T Rex Family

T Rex Family

Friday, April 8, 2011

Live and Learn Blog Event - Day 5

Practical advice for first time parents

Diapering Options

The below photo shows about how many diapers your baby will use in the first 2 1/2 years (average of 6 diaper changes per day). Each stack represents 25 diapers and that's a 9 month old baby girl at the bottom corner of the photo.

I don't know about any one else's babies, but mine go through far more diaper changes in a day than this. During the early days my kids generally soiled about 20 diapers a day (ages 2-4 weeks). Then it decreased to about 12 per day and held steady for many, many months. Then around age 1 it dropped again to about 8 changes per day by then we were potty training. At the moment, my 14 month old is also doing elimination communication (EC). We started around age 2 months and because of it, we see days where we only use 2 diapers a day. However, if we don't do any EC, then she's still at about 8 diapers a day. My point in saying all this - the below photo is a very conservative estimation.

You have two major options: cloth or disposable. There are a huge variety of options within each as well. With disposables, you may choose from chlorine-free and regular. With cloth, there are even more options. Prefolds, flats, pockets, all-in-ones, all-in-twos, fitted, and probably a few other types I am forgetting. Basically, the options and combinations are endless with cloth.

If this is your first baby, then as much as it pains me to say it, it's probably best to hold off on cloth for at least the first 2-4 weeks. Unless you've had experience with cloth diapers at some point, dealing with it while also dealing with a newborn and first time parenthood will set yourself up for a higher likelihood of failure.

You need to know though that not all disposables are created the same. The ones the hospital sent home with me smelled like baby powder. As a health care provider, I don't recommend anything for my patients that has an added scent to it. I've seen women in the clinic who come in with areas on their bottom that are red in the shape of a pad and it's caused from using "deodorized pads". If you go the disposable route, please, please, please, consider using chlorine-free diapers for your baby. There are so many chemicals added to disposable diapers to make them the way they are. Some of those chemicals are carcinogenic meaning they can cause cancer. This is a fact. If you'd like to read more about this, visit the Real Diaper Association's fact page. This is where you can read about dioxins, TPT, and SAP. Chlorine free are definitely more expensive but if you order in bulk you might be able to ease some of the cost burden.

But, if you'd like to avoid those late-night runs to the grocery store when you find you've run out of diapers unexpectedly, are tired of paying thousands of dollars on something that is going to be thrown away every day (or maybe you're tired of the stinky trash can of soiled diapers), want to avoid the scary chemicals of non-chlorine free diapers, if you find that your child has sensitive skin and you are constantly applying diaper ointment for chronic diaper rash, or you just think cloth is softer on your baby's bottom, then cloth diapers are the right choice for you.

My opinions on this topic are biased because we watched for months as we put disposable diapers on our son and his bottom was endlessly raw from constant diaper rash. We used to go through tube and tube of rash cream. One day he begged me, "No more paper pants, Mama." His rash, and pleas were big reasons we potty trained him so early. However, I was completely unaware of modern cloth diapers when we had him, and I had never even seen one. If I had any idea then what I know now, our little guy would never have had diaper rash. (and he MIGHT not have ended up with asthma plus endless allergies). If you'd like to read more about my experiences on cloth diapering, you can read here.

But before you decide which option is for you, consider which is better for your baby. I find if I put my kids first, then I can generally rise to whatever challenge is presented before me. Whether it be re-budgeting the household expenses so that you can spend a little more on chlorine-free diapers or you decide to invest in some cloth diapers (and the sooner you start with cloth, the more money you will save), you need to choose an option that both works for you and is healthy for your baby.

Kids in their ChubbieBums diapers.
I've been extremely happy with the diapers I have from Chubbiebums. I have 8 total - some I've used on T Rex as night time diapers and the rest Bebe Sister uses during the day with wool or Bummis covers. They are soft and absorbent. And also, really cute. And if your child is no longer in diapers or you are going another route, ChubbieBumsHeirlooms also makes lovely clothes for children. Plus, the services is just wonderful.

Giveaway #3: If you'd like the opportunity to win a gift certificate to one of my favorite Etsy shops that sells fitted cloth diapers - ChubbieBumsHeirlooms, then leave a comment with your thoughts on diapering (mandatory for giveaway entry). There are other opportunities for more entries - like Chubbiebums on Facebook
and/or comment on another Live and Learn posting. Giveaway ends April 15, 2011 at midnight MST.
Only topic related and constructive comments will be accepted.


septembermom said...

Avoiding painful diaper rash is another great reason for cloth diapers. I wish that I was knowledgeable in this area when I had my babies in diapers. I'm sure that you'll help a lot of moms with this decision with all the information that you share here on the subject.

That picture of T-Rex and Princess is priceless. How cute!

Caitlin said...

Although my kids haven't had the same rash issues with disposables, I do feel like Isaac is much more comfy in cloth! Just think of the rustle-y (not a word, but...) rough nature of disposables, compared to soft fleece or suedecloth! I would wear fleece underwear if I could! :)

We do go back and forth depending on my laundry situation, how long of an outing we are going on, etc, but I really love cloth!

As a bonus, we have had much much much fewer leaks with our cloth diapers than our disposables! And with the diaper sprayer to spray in the toilet it is no biggie!!

JKMommy said...

Not an entry b/c I JUST got mine from her but yes, her diapers are so cute!
I agree that it's probably best to give yourself the leeway of disposables the first 2-4 weeks after a baby is born. Even if you just have a small stack on hand for those moments when ALL GOES WRONG and you just need to get a diaper on the baby as quick as possible! :) I am liking that there are more options these days in disposables, but they are still too expensive for us... so we use cloth 98% of the time. Unfortunately with the rashing, the reverse is true - we never get rashes with disposables. But we also never got rashes until baby started solid foods so it probably isn't the diapers so much anyway.
Great post describing the options!

