Cloth diaper trial and errors

Finding the right diaper for you is not always easy but once you find a system you like, the leftovers can often be re-sold. It helps to try out different styles and brands first and a diaper trial from a local shop can help you do just that!

Olive Pitts

Ah, cloth diapers, good ol’ cloth diapers.
It has been two years now since I started my adventure in cloth, and boy, have I ever learned a ton!

It all started with a Craigslist ad, “free cloth diaper stash” what? You mean I could diaper my child for free? And it’s only a block away!?(I was 8 months pregnant, lol, good thing it was close)

So I picked them up, checked them out, got very excited, and started researching, and researching and reading and googling and researching.
These diapers were Kushies brand, a Walmart available diaper, plain flannel insides, Velcro tabs, nothing special.

And then I realize that these diapers had horrid reviews, and that ‘gasp’ they won’t fit from newborn! So obviously I had to look for more suitable ones.

Back to Craigslist, I found a bummis diaper set, a lot of pre folds in newborn and infant size…

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High-tech diapers

Today I will diverge a little from my cloth diapering posts to express my opinion on some up-coming disposable diaper trends, specifically the new ‘smart’ diaper by Pixie Scientific (read about it from FoxNews.com) and the Huggies TweetPee device (learn more from DigitalTrends.com). While I generally think that new technology always has a use in our society, I feel that these products have missed the mark.

 

Pixie Scientific ‘smart’ diaper:

If I understand correctly, this diaper has an embedded QR code on it and when your child pees, the code will change colours. If there are any abnormalities, you can scan the code with your phone and find out more precise info to determine if you should bring your baby to the doctor. While I do think this sounds pretty cool, the idea in general worries me for a number of reasons.

First of all, has technology allowed us to become so far removed from reality that we cannot tell that our children need medical attention? What will happen if the technology in the diaper fails and a parent does not notice? Will parents ignore other medical symptoms if their child’s diaper is still telling them that all is well? Regardless if your diaper is designed to tell you that your baby is sick, parents should know what to look out for and be actively keeping an eye on their children’s health. If they are doing that and they suspect a problem, properly trained medical professionals will be able to run the appropriate tests to get the same info the diaper could have told you (and likely more). Perhaps at that point, when a problem has been suspected, this diaper could be used to gather preliminary data on the baby to help expedite diagnosis but I don’t feel that it is an adequate every-day replacement for watching out for changes in your child. I worry about the families that may use it as such and possibly miss or ignore other medical symptoms because they have become dependant on their diapers.

Secondly, disposable diapers are already full of chemicals! In order to create this colour changing QR code that is supposedly precise enough to measure bacteria levels, chemical reactions are needed. In other words, chemicals are added to the diaper that react with urine to create the colour change. Our babies are exposed to enough and now we want to add more exposure in order to track their health (which we have been able to do all along without the help of a diaper)? It just doesn’t make any sense to me, even if the chemicals used are currently considered safe. By ‘currently considered safe’, I of course mean ‘for now’ as many products are considered safe for a long time to be promptly pulled from the market due to causing detrimental health problems.

Learn More: http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/07/10/new-smart-diapers-track-babys-health-alert-parents/

 

Huggies TweetPee

Moving on to the Huggies TweetPee, which is currently being tested in Brazil. This is not so much a diaper as it is a gadget that works with your diapers. Huggies has launched an official website for this diaper gadget but since it is in Portuguese, my understanding of how it works has come from the news. Basically, it is a device that attaches to baby’s diaper and it sends your phone a message whenever baby needs to be changed. It also tracks how many diapers you use to tell you when to buy more.

My concerns with this device mostly circle around the idea that parents need to be told when to change baby. Shouldn’t we be in regular enough contact with our baby to know if it is time for a change? Huggies already has a colour changing wetness indicator to tell you if baby has peed but now we suddenly need our phones to tell us too? Is that a sign of the times that we are spending more time on our phones than with our babies? Perhaps if you think this product is an awesome idea, you should be asking yourself “why do I not know my baby needs a clean diaper?”.

I will give this product a little credit however. Some parents tend to leave their children in disposables longer than they should, simply because it saves money if they can stretch a few extra hours out of each diaper. Personally, this practice irritates me because if a baby is wet or dirty then they need to be changed as soon as possible. Adults wouldn’t want to live in a dirty or wet diaper for any longer than necessary, why should a baby? So I will credit TweetPee for helping to reduce this problem if it works to remind parents to change baby as soon as a diaper is soiled.

