Since I was one of the first people out of my group of gal pals to have babies, a lot of them ask me for advice regarding all things baby. A few weeks ago, I posted my list of baby must haves, and a lot of my soon to be and new mommy friends thought it was helpful, so here I am again to share a little knowledge. Recently, a friend wrote me and wanted to know about Cloth Diapering. I have cloth diapered three kids, and remember a time when I was cloth diapering three at the same time (my kids are pretty close in age), I thought I would fill her in, and anyone else that needs some advice in this department.
Ok, I admit, I had to be sold on cloth diapering. I try to be green whenever possible, but this seemed… well frankly gross, but after a little coaxing from my friend, Colleen, doing some research, and Brian sharing with me how much money we would save cloth diapering, I jumped with both feet and actually liked it a lot.
Here’s my step by step guide to Cloth Diapering. Don’t let this intimidate you, I am just over sharing. As usual.
1.) Do some research and choose a brand and kind. The brand we chose is called BumGenius. BumGenius has a few different kinds of cloth diapers, but we chose the One Size 3.0 and later the One Size 4.0. One size diapers, are just that, ONE SIZE. This is nice as you can use the same diapers for the entire time your child is in diapers without having to spend more money every time your kid grows. The diapers have snaps to adjust the size. Also, these diapers come with an option of velcro closures or button closures. In the beginning, we used the velcro closures with the boys, but as time went on and we had washed them a few hundred times, the velcro closures lost their stickiness. The BumGenius website has all kinds of tips on how to regain velcro stickiness, but to be honest I had two kids in diapers, was pregnant with a third, and didn’t really have time to worry about velcro stickiness, so when my daughter came along, we bought the button closures for her and they worked out wonderfully. She is two and the snaps are still working great. I strongly recommend using One Size diapers if you can as they are the most cost effective option.
2.) Buy all the accessories. Ok, I know when you have a baby, there are countless expenses, and the last thing you want to do is drop about $300 or more on cloth diapers and THEN purchase everything that comes along with cloth diapering, but honestly, you WILL save money in the long run. Here are some things you will need: wet bags, diaper pail, pail liners, BacOut, detergent, and a diaper sprayer. What are all these things, you ask. Here is the breakdown: Wet Bags – they are zippered waterproof bags to keep in your diaper bag. They are where you put your dirty diapers when you are away from home. Several places sell them, and you can even get them on Etsy. Diaper Pail – There are specially made diaper pails for cloth diapers, but honestly I just use a Rubbermaid tall trash can with a lid. Pail Liners – these are reusable bags to put in your diaper pail. It was always nice to dump the diapers in the washing machine and then throw the pail liner right in with the diapers (this can be done with the wet bags as well). BacOut – This is a specially made all natural stain remover and the only one that is safe to use on cloth diapers. Detergent – depending on the type of cloth diaper you buy, you will have to purchase the detergent that is safe for that particular diaper. BumGenius makes their own detergent so that helped narrow down what we should use. Diaper Sprayer – this is a little contraption that you attach to your toilet tank to spray any waste into the toilet.
3.) Come up with a system. I will be the first to admit that using cloth diapers seemed really scary to me at first, but I honestly it isn’t that hard. Here is what we did for a streamlined cloth diapering system in our house. We had about 20 diapers on hand, and because of my crazy personality, I have 16 white and 4 in a color (I will explain why). When I wash and dry the diapers, I always put them together right out of the dryer, just like I do when I fold clothes. Putting diapers together means adjusting the size of the diaper cover and the insert and putting the insert in the diaper. Also, the color diapers always would receive an extra liner and I would designate those to be “overnight” diapers. After changing the baby, I empty any mess into the toilet using the diaper sprayer, spray any stains with BacOut, remove the liner and throw everything into the diaper lined diaper pail. When, it comes time to wash (which you should do every other day or every two days) I dump the whole pail liner into the wash and just throw the pail liner in the wash too.
Some things worth mentioning
– If you decide to use cloth diapers, it is probably best to use reusable wipes too. This helps cut down on waste, and you can just throw everything into one pail.
– Some great places to buy cloth diapers and accessories are Cotton Babies, Diaper Daisy, or Buy Buy Baby.
– Cloth diapers help save money, are good for the environment, help prevent diaper rash, and help with potty training. For more information on the benefits of cloth diapering click here.
– If your child needs to use diaper rash cream, you might want to switch to disposable as creams can harm the absorbency of the diapers. Also, you can put a small piece of fabric between baby and diaper at this time too.
– Some brands or cloth diaper stores offer trial packages where you can try out cloth diapers to see if it is for you.
I hope this helps to answer any questions or concerns regarding cloth diapers.