I first heard about cloth diapers from my cousin when I was six months pregnant. She was visiting and had a 4-month old whom she cloth diapered. After learning a few of the basics from my cousin, and realizing that she didn’t mean Gerber prefolds and plastic pants, I decided to research cloth diapering for my family.
My husband was a little apprehensive at first but after I’d researched everything, talked more with my cousin, and showed him one of the cloth diapers that I wanted to use, he jumped on board. Families choose cloth diapers for a variety of reasons including cost, environmental, and health concerns, but most are hooked because they are so cute!
Cloth diapering doesn’t have to be “all or nothing.” We decided that our money would be best spent on “one-size” pocket diapers. These diapers are meant to fit babies from birth through potty learning. In reality, however, they don’t fit well until baby weighs about 10 pounds and has put some chunk on their little legs. With that in mind we decided that we would use disposable diapers until our daughter grew into the one-size diapers. I was so excited to finally get my daughter into her cloth diapers when she was about two and a half months old. But since it was all new to us, and my mother in law enabled us by continuing to by disposable diapers, we used ‘paper’ diapers when we went out and about. We also use disposables when we go on vacation since we don’t have access to a washer and dryer. For the past several months though, our daughter has been 100% cloth diapered and we haven’t looked back!
I’ll admit, it’s not all fun and games, you still have to deal with poop, and there is an extra load of laundry every couple of days, but it’s all worth it. Once you get into a routine, cloth diapers aren’t any more work than disposable diapers. I love our cloth diapers and feel so special when I put a pretty diaper on my daughter, knowing it’s healthy for her, there aren’t any chemicals, and I’m doing a little something to help save the planet. And her little fluffy bum is just so cute!
Now that my daughter is getting older and able to express her opinions and desires we frequently ask her to choose her own diaper. She’s adorable to watch as she looks at and touches each diaper in the box and makes her selection, usually either something purple or one of the super soft minky diapers.
Questions I’ve asked & been asked:
What do you do with the poop?
A very good question! Dealing with poop is not as difficult or yucky as you might think. I have touched less poop while my daughter was wearing a cloth diaper than when she wore a disposable. We’ve all dealt with the “poopy blowouts” that inevitably happen when a baby is exclusively breast fed, and it’s no fun. My daughter never experienced a poopy blowout while wearing a cloth diaper, but there were some doosies with those newborn disposable diapers.
How many cloth diapers do I need?
A newborn can easily use 12 diapers in a day, so you’ll want a minimum of 12 to 18 newborn diapers if you want to wash diapers every day to day and a half, 24 to 30 diapers should get you through 2 to 2 and a half days. Older babies and toddlers require fewer diaper changes, I plan on 8 diaper changes in a day plus an overnight diaper. I have 21 daytime diapers and 3 nighttime diapers and I wash diapers every other night.
What do I do for overnight?
If your child sleeps through the night, they will need more absorbency in their diaper. For a long time we “double stuffed” a pocket diaper, meaning we added an extra insert, which worked great. As my daughter has gotten bigger, we’ve had to come up with a new nighttime diaper. She now wears a hemp fitted diaper with a PUL cover for waterproofing.
I don’t want to be doing laundry all the time.
You only have to do diaper laundry as often as you want to, just make sure you have enough diapers, plus a few extra, to last between washings. It is recommended that you do not let diapers sit in the pail for longer than 2 days.
Do I have to sanitize my washing machine after washing diapers?
Absolutely not! If your diapers are clean, then your washing machine is clean, there is no need to do anything extra.
My baby is in daycare.
More often, daycare centers are open to using cloth diapers. Be aware that your center may be governed by local or state laws regarding diapering. You will need to provide something to store soiled diapers in such as a wetbag. Home-based or private daycare centers may be more open to cloth diapering. Keep in mind that ease of use is a great bargaining chip, all in ones or pockets may be your best option for daycare. Take one of your diapers with you when you are interviewing childcare providers so that you can show them how easy it is.
How on earth do they not leak?
Cloth diapers have a waterproof outer layer, the most common is polyurethane laminate, PUL. Many pocket diapers have a layer of PUL sewn to a layer of micro fleece or suede cloth, with a pocket style opening for stuffing. You can also use wool or fleece as the outer layer.
What diapers do you like?
Our favorite diapers have been the ones we started with, one size pocket diapers. We have tried several brands of one-size pocket diapers including: BumGenius 3.0 & 4.0, FuzziBunz, Kawaii, and Rumparooz. My favorites are still BumGenius 4.0 with Kawaii as a close second because they fit my daughter well and are good quality. The FuzziBunz are fine, but it’s harder to find the right fit with their one-size version. I was not at all impressed with the quality of Rumparooz and won’t buy anymore.
We have also tried one hybrid system: GroVia. They worked well but are not as trim fitting as pocket diapers. I like their biodegradable disposable inserts for those times when we need something disposable, like on vacation when there’s no washing machine available.
We have also tried Cutey Baby’s “That’s a Wrap.” I was not as impressed with this system as I had hoped I would be. I’ll skip the fact that it doesn’t fit our daughter well, because that sometimes just happens. The applix is not very sturdy and it won’t overlap to allow a better fit on skinny babes. I don’t like the design of the inserts and the way they ‘insert’ into the diaper, they are hard to attach to the wrap and then get on the baby properly.
This is a shop, but they’ve posted some very useful info ~ www.pinstripesandpolkadots.com/basics
Explanations of Cloth Diapering Systems ~ http://allaboutclothdiapers.com/new-to-cloth-diapers/cloth-diaper-systems/
Moms rate products and shops ~ www.diaperpin.com