This month, StorkNet member (and moderator!) JanB shares her diaper-views with us.
StorkNet: How many children do you have and have you cloth diapered all of them?
JanB: I've cloth diapered both of my two children. Both have been cloth diapered from birth, with the exception of the time before their umbilical stumps fell off, and then we used disposables with the umbilical cutout.
StorkNet: What motivated you to cloth diaper your children?
JanB: Mostly cost, although I also liked the environmental aspects, and having less stinky trash sitting around all the time.
StorkNet: How long have you been cloth diapering?
JanB: I've been cloth diapering since my son was born in January 2002.
StorkNet: How has cloth diapering changed for you over the years?
JanB: It's a lot different with my newborn (she's 7 weeks right now) because I started surfing websites and finding out about a lot of different options I didn't know about with my son. With him, we only ever used prefolds (from the diaper service; bleached and kind of stiff) and covers. With this baby, I've been investigating different options and trying out fitted diapers, pocket diapers, and all-in-ones. I really like some of the fleece-lined diapers and wish I'd known about this stuff with my son!
StorkNet: What has been the most challenging thing about cloth diapering for you?
JanB: Well... to be honest, dealing with toddler poop. My husband still takes care of most of our toddler's poopy diapers because (I'm embarrassed to admit this) I just can't deal with them. Scrubbing them in the toilet is just icky. I'm thinking about buying a mini-shower attachment for the toilet to help with this, or maybe just keeping work gloves in the bathroom so I don't have to dunk my hands in the poopy water.
StorkNet: Have you ever used a cloth diaper service?
JanB: We used a diaper service for about the first five months with my son. It was nice and convenient, but all in all I think I prefer doing my own. The quality of the diapers that I've bought is just better than the ones the diaper service used. Also, the cost savings with using cloth isn't that much if you're paying for a service.
StorkNet: What part have disposable diapers played in your diapering experience through the years?
JanB: We used disposables with the newborn cutout during the time when our kids' umbilical stumps hadn't fallen off. We also use disposables at our toddler's daycare, because they have no facilities for using cloth. We will also sometimes use a disposable when we're going on a long car trip or when I know we're not going to be able to change the kids for a long period of time, although actually we've started using pocket diapers (cloth) in those situations.
StorkNet: What cloth diaper products have you tried that did not work for you?
JanB: We bought some of the paper disposable liners to use with cloth diapers when our son was a newborn, and they were a waste of money and effort. They'd usually fall off or get pushed to the side, and didn't even work, and they were a mess to deal with. I'm also not a fan of fitted diapers, having tried a few now. They're not that much easier to use than just using a prefold and cover, and putting on an entire fitted diaper and then a diaper cover over it is just too bulky and hot, I think. I'd rather just use a prefold and cover, or go whole hog and use an all-in-one.
StorkNet: What are your favorite cloth diapering products?
JanB: I'm really digging the new all-in-ones I just got for my newborn. They're custom made to order, have adorable prints, and have a really soft fleece lining. They seem to be pretty absorbent, too. I think I may be an all-in-one convert now. Apart from that, we really like our Imse Vimse covers, which are the only diaper covers we buy now, after having tried several brands. They're a little on the pricey side, but well worth it, I think.
StorkNet: What is your funniest cloth diapering memory?
JanB: Well, this isn't laugh-out-loud hilarious, but I was kind of amused at our most recent well-baby checkup, when the nurse undid the baby's onesie and then exclaimed, "Oh, you're using real diapers! Wow, we don't see much of that these days!" So now when we want to use a disposable for whatever reason, I tell my husband, "Go get one of the fake diapers, would you?"
StorkNet: Thanks Jan! Anything else you'd care to add?
JanB: The only thing I would add is that one of the unexpected benefits of cloth diapering, besides the cost savings, the environmental benefits, and the fact that your baby has nice cloth on its bottom instead of paper and chemicals, is that with cloth, it's easy to tell when the baby is wet. I tend to be on the lazy side, and with disposables I am much less likely to change the baby as often as he/she needs to be changed. It also seems to be helping with my toddler's potty training. With disposables, he never feels wet! So he's less motivated to tell us when he needs to use the toilet.