Cloth diapering. Isn’t that something that hippies who don’t shave their armpits do?
I use to think that with my first born. But it is not… Promise. I shave my armpits and my legs…
Soon in my journey of natural parenting I saw that not everyone is too keen or thrilled at the idea of cloth diapering. At my baby shower, I could tell that most people thought that I finally lost it. Many of the older ladies there thought that I was going to be folding flats and using those plastic covers, (I did in the beginning as Zoe was super tiny) and be washing poop diapers from morning until sunset.
But many people missed the evolution of cloth diapers. So hello modern cloth diapers! The diapers I use is super easy to clean, come in cute prints and have a waterproof layer in them. Smart? For sure! And add the amount of money we are saving on diapers and it’s a win-win for our family.
So why cloth diaper?
For me, simply put, I like cloth diapering for a lot of reasons:
– It saves loads of money and is better for the environment
– It keeps chemical-laden products off of my baby’s sensitive areas
– It’s not much more work than disposable diapers
– I personally love the way they look. Hello pretty prints!
But it is not for everyone.
I get the sense there is a little pride among cloth diapering moms. I’m not like that. As with any parenting choice a mom makes, we should strive to not be legalistic. Just because it works great for one mom doesn’t mean it is the best choice for every mom. In fact, I didn’t even start using our cloth diapers until Zoe was a month old. Why? Because OSFM (one size fits most) does not fit prem babies!
Brands and how many?
I am a AIO girl as I am as lazy as hell… Lol! But most of my stash now is AIO’s and pocket nappies as I can stuff the pockets with hemp inserts to accommodate my heavy wetter. And the occasional WAHM nappy too.
As far as how many to get…well, it’s really up to you and how often you want to do laundry. You could get by with 20 starting off doing laundry every other day when you have a newborn, but I didn’t want to do laundry that often. I have around 24 now and that is MORE than enough. We’d probably do fine with 15 or 16. I do a load every other night after she goes to bed. But Zoe is a toddler now and uses less diapers
Another point worth mentioning is that we don’t use cloth diapers 100% of the time. When I travel, we use disposables. When she visits my mom for a weekend, we give them the option of using disposables or the cloth stash. When I have an insane week at work I use disposables on her. Make it work with your family, life, and schedule. No judgment!
Ok cool, how do you wash these things?
This is probably the most common concern when it comes to cloth diapers. I know it was mine, especially pre-baby when you aren’t used to getting your hands a little dirty. Here’s the deal: Every cloth diapering mom has their method and opinions on this subject. Different methods work better for different moms and babies. It takes some trial and error before you get in your own groove with it all.
Before we introduced solids, my daughter was on 95% breastmilk. We rinsed the poops off of the diapers, unstuffed the diaper (pull the insert out) and dumped it into the dirty diaper bag for washing later.
When solids entered the picture, that all changed. Here are two options:
1) Use a diaper sprayer
When there is a solid in the diaper, simple take it to the toilet, fling it in there and rinse with a diaper sprayer. It takes a little practice to get the technique down to where you don’t spray any water OUT of the toilet but once you get the hang of it, it really isn’t that hard. (You can get yours at Fluffbums!)
2) Use flushable liners.
I have been using these for nearly 2 years now. Just make a 100% sure they are flushable. Otherwise you WILL end up with blocked drains! You can buy these in rolls of 100 or more. They are like a dryer sheet that allows moisture to pass through but serves as a filter for solids. So when your baby does poop, you can just peel off the liner and dump it all in the toilet. I also like that you flush the poo so you don’t have any stink in your room. Occasionally, the liner won’t catch all of the goodies so it’s nice to have a diaper sprayer as an alternative option.
As far as washing goes, we currently do a load of diapers every other night. This works pretty well for us.
Here’s my recommended process:
1) Run a rinse cycle with cold water, no detergent. This gets all the yuck dissolved and out of the way before the real wash.
2) Run a wash cycle with warm water (longest cycle) and cold rinse with detergent. I use 2 Ariel capsules in a full load.
3) Rinse again with cold water to make sure all the soap is out.
3) Tumble dry on LOW or air dry. Sun drying the diapers actually helps prevent stink AND helps prevent any staining.
So these are my little tricks of the trade. What is yours?