I have a confession. I am seriously in love with cloth diapers 🙂 For the last 4 1/2 years, I have had at least one child in cloth diapers and I have loved every minute of it! Now, some of you may be thinking that I’m crazy and you may also be thinking “There’s no way I could ever do that, nor would I want to!”. I know, because that’s the reaction I had the first time I heard of someone using cloth on their kiddos. But, I’m here to tell all you new moms and moms-to-be just how easy and ($$$ saving) they actually are!!! Plus, they look really cute on baby’s butts in photos!
I was first introduced to the idea of cloth diapering in 2010 before I was even pregnant with my first. One of my all time favorite blogs to follow, Young House Love, posted about how they cloth diapered their daughter. My first reaction was that I thought that they were crazy. I honestly didn’t even know it was something people did anymore. My only experience with cloth diapers was my Mom’s stories about the cloth diaper service she used when we were babies. Then in 2011, when I was pregnant with my first son, they posted an update on how the whole cloth diapering thing was going for them. This post really got my attention now that I was seeing lots of diapers in my near future. I was even more intrigued by their discussion on how much money it saved them. So, I did what any modern mom-to-be does in this situation and turned to my friend Google. After a lot of research and a discussion with the Hubby, we decided it was something we wanted to try out! Ladies, if your husbands are hesitant, be sure that you mention the money saving possibilities. This usually gets their attention 🙂
First, let me tell you a few of our favorite things about cloth diapering. Then, I’ll answer some of the most common questions I get.
- What’s our most favorite thing? We love that they save us money!!! The initial cost for our supplies was under $400. I also created a baby registry on sweetbottomsbaby.com, which helped to cut this initial cost down even more for us. Even if you spend the whole $400, that is WAY under the estimated $4000 that parents spend on disposables from birth until potty training on EACH child. I only had to spend about $100 to replenish my supplies with my second child. We continue to use a lot of the same diapers that we bought for my first. And yes, there is a tiny increase in our water bill from washing, but it’s barely noticeable with the tons of other laundry and bathing that having 2 children requires.
- I love that they conceal the smell of urine and poo so well.
- I love that I never have had a diaper blowout when using cloth. You know those yellow poo stains on most of your favorite baby outfits? With cloth diapers, you don’t ever get those 🙂
- I love that they are good for my baby’s skin. I don’t have to worry about what chemicals are getting into my baby’s skin every time I put a diaper on them. And diaper rash is VERY rare occurrence.
- I love that they are SO much easier than I thought they were going to be. It’s so natural to me now, I don’t even ever think about it.
- I love that they are super cute! There is just something so cute about a baby with a fluffy butt 🙂
- I love that my kids can’t rip off their diapers. Because I use diapers with snaps, it is much harder for them to figure out how to get them off. My oldest never took off his own diaper. Time will tell if the youngest will, but so far, nothing. That means no poo smeared walls for me!
- I love that I am not throwing tons of diapers into the landfills.
- I love that they are one-size, so they adjust as baby grows. My oldest wore the same diapers from 6 weeks up until he was potty trained at 3! I have no reason to doubt that the youngest’s will fit him that long as well 🙂
- Is there anything I don’t love? I don’t love that they are bulky to put in the diaper bag. And I don’t love when I forget I need to wash and have to use a disposable. I think that’s about it 🙂
Here are some of the more common questions/comments I usually get when people find out I cloth diaper :
- It just sounds like so much work! I don’t want to deal with diaper pins, crazy folding techniques, or diaper covers.
Good news! With modern cloth diapers you don’t have to! Today’s cloth is nothing like the cloth that our parents and grandparents used. I have used both all-in-one and pocket style diapers and neither kind requires pins, folding, or covers.
- Is it really as easy as you say it is?
Yes! The only difference I find is that instead of taking the diaper off and throwing it in the garbage, I just throw it in the wet bag instead! What’s a wet bag, you ask? It’s a water resistant bag that is easily thrown in the washing machine with the diapers. I use Planet Wise ones.
- What brand of diaper do you use?
There are many different brands and styles of cloth diapers. I have experience with all-in-one and pocket style diapers. I started out using the Bumgenius All in One diapers. They are a little pricier than some of the other options out there, but I loved that they were less bulky and required little preparation. I was a little disappointed in them though. I started noticing holes in them when my first was about 18 months old and they quickly deteriorated from there and I ended up having to throw them away when he was about 2. For the price, I was hoping they would last longer. I know other people that have had better luck with them though, so do your own research 🙂 I also had started out with some Kawaii pocket diapers to supplement my all-in-ones. These are a more reasonable price and have a little more prep, but still super easy. They are pocket diapers, which means that there is a shell and then inserts that you stuff inside them (see below images). Single insert for light wetters, double inserts for heavy wetters and night time. My kids are double stuffers 🙂 I find the stuffing to be not that big of a deal and these have held up really well for me. I am still using the same ones I have been using since my oldest was 5 weeks old! That was 4 1/2 yrs ago! The one downside I’ve found with the pockets is that they are bulkier than the all in ones. I usually have to go one size up in pants to fit them over the diaper.
