Stinky? Sure. But, they all are. I know the thought of reusable diapers is a squeamish nightmare for those who would prefer the wipe, roll and toss, but essentially I’m doing the same thing with my colorful reusables, it’s just the tossing is into the wash as opposed to the trash.
We’ve been through all the stages of eating with Rad and I’ve seen all that there is to see (I think?) and I can honestly say, it has all washed clean so far.
There is this thing about reusable diapering though – it is making a favored return – which is great – but it makes for a lot of choice – which is also great – but that lends itself to a necessary mini education on the subject.
Around six months pregnant I had a rush of agitation one Sunday afternoon while trying to put together our baby registry. I yelled in for Zach to help research. All-in-ones, pockets, flats, prefolds, fitteds, hybrids. What? Not to mention newborn considerations and do you want to hook and loop it or snap it closed?
It took a pro and con list scribbled out on a scrap piece of paper and a pretty lengthy debate between the two of us to sift through the options and make a choice.
Still not completely convinced we had found the answer, I added bumGenius All-in-Ones as well as covers by Rumparooz and one camo cover from BestBottom to our registry. At one of my showers, I received two Flip hybrid diapers (from Cotton Babies, the same company that makes bumGenius.) How do I feel about them? Well, I suppose a company is called bumGenius for a reason. The company’s all-in-ones are exactly like disposables except they aren’t disposables. The one hesitation – if there is one – that I had read about was that since you are washing the entire thing each time, the elastics wear over time. Fair point, but my plan if necessary is to (have my Mom) sew new ones in for next baby. So, check mark for the bumGenius all-in-ones if you want something straightforward and super simple. (Ah, I should mention that they take longer to dry. Hasn’t proven to be a problem for us though.) (Oh, and when it’s a really hot day, I can’t put one of those on Rad – it’s like three sweaters layered on top of each other for his bum.)
What I really love most though are the Flip hybrids. They wrap around Radley’s little body so cozily. There hasn’t been a leak with them. The covers themselves are not bulky. (Which I have found with other covers.) For the reusable inserts I have three different types – BabyKicks JoeyBunz Hemparoo Cloth Diaper Inserts, HappyEndings 5-Layer Charcoal Bamboo Inserts and Flip One-Size Stay-Dry Inserts. I turn to the BabyKicks inserts most often because they are thin, less bulky. Absorbency-wise though, they all seem great. (The HappyEndings needed a few extra washes before they were as absorbent as the other two but certainly no complaints.) Flip also offers disposable inserts as an option, which we haven’t yet purchased or used. Nice though if you have a husband who insists on throwing something out. (Zach would tell you he hasn’t exactly eagerly boarded the reusable diaper boat.)
But, how about this? Two weeks ago I would have said that the Rumparooz and Best Bottom diapers were fine covers but that they fit strange; that they didn’t seem to hold in leaks as well as the Flip covers. That, maybe Radley’s body was just not made for these covers. And then, I realized that the covers I have are covers for what is called a fitted diaper or a prefold. So, throwing a liner in there was never going to cut it. (I should also note that the BestBottom cover that I have doesn’t seem to be sold anymore anyway – they have a one-size system now with inserts that snap in.)
When I order the proper match and give these a real shot, I will be sure to let you know what my thoughts are.
So, have I found my answer? I still want to try more options. And, as I do, I will write an update. In my Mom and Baby class one mom swears by her pocket diapers and I have read many times in articles and reviews that those are pretty fab. My suggestion to you is to buy one of each and see how it feels. It’s not going to go to waste. You’ll use anything. Case in point, me – clearly fabricating a diaper out of a cover and an insert that were never meant to be together.
Good luck, my fingers are crossed for minimal blowouts.
(Flip Hybrid in Grasshopper.)
As easy as that.
Prepping Your Diapers Each company will have different instructions for you. (Also to note, each diaper company’s website is a great resource for care instructions.) But, essentially, these are like towels. You do need to wash them a few times to maximize their absorbency. For some it can be upwards to five or six times – just do it, and then forget you had to.
Washing Instructions It’s just another load. It really is easy to sneak it into your daily routine. The suggestion is to wash them every day or every two days. I am more in the every-two-days camp.
It’s like this:
- Toss in (including diaper wet bag)
- Set cycle on normal, hitting the prewash, stain and extra rinse buttons. (I hope you have these buttons, otherwise, prewash, then run a normal cycle with hot water, then do an extra rinse at the end.)
