Cloth diapering disaster!

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.

Still leaking.

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.

Allaboutclothdiapers.com

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).

The Plan:

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.

The Future:

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.

The end:

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.

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36 Weeks

Not much to report on the baby end.

Little Champ should be about 18.5 inches long and almost 6 pounds. He will gain about a half pound each week until he is born. I don’t know for sure, but it feels like he is head down and in the right position, with his little bottom up by my ribs, and his little shoulders by my pelvis.

Like This!

It feels like he has been making his way down, but it has been a gradual feeling, so I am not completely sure, since many people have said that it is pretty obvious when the baby drops down, and that my breathing should improve and heartburn should lessen. Well, that isn’t the case. I had to take my inhaler twice this week, and I have been getting bad heartburn again.

Thankfully, the heartburn, carpal tunnel, and contractions usually don’t come at me all at once, so there is at least some variety to my discomfort.

My contractions have slowed down. I will get about 3 big ones per day, but that’s it. We are starting to wonder if he will stick around for a while.

I found out at my appointment this week that I tested positive for Group B Strep. That means that I will need an IV to get the antibiotics going, so the baby doesn’t get deathly ill. Obviously I will do whatever it takes for the health of my baby, but I am still terrified. I have a thing about veins…I get very flushed even if I see someone else getting their pulse taken. If I get my own pulse taken, I start to get faint. (Once, back in middle school, I was wearing a mood ring when a nurse was taking my pulse. It turned from blue-green to black.)

So basically I am afraid that I will pass out once they put the IV in. Plus, as long as I am hooked up, it will be oh so easier for the doctors to inject Pitocin into me. I am expecting there will be crying. LT is expecting that he will have to keep me calm and protect me from icky Pitocin. If he is not in the delivery room with me for whatever reason…I am going to be a wreck. One bigger than the Titanic, even.

Anyway, we are hoping that I can be put on a Hep-lock, so I can still move around until they absolutely need to “plug me in.” We’ll see, I guess.

Also at my appointment, LT looked over my shoulder while I was getting weighed. I groaned at the results. His response?

“Don’t worry, honey! I have weighed more than that before.”

“Yeah,” I said, “with all your gear on!”

“Nah. Just a flak jacket.”

A flak jacket, for us civvies, is body armor. One typically weighs 30-40 lbs, without equipment on it. Don’t you love a man with a sense of humor.

36 weeks: I have gained about 30 lbs, and over 12 inches to my waist. Yikes!

Oh! I got my order of Flip Diapers in! I was surprised at how gigantic the inserts are. I mean, if they were smaller, they wouldn’t really work, but still, I didn’t expect that a stack of 6 inserts would be the size of a loaf of bread!

I am going to have to get some pre-fold diapers, pretty sure. I added them to my registry, along with some Thirsties diaper covers, but I think I will order a dozen soon just to be prepared.

The nursery is coming along. I expect it won’t really be finished until Little Champ is about 6 months old, since I want to paint some canvases for his room, and will want to add pictures and such. Plus, his book collection will grow once my momma comes to visit (and brings me my old books) and after Christmas (I am sure I will be buying him plenty of books!).

This week I also started on the changing pad for the nursery. The covers won’t be finished until next week, when the sewing machine I ordered comes in, but I will post a sneak peek of it this afternoon!

Cloth Diapers

2013 update: Flip diapers are still wonderful, but be sure to buy the ORGANIC inserts. They cost a bit more, but last nearly indefinitely. Stay away from microfiber or “stay dry” inserts, unless you don’t care that they lose all absorbency after one year. The BumGenius Elementals were redesigned in early 2013, and the results were disastrous. Apparently they are now in the process of being redesigned. The original design (see image below) are wonderful, so I’m really hoping they go back to that design. Read more about Cloth Diapering on my post Cloth Diapering Disaster.

I just spent the last 7 hours trying to figure out which cloth diapers we should buy for Little Champ. And that 7 hours was basically just figuring out all the different combinations of 3 types of diapers in order to get 24.

Basically, I want to use Flip diapers and BumGenius Elemental All-in-one diapers. Both of them are one size fits all (7 lbs to 35 lbs), so we should be able to use them for quite some time. The Flip diapers have inserts that you fold into them. When the baby is wet, you toss the just the insert into your diaper pail and replace it with a new one, keeping the same cover. Then you wash the inserts and the covers.

Flip Diaper Covers

The Elemental All-in-Ones (AIOs) are nice because they work just like disposable diapers. You don’t have to change inserts or liners; you just toss the whole diaper into the diaper pail until you are ready to wash.

The BG Elemental AIO

BumGenius also has pocket diapers that are One-size (OS), the 4.0. These are more expensive than the Flip diapers, but extra inserts cost less than the extra inserts for the Flip diapers.

AIOs are the most convenient, but because they don’t have liners that you interchange, they are more expensive, you have to wash the entire diaper and can’t reuse part of it, and they take longer to dry. In other words, they probably aren’t the best for newborns, who go through 8-10 diapers every day (A 12-pack of Elemental AIOs costs $265).

So basically I spent all morning (6:00 am-1:30 pm) trying to figure out the best combination of BumGenius Elemental AIOs, Flip covers, Flip inserts, BumGenius 4.0s, and BumGenius 4.0 inserts which would last 24 diaper changes.

All About Cloth Diapers basically saved my life.

Here’s the plan: I am going to use disposable diapers until Little Champ’s diapers are not filled with newborn tar (aka “meconium.” I wouldn’t advise you to look this up). Preferably, I will use the Tushies brand, since they aren’t filled will the icky chemicals in the other disposables brands.

I am going to buy 2 daypacks of Flip Diapers (4 covers, 12 inserts) plus 12 more inserts before Little Champ is born (< $150). If they fit him when he is born, I am going to use those and wash diapers every 1.5-2 days. If they do not fit him, I will get some diapers specifically for newborns—ones that are not one-size-fits-all. Still, I would like to avoid that if possible, since he should be able to fit in the OSs at 2 months or so, if not at birth. I don’t want to buy diapers I can go without, especially ones I would only be able to use for a few of weeks.

I am also going to buy a 6-pack of the BumGenius Elemental AIOs ($135). I probably won’t start using them until he’s about 6 months old, though—after he is introduced to solids and he doesn’t need to be changed as much.

Ahhh. I am glad that is done with. Now I just have to pick the colors and order them :)

For more information about cloth diapering, its benefits, and reviews of different brands, check out the All About Cloth Diapering blog.

To our friend, Flip, I hope you are not offended that the brand of cloth we will be wrapping around our baby’s tushie is also called “Flip.” What can I say? Perhaps I will buy you one and embroider your portrait on it.