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The Greenish Life: Cloth Diapering and how to Catch Poo in Style!

Bambino Mio Cloth Diapers

Thanks to Bambino Mio for providing me with product to review for this article; all opinions are my own.

Warning: This article contains information about POOP… you’ve been warned!

When I developed this series, I knew that I would eventually have to tell you all about my journey in cloth diapering.  How could I not really?  Disposable diapers represent approximately 30% of all non-biodegradable waste and are the third most prevalent consumer item in landfills; some 27.4 billion disposable diapers are used every year in the US. 

Now, I can’t say that I exclusively cloth diaper, I use disposables on trips for example (cause I just can’t bring myself to carry around poop with me for longer than an outing); but I certainly use them more often than not and, the way I see it, each time I put a cloth diaper on Little Bear, that’s one fewer disposable going into the trash. 

As with all TGL posts, I consider two factors when deciding whether to share a tip or item with you: (1) is it better for the environment and (2) is it better for my family?  There is also a third factor that I like to discuss in these articles: (3) will it save my family money?

I can say that the answer to all three of these factors is “Yes” when it comes to cloth diapers! I’ve already discussed some of the ways in which disposables are bad for the environment, and while I can’t say that cloth has no impact—they must be washed, for example, which uses water--it is less.  Second, cloth diapers are better for my family in a number of ways.  

The most important way in which cloth is better for my family is that disposable diapers contain lots of harmful chemicals, including a power called Sodium Polyacrylate (SPA), which is what actually absorbs the liquid; this is why a full diaper is physically bigger than a dry one.  SPA is super dangerous to humans—it was banned from being used in tampons because of its link to toxic shock syndrome; but is still allowed in diapers and can be found in practically every brand, even natural ones.  And that's just one of the nasty criminals right next to your baby's sensative skin in a disposable diaper.  

A second, and admittedly less important, way in which cloth diapers are better for my family is that we never have to make middle-of-the-night or early morning diaper runs.  I had to do this on a trip a few weeks ago, when I thought I had enough diapers before my son decided to poop like 3 times in an hour and it sucked!  Had I been at home with my cloth, I would have had a lot more options and would not have had to make a diaper run at 7am.

Finally, cloth diapering is good for my family financially.  While it did require a bit more upfront cost, I built my cloth diaper stash for less than $500 (and it can be done for a lot less with some planning), and I’ll be able to not only use it for any more children we have, but I’ll be able to sell most of my diapers and get back a good portion of my investment.  Disposable diapers, on the other hand, cost an average of $3000 per child, so even if we never have more kids and I don’t sell them after LB potty trains, I’ve already saved thousands!   

So, I hope that I’ve convinced you to at least consider giving cloth diapering a try.  If so, I’d love to share one of my favorite brands with you: Bambino Mio.  Since I started cloth diapering, I’ve tried a number of brands and, while I certainly have found brands that I don’t like, I hadn’t really found one that I would call “my brand.”  But, that changed after I got to put Bambino Mio to the test!  

First, I have to explain that there are a few types of cloth diapers, but ultimately they all contain two things: a waterproof outside and an absorbent inside.  Bambino Mio sells two types of diaper: the Miosolo All-in-One diaper and the Miosoft Cover.  In the Miosolo All-in-One, the waterproof outside and an absorbent inside are made into a single diaper.  This is great because it makes it as easy to use as a disposable diaper, you just put it on.  The Miosoft cover, on the other hand, is just the outer waterproof part.  This may sound not as good at first but has its own advantages.  First, you put in your own absorbent material, so it is customizable to your child’s needs.  Second, the same cover can be used change-after-change, so you don’t need as many covers as you would need all-in-one diapers, you just need more of the inner absorbent part.  I personally like both types, finding they work well for different situations; although my husband strongly prefers the single-step all-in-ones, no real surprise there!  
LB in Miosolo All-in-One

Whichever type you use, the single most important test for a cloth diaper is “does it keep in the things it’s supposed to keep in?”  This is generally down to two factors: whether the diaper fits well, with no gaps, and whether it absorbs enough liquid to get you from one change to the next.  I can safely say that Bambino Mio fits this bill for my son very well!

We first put the Miosolo All-in-One diaper to the test.  I think somehow LB knew that we were supposed to be putting this particular diaper through the ringer because he delivered the most important test within about 20 minutes of putting the diaper on: a giant, massive, stinky blow-out-worthy poop!  Every parent knows what I’m talking about here, it’s a poop that gets everywhere, up the baby’s back and out the leg holes and you’re not sure whether you have more poop or baby! Or at least, that’s exactly what would have happened in a disposable diaper, but the Miosolo proved the victor in the poo-splosion battle and contained every bit of nasty within the diaper; not one drop escaped!  I can say that I was impressed!  Another great thing about the Miosolo All-in-One diaper is that it is designed to grow with your child, with a series of snaps to adjust the height for the perfect fit, so the same diapers work from shortly after birth—once your little one reaches 8 lbs—through potty training!  
Miosolo All-in-One, Snaps for height adjustment
Miosolo All-in-One with absorbent section pulled out

I’ve tried a number of other brands of all-in-ones and find generally find that they’re not my favorite type because they are very slow to dry after washing and you can’t adjust the absorbency to your child’s needs.  Miosolo fixes both of these concerns, however, by the way they are designed!  The absorbent layer is designed to fit into a pocket in the diaper, only attached at one side, so that when you pull it away, it cleans more easily and dries faster!  This opening also allows you to add additional absorbency; but that is really only necessary for the heaviest of wetters, because the built-in system can hold a ton!
LB in Miosolo All-in-One

After being saved from the poo-splosion, we tried out the Miosoft Cover with Bambino Mio’s 100% cotton insert!  This is a great set up for day-to-day use because, once diaper change time comes, the insert is traded out for a new, dry one, but the cover can be used over-and-over again.  This reduces both how many things you need to buy and laundry quantity!  The Miosoft cover comes in two sizes, to grow with your child, so again you only need a few items to get you from birth to potty trained!
Miosoft Cover and Insert
Miosoft with insert inside

One of my favorite things about both types of Bambino Mio is that the waterproof material is stretchy, so it moves with my very active child, unlike some diapers that can get leg gaps on my wild child!  Also, the patterns are so cute, they have a ton of options all based around nature and animals; I love the snails and rainbows one!  Finally, one of my favorite things about Bambino Mio is that they make great cloth diapering starter packs with everything you need cloth diaper until potty training, these are so great for anyone looking to try out cloth diapering or as a gift for new moms!
LB in Miosoft Cover

The last part of cloth diapering that I have to discuss is cleanup! Once the diaper has been used, change it like you would a disposable diaper.  If it’s just wet or your baby hasn’t started solid food yet, it can go straight into your washing machine.  If you baby has started solid food and the diaper is dirty, you’ll need to dispose of the solid bits into the toilet; this isn’t a big deal and usually just requires plopping it or rinsing the more stubborn bits.  Then you wash them all.  I do a water only quick wash first, then a normal cycle with Tide powder; I even through in my husband’s dirty clothes at this stage (all the yuck is gone by now, I promise) so I’m not creating more work or waste!  Once they’re clean, I hang them to dry!  Compared to disposable diapers, it is a bit more work; but ultimately not much extra and the benefits of the trade-off more than cover it, in my opinion!
LB in Miosoft Cover

All-in-all, I’m very pleased with Bambino Mio’s cloth diapers and I can’t wait to get some more for my stash!  If you have any questions about cloth diapers or have used Bambino Mio and want to share the love, please comment below!

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