In honor of last week being “Real Diaper Week”, I decided to dedicate this post about one of my favorite baby items…cloth diapers! There is a lot of speculation & misinformation regarding cloth diapers and I would like to clear some of that up.
I knew before I even got married that I wanted to use cloth diapers on my kids someday. I managed to talk Ryan into them as well so I knew that when the time came, my babies butts would be cloth covered!
When I was pregnant with Maverick, I got a LOT of flack from people about how “Oh you won’t last using them”, “You’ll change your mind”, “It’ll be to much work”. I will admit that it was more than slightly discouraging to hear so many people put down a choice that I had made because I believed it would be better for my child. The three big reasons we chose to go with cloth – #1. MUCH healthier for my child, #2. Less Expensive! We spent approximately $300 on cloth diapers that we will hopefully be able to use for multiple kids, versus $1500-$3000 per child for diapers(depending on which brand you purchase), and finally #3, cloth diapers are better for the environment because they don’t end up in a landfill.
When Maverick was born, he was only 6lbs 11oz. Most of the diapers we had purchased were One Size diapers, that even at their smallest setting were quite large on him. We had been given a case of newborn diapers by a wonderful woman at my church and so we used those until Mav was big enough to fit into the cloth diapers. I’ll tell ya, while it was a necessity, that month we used disposables was the biggest headache! We were fighting constant diaper rash & more trash than we knew what to do with! I was so thankful when he was big enough to get into cloth. As soon as we switched him into the cloth diapers his diaper rash was gone and he’s never had it again!
I think as a whole, there is a lot of misunderstanding when it comes to cloth diapers. Older folks think of cloth diapers as folded pieces of fabric held together with pins. While you can still buy those types(they still exist because they are the cheapest of all the diapers), MOST people who cloth diaper use the more modern diapers. Most of the diapers now days use velcro or snaps for closure. While there are multiple types of diapers, I am only going to talk about the ones that I personally use, One Size Pocket Diapers & One Size All-in-Ones.
The pocket diapers are my personal favorite. There are many different brands you can buy each with their own special features. I personally use Kawaii Baby, Fuzzibuns & BumGenius. Shaped just like a disposable diaper, these are super easy to use. The cloth inserts go inside a pocket made of a soft fabric on one side(the side that is against baby’s skin) and a waterproof fabric on the other side(the outside). They have various snap settings that allow these diapers to fit children from approximately 8lbs-35lbs.
We have very few of the All-in-One diapers. They are great for when you send your kid to day care or grandma’s for awhile. These are EXACTLY like disposables. There is no pinning, no stuffing, no folding. You just pull them out of the laundry basket & stick ’em on.
A lot of people are grossed out of the idea of putting diapers in the washing machine. The thing you have to remember is that the technique you use to wash cloth diapers assures that there isn’t going to be any residue left. The widely accepted washing method is a full wash cycle on cold with no detergent, a full wash cycle on hot with detergent, and finally one more rinse in cold. If you are formula feeding or your child is eating solids, you do need to knock any solids into the toilet before washing, however if you are exclusively breast feeding, you can just toss diapers directly into the washer. The diapers cannot go into the dryer however(inserts can though) because it will ruin the waterproof fabric. A clothes line outside or rack inside is the way to go. The added benefit to line-drying clothes is that the sun bleaches any stains out. I’ve hung inserts outside thinking there was NO WAY were those stains going to come out but sure enough they did!
If you have ever considered cloth diapers, but weren’t sure where to start, please feel free to ask any questions you may have! There is rapidly growing community of cloth diapering mommas that are always happy to help someone get started.
On a side note, at the conclusion of Real Diaper Week was The Great Cloth Diaper Change. Parents got together at 300 locations in 13 different countries to try and break the world record for the largest number of cloth diapers changed at one time. We are still waiting to hear back on the official number, but I’m pretty sure we beat the record!