My friend M asked me for some cloth diapering tips, cause she knows that I like our family to do our bit for the environment. Also, we like cute things.

First, some background. I initially got into cloth diapering when Jayne was 18 months old and did so because of the cost savings. We were moving from the US to the UK at the time, and my research about living expenses made cloth diapers seem like a financially responsible choice, given the dollar-to-pound conversion rate at the time and the cost of UK disposables. Paying US prices for cloth diapers we could pack with us became pretty attractive.

Also, we were determined that, unlike our American apartment, our UK flat would have a washer/dryer, which would make cloth diapering a feasible option for us fur the first time. No way, no how were we going to start lugging more laundry to the common facility in our apartment building. We had THAT principal reinforced when we tried hybrid diapers (namely gDiapers). Although I liked the environmental advantages of flushable inserts, IMHO, cloth diapers with paper inserts were the worst of both worlds. Extra laundry, extra cost, and the extra work of always having to remember to get more before we ran out. Boo. So, it was all or nothing for us.

After reading reviews, I purchased a dozen BumGenius diapers. They’re pocket diapers, which means they have a waterproof cover with a pocket that holds cloth inserts. When it comes to getting the thing actually ON a kid, pocket diapers are as easy as disposables. Only cuter.

That dozen was all we needed for our older toddler if we did laundry no more than every 3 days. We used them until Jayne was far enough into potty training to demand pullups. Prolly could have used them longer except that she figured out how to take them off and refused to wear them because she wanted to be a big girl, with pullups to match. (She would have done the same with the tabs of disposable diapers, too.) I suppose cloth diapers with snaps instead of hook and loops (i.e. velcro) closures might have helped with that, but it was silly to invest in more diapers at that point.  Some people just put the diapers on with the velcro in the back at this stage, but there was no fooling Jayne.

We were very happy with the pocket diapers. The polyester of the inside pockets seemed to wick moisture away from her skin, which kept her skin rash free (to the best of my memory). We didn’t have trouble with leaks or blowouts (again, to the best of my memory). They held up really well. They did collect some weird pilling inside, but I think that owes to our UK washer/dryer. (For those who don’t know, European machines are generally all-in-one machines– once the water drains from the washer, you dry things in the same drum. None of the machines in any of the three apartments we eventually had in the UK had good lint filters, so I blame the pills on the machines not the diapers (especially since the pills are the color of Ben’s socks, and many clothing items got them). They didn’t impact the function).  ETA: with regular washing in our current machine, the pills have gone away.  It was definitely the UK machine.

In short, I’m looking forward to using our pocket diapers again with Myriam.

However, we aren’t using them yet with Myriam. I’ll admit that I’ve been eying them now that she’s up to 10 pounds. I’ve tried them on her here and there in the last couple days, but even adjusted to the smallest setting, they’re comically big on her. It’s difficult to get her 0-3 month clothing on over the bubble butt they give her.  And it doesn’t look comfortable when we lay her down.

Good thing there are lots of other cloth options for diapering newborns. And, not only have I tried out a good many of them, I apparently have much to say about them before I start doling out the tips M asked for.

Since I also have a newborn to feed and, hopefully, a much better night of sleep to be had tonight than last, I’m going to save that blog fodder for another post. I’m pretty sure my friend M will understand.