Sunday, January 13, 2008

Cloth Diapers

My wife wants to try using cloth diapers with our son. She has two motivations: it saves a lot of money, and is better for the environment.

Neither of us thinks that disposable diapers are evil. We're planning on use those, as well, during the first months when so many extra diaper changes are needed each day. It makes no sense to own enough cloth diapers for those early days. Disposables are also nice on certain occasions when traveling.

My wife read a lot about cloth diapers online. Cloth diaper technology, like so many other things, has changed a lot since I was young. (I was not surprised: for our anniversary my wife got me a pair of hiking boots, my first pair since being a teenage Boy Scout. Hiking boot technology has also come a long ways.)

Now there are two key phrases to describe kinds cloth diapers, neither of which applied thirty years ago.

The first is one size fits all. These diapers use snaps to change size, so you do not need to buy an entire new set of cloth diapers as your baby grows.

The second is all in one. These diapers have both a an absorbent inner layer and a non-breathable, waterproof outer layer. They also have their own fastening so no outer layer is needed to keep them on the baby.

All cloth diapers seem to use optional liners: washable pads for extra absorbency overnight, and thin disposable cloths to make clean-up easier.

There are many kinds of cloth diapers for sale, but the internet cloth diapering community has consensus that if you can afford the up-front cost of a set of one size fits all, all in one cloth diapers then you won't regret it. (In my mind the archetype of this kind of purchase is a large LCD monitor: the people who can afford them never complain that they wasted their money. However, my wife and I can afford a set of high end cloth diapers, but not a large LCD monitor.)

The most popular brand of one size fits all, all in one cloth diaper is bumGenius 3.0. Its main flaw in version 2.0 was that the velcro fasteners did not last as long as the rest of the diaper, so that was fixed for version 3.0 and now it receives very few negative reviews.

We also plan on trying Happy Camper Bum Wrappers, because it is a good idea to try two brands to see how they fit the baby slightly differently. For a few babies fit really matters.

Since we have a high-efficiency front-loading washing machine, our water and electricity bill for washing these will be low. Hopefully we'll be among the many satisfied users of cloth diapers.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good luck David.
I cloth diaper and have never regreted it. I also use disposables from time to time.
The cloth are worth the money because you save in the long run and they are so much easier than what our parents used on us.
Using cloth also makes you feel better about your choices and the future.
If you have problems with leaks, try fitted cloth diapers and covers, they never leak.
Congratulations on your arrival.