Learn more: http://www.digitaltrends.com/social-media/tweetpee-sends-tweet-when-baby-pees/http://huggiestweetpee.com/

Hidden Diapering Costs

When considering whether cloth or disposable is right for you, one of the main reasons why people chose cloth is because it can save you money. You will find countless breakdowns online of how basic cloth diapering set-ups can save you a ton of money compared to disposables but there are also some hidden costs on both sides that you may not have considered. Some of these include:

Diaper pail refills (disposables only)

Diaper pail (disposables or cloth): one time purchase but in either case, it can be as inexpensive as you make it

Garbage bags (disposables only)

Garbage collection fees (disposables only): some municipalities limit the number of bags per week, or charge more per bag

Gas (disposables or cloth, depending on where you buy): will be more for disposables as you need to buy them more often and may need to make ’emergency’ trips to the store when you run out

Shipping (cloth only): save by buying more at once to qualify for free shipping

Wasted diapers (disposables): when the sticky tabs break as you put a fresh one on, or baby soils it within minutes

Wipes (disposables or cloth): will cost more for disposable wipes

Laundry/water use (cloth): how much will your utilities increase?

Diaper repair (cloth): velcro may need replacing as it wears out (but this is cheap and easy)

Addiction (cloth only): can you really resist all of those adorable prints?

All of these things really depend on your own personal usage so there is no magic number in how much savings can be attained going one way or the other. Consider your own situation and how these hidden costs will factor into your diapering solution!


Learn More:

http://paddedtushstats.com/2012/04/30/the-hidden-costs-cloth-diapering-and-disposable-diapering/

Choosing the Right Cloth Diaper (Part III)

Reblogging this because it is so informative and easily understood!

Dream Diapers Blog

We’ve talked about the different types of cloth diapers available and how to get the right fit. Now I’ll explain different fabric choices. Once you find the right fit, the fabric used in a diaper is what really makes it work.

Microfiber: 

Microfiber refers to synthetic fibers, usually made from polyesters. This is the most common, or standard fabric choice for most “modern” cloth diapers, including all-in-ones, pocket diapers, and hybrids. If a diaper comes with a soaker (whether sewn-in or removable), then chances are that soaker will be made from microfiber. Microfiber fabric is often used for other products, like athletic wear, because the microfiber material wicks moisture away from the body, keeping the wearer cool and dry. So, it also make a great fabric for wicking moisture away from your baby’s bum.

Organic Cotton:

Here’s our first upgrade.  In many cases, the modern diapers you choose can be upgraded…

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Snaps vs. Velcro?

Thirsties Duo Wrap (Size 1 Storm Cloud) in *Snaps*

Thirsties Duo Wrap (Size 1 Storm Cloud) in *Snaps*

Most cloth diapers and covers come in either snaps or velcro (also known as aplix or hook and loop). Everyone will have their preference but like anything else, there are pros and cons of each type.

First of all, most all adjustable-size diapers and covers will have snaps to adjust the rise (vertical size) of the diaper. Some come in two settings, some come in more but most all of them have snaps. It is in the waist size and closure that you need to make the decision on whether you want velcro or snaps. Here are some things to consider when making this choice:

Snaps:

Pros: last longer, can be easily replaced, looks better, harder for a toddler to undo

Cons: can fall off (but most don’t), not as adjustable, may be harder for somebody not accustomed to CD (like occasional care givers), some daycares only want velcro

Velcro/Aplix/Hook & Loop:

Pros: very adjustable, easier to secure, easier for occasional caregivers and those who are not knowledgeable in CD

Cons: must secure to laundry tabs before washing (or you will get a diaper chain), wears out faster, harder to replace (sewing required), easier for a toddler to undo

Personally, I feel like more people choose snaps and that is why my whole stash is snaps. We all know that the more velcro gets used, the less sticky it can be and this is a problem true to CD as well. If you are handy with a sewing machine it should be no problem to replace the velcro when it wears out but if you are like me, and don’t even own a sewing machine, snaps may be a better option for you! They rarely fall off but if they do, they are simple to replace and you can get replacements at any fabric store.

There is one major draw to velcro however! I’m told it is much easier to get a good fit on baby with a diaper that closes with velcro. Sometimes babies are too big for one snap setting and too small for the next. I do not really have a solution for this problem, but if anyone has any great ideas, I would love to hear them. Nonetheless, most snap users love them and have no problems.


What do you prefer, snaps or velcro? Why?