Sunday, January 15, 2012

How We Cloth Diaper Our Newborn

Our little Lulu is about to outgrow her newborn cloth diapers, but before she does, I want to do a overview of how we cloth diapered our newborn.  She was in newborn cloth diapers for such a short time (and even shorter because we were out of state on vacation much of the time and used disposables).  I'm glad that a few of the diapers we used for her were multi-sized diapers that will continue to fit her, and that I didn't spend much for those that were truly newborn sizes.  Below is an overview of the cloth diapers we used, how we felt each one worked, including how we washed them, and a rundown of how we do cloth wipes in our house.  If you have any questions/suggestions, please comment.  This is our first experience with cloth diapers and we'd love your input.

Our newborn cloth diapers (and supplies) stash:

2 BumGenius XS Bamboo Fitted Diapers
1 Nikky polyester diaper cover
(all of the above) bought used (in like new condition)
on Ebay for $20

FREE! won through the weekly Thirsties Thursday giveaway

Thirsties Duo Diaper Size 1
bought new for $12 (Black Friday special)

1 dozen organic Cloth-Eez prefolds
bought new through Craig's List for $18

3 Newborn Bummis Super Whisper Wraps
bought new through Craig's list for $24

6 Kissa's Cotton Fleece Booster Doublers
FREE! with Amazon gift cards received through 
Swagbucks and online survey sites
(originally $18)

Total cost: $74 

Based on the cost of disposable diapers (with coupons!) and how many Lucia went through while on vacation, we would have spent at least this much on disposables, however, in the long run, I think the savings will be substantial since we can continue to use our Thirsties Duo diaper and wraps for many more months (the company suggests size 1 for 6-18 lbs or 0-9 months).  As for the rest of the diapers, even though she outgrew them so quickly, they too have the potential to save us more money in the future: with our future children.  Since they were used for such a short period of time, they are in amazing condition and I foresee them diapering several more newborns (if God blesses us with more) before they wear out. 

Our Favorites/Least Favorites

Without any doubt, our favorite diapers (and the ones that were reached for first after every wash) are the BumGenius XS Bamboo Fitted Diapers with the Nikky cover.  They fit a newborn perfectly and are a trim fit, barely larger than a disposable.  Even though the cover is thin, it never leaks.  Unfortunately, these BumGenius diapers are no longer available, so getting them secondhand is your only option.  The Nikky covers are still available, but you'd have to find another trim fitted diaper to pair them with.  Does anyone know of any other wonderful trim fitted diapers?

The prefolds with the Newborn Bummis Super Whisper Wraps are our second choice.  We prefer the Bummis wraps over the Thirsties Duo wraps because, although there are snaps to resize the Thirsties, they just don't fit a newborn as well.  This is more of a critique on multi-sized diapers than a critique on Thirsties though.  And since this diaper can be used much longer, we have to figure the savings into the equation, which is a substantial bonus.  There is one additional aspect of the Bummis wraps that make them our next best choice after the fitteds: we don't pin on the prefolds, we simply fold them and lay them in the cover and the Bummis wraps have a pocket in the front into which you can tuck the folded prefolds, which makes it a little easier.

Our least favorite diaper is the Thirsties Duo Diaper, which we actually expected to be our favorite.  It leaks every time we use it!*  Again, I think this may have to do with the fact that they are multi-sized and don't seem to fit a newborn very well.  I look forward to seeing if it works better when Lucia's a bit older.


FREE! with Amazon gift cards received through 
Swagbucks and online survey sites
(originally $16.50 each)

Rockin' Green Detergent
FREE! with Amazon gift cards received through 
Swagbucks and online survey sites
(originally $14 each - currently on our second bag)

 Total cost (so far): FREE! 
(I'm sure there are some additional water/electric costs
but it's small and I don't know how to calculate it specifically)

 Each morning before he leaves for work, my husband throws the diaper pail with our dirty diapers in the wash.  When I get up, I put the diapers in the dryer and the covers on our drying rack.  So far, we've used Rockin' Green Detergent almost exclusively, but I've also made a batch of homemade cloth diaper detergent to try out if we run out of the Rockin' Green.  I haven't calculated the costs, but I know the homemade detergent is much cheaper than buying any and I am determined to only use homemade if we don't have free Amazon gift cards to pay for it.   