- Isn’t it gross cleaning a poo diaper? I don’t do well with poo.
Newsflash. You will be dealing with lots of poo in the near future if you are bringing a baby into this world. Diapers, blow-outs (which you don’t get with cloth, btw), some kids will even smear poo on the walls, and you will be helping your child wipe their poo butts even after they are potty trained. But, I digress, here’s how we deal with poo and cloth diapers. When the baby is young and is exclusively breastfed it is super easy. There is no need to rinse or dump. Just throw it right in the wet bag. What’s easier than that?! Once you start any solids or formula, diapers should be rinsed or dumped. Most of the poo is easily just dumped in the toilet and flushed. For the “messier” ones, we have a sprayer, easily attached to our toilet plumbing, that just sprays it right off into the toilet and flushed. No hands needed! (I never thought I’d be posting pics of my toilet on the internet, lol!)
- How do you wash them? Do you use a service?
No service. We wash them all ourselves. We have 16 diapers and that means we usually wash every 2-3 days. I don’t find it to be a big deal at all. It’s the easiest kind of laundry to do, no folding necessary!!! Our wash routine consists of a cold rinse, hot wash with a second cold rinse, and then tumble dry on low. We use Tide powdered detergent for our dipes. There is a lot of info out there about using “cloth diaper safe” detergents. We went this route at first, but quickly realized that it was just not getting our diapers clean enough. We made the switch to Tide Original powder and have been happy ever since. There is a lot of information out there on which detergents are best, but this is what’s worked for us. You should do your own research and decide what’s best for you! But, definitely avoid fabric softeners and dryer sheets, these will decrease absorbency. And look! Just thrown in a drawer! No folding!
- How do you deal with them when you are on the go?
Easy. I usually keep 2 dipes in the diaper bag, unless we are going to be gone all day, then I will leave a separate bag in the car with extras (because more than 2 in the diaper bag gets a little bulky). I keep a plastic shopping bag in the diaper bag that I just throw the soiled diaper into. I used to use a smaller wet bag, but found that a plastic shopping bag I already have laying around works just as well. If there is a poopy one, we just dump or rinse when we get home. No biggie 🙂
- Do you use cloth wipes as well?
Yep! I found this was a super easy transition since we are already washing the diapers. I don’t use any special cleaning solutions or sprays, I just wet it with water before the change then throw it in the wet bag with the diaper when done. Super easy! I also love that I usually only need one wipe/per change instead of the 3-4 I will go through with disposable wipes. I pre-wet wipes and put them in a ziplock freezer bag for on the go use. With my oldest, I used to pre-wet them with water right out of the dryer and stored them wet in the diaper warmer (not plugged in). This would keep them moist and ready for use (and no, they never smelled musty). I just don’t have room for one on the dresser anymore with the boys sharing a room, so now they are just thrown in the drawer. I also keep disposables on hand for emergencies 🙂
- I’ve heard that you are not supposed to use diaper creams or powders with them. Is this true?
Yes, most common diaper creams will cause some build-up on the diapers and start to decrease absorbency. The good thing about cloth, though is that my kids have barely ever had a rash. When I do notice some redness it’s usually because there was a poop that went un-noticed for too long. When this happens I use California Baby diaper cream, which is easily found at Target and is cloth diaper safe! There are lots of other cloth diaper safe creams out there if you do some research. I found this one and it’s worked great for us, so I haven’t had any need to look for anything else 🙂
- How do you deal with the baby going to daycare or Grandma and Grandpa’s house?
We were lucky enough that our day care was very open to using them. I went in and gave them a quick 5 minute lesson and then just take home a bag of dirty diapers at the end of the day and add it to the wet bag. And my kids’ grandparents were all very open to using them and after a little teaching and they all use them fine! (Except my dad. When he watches them, I know to have disposables on hand).
- Are there times when you still use disposables?
Yes. 1. When the baby is super tiny and doesn’t quite fit in to them yet. About the first 5 weeks or so. There are some wonderful newborn sized cloth diapers, though. I just chose not to invest in them. 2. When we went on vacation and didn’t have access to a washer/dryer. 3. When Grandpa watches them. 4. When my first son hit like 2 1/2, he started wetting through them at night, so we switched to a nightly disposable. And I do keep some on hand at home in case of an emergency. Like, the washer breaking, power outage, or just not getting them washed before a new one is needed. I can count the packages of diapers I’ve bought in my 4 1/2 yrs of diapering on one hand 🙂
I hope this helps you get a little bit more understanding of cloth diapering and how easy it actually is! More questions? Leave them in the comments! I love talking cloth diapers! See, look how happy he is in his cloth diaper! And now I’m sad realizing how much he has grown since this photo was taken… But, another bonus, the diapers are one-size, so he still wears the same ones!!!
If you are located in the Cleveland, OH area and would like some more info on a maternity or newborn session (or if you just want more info on cloth diapers) please contact me, I would love to tell your story!!!
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