Hey there! Today I wanted to share something a little different, but hopefully still of interest to some of you out there with kids or thinking about having kids in the future–cloth diapering. Now, this isn’t going to be a “Steps 123 to be the perfect cloth diaper mom” or “Why using disposables is awful” or “What color is my baby’s poop today” post. Rather, I just want to share my experience with cloth diapering–why I chose it, products we use, and how it works for us on a day to day basis.
Why cloth diapering?
Our decision to cloth diaper actually goes back to last summer when we upgraded to a new washer and dryer. I had been on the fence about cloth diapering–my sister-in-law does it and so do some of my friends–but I still wasn’t sure if I could or wanted to do it. But then we plopped down a big chunk of change on a new washer and dryer and I decided that we would put our investment to work by cloth diapering! Cloth diapering really saves you a LOT of money in the long haul. You can use the diapers for more than one child too which is where the real savings come in! It is also really great for the environment, but that honestly has little to do with our choice; it was more about saving money! Also, the diapers look super-cute, but that is just a side benefit.
What cloth diapers do we use?
We use BumGenius 4.0s and Newborn Cloth Diaper All-in-One. I chose these diapers because they have good reviews–lots of people love them! And because I knew people personally who used and loved them. I had also changed my nieces before in them and had seen my sister-in-law’s process so I felt comfortable with them. I also knew they had held up well for her. We also registered for the diapers on Amazon and got quite a few as gifts. (You can also get them online and Target even sells cloth diapers now!) My mom actually bought all of the newborn diapers on Ebay for me. We weren’t originally going to use newborn cloth diapers since the 4.0s fit most babies after 4-6 weeks. But since Miss Layla came out so small and had skinny legs she didn’t wear the 4.0s until she was four months! I’m glad I have both sizes now! We have 24 4.0s and 19 newborn diapers.
So how does it work?
It’s really pretty simple! Layla’s diapers snap or velcro on. They also have expandable snaps as she grows so they grow with her. Her newborn diapers were all in ones so they are basically exactly like a disposable diaper that you reuse. No extra steps or worries. When they are dirty I throw them in a wetbag and then wash them every other day. Her 4.0s are a little different because they have a removable absorbent piece. That piece can be swapped out for different sizes and materials depending on her absorbency needs. This piece also gets separated from the rest of the diaper when it’s dirty; then once clean you have to stuff it back in. The stuffing part is the biggest headache of the process for me personally. The 4.0s go right in the wetbag too. Now that Layla is eating baby food if she has a really nasty poop I rinse her diaper out right away by swishing it around in the toilet. I don’t have a fancy diaper sprayer, but we may get one at our next house. When I’m ready to wash I do one “Quick Wash” in cold water with no detergent; this helps get all the yuckies out. Then I wash the diapers on hot with an extra rinse. Then I either line dry or tumble dry low in the dryer. Once a month or so I do the diapers with some bleach if I have staining or if they’re smelling “stale” (they’ve never smelt poopy once washed).
What about diaper rash or leaks?
You do have to be more vigilant with changing cloth diapers. They don’t hold wetness the same way a Pampers does, so I check Layla every other hour or so to avoid leaks. It’s also harder to smell a poopy diaper (you really can’t) so checking often is a must. Layla has NEVER had a blowout in a cloth diaper. (She has had them in disposables.) Layla has also never had diaper rash in cloth or disposable diapers.
So you NEVER use disposables?
Haha! No! I generally change Layla into disposables at night because she was waking up at 5am with a very wet diaper. (I know I could get a more absorbent insert to help with this, but I don’t like experimenting when sleep is on the line). I also try to leave her nighttime disposable on her until her morning poop is done. #winwin If I’m feeling “burnt out” on cloth diapers I take a break for a day or two or three without guilt as well. I know I’m still getting my money’s worth and saving a ton, so I don’t fret it. I also take disposables when we’re out for the day or if I take Layla to the nursery at church. I also use disposable wipes all the time and when I use disposables I LOVE Pampers, but more often buy Target or Meijer brand. I love that we use cloth diapers 90% off the time!
So there you have my experience with cloth diapering! It’s really not that much extra work for the amount of money that we save! With that being said, I know that it is definitely not for everyone and that’s ok!
If you want to learn more about cloth diapering here are a few good posts to check out:
Are Cloth Diapers Worth It? from Man vs. Debt
Why We Cloth Diaper from Wellness Mama
Cloth Diaper Info (how to wash, terms, what kind to buy, registry checklist, troubleshooting etc.) by Kelly’s Closet
Cloth Diapers-Easy as 123! from my sister-in-law
Do you cloth diaper? If yes, what do you like about it? If not, what holds you back?