The dirt on GREEN

It's hip to be green, ole! (Hazel at 7 lbs in a GroBaby diaper)

Though I have made many decisions about raising my baby based on what's healthiest for her and the planet, I never had to actually weigh the pros and cons of most of the decisions I've made. I wanted to be natural, minimal, frugal, and a bit old fashioned.

Recently, a friend asked me why I chose to breastfeed, how I came to that decision? I was speechless and my eyes rolled into the back of my head in a mini-seizure. I had never considered the alternative! So, I frantically tried to come up with an intelligent answer that hit on the benefits of breastfeeding without being preachy.

For me, there really wasn't an option of not breastfeeding. Fortunately it was extremely easy for me from the minute Hazel entered the world. After she was about 2 months old, my friend, Shannon, mentioned how mother's usually love the bond the breastfeeding creates. At that time I was over-tired and overwhelmed with the constant feedings and had trouble relishing the bonding. However, now that her feedings are spaced further apart and I'm finally "in my groove", I can say that I absolutely love breastfeeding!

Cloth diapering... I admit, I do it because I think it's cool. I'm proud of her huge butt. However, there are times when I have used disposables and though they really do a great job of keeping the moisture from her skin, they often leave big salt crystal-like chunks on her. That can't be good. Also, because CDs don't wick moisture away, she will be motivated to toilet train!

Here's some info for anyone considering CDing. This is what I've learned in these 3 months:

1. Cloth wipes are my absolute favorite part of CDing! Even if you want to use disposable diapers, I HIGHLY recommend cloth wipes! They are extremely easy and CHEAP! I have 3 packs of unbleached flannel wipes. They cost $11.25 for 15. I store them in a wipe warmer so they are always moist and warm. Hazel's butt is so spoiled! I throw them in the wash with the diapers and then instead of drying them, simply fold them together so that they pull the next one out of the container, make sure there's a little extra water in the wipe warmer, and voila! Some people use a little soap or fragrance oil on their wipes- I haven't experimented with that yet. Hazel's skin has been really sensitive thus far so plain water makes sense to me. Also, the flannel wipes have just enough texture and thickness that I can do a LOT of cleaning with just one and never get poop on my hands.

2. Which diaper to choose? This is overwhelming! I did a lot of internet research and there's so many different kinds that it's impossible to know what you'll prefer! I bought an assortment before she was born and have opinions, but really like having an assortment. I think Hazel does too.

I have:

*4 Gro Baby Diapers ($24.95 each- 1 shell and 1 insert) and 4 GroBaby insert packs ($16.95 for a set of 2 organic cotton liners). I LOVE these! The insert snaps into the shell. So, I can usually get about 3 uses out of the shell before washing. They adjust so I have been using them on her since birth and will continue to use them until she is toilet trained. I have two that close with velcro and two that close with snaps. The velcro are extremely easy to put on- in fact if I was going to leave Hazel with someone who's afraid of CDs, they would be able to use these! However, the velcro is so sticky that it sticks to the shell even when I'm being careful. So, those shells look more worn. This is a really new brand and I would LOVE to have more!

*6 small prefolds (can't find receipt... probably about $12). Originally I was dead-set against prefolds because there are so many new fangled diapers out there. Once AGAIN my mother was right (TWO posts in a row... the woman needs to be muzzled!). She really wanted prefolds and I thought she was just old fashioned and stuck in her ways. However, I love them! I converted when a friend gave me 30+ of regular- sized prefolds. I bought some shells to use with them (they were free, frugality trumps stubbornness) however, the regular size was too big for my preemie so I reluctantly (Gma Kosker was adamant about this one!) bought (er...graciously received) a few smaller ones. They are SO easy! You just fold them length-wise in thirds, lay them in the shells, and velcro on.

*5 Thirsties Shells ($11.25 each- 4 duo wraps sized 6-18lbs, 1 xsmall 6-12lbs). LOVE THESE! The leg openings have gussets that really protect from leaks (however some of her enormous poops can break through anything). As mentioned above, you just lay an insert in the shell and they velcro on- not any harder than disposables!

