I never thought I had the guts to use cloth diapers. I had heard people say why they do or don’t cloth diaper and I just never thought I could handle it!
Boy. Was. I. Wrong.
Cloth diapering is easier than ever. There are so many cloth diaper products out there, you could do it too! It’s actually not that gross! It’s good for your pocket book. It’s good for the environment. Its good for your baby!
There are a whole bunch of cloth diaper types such as “pockets” “all-in-ones” “pre-folds”. You should look into a few types and see what is best for you and your needs. I’d like to tell you why I chose to use “pocket” diapers in hopes that it seems less overwhelming to you! Regardless of the diaper style, the many concepts like washing routine and diaper creams are common amongst all types. My husband was resistant to try cloth, until he saw how easy and cheap it is! Now he is on board 🙂
First. Pocket diapers look just like a regular disposable diaper. They have a bunch of snaps so that you can make the diaper the correct size for your baby. Most adjustable size pocket diaper fits babies from birth to about 35 pounds. So it will save you a lot of money in disposables. The “pocket” refers to a small pocket that you stuff with a washable liner for absorbency.
Second. Diapers and Liners can be made from many materials. The biggest difference is synthetic or all cotton. The synthetic diaper keeps the moisture off your babies skin. The liner, is underneath. Cheap synthetic liners have worked just fine for me. Some more expensive material such as bamboo liners might come in handy when my daughter gets bigger and makes more urine, but I haven’t needed to change yet!
Cost. This is a big one for lots of us. Each month I had been spending about 40$ on disposable diapers. When my daughter was a newborn, I spent more because of more frequent diaper changes. I know there are cheaper and more expensive diapers than this, but this was the cost of the brand we were using. Compare it to the upfront cost of cloth, I spent 60$ for 12 diapers and I have been using them now for months without spending the 40$ on disposables! My cloth diapers quickly paid for themselves!
My process. Like I said, I only bought 12 diapers. I did this because I like the minimalist approach with a lot of baby stuff since babies grow so fast! Because of this, I wash diapers daily. I usually start the wash just before dinner, then transfer to the dryer before bed. In the morning, we have dry diapers! There is a lot to said about rinsing and soaking diapers, but I have taken a minimalist approach to this too. Here’s why-
I wash with minimal detergent. This reduces detergent build up. To combat the stink, I use hot water and washing daily prevents my house from being full of stinky diapers! I press the “extra rinse” button on my washer. I do this because it removes extra detergent and prevents build up. Some people suggest to pre-soak, then wash, then separate extra rinse. But my method has saved me the hassle and I have had zero problems!
Poop and Stink. Nobody wants to say it, but you have to deal with poop regardless of the diaper style you use, even disposable! Disposable diapers make for stinky garbage cans that sit in your house. This method of immediate poop removal (plus washing a load of diapers daily) prevents your nursery from smelling like stinky diapers. I use the “swish method” which just means that I shake out the poo into the toilet and flush. Then I swish the dirty diaper in the toilet to loosen up any more poo and flush a second time. Its not that gross. You wash your hands anyway right? Alternatively, you can easily attach a sprayer/bidet to your toilet and spray out the poo. Dirty diapers go right into a wet bag. The wet bag goes in the wash with the diapers.
Supplies you need to get started. So you are going to give it a try? This is my suggestion! Buy a 4 or 6 pack of diapers. I bought a 6 pack on Amazon (they usually come with liners already). Also buy a large wet bag. Pre wash them before you use them. Use them without diaper cream, instead just get your babies bum as dry as possible before putting the diaper on. My daughter has never had such beautiful skin and she does now in cloth diapers! While trying it out, use disposables when its convenient until you get the hang of things. Disposables for night time or for leaving the house is often the route newbies take. Order more diapers as your comfort level increases!
Diaper cream. There are plenty of cloth diaper safe creams out there. I’ll post my own DIY recipe here as well! But ultimately, with the natural fibers and elimination of chemical filled disposable diapers, I don’t use a cream for every diaper change. I only use a cream when redness is present, like during times of teething.
Future Diaper Supplies you might want: A small wet bag for your diaper bag, if you start using cloth when out and about. Cloth wipes (I plan to write a separate post about how I started using cloth wipes!). Bamboo/ increased absorbency liners for night time cloth diapering.