Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Clean it Up Wednesday - Disposable Diapers vs. Cloth

So last Wednesday I missed the Clean it Up post because my little turd child wasn't sleeping, therefore I had my hands full. Today's clean it up post will focus on disposable vs. cloth and it's based strictly off of my experience in the past 4 months with Cali's behind.

I'm not going to go into the ingredients of disposables because there is really too much debate on so many of what's found in paper diapers. Not being a scientist, I can't add much to either side. All I can tell you is what I've found through my own experience. However, if you're of the mind to read some articles on chemicals some good ones can be found here, here, and here.  

There was never really a specific moment when I decided to use cloth diapers. It was always a "when" not "if". Those of you that know me know that I have an aversion to waste and I like to save money. Those were my two main reasons for choosing cloth the majority of the time. I will say that we don't have enough cloth diapers just yet so we use a disposable at night. I started out with Luvs because they were the cheapest and they've never once leaked on me. However, when I used Pampers and Huggies that were given to me, Cali had blowouts every time. So when I talk about the disposables in this post, I'm referencing Luvs because that's what I have experience with.

When Cali was 2 months old (right around the time we found out that she had colitis) we were using prefold cloth diapers with covers. I had bought a million (I may be exaggerating but not by much) Econobum prefolds and had planned to use those until Cali was potty-trained. Like most best laid plans, it didn't work and I now have a million burp rags. While changing her diaper one day I noticed she had a red spot. I chalked it up to diaper rash and kept going. When changing her diaper again about 2 hours later, the red spot had grown and covered her entire butt. It also seemed like it was tender to touch so of course I Googled. I figured out that it was probably ammonia burn and so I stripped the diapers about 5 times. This thing was bright red, almost like a welt, and looked painful. I felt horrible that I had allowed it to happen so I wanted to make sure that I stripped the diapers well. For the next 2 days I let her air it out as much as possible and put disposables on her. The burn went away but I noticed that a rash had appeared. 

I continued to have problems with the prefolds. No matter how many times I stripped them, they burned Cali's rear as soon as they touched it. For the record, if your kid doesn't have sensitive skin and can handle the prefolds, Econobum was affordable and absorbent. I don't like the covers at all but the prefolds were great. They are just 100% unbleached cotton so I'm still not sure why Cali had so much trouble with them but no matter what I did to them, her skin reacted poorly. Anyways, after some trial and error, I ended up using BumGenius microfiber inserts.


They're wide and one sized. I technically use pocket diapers but I really only use them as covers. I lay the inserts on top so that I can get multiple uses out of the shells. Since these are so wide, they don't leak off the sides as often. They also have snaps so that they grow with baby. Win/win.

To sum up my cloth diaper review, I have tried multiple brands and types and have found that BumGenius inserts and FuzziBunz shells are my favorite combination. 

Now back to the disposables. I continued to notice that Cali would wake up with a rash that disappeared as the day went on. I then began a mission to find a disposable that didn't break her out. What I came up with, and am currently using, is Whole Foods' 365 brand of chlorine free, dye free, and latex free diapers.

So far, so good. We've had no leaks (*knock on wood*) and the diaper rash has completely disappeared. I'm not exactly sure what Cali was sensitive to but she also can't use any type of packaged wipes. I've tried them all; even the non-allergenic ones. So whatever her skin didn't like, these Whole Foods' ones don't have and they're working for us... for now.

I still don't love the landfill aspect (it's suggested that they take 30 years to degrade. Even the biodegradable ones!). There's also an interesting article I came across here that gives more reasons to switch fully to cloth. That's my end goal when I can buy up enough cloth so that I'm not washing every day. 

Final review of disposables:

We use Whole Foods' 365 disposables for nighttime and have had great success with no leaks and no diaper rash.

You really have to find what works for you and your family. Given how sensitive Cali is to... well... everything apparently, I'm glad we have a cloth option because I'm not sure I could afford to keep her in the fancy pants eco-friendly disposables all of the time. But I also realize that I'm a stay at home mom with time to wash her cloth diapers and I don't mind doing it. If it's not for you, research to your heart's content and use some trial and error to figure out what suits you and your baby best.

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