*12 Pinkerton bamboo liners ($4 each). Made by a local crafter at my local Saturday market! The crafter buys this amazing velor bamboo and surges it with a layer of more absorbent bamboo. They're long rectangles and lie nicely in my Thirsties shells. However, they're a little thin, so I put 2 in at a time or layer one on top of a BumGenius booster. to buy: preciouspinkies@ymail.com (note: I bought in bulk and got a discount!)

*4 BumGenius 3.0 ($17.95 each). I had originally planned to use only these as a good friend uses them and loves them. They are adjustable so they will also fit the baby from womb to toilet. HOWEVER, due to Hazel's itty-bitty nature, they leaked around the leg openings until recently. The best feature of these is that they feel the driest after being wet! The micro fleece is next to her skin and the absorbent pad is in a pocket. The drawbacks are that you need to wash the shell and pad after every use and I'm not a huge fan of fleece next to her skin (isn't it really just plastic?). This week is the first that I've begun using these regularly and I try to use them for night time because that's when she wears her diapers the longest (dryness trumps organic cotton).

I still wash my diapers every 2 days. I need more diapers, but soon I'll be able to use the larger prefolds, so I've been willing to do more washing in order to save some money. My advice: if you want a high-tech diaper- go with the GroBaby snaps and BumGenius 3.0 for nighttime, if you want an economical diaper- go with prefolds and Thirsties duo wraps.

Total spent on diapers: $389.40 (and almost half of them were gifts)! I will need to buy some larger Thirsties wraps, but otherwise, I might get be done. I say might be because I'd like a few more so that laundry days can be spread out. Still, the average babe uses 6,000 disposables that's about $2000! I WIN!
(I bought most of my diapers at Mother Nature's a wonderful shop and online boutique based out of Portland, OR: http://www.mothernaturesbabystore.com/)


  1. i may have to pick your brain on all of this when #3 comes along. i wanted to try this with nash and never had enough guidance, then the upfront cost scared me (what if i spent all that money and then reesorted to disposables anyway?). so i still haven't tried. i'm proud of you for doing it!

  2. Julie, thanks for doing this - super helpful!! I've been torn on what to do with our baby. I hate the thought of disposables and what they do in a landfill but am terrified of cloth diapers and their maintenance! I've sorta settled on gDiapers which are a hybrid and fully biodegradable:) but may try out some true cloth ones just to see how it goes. Your assessment makes me want to try them even more now!

    And the wipes, I hadn't even thought of that! Great idea.

  3. Maybe Hazel will appreciate my wisdom!!!!!! Nah...probably not.

  4. Okay I'm sold. Gee, it costs a lot for a baby to poop, doesn't it? I wonder how much it costs for me now? Hmm. . . this could be a future blog post.
    Thanks for sharing your experiences. Maybe I'll need it eventually. ;-)

  5. If I ever have kids, I'll be contacting you for advice on CDs. My mom used them for me, and I think most people just write them off as a giant disgusting pain but it seems like things have come a long way since we were babies. I would love to do this - saves money, saves trees, and probably feels more cozy!

  6. I'm so glad to hear that Breastfeeing is going well for you!!
    I'll be coming to you someday to get CD info! I love it and am glad you are doing the experimentation:)

  7. Jessica(Jaynes) GowDecember 6, 2009 at 9:14 AM

    I used Fuzzibunz which were amazing for us! Also I just used tee tree oil to disinfect all of the diapers in the wash and some lavender oil to make them smell pretty and soothing..lol. You only need a few drops of each. I also loved cloth diapering and with BF babies, it's an easier feat to handle since BF poop is "nicer" than formula. Never knew that until I experienced it ;)
    So happy for you and your beautiful family!


Oh how I L.O.V.E. comments! Thanks for taking a walk on the (koskersidle)WILD side :)