I first considered cloth diapering when I was expecting my first child back in 2014. I even ordered a pack of them from Amazon but I ended up giving them away. I was both confused and overwhelmed by the idea. After reading the cloth diapering experiences of several moms on social media, I decided to give it a try.
I’ve written down the list of questions I had about . I am answering them based on my research, what others have taught me, and short experience of cloth diapering.
What brand do I go with ?
I honestly just went with a cheaper brand on Amazon called Alva. I liked them pretty well. Their designs are cute and their regular solid colored ones are pretty affordable. They also come with 12 liners. I also ordered another set that I like. I will post the link below. It’s $30 for a pack of 6 plus , 6 charcoal bamboo liners , wet bag and disposable biodegradable liners. I have had no issues with them.
Lilbit New Baby Girl 6 Pcs Adjustable Cloth Diapers with 6 Pcs Bamboo Charcoal Inserts https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00UG0SESO/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_XVEzCbE774DJR
I am also interested in trying Mama Koala and Thirsties.
How do you prep them and why?
Washing before use is a must. It increases their absorbency. Most of the time you only wash once. It also removes any harmful chemicals that could be coming from factories etc. You just wash with warm/hot water with detergent on your quickest setting. Then you hang dry outside or tumble dry.
There are some inserts that need to be washed numerous times to have a good absorbency. You can still use them after one wash though.
What detergent is best?
There are so many options out there. I have an HE machine and I personally like Seventh Generation Ultra Power Plus or Country Save powder available on Amazon. I followed this list even though Country Save isn’t on there. *The source of the image is posted inside the image.*
How often to wash them and how ?
You wash them every 2-4 days and this is what I follow.
*source shown on image *
How do you wash the poop?
This is the part that throws everyone off but it’s not as bad as it seems once you can get the hang of it. First of all if your baby is exclusively breastfed then you can just put them straight in the machine. Breastmilk is water soluble. If your baby has formula and food then you just knock off what you can into a toilet . Once baby is older it gets easier because it’s more solid. After this most people use a bidet sprayer ( found on Amazon. I found a good one for $17 and it’s not hard to install ). Alternatively,you could just knock of the poop and rinse them with hot water in a utility sink or bath. Then you put them in a wet bag . I definitely think the bidet sprayer is very useful but not impossible to do without.
Do you change the covers every time?
You don’t need to change the covers ( part with colors or designs ) with every diaper change. They can be re-used as long as it’s not heavily soiled. It can be alternated.
How do you manage running errands with them and using them overnight ?
You just carry extra diaper covers and liners and toss the soiled ones in your wet bag. They also make disposable ( and sometimes flushable ) biodegradable liners to put on top of the inner liners to make clean up easier. Personally , I don’t cloth diaper at night yet but I hear people doubling the liners for overnight use.
How often should they be changed ?
Every two hours.
Is a lot of water wasted in washing them?
You will definitely have to do a little more laundry but if you have little children then you will be doing a lot of laundry either way.
How many diaper covers and liners do you have for two kids a day?
I set aside 4-6 covers and 10 inserts for each kid.
Can I also cloth diaper my toddler who has always been in disposables?
Yes! Toddler poops are also way easier to manage since they are more solid. My two year old didn’t seem to notice the difference in comfort when I switched him. Both my two year old and 5 month old share cloth diapers because one size fits all.
Is it really that cost effective ?
It is…especially when you have two in diapers. As I mentioned above, one diaper can fit both toddler and infant. You pay more up front but you only have to buy things once. You can buy enough to go for a whole year. That’s like $150-$300 a year or more ( since they can last a long time ) vs $800-$1,000 a year. I can’t speak for the water bill yet.
Is it really that much more environmentally friendly ?
It’s no doubt that they are environmentally friendly. Apparently, disposable diapers takes 500 years to break down. Even with the amount of water used for cloth diapers , I’ve read that it takes 9 gallons of water to make just 1 disposable diaper. I am not an expert on this topic but plenty of information can be found online.
What are your favorite websites and groups to get more information?
I like the group Fluff Love and CD Science on Facebook ,www.allaboutclothdiapers.com, and asking experienced friends.
Is it hard to manage with three kids ?
Not really. You have a little extra laundry but it’s not anything too bad.
What are the cons of cloth diapering ?
The cons are that it takes some learning time.You can’t just throw and go like you do with disposables. It also takes some time to find a washing routine and brand you like. I also still get intimidated with the smeary baby poop but the sprayer bidet has been so helpful. The washing process also confused me at first but I am getting the hang of it. I also buttoned them wrong the first time but there are plenty of YouTube videos and pictures online to help with this.
Do they help with rashes ?
Thankfully my kids haven’t had really bad rashes yet so I see no difference between disposable or cloth. I hear it helps some people. I would assume if the detergent doesn’t go with the child’s skin or if they aren’t changed as much that they may make rashes worse.
What is something that you learned about cloth diapers that you never knew before ?
I never knew that you couldn’t use diaper rash creams with them. Actually ,you can still use the cream but you have to either put disposable liners over then regular liners or an old cloth. The creams can mess up the cloth liners.
What are your favorite things about cloth diapering ?
I love that it’s more eco friendly, it’s more affordable , less harmful chemicals are used on baby , the smell of diapers aren’t lingering around,they can re-used with each kid and the designs on the diapers areso darn cute .
What influenced your decision and can you see yourself keeping up with it?
I will definitely be a cloth diapering mama now. I love that I am helping the planet and also using less harmful chemicals on my baby. I remember having to wear the huge pads postpartum for 6 weeks and thinking how irritating they were. It made me think of how babies have to deal with that with no break. I just couldn’t get how that could be healthy. I don’t think I will be completely giving up disposables though.
If you have been considering cloth diapering your little one …go for it! I hesitated a long time at first but it’s a lot simpler than it sounds. I regret not starting sooner.
This would be my best advice…
1) Join a cloth diaper support group on Facebook ( Fluff Love and CD Science is great )and talk to your cloth diapering friends.
2) Buy an affordable set off Amazon at first to get familiar with them and have extra liners . I like the bamboo liners best.
3) Start small. Try half a day at first or just during the day until you get the hang of it.
4) If it doesn’t work out at least you will have backup if you ever run out of your regular diapers!