Cloth Wipes

24 baby washcloths from the dollar store

Lusa Organics Baby Wipe Juice
FREE! with Amazon gift cards received through 
Swagbucks and online survey sites
(originally $17)

Prince Lionheart Ultimate Wipes Warmer
bought at a garage sale for $1
(originally $20)

Total cost (so far): $7

If cloth diapering hasn't save us much money yet, using cloth wipes certainly has.  They wash along with our cloth diapers so they don't add anything extra in terms of detergent or utilities.  Lucia won't outgrow them, so we'll use them until they wear out which I can't imagine would be anytime soon.  They also take very little time to prepare.  

Every two to three days I mix one cup water with one teaspoon of wipe juice (the included directions say one to three teaspoons, but one works great).  I've seen some homemade wipe solutions online, but haven't tried any out yet.  I may do so if I don't have any free Amazon gift cards when I need to order more wipe juice, but the wipe juice bottle I have now will last for a long time because it still looks like the bottle is 90% full (it says one bottle will make 2 gallons of solution).  I dunk the washcloths in the solution, wring each one out, fold it in half and put them in the wipes warmer.  In total, it takes me about five minutes.  

*After writing this post, I realized that the leaking from the Thirsties Duo diaper was coming from one specific place.  Upon close inspection, I noticed a flaw in the left leg gusset.  I contacted Thirsties customer service and they sent me a new diaper right away.  I was very impressed with how promptly they addressed the problem.  Not only that, but return postage is included and if they are able to fix the flawed diaper, they donate it to a family in need.  Oh, and the new diaper hasn't leaked once!

(I have written more detailed posts about how I earn free Amazon gift cards - and sometimes cash and other gift cards - through online surveys and rewards sites, such as Swagbucks and online survey sites.)

Linking up with the Cloth Diaper link up at Milk-Friendly:


  1. Very interesting! I'm still not sure how everything works with cloth diapers. How did you originally wrap your brain around the idea of them and figure out which brands to buy? Also, what is a cloth wipes?

    I'm loving all your posts on raising Lulu :)

    1. Honestly, I don't know why I originally looked into using cloth diapers but I got easily overwhelmed when I was first learning about them. There are many different styles and even more brands. Since the main reasons I'm using them are to be environmentally friendly and save money, so I started narrowing it down based on the cheaper cloth diapers and environmentally friendly companies.

      Cloth wipes are baby wipes that are reusable instead of the baby wipes that you use and throw out after using them for diaper changes.

  2. I don't know much about cloth diapers since I don't have kids. I don't know if I will or won't use them. Where we currently live water is included in our rent so the increase in laundry wouldn't affect us. I'd be interested to figure out to calculate the increase in electricity (not sure if that is even possible)

    I like the idea that you can save the cloth diapers that are now to small and use them for another child where with disposables your just kinda screwed.

    1. Our electricity bill went up quite a bit this past month, but I'm not sure what part of that is due to extra laundry (and you have to wash them and hot water, so the cost of heating the water for the laundry) and what is due to it being colder, having an extra person here when my mom was staying here after Lucia was born, extra laundry that was due to the baby (they spit up on clothes, poop on things, etc.) and those loads due to cloth diapers.

  3. We've been using Fuzzibunz one size adjustable diapers for two years now. I love them. I also love using cloth wipes. I just put a few squirts of baby soap in the wipes warmer as the wipes solution. A friend who mixes her own solution mixes it up in a bg batch and then just keeps a gallon jug of it next to her warmer for easy refills. As far as electricity goes, you can hang dry your diapers and inserts if you have the time. The diapers usually dry overnight with no problem, but the inserts can take longer, so if you have some extra ones, you can make it work. I am so glad that it is going well for you. It is certaintly a learning experience. When she starts solids and her poos change, I highly recommend using a liner where you can just pick it up and flush down the toilet. We use the Grovia Bioliners. Here is a link. This store is wonderfully helpful, if you ever have any questions.

