I never planned to write on cloth diapers, but every single week I get search queries in regards to cloth-ing. Literally, every. single. week.
To be clear, I'm not claiming to know much about cloth diapers or cloth diapering in general. This post is all just what I have learned from doing it for the past three months and what has worked for my family. These are my opinions. I'm only writing about it because I feel like you must want to know!
There were a few main reasons we chose to go with cloth. After some super professional Google research, one might learn that it takes about 30 months for babes to learn to potty train. So, if there are ~30.4 days in the average month, that means that by the time your kid is out of diapers you will have changed 7,354 diapers -- give or take a few. and that's just one kid. We plan to have a few. Plus that doesn't even include all of the wipes you have to go through!!
+ Environmentally, it honestly just seems wrong to throw away that much waste. I'm not even that much of a hippie, either.
+ If I'm honest with myself, I'd either buy honest or babyganics brand of diapers which are about 75¢ a diaper. That means that I'm looking at spending ~$5,515.50 per kid on diapers. Even if we used a brand like, let's say, Pampers, they're about 28¢ a diaper and that's still $2,055.96! Per kid! Again, this doesn't even include wipes. Is that not insane?
So the money was the big kicker for us. With our cloth stash, we got pretty lucky. We planned on only using one size diapers but received a whole slew of newborn size prefolds and covers as baby shower gifts. So we only ended up investing in about $430 worth of diapers ourselves. The diapers that we bought are one size diapers and so they will grow with Mattheus until he is potty-trained. I will reuse both the newborn diapers and the one size diapers with each child we have. And then, the best part? When we are through with diapers I can either donate them for someone else to use, or I can sell them on a b/s/t page and recoup some of my initial investment. What what!
Tell me again how you don't want in on cloth.
the diapers we use:
+ As newborn diapers, we primarily used prefolds and covers. I didn't plan on using this method at all, but grew to love it. It's cost efficient and a lot easier than you'd think. We used these prefolds and a whole slew of brands of covers.
- We also tried some pocket style diapers and I didn't really like them because I had some leaks and so I sold them.
- In this post, I mentioned the Little Bee diapers and while I did love their mission, I always had leaks with the diaper's leg gusset and so it wasn't my fave.
- We did use some of the Lil' Joeys and they were awesome poop catchers while they lasted. Highly recommend for small babies and I wish they made bigger ones!
- A third favorite was our Grovia newborn. It fit amazing from the day he was born until like two and a half months and 15ish pounds.
+ Now that Mattheus is out of newborn diapers, we have moved to Grovia's one-size hybrid (or all in two) diaper. I feel like I can't say enough good things about them. We chose the snap option for our diapers and the fit is amazing. They're not insanely bulky either, for a one size diaper. The way they work is sort of the same concept as the prefold. You have a cover (aka shell) and an insert that snaps in. If there's no poop on the shell, you don't have to change it with each diaper change, thus presering the longevity of the diaper (less washes). Grovia offers three different snap in soaker options plus an additional booster, and in the first few days of using them, we just folded a prefold into thirds and laid them in, which works just as well!
+ Our newborn "stash" consisted of 24 prefolds, 8 covers, 5 all in ones, and 3 pockets. This was more than enough diapers and I did diaper wash every three-ish days.
+ Our current "stash" consists of 13 Grovia Hybrid shells, 24 organic cotton soaker pads, 2 stay dry soaker pads, and 4 booster pads (we use them at night). I would say that yes, this is plenty of diapers to get us through. I wash about every two to three days. I think that I will probably buy a few more packs of the stay dry soakers though because they are nice to use on outings and beach days!
+ I use cloth wipes because to me, it just made sense. If I was going to use disposables I'd have to have a trash can in the room for them and that just seemed silly when I could just toss the dirty wipe in the bin with my diapers to wash.
+ I make the solution when I'm close to running out of wipes and then dip the clean, dry wipes in it and then store them in our wipes warmer and a tupperware; they usually last me about a week and a half or so before I've gotta make new ones.
+ I tried the Lusa Organics wipe solution concentrate and liked it at first but it made my diaper laundry pail really stinky so I went back to making my own solution.
+ When I'm on the go I keep dry wipes in my diaper bag and fill a peri bottle with water or solution and then just moisten the wipe before use.
You don't just wash the diapers. You wash them.
+ I never knew there was anything special to washing cloth diapers. Now I do.
+ Diapers must be "prepped" before your first use. This is to wash out the natural oils of the diaper and increase absorbency. This means you wash [with soap] and fully dry your diapers anywhere from 3-8 times before your first use. Lucky for you, you can wash them with other stuff. See point 6.
+ You have to do a cold rinse and then a hot wash with full detergent and then an extra rinse.
+ I have hard water so I have to add Calgon water softener to my laundry.
+ I use tide powder. It's cost efficient and cloth diaper safe. You don't actually need cloth diaper specific soap, although I'm sure it's good for the diapers.
+ After your first rinse, don't be afraid to wash your towels, clothes, blankets, sheets, whatever with your diapers. If you are washing every two to three days you might as well get some other wash done, too.
+ You basically can't stain cloth diapers. The sun will take it out. Google it.
+ To dry, I tumble on low heat once and then take out the covers and let finish air drying and then tumble dry the inserts again to get them completely dry.
+ You'll want a breathable dirty pail. If you keep the diapers sealed up mildew and mold can form. Then you have to throw away your diapers. Insert crying mom.
+ You have to use cloth diaper safe diaper rash creams and baby powders.
+ Cloth diapers aren't as trim under clothes as disposables. This is where you'll hear the term "fluff butt". I usually just put Mattheus in a tee and let his cutie little diaper hang out though!
+ I've literally never had a blowout with cloth*. We used disposables for two weeks and had blowouts almost every day. Terrible.
+ The more you wash your diapers, the more absorbent they get. How great is that??
+ I've also read that toddlers learn to potty train quicker with cloth diapers because they actually feel wet and dislike it. Who knows. Could be completely false but it sounds pretty good, doesn't it ;)
*except for one time when the diaper was unsnapped. Not the diaper's fault, though!