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Friday, March 29, 2013

Diaper Renovation

Bumgenius Before & After

We decided to use cloth diapers for Calvin and wash them ourselves rather than use a service. We picked this option mainly to save money in the long run, especially since we will have two in diapers soon. We still put Calvin in disposable diapers at night because they are more absorbent, but during the day cloth works great. At first we were using cloth diapers borrowed from a friend whose son had grown out of them and teeny tiny Calvin fit into those for several months. When he finally did outgrow them, we looked into buying some of our own.

After doing a little diaper research, we decided that we really wanted Bumgenius brand diapers. They had great reviews on several websites and forums. They're "all in ones" which means that they basically go on like a disposable diaper, though they do have two parts: the outer cover and a liner that slides into a pocket down the middle. The liners are really absorbent, and the covers have a soft moisture-wicking inside so that the part that touches the baby's tushie feels dry and comfy even when the liner is soaked.

Since they're so great, of course they're expensive. At $18 a pop, it was tempting to go with cheaper pre-fold diapers. After some shopping around we found a listing for them on Craigslist. A family was selling 64 Bumgenius 3.0 diapers (in blue, green, white, pink, and purple) plus 20 "refresher kits" which have new Velcro pieces and elastic bands for fixing up worn out diapers. The refresher kits sell for $1 each. We bought the lot from them for $350, which ends up being around $5/diaper.

Here's the catch: Most of the diapers definitely needed refreshing! The family had 2 kids, a boy who had used  the blue, green, and white ones for a couple of years and a girl who had used the pink and purple ones, but not for as long because she "didn't like them." (I don't see how a baby could not like these diapers!) The blue, green, and white ones were really worn out... the Velcro didn't really hold any more and the elastics were stretched out. The pink and purple ones were usable, but starting to show wear.

So Calvin has been wearing pink and purple diapers for the past couple of months while I have taken on the project of "refreshing" the other diapers. Why not just leave him in the pinks and purples? Well, the elastics on those are stretched out too and I know we'll need tighter elastics for Baby Brother while he's really little (since they're adjustable, both boys will be able to share diapers!), plus I decided to take the opportunity to upgrade all the diapers to snaps like the newer Bumgenius 4.0 version because snaps won't wear out like Velcro.

Here are some pics from this project:

Before: Bumgenius 3.0

Velcro removed with a seam ripper 

Snaps added and elastic replaced

Before & After!

The new elastics make a big difference. I don't want any leaky diapers!

Inside view: comfy lining

I watched some YouTube videos for help and I did all the sewing for the elastics by hand because I don't have a sewing machine. I don't really think it would be faster with a sewing machine, but the stitching would be stronger I guess. The hardest part was getting the hang of using the snap press pliers to put the snaps on.

It's been two months and I've only done about 10 diapers! Yikes! I am not planning to redo all 64. If I did all the blue and green ones that would be about 24. I think that will be enough diapers even for two boys since we can wash them as often as we need to. If I have more time before Baby Brother arrives, I might do some of the white ones too. Then we'll probably re-sell the pinks and purples for cheaper.

Was the price worth all the work? I try to tell myself yes. I better stop blogging and go work on some more diapers!

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