    1. Ann-Marie, I didn't have enough newborn diapers to hang them to dry, but I should have enough of the next size up, so that will save us electricity!

      I've been wanting to try some Fuzzibunz and other brands, but haven't had the chance yet - I'm sure you noticed we bought almost all our cloth diapers through Craig's List or ebay (most of them new but considerably cheaper than through a retailer), and while I am picky at which brands we've bought, I'm at the mercy of which ones people are selling!

      Thanks for the link, I'm sure it will come in handy!

  4. I'm so glad you wrote this! I totally meant to pick your mind about it Saturday and forgot lol. This is one of those things Steven and I have been debating about- we looked at the natural disposables (that actually break down in the landfill, not the ones that just say natural)... ok, and I dragged him to look at them... but anyway, we were trying to figure out if the cost of those or the cost of reusable is better, and if having something that will disappear in a few years in the landfill is better/worse than all the extra water and electricity. It seems like a bit of a toss up but I've always heard babies rarely get diaper rash with cloth, and it seems like that's true with Lucia so far since she only had it when you used disposables.

    1. Since I don't buy my cloth diapers from a retailer and have bought them (new, usually with the tags still on) through ebay and Craig's List, it will be considerably cheaper than disposables, especially biodegradable ones. I'll do this again with her next size up in a few months and since I got great deals (and since she'll be wearing them much longer than newborn size), the savings is extraordinary. But if I paid full-price for cloth diapers, especially if I bought the more expensive brands, I'm not too sure that I would come out much ahead. As for water and electricity, I haven't had a water bill for any dates since she was born yet, but our electricity only went up $30, which includes lower temperatures (so more heating), more loads of laundry for baby clothes, extra electricity used when my mom was here, etc. so I'm thinking that the impact can't be that much.

      Definitely feel free to ask as many additional questions as you want (and come over here and do a few diaper changes to try it out yourself!).

  5. Nice post Mandi!

    We used prefolds, lil joeys AIO, 3 kissaluv size 0 fitteds, and my least favorite happy heiny's mini diapers for the newborn phase...We loved our Thirsties covers, including an extra-small (non-duo) sized one. G was born at 8 lb 11.7 oz with chunky thighs, though, so quite a bit larger than Lulu.

    As for the increased water and electricity...I definitely think the extra energy costs are something to consider. In fact, for us, it's not really saving us much money--but I do feel a lot better about not throwing away diapers and cloth is a lot better for G. Our electricity rates are through the roof here!

    1. Wow, I didn't realize she was so much bigger at birth - way to go with the natural birth, mama!

      I've already said this is a few previous replies to comments above, but our electricity bill didn't go up very much - at least not in the first bill we got. Since I got all our cloth diapers at a discount by buying them through ebay and Craig's List, I think we'll end up saving quite a bit, but I don't think that would have been the case if we bought them all full-priced (or if I wasn't getting some accessories free).

      When we get ready to have a newborn again, I'll have to ask you a little more about the newborn diapers you preferred and see if we should add a few.

  6. Good to know! I would love to cloth diaper our next one, maybe I'll get my act together in time. Those cloth diapers certainly are cute!

    Love that you call her Lulu!:)

    1. I really love cloth diapers! If you have any questions when you get to the next one, let me know!

  7. Thank you for giving all of this detailed information, Mandi! I'm so glad that the cloth diapers are working out for you. I researched cloth before I had Elise and was completely overwhelmed. I ended up using disposables, but I'd like to try cloth if we are blessed with more children.

    1. It is very overwhelming...there are so many option/ways to do things, but I just chose one way and I'm learning as I go. Let me know if you ever want more info (for the next one?).


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