Shannon said...

I have a 2 year old and a 2 month old. I am very new to cloth diapering what was holding me back from the start was the start up cost. I think that scares a lot of people away. If people understood the break down of the cost of disposables compared to cloth it would help.

LeAnna said...

I'm a firm believer in CD'ing! I did cloth diapering on my 2 yo until he was about a year old. My daughter has been exclusively cloth diapered since 8 weeks of age. We have never had rashes with disposables, but my son had horrible rashing with cloth. I learned my problem was our hard water and once I found a proper soap we no longer had issues. I've gradually built my stash over the past two years, catching daily deal sales when I can, or buying from WAHM's - either way I'm pleased that I have a stash that I can use for another kid or two and I'm always looking to try a new diaper!

Anna said...

I have a 2 month old and a 2.5 year old. My oldest is potty trained and is so much more comfortable in her panties. It got me thinking and looking into cloth diapers.

My 2 month old is much more comfortable in his cloth diapers then he is in the disposable that we still use since we are still buying our diapers.

I also like how i have not had any leaks or blowouts while he is in cloth diapers because the fit is much better.

Shannon said...

I like them on FB. Shannon Wieneke. shannonforpeace(at)gmail.com

Crunchy Beach Mama said...

LOVE my cloth! I want to have another one just so I can keep all my diapers and use them again! Gosh how much would I be saving then? oh, but I'd be having a girl...so I would need some pink :)

Visited ChubbieBums! CUTEST baseball swim outfit ever. I may have to have her make me one in P's size. (or maybe I'll win lol!)

Crunchy Beach Mama said...

Like ChubbieBums on FB and commented I found her from you! :)

Crunchy Beach Mama said...

I commented on each of the Live and Learn posts. They were AWESOME and so proud of your first event! :)

Charis's Mum said...

When I was pregnant with our daughter (born August 2010), I had great plans on using cloth diapers, but my husband did not share that passion. He thought, "Why use cloth, when there are disposable diapers?" So, I used the cloth diapers occasionally, but used disposables the bulk of the time.

Then approximately three weeks ago, we had to look at our budget and make cuts. I came to my husband and told him, "We spend __ amount per disposable diaper. It would cost us approximately __ amount per cloth diaper." That's what sold him.

I love cloth diapers for many reasons:
1. Saves money (and I can reuse most of them on a second child). The reason I say most is because if we have a boy, I will not be reusing the pink and purple diapers on him.
2. Is "green". When we were using disposables, my husband was taking out the trash multiple times a weeks, where it was going to a land fill. Note: I sometimes use disposables still, such as trips, but even that I'm trying to cut back on by bringing pocket diapers or AIOs.
3. Is better for my baby.
4. Cute prints. OK, I know, this is not a necessity, but it's true, I LOVE the different prints available.

Kim said...

I agree, using cloth does eliminate rash. The first few weeks of Naveen's life I switched from bought wipes to soft cloths and noticed a big difference. It's great to hear your praise of cloth and that you stuck to it! LOVE the picture of the two against the tub.

mverno said...

cloth is always better mverno@roadrunner.com

Amy V said...

I'm totally new to cloth diapering-Ive never done it before but really want to. I think the benefits outweigh the negatives. One of the best things about them is that they are obv reusable, so it's great for saving money and also the environment! We are really tight on money and can't afford to buy a starting kit or a lot of diapers right now so I'm trying to save money. It would be great to win! :)

Amy V said...

I commented on the breastfeeding live and learn blog

Amy V said...

commented on you birth blog

Amy V said...

commented on pregnancy do's and dont's

Amy V said...

Icommented on your blog about favorite baby things.

Heather said...

I like that I'm not always spending money on diapers!

cupcake mama said...

I love cloth diapering for so many reasons. For one, its what everyone did up until not that long ago! It also saves money of course. A large part is the good feeling I get from being environmentally responsible. I am Native American, and my culture doesn't leave any room to disrespect our Mother Earth!

susansmoaks said...

i prefer cloth diapering
susansmoaks at gmail dot com

Melanie said...

I have six kids and have only cloth diapered the last one. I wish WISH I would have done it with the other kids as well. I love it so much. It has saved us so many times by not having to buy diapers. My oldest is due in a couple months and she is going to cloth diaper too! It makes me happy to know that between us both, thats about 20,000 less diapers in landfills. (we use more than 8 a day, lol)

Melanie said...

I like Chubbiebums on facebook as melanie johnson.

Mariah said...

From the moment I found out I was pregnant (actually before) I knew that I wanted to use cloth as much as possible. We are almost completely cloth although I worry about when my little man has to go to childcare in the fall! I hope I can find someone willing to handle the cloth once I show them how easy it is!

mariahm22 at gmail dot com

Mariah said...

I like Chubbiebums on FB! (Mariah W******* M***)

mariahm22 at gmail dot com

Mariah said...

I also commented on your child birth post! Great post!

mariahm22 at gmail dot com

Heather M said...

My daughter got terrible rashes. So we decided to switch and I'll never look back!!
Just got a + test today so now I'm stocking up for #2!

hmahan_0529 @yahoo dot com

The Pavlik Family said...

We chose to cloth diaper our daughter because I am allergic to latex and the chlorine found in many disposable diapers ( seventh generation was not available in our area 7 yrs ago). We love that our daughter had very few diaper rashes ( 2 in her entire "diaper life") and that she was ready for potty training WAY before her peers. Of course the whole money saving and helping the Earth thing is nice too. :)