I love how cloth diapering is such a funny topic to discuss. It’s not exactly cool or fashionable. And when you mention it in a group of people, you never know what kind of reactions you are going to get. For me, it’s usually a raised eyebrow, wide eyes, and a curious, possibly disgusted look, followed by a slow, drawn out whhhhhhy…?
And honestly, that is a good question. Why would anyone opt to do the dirty work of emptying them, cleaning them, and folding them when they could slap on a durable Pamper, then throw it away after it’s been soiled? This is the twenty-first century, right?
I’m not going to even pretend that I am an expert in cloth diapering. Ha! That would be a joke! Nor am I going to claim this is the only way to go. We don’t play by anyones particular rules and you don’t have to either. We use cloth diapers during the day and still use disposables at night, and that seems to work good for us.
This is just another area that we have chosen to live a little more simply. Therefore, I thought I would answer a few questions, share a few thoughts on the matter, and possibly a spark a helpful little discussion for us moms navigating through this cloth diapering thing.
Why Cloth Diapering
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Reduce Stinky Waste. One of the biggest things that I dislike about disposable diapers is their waste. A ton of smelly diapers all.the.time. We used a Diaper Genie, but it wasn’t always a genie, if you know what I mean. Our trash consisted mostly of diapers. Which wasn’t really an issue anywhere else we lived, but when we moved to a much greener state, we were not allowed to exceed our small trash can without upgrading our garbage plan.
Save Money. The second reason was money. Had we kept with the disposable diapers, we would have to upgrade our garbage plan by about $7 a month, with the cost of the diapers on top of that. While we do use extra water for the washing, we figured we save about $40-$50 dollars a month by going this route.
It’s Natural. I like the thought of clean, soft, fabric on my baby’s skin as opposed to the various disposable diaper materials.
Conclusion: I don’t mind doing a little extra work, to keep my house smelling extra clean, while saving myself some extra cash. To me, that’s worth it.
Supplies for Cloth Diapering
Diapers/Liners. I had few cloth diapers that I had bought, but most of our collection came from my sister, who had cloth diapered all three of her kids this way. We have about three days worth of diapers with an array of all different brands and styles.
Reusable Covers. I am so thankful we had a couple Thirsties Diaper Covers. They make the leaks ever-so-minimal.
Wet bag. I invested in a nice Bummis zip-up wet bag. It holds about a full day’s worth and when it’s washing time, I just throw the bag in with the diapers. It works great and contains the all the lovely diaper smells.
Washing Cloth Diapers
Rules. I read so many different opinions on this part, it made me want to run in the opposite direction. So many people were so dogmatic about this step that I was worried if I didn’t wash them perfectly they would never really be clean. I think the general consensus was that you should do a cold wash, than a hot wash, and finish it with the a tumble dry.
What we do. After emptying any “solids” from their diapers. I do a prewash, a hot wash, then I throw them in the dryer and push the normal cycle button. 😉 Easy peasy. Ours come out clean every time. I typically wash every other day.
(I also read that laying them out in the sun supposedly removes any staining. We haven’t needed this step nor have we had much sun. So I can’t say either way.)
Tips and Tricks for Cloth Diapering
Leaking. I honestly wanted to give up after the first couple days. I don’t know if my daughter was just peeing a ton or what, but that girl leaked through just about every diaper I put on her. I read later on, that when they are super little they pee a lot and they pee often. I learned that if I put on a Thirsties cover over the diaper, it pretty much contained the leaks.
Now that she is six months old, I am finding that the leaks are a lot less frequent and I don’t need to worry about the cover. I can tell by the squishy-ness if she is ready for a change.
Disposables at Night. We do this because I feel like it lets the skin breathe a little. But if we run out of disposables, I don’t have to panic and run to the store, I just use one of the cloth diapers. 🙂 (We also use disposables when we are traveling or away from the house for long periods of time.)
Favorites? I can’t say I’m partial to any particular brand. Out of our collection, the Thirsties and Bum Genius are the brands I tend to grab first. I would, however, whole-heartedly recommend the Bummis wet bags and the Thirsties covers.
What are your thoughts on cloth diapering?
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