Buying Cloth Diapers – Co-Op Or Retail?

I’m no stranger to buying cloth diapers.  While I usually stick to buying cloth diapers from my local cloth diaper store, I’ve been known to shop from a co-op.

Buying Cloth Diapers from a Co-Op

When you’re buying cloth diapers from a co-op, you’re getting some diapers at some absolutely amazingly low prices.  Really, the price is the single biggest draw to going through a co-op.  There’s also the sense of community that can be built through a co-op.  Some diapers (like my absolutely gorgeous purple paisley Sunbaby diaper) are beautiful and not readily available from other sources.  Letting the co-op head deal with ordering from overseas instead of having to deal with that headache yourself is fantastic.  If you’re out for a beautiful diaper to wear with an outfit but have no illusions of it holding up for more than a season, then co-ops are a great source for that.  And I’m really fond of RLR, but it’s not locally available.  And I can buy it from a co-op for half the price. [Read more…]

Using Cloth Diapers – Why and How I got Started

Using Cloth Diapers – Why and How I got Started (Cloth Diaper Addicts)

Image by Pearl of Cloth for a Cause. Used with Permission.

Long before I was a cloth diaper addict, I was just thinking about using cloth diapers.  I was confused.  I struggled.  But one thing that I never, ever want to forget is the joy, wonder, and frustration that I’d experienced when I started cloth diapering.

I knew when I was pregnant with Norton that I wanted to use cloth diapers.  I got the husband on board with the idea rather easily….  Well, sort of.  He was fine with me using cloth diapers, but he’d stick with disposables.  He got on the bandwagon pretty quickly, though.  It helped that we knew a couple of people who used cloth diapers. [Read more…]

Cloth Diaper Laundry – Roll Tide!

Cloth Diaper Laundry - Roll Tide!

Which Tide will you use on your cloth diaper laundry?

Oh, cloth diaper laundry…  You are a cruel and confusing mistress.  You confound even the most seasoned of cloth diaper addicts, particularly when one starts getting into the more mainstream detergents.

We already know that there are so many variables that impact which detergent will be kindest to your cloth diaper laundry.  While I’m a diehard Rockin Green user, not everyone loves my favorite detergent.  Some actually hate it and find that it causes irritation, build up, or any other evil that one does not want to experience when using cloth diapers.

In my local cloth diaper group, we discussed the advice that a mom had received from a diaper company on cleaning her diapers to resolve the leaking issues that she’d had.  This diaper company actually told her that Tide Free was the best to use on their products.  While I wasn’t surprised that Tide Free was considered safe, I was surprised that it was considered to be a “best” option.  FuzziBunz lists it as a safer (but not a first choice) detergent.

Another local mom was surprised by that suggestion.  She had come across some articles lately that said that Tide Free wasn’t the best way to go when it came to cloth diaper laundry.  She’d read that plain old Tide powder was the way to go and she’d used it herself for dealing with the occasional build up issue.  Then I’d learned that the mom who runs a co-op that I’m in uses plain old Tide powder exclusively.

I was actually kind of surprised by that.  I’d heard of someone periodically using the old fashioned orange box Tide on her cloth diaper laundry to resolve build up issues, but to use it all the time?

Wow.

Tide Free

Tide Free is a liquid detergent that’s free of fragrances and dyes.  Those things are very good for cloth diaper laundry.  However, it has brighteners and enzymes.  Enzymes, while not necessarily a bad thing for the diapers, can be unpleasant on your baby’s bottom if the diapers are not rinsed perfectly clear.  Enzymes work by attacking organic matter (like fecal matter) when wet… but our babies are also organic, so this can cause irritation when they wet the diaper.  Brighteners are actually a chemical residue left behind on diapers.  Residue can lead to build up, which can lead to stink or reduced absorbency.

Regular Tide

The good old fashioned Tide powder has enzymes, brighteners, dyes, and fragrances.  There are those that use it and swear by it.  There are even diaper manufacturers that recommend it and specifically say not to use Tide Free.

My personal cloth diaper laundry experience

All that I can tell you is that I used Tide Free, a detergent that’s on the “it’s okay to use” list at FuzziBunz, and experienced such a stink that I nearly gave up on using cloth diapers all together.  But again, that’s my experience, which will be influenced by a whole bunch of factors.

