It’s time I confessed something.
For a couple of months, I used disposable diapers.
But wait! Before you navigate away from my blog, never to return, allow me to throw out excuses like falafels. People throw falafels, right? Stop it, brain, stop it!
Anyway, Little Champ got a diaper rash, and so I stupidly put diaper rash on him. If you know anything about cloth diapers, which I apparently did not, you know NEVER put DIAPER CREAM on a CLOTH DIAPER. Unless it is on the “approved list.” Yes, dear readers, there is an approved list. No, I don’t know where it is because I plan on never using diaper cream, ever, ever again.
Lo and behold, my beloved Flip diapers began to leak. Or not absorb. Or create more rash problems. So I stripped the diapers using the holy grail of diaper strippers—cue heavenly chord—Blue Dawn. And I washed and washed and washed. Then I washed some more. I even used bleach, because the Flip website told me to.
So I adjusted the fit about a billion different times. Still leaked.
I didn’t give Little Champ anything to drink before bed. I stripped the diapers a few more times.
Guess what happened? Yeah, they still leaked.
Yesterday I had to change Little Champ’s entire wardrobe every 90 minutes because he would be soaking wet. I said to myself, “Maybe it’s not me. Maybe there is another logical explanation for this.” Okay, not really. I said to myself, “WHY? WHY WHY WHY IS THIS HAPPENING?”
They say the first step is denial.
Well, let me skip the next steps which involve hours and hours of reading blogs and reviews on cloth diapers and let me tell you what I learned and what I’m going to do about it.
Number One: Microfiber (aka “Stay Dry”) diapers only last for about a year
That would have been nice to know before I bought a full stash of them, thinking they would last me not only through this kid, but also through the next.
Bottom line: get something else for the long run, like hemp or bamboo. Cotton will last the longest, but hemp and bamboo absorb better. Hemp is usually a hemp+cotton blend. Bamboo is naturally anti-microbacterial. I’m either going to fill my Flip covers with Flip Organic Cotton liners plus a hemp or bamboo liner (click the links for the brands I’d buy), or else I’m going to buy Rumparooz 6r hemp inserts. I’m more likely to get the 6r inserts due to their versatility, and I’ll pray that they will fit in the Flip diapers.
Number Two: There may be hope for Microfiber.
If the one-size diapers you choose contain a microfiber insert, plan on replacing those once a year. Microfiber tends to lose its absorbency not to mention stink like crazy. However, with the new detergents on the market like Clean B and Hard Rock an overnight soak has proven to give new life to dead inserts.
I am going to try this method to see if I can save my current Flip diaper StayDry inserts. I ordered “Classic Rock” because though we have soft water now, I’m not sure where we will be living in 6 months and what sort of water we will have.. If you don’t know which Rockin’ Green to order, try this map.
In case you were wondering, I currently use All Free & Clear to wash my diapers, but I will be switching to Rockin’ Green.
Number Three: It still could be the fit.
The nice thing about One-Size (OS) diapers like Flip is that it is One-size-fits-most. The problem is that they are one-size-fits-MOST. Which means, OS diapers fit most of the time. Right now, Little Champ is between sizes. Medium, his cute bottom sticks out. Large, the diaper sags to his knees. The Flip diaper insert doesn’t completely fill the width of the diaper, either. It usually is a good thing, but the way it fits on Little Champ right now just means that stuff can fill up the gap between diaper insert and diaper cover. That leads to unpleasant leaks out of the leg area. What I had been doing was lining the diaper cover with an Indian prefold, and then placing the StayDry insert on top. That worked for a while.
Bottom line: get a couple of fitted diapers if you can. Either get a fitted All-In-One diaper like Grasshopper AIO Diapers ($25 each), get a fitted diaper like a Mother-Ease Sandy’s Diaper ($11-13 each) or Sbish Organic Bamboo Fitteds ($30+) and use with a cover, or get a fitted diaper cover like Thirsties (approx. $12 each).
Right now I have a Thirsties fitted cover and six 6r inserts in one shopping cart, a Classic Rock Remix Bundle in another shopping cart, and two bamboo Sandy’s diapers plus bamboo liners in another cart.
Yes, the diapers will cost $120, and I am a huge cheapskate. But when I think about how much I would spend on disposables, I’m saving soooo much. I expect these diapers, by themselves, to last me at least one year. Longer than that if I can get my microfiber inserts working again. But if I bought disposables to last me through 2012, I’d spend at least $700, and that’s with just one child.
I’m putting some Grasshopper Bamboo AIOs, Sbish OBFs, Sbish wool covers, and more Thirsties covers down on a wishlist for whenever we have our next baby. Or whenever I get a hefty paycheck for freelancing work. If you are willing to invest in those, I’d recommend them because Autumn of AllAboutClothDiapers recommends them here and here and here and here, respectively.
If you have any diapering questions, check out AllAboutClothDiapers.com. It’s an amazing resource, but the search capabilities aren’t very friendly, because it doesn’t let you see the context of the search terms. Type in “best diaper cover” and you get 500 posts which you navigate through, ten at a time. So if you can’t find what you are looking for there, first read her recommendations and if you still can’t find what you are looking for after numerous searches, feel free to leave a comment here. I’ll try and answer your question to the best of my ability. Just remember that I have been cloth diapering with one child using one system.
2013 update: The microfiber inserts were never saved. I now have them in the closet for dusting. The bamboo AIO Grasshoppers that got rave reviews? Awful. Leak no matter what. And the brand doesn’t make them anymore, so there’s that. The 6r inserts DO fit into a Flip diaper cover, but I prefer the organic cloth Flip inserts. The 6rs work fairly well as soakers when I need more absorbency. Thirsties covers are still amazing. Bamboo Sandies are THE BEST for night time, paired with a Thirsties cover. The Sandies bamboo inserts are my favorite soakers. Those plus a Flip organic liner work really well. The BumGenius Elemental AIOs were my absolute favorite. I only bought 3 because each costs $25 (woof), but wish I’d bought more, especially because in 2013, they were redesigned terribly. I’ve been told they are redesigning them again, so hopefully in a few months they will either revert to the original design or improve the current one.