One day when my head was spinning from all the seemingly infinite choices for all things baby I found Jillian's Drawer's Changing Diapers, Changing Minds program and figured I'd give it a go. The premise of the program is that you get to try all sorts of diapers for three weeks, then send back what you don't want, keep what you like and get a refund for what you sent back. I felt a little bit like the program was misrepresented since they make it seem like you pay just $10 for the three weeks, but you have to pay $10 for shipping (while any other purchase over $100 gets free shipping), and then you have to pay for return shipping out of your pocket. The program itself only costs $10 for the rental fee, if you will. I would have been okay with paying $25 for the program and knowing shipping charges were included all up-front, but felt a little misled by their claim of a $10 program. Other than that, I think the program is slick.
Here's one thing I learned fast: cloth diapers are an expensive initial investment. But buying $40 box of diapers after $40 box of diapers adds up pretty quickly, too. So being able to know I liked a certain type of diaper before investing in enough to make up a usable stash was worth it to me.
Here are my initial thoughts going into cloth diapers as I got my shipment. Some changed as we used a variety of diapers, some stayed the same:
- If it wasn't relatively pain-free, the husband wasn't going to be as willing to go along with it. He's a great sport, but he has his limits. And I didn't want a hassle either.
- I don't like huge cloth diaper bums.
- I thought one-size, adjustable diapers made good financial sense because you wouldn't need to "size-up" diapers and buy new ones as the baby grew.
- I thought I would love all-in-ones for the convenience of having it all together.
- I thought BumGenius would be my favorite.
Along the vanity lines, the adjustable diapers that grow with babies are great for big babies. But I have a really little baby, and having that extra fabric folded in added a bunch of bulk. I didn't like the look of it.
I struggled with diapers that you just lay in the insert (whether cotton or microfiber) instead of stuffing the insert in a pocket. The insert would shift around and not always lay straight. Despite the pros of not having to wash the covers as often (you can just swap out the insert if the baby is wet) and being able to get by with fewer covers ($$ saving), I didn't love that option. I found it easier to take 30 seconds to stuff an insert before trying to wrestle a baby than trying to get my babe to cooperate as I wrangle diaper components.
+ for Pocket Diapers.
The all-in-one diapers (so the absorbent material is attached to the waterproof cover) were high on my list going into the experiment. I knew they were expensive, but also that they were easy because there was no extra work to be done. Then I found out that they took for-ev-er to dry. We started last summer and were line drying at the time, but the all-in-ones took so darn long I didn't get to use them very often. (I think they subbed out the diapers now listed when we got our shipment, so we had one with a cotton liner—some GroVia one. It was ridiculous how long it took to dry.) Not as impressive as I once thought.
I don't know if I just completely missed the memo, but there were some fitted diapers that looked like they had a waterproof shell. But they didn't. And I ended up changing the crib sheets a few times because of it. I just didn't know exactly what I had gotten and how things were supposed to work. Perhaps the confusion is another slight downfall of the Changing Diapers, Changing Minds programs. I was a newbie and didn't know all the ins and outs when they were all put in a box together without much or any instructions with some of them. I didn't understand why one would want to wrangle with one set of fasteners on a diaper, and then have to do it again with the cover. (Yes! my Baby Girl is one wiggly baby!)
I'd read reviews online that suggested it was better to go with diapers with snaps than with Velcro/hook-and-loop closures, since the Velcro can wear out, and with as much use as they get, it can wear out quickly. Not to mention snag clothes in the dryer and collect lint in the hook side. So I preferred snaps for that reason.
I was surprised with some of my realizations while trying the program. I took some mental notes of the diapers I liked, but sent them all back. When I saw a promotion FuzziBunz was running and found them for a better deal on another website, we had our decision made for us. We got a mix of small and mediums "Perfect Size Diapers". Since our baby is small, she's still rocking the smalls at almost a year. So about eight months after jumping on this train, we're still going strong.
What do you think? If you want more info, I'd be happy to share my thoughts on, well, ...anything!