Friday, October 15, 2010

Cloth diapering - Part 2!

Alrighty, so following my last post on the topic, I did a crap load (no pun intended) more research, plugged in some costs and ended up deciding on a thriftier alternative to a complete set of one-sizers in the form of the Bummis Organic Cotton Diaper Kit (infant size).

Bummis is a popular, reputable cloth diapering company based in the Montreal area, and their products get good to great reviews. The organic diaper kit is one of their newer products and is based on a prefold diapering system. For those unfamiliar with types of cloth diapering, this is a two-part system consisting of a thick, absorbent inner layer (the prefold) and a water-proof outer layer (the cover). There are many benefits to prefolds including the following:
  • They are versatile; you can fold them in different ways to accommodate the size, shape and elimination patterns of your baby and also depending on day or night use.
  • Covers can generally be reused a few times (unless they're pooped on, which is fairly unlikely if the prefold is used effectively). This means you need to buy fewer of these than the prefolds (about 1 cover for every 3 to 4 prefolds) and you don't need to do as much laundry!
  • Speaking of laundry, prefolds are easier to launder and dry more quickly than all-in-ones and other styles.
  • In terms of covers, there are so many combinations of cute patterns and material types to choose from which makes things fun!
  • Finally, prefolds are the most economical option, costing less than half of what you'd pay for a full all-in-one or pocket diapering system.
So what's the catch? Well, there's a bit more of a learning curve to get the hang of this system in the first place, they're not as convenient as pockets and all-in-ones (and in fact, some daycare facilities may refuse to use them) and the diapers tend to be a bit bulkier on baby's bum which may make some clothes fit awkwardly. The first of these points doesn't really concern me, and there's a solution to the 2nd and 3rd points - supplementing prefolds with a smaller number of pockets and/or AIOs which are basically just as convenient as disposables. So that's what I decided to do! (More on that in a bit.)

I feel the need to rave about the Bummis kit a bit more. It contains so many goodies! :) In addition to the 24 prefolds, it contains 6 covers in a selection of great colours/patterns, disposable and reusable liners (to help with heavier pooptuations), a great big "fabulous wet bag" (which is supposed to be AWESOME) and a couple extras - a snappi (an easy-to-use alternative to pins for fastening various fold types) and a sample of bum bum balm, a diaper cream made from organic ingredients that is compatible with cloth diapering. I ended up ordering the kit from since EBS didn't have any in stock.

In the interest of supplementing with some more convenient diapers, I bought a couple AMP one-size duo pockets along with some hemp and bamboo inserts from EBS. I was originally leaning toward Bum Genius as it's a great brand that CDing parents love, however ended up grabbing the AMPs as reviews appear to be equally glowing (if not more so) and it's a Canadian company. I'll try out the two for now but probably grab a few more to round out the collection once little one is here. I also may buy a couple more covers if baby turns out to be a heavy wetter - wool and fleece are good options here.

In terms of storage and laundering, I bought some Country Save detergent and decided on the dry pail method of storage since we have a front load washer (it sounds like a messy PITA to deal with transporting wet diapers into a front loader). The fabulous wet bag which comes with the Bummis kit will either work well on its own for storage, or as a liner in a diaper pail (need to decide on this part still.) I'll probably grab a second big bag and one or two smaller bags for outings as well. The biggest challenge will likely be getting the dipes cleaned properly in the washer, because as awesome as front loaders are for "regular" laundry, they're not generally as effective as top loaders for CD laundry due to the fact that they use less water (ironic, isn't it?) That said, there are grillions of blog entries and forum posts out there detailing what has worked well for others w/ front load washers, so I'm confident we'll get this whole thing ironed out.

Holy crap (again, no pun intended) I've gone on about diapers for awhile! :) Time to join Chris for an episode or two of Ally McBeal!


  1. Bummis, or any similar 2-part system are definitely the way to go. I would also recommend adding Kushies diaper liners to your repertoire - trust me, they make cleaning up the runny poop a little easier.

    Also, let me encourage you (if it's possible) to have your change-station situated in your bathroom, or anywhere within arms-reach of a sink. If you can get a quick rinse in immediately after the diaper comes off, there's no smell, no hassle, and the actual laundry part is a breeze!