Monday, April 29, 2013

mtn mama: cloth diapers

When we found out the great news of our expanding family, we were sleeping on the floor of our bungalow.  Not yet moved in, still enjoying the buzz from a trip to Central America, pondering buying pregnancy tests in bulk rather than one by one by one.  Two lines!  I skipped the test back to our floor den, and we happily snuggled in the excitement of our new life.

During the first few grueling months of my pregnancy, when you're dying to tell everyone but not supposed to, I started thinking up an action plan for our new bebe.  James was working up in Glacier, and I was fuzzy tired here in Missoula, reading Fit Pregnancy in bed, dreaming of running strollers, baby carriers, and cloth diapers.  Daddy Craig's efficiency has taught me to plan ahead, so I started researching.  Having heard the staggering statistics on disposable diapers sitting in landfills for hundreds of years, and knowing the cost of disposables, cloth made sense for us ethically and financially.

I perused the net (almost too much info out there!) and asked a couple of friends using cloth diapers to show me their setups.  We went with FuzziBunz, but G-diapers (available at GFS) are a big hit, too.  If you can swing it, cloth diaper service is available in Missoula, and probably in your area.  I received a couple different cloth diapers as baby gifts, but we decided not to start them until after we returned from her first summer in Glacier.

      If you're trying to choose a brand, here is an overview: 17 of the best cloth diapers around.  

Around 5-months, we snuggled in for Fall, James joined us back in Missoula, and we were ready to get started with cloth.  One day I looked on Craigslist and found not one, but two sets of used FuzziBunz for very reasonable prices.  I visited both nurturing homes and they encouragingly passed on their diapers.  A couple were too stretched out, but for the most part, all usable.  Since then, we've gradually supplemented with a couple extra new diapers from Amazon.


Luckily, we've found cloth diapers to be pretty simple!
The key ingredient is a washer and drier which is conveniently located in our kitchen.

We double-stock blue diapers to be "nap diapers" and put her in a disposable for bed (extra absorbency necessary).  Fortunately our daycare is cool with cloth, but it took a few weeks of extra communication and diaper creme at the beginning to get the kinks worked out.  Now we hand them a clean bag of diapers in the morning, they hand it back dirty.

Each evening, we run a hot load that's just for Josey- diapers, bag, clothes, washcloths.  [Usually we just shake solids into the toilet- if especially messy, let it set longer and shake out right before putting in the wash.  Pretty easy- soon after becoming a parent, you're nearly immune to the grossness.]

We use a hot cycle, laundry detergent, and add baking soda and an extra rinse when needed. Works for us!

Josey is quite comfortable in cloth diapers, our conscience is cleaner, our pocketbook a little lighter (the savings keep growing).  When we move back up to GNP this summer, the routine will take readjusting, especially since we'll be living with several other folks, but think we'll make it work.

Cloth diapers are a consistent effort, but for us, worth it.  Want to try?  Check out the checklist below.  As with everything you try as a new parent, keep it simple.  Be ok with using them sporadically in the beginning and working your way into it.  Sometimes, we skip a day, and that's ok.  Whatever works!

Checklist (besides your diapers):

-washer & drier (you can hang the diapers if you don't have a drier, but it's much simpler with one)

-a basket for storing clean diapers

-any pail or garbage can (for dirty ones at home- in addition to your pail for disposables)

-baking soda
      Here are 75 other extraordinary uses- we buy it at Costco

-a go-bag (this one is perfect)

-good, gentle, natural diaper creme.  We like Booda Butter.  (Thanks, Metta!)

-Persistence and commitment.  You'll be changing diapers a little more frequently to avoid rash, and you have to stay on top of the laundry.  It's a team effort around here!

-sprayer attachment (we're fine without it)
-diaper liners (we used some for awhile, but it's easier to skip it)

Good luck!


  1. Thanks for the post, I've been back and forth on whether I want to try clothe diapers. Are these ones bulky especially when they are little? I had a friend who used them and her poor baby looked so uncomfortable because of how bulky the diaper was!

    1. Hi Heidi! The fuzzibunz are not bad. We waited until she was a little older. which helped. If you get a chance, order a couple different kinds and try before you get a set. Yay for new bebes!



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