you are afraid to make the wrong choice.
in fact, a lot of moms will tell you to get a couple of different types of dipes to see what you like best.
i’m sure that’s great advice, except for the fact that several different diapering systems didn’t appeal to me– or, honestly, to the husband and other family members that might be wiping my daugther’s derriere.
i knew that i’d need to be pretty sure at what was going to work for us before we selected our diapering system.
something else about me when it comes to the whole diapering thing: i knew if i had to do a whole lot of extra wash, it wasn’t going to work. honestly, it’s not that i’m lazy… it’s that i’m working as well as staying home as much as possible. because i’m teaching, nap times need to be filled with grading as much as housekeeping, which can be a major distraction from remembering to listen for the rinse cycle.
i won’t go through all the research i’ve done. i’ll skip to the punch and tell you what i chose:
i chose a compatible combination of best bottoms and softbums.
basically, they are both all-in-2 systems– that means they have a “shell” and non-stuffed insert.
what appealed to be about the all-in-2 systems is:
1) i didn’t have to take time to stuff.
2) if they only soiled the insert, i didn’t have to wash the whole thing.
this illustration might help to clarify what i mean:
with those 2 qualities, wash, theoretically, wouldn’t be increased all that much: just several pods and a couple of shells a day instead of 10-12 whole diapers.
if you are interested in all in 2 systems, let me go ahead and share what i like about the best bottom/softbum combo.
- i like that the shell is waterproof and wipeable on the inside. the makes it so if a little bit of pee gets out of the pad, you can wipe and reuse equaling less wash.
- the fit is pretty close to a disposable. let’s be honest; people don’t call cloth diapered babies fluffly butts for no reason. the softbums are a lot more “fluffy” on ellise right now, so i default to the best bottoms if she is wearing outfits with tights or closer fitting pants. once she gets older, the softbums will start thinning out and be more comparable here, i think.
- double leg gussets. no poop-splosions. (knock-on-wood.) i can’t say that for the times we have used disposables
- they are made to adapt to any size baby, through the use of a snap-up rise. the rise stays in place, even after washing. which is nice.
- you have the options of snap closures or velcro. i chose snap for these, and velcro for softbums. the snaps are easy to fasten, but take a bit of a good pull to unfasten, which will be good when baby hits the streaking phase. no getting the cute patterned dipes off.
- that leads me to looks. best bottoms has some really cute prints, including owls and hedgehogs. seriously!? huggies doesn’t give you that.
- i like the shell of the softbums because the inside is soft. the plus side to the softness is there is no vinyl ever touching baby’s skin, unlike the best bottoms. whereas bestbottom’s are wipeable, the shell does occasionally stick to ellise’s skin where the pad isn’t. however, the con to the softness is that if any liquid escapes the pad, you have to replace the shell more often, which leads to more laundry. honestly, though, it isn’t that big of a deal.
- they are made to adapt to any size baby through a pull-fit system. instead of snapping the rise up or down to get the proper fit, you pull or let out hidden elastic. this makes for a smooth, nice front instead of one patterned with rows of snaps, like the best bottoms. let me demonstrate…
so, although softbums is a bit bulky on ellise right now because the fabric is a bunchy in the crotch area, as the elastic is let out to make a bigger diaper, the problem will self-solve.
- they have the option of stuffing. let’s say you have a massive leaker for a baby… softbums has the option of stuffing the diaper with a liner, as well as snapping one on top… doubling the absorbency. (it would also double the bulk, but if you are using it for overnight only, that’s not really a problem.)
- the pods. best bottoms comes with their own 3-size pods, but i prefer the 2 size option of softbums. the liners snap in and are more versatile than best bottoms. the best part though, is that the pods are compatible with best bottoms– the pods snap into both. so i bought all of the softbum pods to work with all of my shells. they snap and stay. and are super absorbant. i love them. (they also had better ratings for absorbency over the bestbottoms, too…)
- the velcro. granted, i haven’t cloth diapered too long so i can’t speak about the longevity of the velcro, but i will say that it is a high quality loop closure. the diapers come with a laundry tab that you stick the tab to, so it doesn’t get stuck on itself or to other diapers in the wash. nice feature.
- the patterns. they have some really cute patterns, too… including giraffes!
- customer service. i did have one issue with one of the diapers that we had. i contacted them and they were so nice to work with. sent me another diaper with absolutely no hassle at all.
hopefully, if you are reading this and you are straddling the fence as to whether or not to cloth, or which type… hopefully this little review might shed some light on what may work for you, too.
just in closing, it’s worth it to know that ellise is almost 2 months old… which amounts to almost 500 diapers so far. at this rate, the cloth diaper system will pay for itself by the time she is 6 months old.
with proper care, the system should last through at least two children, for an ultimate savings of around $3000.
1 small load of laundry 2-3 times a week is definitely worth that for me.
if you are interested in checking out the item(s) mentioned in this post, i’ve included an amazon link. a couple of things to know: yes, if you buy from this link, i do get a *teeny* bit of moneys. but also know, i only link to things that i really like. thanks!