No wonder cloth diaper laundry can be so confusing.  At the end of the day, though, all you can do is figure out what works best for you, your diapers, and your baby (not necessarily in that order).

Have you used either Tide detergents on your cloth diaper laundry?  How did it work for you?

Cloth Diapers – The Best and Worst for Poo (Part I)

Poop happens.  It’s a fact of life.  Or Everyone Poops.  However you look at it, it’s something that definitely has to be handled when using cloth diapers.  That being said, no all cloth diapers are the same and not all of them handle poop equally well.  Some handle poop just fine, but are absolutely horrendous to clean.  Sometimes, though, the best diaper for poo is also the worst to clean.

Here’s my poop preference, in order from “please poop in this” to “no pooping ever, please.” [Read more…]

Getting Dad on Board with Using Cloth Diapers

I come across a lot of people online who think that using cloth diapers is a great idea, but the partner is on board.  Usually, Mom loves the idea and Dad is grossed out, but I do have friends that are the opposite.  A big part of the parent opposed is fear of using cloth diapers based on misconceptions.  Sometimes the parent who wants cloth will go ahead and go with a system of using cloth diapers and disposables so that there are alternatives. [Read more…]

Dear FuzziBunz, Have I Told You Lately That I Love You?

Quite possibly the easiest diaper to repair

Last week, I spent some time with Pearl from Cloth for a Cause.  A few people in Prince George attended a cloth diaper repair workshop in her living room.  I’m glad I learned; I have a few diapers that I need to replace the elastics on but have never bothered with.  Well, that, and I’ve wanted to do more with the charity than donate diapers.  (My review policy is that for every diaper I receive to review, I donate a diaper to Cloth for a Cause.  It’s a great start to helping, but it’s not enough for me.  I want to do much, much more.) [Read more…]

Premium Cloth Diapers versus “China Cheapies” – The Warranty

I’ve already done some looking at the benefits of choosing your premium cloth diapers versus the inexpensive cloth diapers made overseas (also known as “China Cheapies”).  There are pros and cons to going in either direction, but today, a cyber buddy posted about a brand new diaper (one of the China Cheapies) having a snap break.

A brand new diaper… with a snap broken in less than two weeks. Will your diaper manufacturer cover that? Or will they give you the runaround?

I’ve had snaps break.  I’ve had elastics fail.  With the snaps that broke, the diapers were heavily used in my cloth diaper stash rotation.  Really, it was disappointing, but it’s not like they hadn’t been work horse diapers.  (And now I have friends who have snap pliers, so I can get them fixed!)  With the elastics that failed, I’ve had three outcomes.  1.) It was a FuzziBunz one size diaper, so I didn’t have to worry about it because the diaper comes with extra elastics that can be fixed without sewing.  And it had been used for a couple of years, so it’s not like it wasn’t due to get a little TLC.  2.) It was a diaper that I’d had for at least a year, so elastics wearing out wasn’t unreasonable.  There are people in my area who can fix them (like Pearl at Cloth for a Cause).  3.) It happened with a brand new GroVia shell.  Actually, it was my very first GroVia shell, and I’d used it twice before an elastic actually broke in the washing machine.  Cozy Bums, my local cloth diaper retailer, replaced the diaper for me and took care of the warranty stuff.  (Best customer service ever.)

With the vast majority of my diapers, I have a one year manufacturer’s warranty.  That’s the warranty on GroVia diapers, Swaddlebees and Blueberry, and Cotton Babies products – Flip, Econobum, and BumGenius.  Happy Heinys has a different warranty depending on what it is, but elastics have a six month warranty and they’ll send you the materials to replace the elastics after that.  (Snaps are lifetime.  Hmm.  I really should have been better about keeping my receipts for my diapers!)  Rumparooz has a variable warranty similar to that of Happy Heinys.  Fuzzi Bunz now has lifetime warranties.

I don’t mind paying twenty dollars or more for a diaper when I know that the manufacturer stands behind what they make.

