It’s been almost two months since Alena was born so I thought I’d write a little review of how the cloth diapering service from Happy Nappy is working out for us (initial introduction of the service can be found here). [Update: As of Feb 2013, in the Vancouver Lower Mainland, this diaper service company is now called Happy Baby Cheeks. There is no more Happy Nappy in Vancouver. Most of the below still applies but there have also been some changes. Read their review here.]
The Diapers – Material
The diapers themselves are quite soft to touch. The inner layer of fleece is designed to wick the moisture away from the baby. While this is good for baby’s skin, it does mean that the moisture ends up on the outside of the diaper, making the covers damp. We learned pretty quickly as well that it’s important to secure the diapers and covers snugly to prevent poop leaks.
The Diapers – Sizing
The diapers come in small (up to 10 lbs), medium (up to 17 lbs) and large. These are general descriptions, as we’ve found that there are variances from diaper to diaper. We end up using different snaps on different diapers, depending on how that particular diaper fits. We found as well that with the newborn size (small), some of them were quite a bit smaller. By the time Alena was nearing the 10 lb mark, those smaller ones wouldn’t fit.
The Diaper Covers
While Happy Nappy offers Motherease covers for rental, we bought our covers off of Craigslist. I went with Bummis Super Whisper Wraps and they are working well for us. I initially bought 4 newborn size covers for $15 (they sell for about $12 each new) and when Allie was growing into the next size, I found 7 small size covers for $30. As I mentioned above, the diapers are designed to move the moisture to the outside of the diaper, which means the covers get damp. We found that cycling through three covers gives us enough time in between uses for the covers to dry. Also, with use, the covers tend to start smelling like urine. I found that throwing them into the washer on a hot water cycle (lots of water, no detergent) every so often gets rid of the smell.
Because Allie’s going through an average of 10 diapers a day still (totalling about 70 a week) – and she’s onto the medium size, the pail gets really full by the time Friday afternoon rolls around and Rick from Happy Nappy comes by to pick up/drop off the diapers. By Wednesday and Thursday, we have to kind of squish the diapers down to make space for more soiled ones. There’s also a noticeable smell by the end of the week. The pail comes with a carbon filter in the lid to help absorb some of the odour but there’s really only so much it can do. (The filters can be bought through Happy Nappy for $3 each.) Happy Nappy says most customers change their filters every two to three months. We changed ours at 8 weeks. In terms of odour, I’m not sure if disposibles and diaper genies would be much different though. [Update: I received a call from Nichole from Happy Nappy today, Feb 7, saying that they saw this post and would deliver an extra bag for me this week so that we don't have this problem anymore. I was going to request an extra bag for this week anyway, but they beat me to it. Says a lot about their service!]
Happy Nappy has excellent customer service. Whenever I email them, I get a reply from either Julie or Nichole within the day (most times within a couple hours). They’re very friendly and answer any questions I have. Rick, their driver, comes consistently at the same time each week. I would give them a 5 out of 5 stars for their service.
How It’s Working Out for Us
When we initially got home from the hospital with Alena, we used disposable diapers. This was partly because the first few days with a new baby already have enough challenges and things to learn about that diapering takes a backseat. But it was also partly because we wanted to wait until her umbilical stump fell off (which it did on day 5). The cloth diaper and cover system went further up her torso than her umbilical stump so we thought it would be best to keep using the disposable ones first (especially since the newborn diapers have a little notch for the umbilical stump).
When we did start using the cloth diapers, it took a bit of adjustment. We had to get used to the two part system as well as the little bit of extra bulk when dressing her. Every now and then I’ll have to clean the covers by hand if there’s a poop leak. But from what I’ve heard, pooplosions are worse with disposables, so I’m not complaining.
One of the pros about cloth diapering is that so far, Allie hasn’t gotten any diaper rash. And she lets us know when she’s soiled so we can change her. (We’ve also heard that babies with cloth diapers are toilet trained earlier because they retain awareness of their elimination.) We think though that if we had not been given the diaper service and had to wash them on our own, we probably would think twice about continuing with the cloth diaper route as it would take a lot more energy to clean and maintain them. Overall, I like the cloth diapers. I’m just really thankful we have the diaper service to clean them for us. :)
[Note: Here's a review I wrote after 7 months of use]
[Another Note: If this review has helped you make your decision to sign up with
Happy Baby Cheeks, please let them know you read Olive's blog.]