(Why am I calling myself “normal” and “regular” in this post?–because I am!! I’m not a crazy wacky hippy gal who’s into weirdo things! I’m normal! I’m regular! And if I can do it, so can you!! Some people take things too seriously and take all the fun out of it! (Yes I said “fun” when referring to diapers!!) Cloth diapering CAN be fun, and easy!)
Call me crazy, but I’ve wanted to cloth diaper since LONG before having kids. I started my research after I met a young mom who used them, and I feel in love with the concept. There were several draws for me:
- The obvious financial benefits (cloth diapers CAN save you LOTS of money!)
- The eco-friendly aspect (hurray for not filling landfills with diapers and POOP!)
- The feel good, nastoligic aspect: my mom used cloth diapers, her mom used them…etc. etc. I loved the idea of going “back to the basics” but with a totally modern twist.
If you’re new to the idea of cloth diapering, the most important thing to understand is that there are quite literally MILLIONS of options, techniques, and styles of cloth diapers, and as mama, you get to pick with concept you like best, based on your priorities and motivation for using cloth.
If you are broke as a joke, and literally need the cheapest option out there, look into prefolds and covers. If you’re wanting to be eco-friendly, and willing to put in a little effort, look into pockets.
Personally, I was willing to cough up a little more dough upfront to go with EASY. That was my priority. I know several people who gave a cloth a chance and soon gave up because they were overwhelmed. I NEEDED to be successful, so I got what I felt was the best option for me.
I did some minimal research on BRANDS, but the only people I know who also used cloth used Bumgenius, and I liked their design and colors, so I made the leap! I purchased mostly Bumgenius Freetimes and a few 4.0 pocket styles and never looked back! (Just hit 15 months and going strong!)
Frequently Asked Questions answered by this regular cloth diapering mama:
How many diapers do you need?
As stated above, cloth diapers CAN save you money, as long as you don’t go overboard buying a million diapers, because they do add up! I decided on 25 all in ones, and 5 pockets for nighttime (see below) and that has worked perfectly for me.
What do you do about wipes?
There are lots of different options for wipes with cloth diapers. Many people choose to just use “regular” disposable wipes. I don’t like this option because then I have to separate the wipes for the diaper. I use cloth wipes so I can just toss everything in the same pail and wash together, easy peasy. I bought a few large packs of baby washcloths and they work great. You can research options for different types of wipe spray, but I just use plain water! I keep the wipes and a spray bottle of water in a basket on my changing table and it works great. For on the go, I just have a travel sized spray bottle of water and few wipes in my wet/dry bag (see below).
How do you pack your diaper bag?
This actually took a little experimenting for me. There’s no way getting around the fact that cloth diapers ARE bulkier than disposables–both on the kiddos, and in the diaper bag. You’ll need to get a couple good wet/dry bags, which are waterproof bags to put dirty (and clean!) diapers in. I prefer the type with two zipper pockets, like these. The two pockets allow me to put my 2-3 clean diapers, wipes, spray bottle, and coconut oil in the small pocket, and then put the dirty diapers in the big pocket. For most of my day to day outings, 2-3 diapers is plenty, so one stocked wet/dry bag works perfect!
What about diaper rash?
Diaper rash comes and goes for most babies. Keeping them dry and changing frequently is key. For treating diaper rash, I stick almost exclusively with coconut oil. I use it at the very first sign of a rash (or even if there’s no rash at all) and it usually does the trick right away. I occasionally use “real” diaper rash cream if the coconut oil just isn’t cutting it, but I put a wipe (washcloth) or paper towel liner down to protect the diaper as rash creams can stain!
What is a good nighttime solution?
Nighttime can be hard to us cloth diaper mamas! No one likes having their little one wake up soaking wet–weather it’s in the morning or the middle of the night! It took me a few trials, and a few errors, to come up with a solution that works for me–and I can honestly tell you my little guy can go 12-14 hours at night without any leaks! Most disposable diapers can’t do that!! After struggling with my all in ones at night, I decided to try pockets. I bought some charcoal bamboo inserts online and they made a world of difference (some people are opposed to these, so do your research and decide what is best for you). I now stack my two microfiber inserts that came with my pockets with a charcoal insert in between, and we have had nighttime success ever since!
How do you wash them?
Everyone’s washing routine is a little different depending their kiddos, their washers, and their diapers! Mine looks something like this:
-Every 2-3 days I dump my entire diaper pail–liner, wipes, diapers and all in the washer. I run a rinse cycle (or sometimes a full wash cycle if they smell really bad!) on cold with no detergent. Next, I run a HOT, extra long wash cycle, with detergent, and leave it to sit overnight. (On my washer, I just leave the lid open and it will agitate but not rinse). Then in the morning, I close the lid, let it finish the cycle (with an extra rinse) and I’m done! Super easy. I then put my diapers in the dryer on low and tumble dry! Just make sure not to mess with them until they have cooled or you can wear out the elastic.
But what about the POOP!?!?
Ok, ok….I’ll admit it. Dealing with poop is gross. But it’s gross no matter what type of diaper you use! Luckily if you exclusively breastfeed, you don’t have to rise the poop during that time! Which for me meant six glorious months of zero rinsing–just tossed them all in the pail, poop and all. Once you start solids, sh*t gets real, and you have to start rinsing. My husband rigged up a diaper sprayer to our toilet, and it works great. You’ll find there is different stages of poop…and you find true happiness in life when your kid gets to the “plop-able poop” stage. Often times we can just plop in the potty and go, no rinsing! Poop is poop, it’s not fun to have to take an extra step to “deal with it”–but it’s also not fun filling up landfills with human waste! I sleep better at night knowing I’m doing my part for the environment by flushing my kiddo’s poop down the potty where it goes!
All in all, cloth diapering is NOT that big of a deal! I truly love doing it, and love chatting about it!
Have more questions you’d like answered by this regular girl? Let me know!