Some of the China Cheapies brands don’t have that same guarantee.  Sunbaby has a thirty day guarantee.  AlvaBaby (and its rebranded diapers) don’t have a date deadline.  I haven’t heard of people having great luck with getting anything repaired or replaced by other China Cheapies brands.  In fact, I tried a China Cheapies that I bought off of a daily deal site once as an experiment.  The diaper didn’t work.  I messaged the diaper company on Twitter and was ignored.  Fortunately, it was cheap, so I shrugged it off as “no big loss.”

I like knowing that my diapers are made to last.  I don’t think it’s reasonable to expect the same quality or support from a diaper that I buy for five dollars as I would expect from a diaper that I buy for twenty-five dollars.  It’s where that old adage of one getting what one pays for comes in.

Have you ever had any warranty issues with a diaper company?  How was it resolved?

White Cloth Diapers – Pro’s and Con’s

White Cloth Diapers – Pro’s and Con’s (Cloth Diaper Addicts)

A simple white diaper is a very versatile thing in your baby’s wardrobe.

When I was first interested in using cloth diapers, I was drawn by all of the pretty colors and patterns.  After all, isn’t the cute factor kind of part of the whole point of using cloth diapers in the first place?

My husband, however, is infinitely more practical than me.  When I was getting ready to load up my virtual shopping cart with FuzziBunz at Cozy Bums, he insisted that I buy white.  Lots and lots of white.  In fact, sixteen of my first nineteen diapers were FuzziBunz One Size white cloth diapers.

I pouted, of course, because I wanted the pretty diapers.  However, I’ve realized something: white cloth diapers are darned useful.

I love to match cloth diapers to the outfits.  If a diaper is going to be peaking out of a onesie, it really needs to match.  Or at least be unobtrusive.  While I do have lots of colorful diapers in my cloth diaper stash, the ever so boring white cloth diapers are a safety diaper.  It will always go with anything I put my kids in.  I don’t have to worry about it clashing with any outfit, particularly if I’m doing a quick change because the baby barfed all over whatever she was wearing.

With a colored diaper, I have to be a little more selective in what I grab so that I don’t dress kids in anything that looks gross.

That’s not, of course, to say that colored cloth diapers are no fun and shouldn’t be in a stash.  They are and they should.  I adore my colorful diapers.  In fact, every diaper I’ve added to my cloth diaper stash since that initial purchase has been colorful.  But I’ve been thinking about adding a white Best Bottom shell to my collection.

I’ve read comments about how white cloth diapers stain easily, et cetera.  I have to state for the record that I only have one white diaper with any sort of stain, and I believe that was from blueberries.  Generally, I find that a quick spray of a stain treater on the cover and a good rinse will get anything out long before it hits the washing machine.  If I don’t get it then, it will typically come out when I strip my diapers anyway.

I say this with white diapers that are over two and a half years old.

So don’t knock white cloth diapers.  It’s a versatile thing.

Cloth Diaper Laundry and Bleach

Would you use this on your fluff?

Getting your cloth diaper laundry routine just right is a very personal thing.  There are a lot of factors that can influence the perfect cloth diaper laundry routine: water type, washing machine, number of diapers washed, the type of diapers, your kid’s deposits, and how you handle those kid’s deposits.  That’s just for the normal stuff.  Then there are the other things that come up.

Sometimes, I see a post in a group or community that suggests that one use bleach on cloth diapers.  I wince when I see that.  You see, using bleach on cloth diapers depends entirely on a few things.  (I’m realizing that “It depends” is a common answer when one is first using cloth diapers.  How maddening for the beginner or the curious!) [Read more…]

Duca Duca Diapers – A Cloth Diaper Review

About two months ago, I ordered a Duca Duca diaper off of Baby Half Off.  I meant to order a Maude diaper, but I made a boo boo.  But, hey, my mistake.  And I had the diaper, so I figured I’d try it out.  I’d never heard of Duca Duca diapers, but up until that point, I’d never had a diaper that I didn’t ultimately like.  So, here’s my cloth diaper review of Duca Duca diapers.

About the diaper: The Duca Duca diaper is a one size fits all pocket diaper.  It comes with two inserts (a newborn size and an infant size), as well as replacement elastics for the legs.

The Price: The diaper seemed like a decent price at around $8.50.  It’s definitely the cheapest diaper that I’d ever bought. [Read more…]