- Take those babies out (your diapers, not your little one) and hang dry (some require this – check the brand) or toss them in the dryer. I was hanging all of my diapers, all of the time, until I read that I could toss them in the dryer. What a game-changer that was on tired days. If you can, hang them in the sun though – no energy being used, bonus, but the sun also helps to get rid of stains and is a beast against bacteria and stink.
Our detergent choice: Rockin Green Classic Concentrate Laundry Detergent (this links to the unscented version but if you would like a little rewarding bouquet, try the Smashing Watermelons scent. Delightful.)
Caring for Diapers Speaking of stink, if your diapers get a (really) funky smell to them the moment they get wet on baby, it might be a detergent or mineral buildup. We haven’t had to do this ourselves yet but I have read that stripping diapers (which some people do all the time but from what I’ve read this isn’t necessary at all and could be damaging) you will need to strip them. Here are some instructions for that.
Also, this might be worth a shot: Funk Rock Ammonia Bouncer
And, read up on all things caring for/fixing/correctly using reusable diapers here.
Traveling Ah, I know it would be easy to do a road trip to Grandma’s with our reusables but when we are flying or off to a hotel or staying with friends we’ve opted for the insanely adorable prints over at The Honest Company. These diapers work fabulously. No leaks for us. And they look damn cute.
Diaper Creams: Rad has never had a diaper rash (I truly think it’s because of the reusable and disposable diaper choices) but I had ointments on hand in case and so I have been using them up. Why not rub a little loveliness on there? Favorites – and they are safe for reusable diapers – are from Mother Love and Earth Mama Angel Baby.
Liners for Reusables: You don’t have to use these but some were purchased as a shower gift for us and they are pretty great – I started using them only recently and I will tell you, if they catch the dirty in a dirty diaper, it’s brilliant. You don’t have to wipe it down or spray it off – just grab the liner (assuming it’s contained!) and toss it. Eco Sprout Eco-Bottom Bamboo Liners.
Wipes: I decided to go the reusable route, stocking up on four packs of Thirsties’ Fab Wipes. I use the bright colors for wiping up during diaper changes and the pale colors for wiping up at meal times. There’s a connection there that I am not going to spell out.
Wipes Warmer: Some think this is absurd and full of over-coddling. I kept thinking, in the middle of bitter cold winter nights, with a four month old at the helm, “Damn, this is amazing.” Prince Lionheart wipe warmers are for disposable and reusable wipes and are super easy to use. There is an antibacterial “cushion” that you put in the bottom of the warmer (make sure to change it out every three months) you get it wet, then you wet your wipes, roll them up, place them in the wipe warmer and ta-da.
Diaper Change Mat: We custom built our diaper change station, so I needed to make a custom-fit changing pad (out of non-toxic foam and a pillowcase! Nothing too special there!) To go on top of it the pad, I bought a bevy of change mats – my favorite are Kushies and I love the super cute designs over at Planet Wise.
Diaper Wet Bags: Snap up a couple of Kanga Care’s wet bags if you are doing reusables. I just hang them on the door knob because it’s right next to Rad’s change station. But, they could fit into a small trash can as well or even just sit upright. They are flimsy, but once you start to fill them with diapers they take shape.
Insert for Diaper Bag: I carry a medium-size Planet Wise wet bag in Rad’s diaper bags to stash a dirty reusable.
Diaper Bags: Get a backpack!! Definitely get a backpack!! And there are so many cool ones now. I use The Honest Company’s City Backpack. (You get 30% off if you are a subscriber.)
I also own a Mat & Nat Raylan. Damn gorgeous. This was my first bag. It was my splurge purchase while I was pregnant. I thought it would transition nicely to a work bag after baby time. But, I don’t know. I definitely have to quit carrying around massively large duffel bags like they are a purse.
And, this Vera Bradley beauty – the Make a Change Baby Bag – was gifted to me at a shower. I have always wanted a Vera Bradley bag so Aunt Sharon must have been channeling these inner Vera Bradley wishes of mine. I travel with this always. I have packed all of Rad’s clothes and all of my clothes in it before (for a carry on, because I don’t enjoy checking luggage.)
But, you know what?, I will do a whole round up on diaper bags, k? In a future post, I will show you all of the beautiful bags that are out there, because there are oh, so many.
Wipes Travel Holder: I purchased two Buti Pods – one for my purse and one for my diaper bag. Although, purse and diaper bag have truly become one in the same. (That backpack! I am obsessed with it!)
Cotton Ball Holder: Adorable.
Q-Tips Holder: Adorable.
And, stayed tuned for a post on DIY-ing your own diaper sprayer. (Yeah, we tried this.)