Okay, so I know, some of you are looking at this post and thinking, why would you ever cloth diaper? Touch poop? Ew.
I never touch poop. Ever.
Yet I cloth diaper.
Caleb and I made the decision to cloth diaper after a woman at our church started. She honestly makes it look super easy. Caleb was drawn to the cost factor, and I was drawn to how cute it was.
We got a bunch of cloth diapers for shower gifts, so we jumped in with two feet, and we've been using them since we brought Wiggles home from the hospital. And we love them. Seriously. Love them.
So I'm going to talk to you about cloth diapers in topics. Type, Ease of use/Washing, Price, and lastly, Other advantages/Disadvantages.
We opted for pocket diapers. Which are essentially a liner, usually microfiber, and a waterproof cover with a slit on the one side. You slide the liner inside the cover, and then VOILA! It's just like a disposable.
See? Here's an example of mine, one cover with no liner, one liner no cover, and one completely put together and ready to go.
You slide the liner into the cover like this:
Super easy. Definitely no worse than folding Wiggles' little tiny leotards.
You can see ours are snaps. But they don't have to be. You can also get velcro, but I'm not that fond of them since they tend to wear out easier, and they get stuck to other diapers while washing. >.> Not cool. But we do have a couple that we kinda like, but I don't think I would go out and buy anymore of them.
But. These are not the only cloth diapers you can get. A quick google search will show you that there are DOZENS of types of cloth diapers. Prefolds, which are essentially the old school diapers. You fold them and put a cover on them. They're cheaper, but more work than pockets. There's all in ones, which are essentially washable disposables. They tend to hold scents and things more, and some people have an issue with the idea that maybe a standard washing machine can't clean them properly, they're also very expensive. And those are just the beginning. The cloth diapering world is a huge one, and trying a little of this and that to find what you like isn't a bad thing. :)
Oh! Another note. If you choose to do this, go with newborns for the first month.
Here's a normal and a newborn side by side for size comparison. Normal sized diapers are made to fit most babies until they potty train. While newborns are made for tiny bums. :) We found that the normal ones on the very tightest setting didn't fit Wiggles until she was nearly 1 month, and even now at 4 months she can fit into the newborn ones on the largest settings.
Ease of Use/Washing
These are, in my opinion, the simplest diapers ever. All I do is stuff them when I fold them with my other clothes. They go on just like a disposable, then I put them in a wet bag, or throw them right down into the laundry room. And then to wash, I pull out the liner and throw all of it in the washing machine. One cold rinse, one hot wash with detergent, and an extra rinse at the end(which I can push a button on my machine for). Machine or sun dry. Easy as that.
I have found that while Wiggles was exclusively breast fed, this was easiest. Breast fed babies poop is water soluble, so no rinsing involved. Now, people say when you start introducing formula/solids you need to rinse. I haven't found this. First off, Wiggles poops never really got 'solid' even after she started solid foods. They were always VERY liquidy and got absorbed right into the diaper with her urine.
SO. My rule of thumb has become, if it's not absorbed, it gets a good rinse in my slop sink. I pull the liner out, dump the whole thing in my slop sink, and then turn the water on full blast. It takes care of anything solid left over, and then I pull it out with two fingers, careful not to touch ANY poop, and then I throw it in the washing machine. But most of the time it's absorbed. So it's all good.
There's a lot of debate about detergents. Google it. People are opinionated. Very opinionated. Well, I have a High Efficiency washing machine. So I can only use HE detergent. Which kinda limits my options. I'm also not paying $30 for a container of detergent. My solution? I use Sunlight Cold Water. :) Some cloth diapering mommas would crawl down my throat for that statement. But. I haven't had any issues with residue, and my diapers are still super absorbent, and Wiggles doesn't have any reaction to any of the scents or anything. So it works for us. My recommendation to all you cloth diapering mommas out there, do your research, yes. But if you have a detergent that you used before you realized you needed a special one, and it's working, stick with it. Everyone's water is different, and that detergent might be exactly what your water needs. For the record though, I've also heard great things about original Tide.
One of the best things about cloth is you can't beat the price.
Pocket diapers have a double row of snaps on the front to shorten/lengthen them as your baby grows. This means they can fit from about 10 Lbs to whenever your baby potty trains. And, because they are washable, you can reuse them with multiple children. Very cost effective. But, let me break it down for you, for all of you who care.
Average Box of 200 disposables - $40 - On sale, no coupons.
Now, I don't know about you, but when Wiggles is in disposables, we can go through 200 diapers in about two weeks, maybe less. But let's be generous and say two weeks.
$40 x 2/month = $80 a month
$80/month x 12 months/year = $920
$920 x 3 years before baby potty trains =
Average price of a standard cloth diaper - $7 - $15
You need about 24 diapers to start with, maybe more, maybe less. But let's go with 24.
$168 - $360 - Initial investment.
+ $10 on our power bill per month x 12 months a year x 3 years before potty training = $360
Wet bag / Garbage bin for wet diapers = $60
Total cost =
$588 - $780
And you can reuse them for multiple children, so your cost for the next child goes down to
To diaper them until they're potty trained.
Now, we don't exclusively cloth. We buy about 1 box of disposables every 2 months. We use disposables for night time, because Wiggles is a heavy wetter, but we could just double stuff, I'm just lazy, and we use them when we are out and about, because babies can't stay in wet cloth for long, so they have to be changed more often, thus disposables are easier. But STILL.
Well, cloth does have it's disadvantages. But it has some cool advantages too.
First off, you'll change bums a lot more. Disposable diapers have special chemical crystals in them that whisk away fluid really fast. Cloth don't. So your baby feels when they wet a lot more. But the advantage to this, is babies who are in cloth usually potty train faster, because they feel their business more. Bonus.
Second of all, washing. Compared to disposables, there's a lot of washing involved. And it can be kind of a pain in the butt when you are tired. The bonus is is you know what chemicals are touching your baby. And for those babies with sensitive skin, cloth is the way to go.
The third disadvantage is diaper creams. You can't use them. At all. Because they're oil based, they get onto your diapers and cause they to repel. Which is kinda counter productive. The good news is, if you change regularly, your cloth diapered baby will probably never get a rash, because they're so chemical free. And you can also buy diaper rash cream online that's safe of cloth diapers.
Other Advantage one? They're so stinkin' cute.
Red, yellow, and Hello Kitty. >.> I also have black, orange, pink, purple, blue... If you can imagine it, the cloth diaper world has created it. Sure beats white and Elmo. They also don't have any weird scents like disposables.
We love our cloth, and I totally recommend them to anyone who is brave enough to try. <3 Wiggles loves them, Caleb loves them, and they are cute. How can you go wrong?