Wednesday, August 8, 2012

FuzziBunz and Beyond: Our Cloth Diaper Story

 I wish I could remember just how it came to be that Gary and I decided that cloth diapering was something we wanted to do in our family. I'll have to ask him about it. All I remember is that it was a discussion we had when we were in the very beginning of our pregnancy, Gary was still living abroad and we had no idea if he was coming here or if I was going there. We had not a thing to our son's name yet, just dreams and hopes. How things have changed in a year!

In the week or two prior to the start of my maternity leave shortly before I went into labor, I was showered with gifts of all kinds from my previous coworkers, including a beautiful stash of 6 FuzziBunz Elite one-size diapers in the most beautiful jewel tones I've ever seen or thought possible to be on a diaper. Light It Up Blue, Spearmint, Apple Green, Mac N Cheese, Kumquat, Watermelon, a beautiful rainbow of PUL and soft inner fleece lining. I was so excited to try these out on my little boy's tush! I stored them until I needed them...
Apple Green, by far my favorite color

And then, my son was born. He pooped, and pooped, and then pooped some more. It wasn't a normal day if we didn't change a poopy diaper at least every 2 to 3 hours; his little digestive system was a conveyer belt of breast milk in, poop out and unlike a Nike factory, there are no lights out/let's go home. So we changed poopy diapers at 2 am, too. The only thing that got me through those first few months of constant poop is how I reminded myself that this, too, is normal. When your stomach is the size of an M&M, you'd poop a million times a day too.

My mother insisted that I use disposable diapers and even went as far as to buy them for us. Every two weeks, she brought us two new HUGE packages of Pampers Baby Dry and in two weeks time, we'd use all of them. I was thankful, SO thankful because I couldn't imagine doing diaper laundry of that magnitude with how completely overwhelmed I was. It seemed like the ultimate impossible task. I held onto the hope that some day soon, my little poop factory would slow down in the excrement department. Finally, around 10 weeks or so old, his pooping noticeably slowed down and by 3 months, he was down to one poop every day or two. I was SO happy because I realized this is it, I can finally use my treasure trove of butt covers!

With our then-recent relocation to a new town over an hour away from my parents, I told my mom to save that diaper money and use it to buy gas so she can come see us. I unwrapped my precious gems and was baffled: what are all these little elastic straps? What are these buttons? (I'm one of those people who sets up first, reads the directions later...) The FuzziBunz One-Size diaper has this ingenius sizing system that lets you tailor the diaper to exactly the right size based on estimate weight and age of your child. But therein lies the initial learning curve of FB diaper sizing: Daniel has and continues to weigh in well above his peers and at that time, he was in the 90th percentile. When I tried the diaper on him for the first time, I was shocked at how tight it was and even more shocked at the red marks the diapers left on his waist. Yikes! Too tight. So a bit of patience in figuring out the perfect fit for your kid is very, very necessary, unless you want to be like me and panic at the fear of constricting blood flow to the very butt you're trying to cover.

We figured out how to size Daniel's diapers and now we're good and happy... until I have a leak after just a over an hour. What?! Why!? After a bit of research I learn that many happy cloth diaper mommies use multiple liners and that liners increase absorbency as you continue to wash and use them. PHEW. Ok. Two liners, which is nice because that's exactly what each FuzziBunz comes with. And after the initial wake-up leaks, we've increased the liners to 3 at night. At this point, it is a rare and surprising event when we wake up with a leak because FuzziBunz are just that. good. 

The first time I changed his cloth diaper, I was a bit perplexed - how do I know when it needs to be changed? Disposable diapers change colors when they are wet, or you can see the gel inside expand and create that signature full diaper look. Cloth diapers, not so much. I even went so far as to touch the inner fleece liner, noticing it wasn't wet at all. Only after taking out the liners from the pocket did I realize they were wet. Wow! FuzziBunz is NOT joking when they say their product wicks moisture away from sweet baby's bottom, because it really does! LOVE this!

With Daniel being a bit older now, I've decided to try a different night time diaper method; a Bamboozle fitted diaper, made of bamboo with Aplix closure, and a waterproof diaper cover. I went with Thirsties Duo with snaps, but I may be tempted to try a wool cover sometime down the line, if this method works for us.
TotsBots Bamboozle bamboo fitted diaper, size 2 with Aplix closure
Thirsties Duo Wrap with snaps, in Owl.

All in all, I am really glad that my first cloth diaper experience was relatively pain free once I got over the initial learning curve. With our next child, I plan on using the many prefolds we received as a gift for Daniel (that I was too scared to use) with a fastener (probably Snappi) and a waterproof cover. With all the benefits cloth diapering offers us and how cute they look, the few road bumps that pop up every once in a while are a total none-issue now and I recommend cloth diapering to everyone who will listen.

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