|We love our cloth diapers!|
There are two popular ways to cloth diaper. One is the more expensive, cuter, faster way: all-in-one diapers. No fuss here, just simple change and toss. This deal from Fuzzi Buns offers a twelve-pack of one-size, all-in-one, good quality gender neutral colors for $227.40. They really mean "one size." That would be about a day, maybe a day and a half's supply of diapers, so you would have to do the laundry every day I have three all-in-one diapers that I use during the day for naps, because they are more absorbent and I don't want him waking up just because he's wet.
Or, you can do it the way I like to do it: I use old-fashioned OsoCozy Indian unbleached prefold diapers, add a diaper liner, and put it inside a diaper cover. It’s much cheaper, but not as cute, and not as convenient. If you want to get started using cloth diapers this way, I highly recommend this OsoCozy + Bummis package. For $95.95 - and remember, no shipping - you will get 36 OsoCozy diapers and four white Bummis covers. For me, that is 3-4 days' worth of diapers - and unbelievable savings. You could buy some more cute and colorful diaper covers while you were at it. Another cheap diaper cover brand is Thirsties - these especially fit around Donovan's chubby little legs.
|A supply of cloth diapers!|
More pictures and TONS more information after the jump!!!
It's easy to use your cloth diapers. Heck, even I can do it....
|First, lay diaper on top of cover. |
Fold diaper back to fit baby.
|Fold front of diaper to fit cover, |
and into pouch when applicable.
|Lay a diaper liner or piece of fleece |
over diaper for added absorbency, if desired.
|Simply place baby into diaper, |
just as you would a disposable.
|A froggy outfit for a froggy diaper!|
Unlike diapers which you will need to change whenever they are wet, you can use one cover for the entire day, or until it is pooped on. I just wipe off the inside of the diaper cover, change him into a new diaper, use the same diaper cover, then toss it into the pail at the end of the day. I have about nine covers, but honestly, you probably only need five or six really good ones.
Liners are easy – you can either buy them online, or make them yourself by buying a yard of fleece online or any sewing/crafts store and cutting them up to fit the diaper. Liners just add extra absorbency to the diapers. Just put them inside the diaper right before you fold it up.
|Our laundry hamper, cloth diaper pail,|
and disposable diaper pail!
Get a cheap trash can with a lid and set it right next to your disposable diaper genie. We got a Rubbermaid one at Walmart with handles inside so I can easily carry it to the laundry room without touching the diapers. Or you can put use a laundry bag on the inside of the pail and carry it that way. Either way works.
If your baby is exclusively breastfed, you do not need to do anything special for poopy diapers. Drop the diapers into the pail and wash like normal. But if you formula feed or if you have started solids, you know it's a different story. Right now Donovan is only pooping every few days, so I use a disposable knife to scrape the poop into the toilet and then I CAREFULLY use the detachable shower head to rinse the diaper off into the toilet and then toss the diaper into the pail. My bathtub is right next to my toilet, so this works very simply.
But honestly, you can just rinse diapers off right in the sink or bathtub, provided you clean the area afterwards. Don't get grossed out - we wash away our day's grime in the shower too. If you can't stand the thought of poop in your sink or bathtub, you can buy a sprayer for your toilet, but it's $40.00. Another option would be to buy these biodegradable, flushable diaper liners: so when they poop, you just throw it off and toss it down the toilet. However, for a nonplussed cheapskate like me, these things are simply not an option.
I am still using disposable wipes for now. I would like to switch to cloth wipes – it would be so easy to wash all the wipes and diapers together – but I don’t know how/don’t have time to make them. They are apparently very easy and cheap to make though. I would definitely be buying or making my own cloth wipes. This website has some good tips.
I hate laundry, but washing cloth diapers is super easy and takes no time at all. First, soak the diapers in cold water and Oxiclean. Use your prewash or soak cycle, or if your washer doesn't have these, just start a cold cycle and leave the lid up so the water won't drain. If you soak the diapers in hot water first, it will set the stains. You can do it for 5 minutes or overnight, whatever your schedule is and however the bad the stains are. When you’re done, close the lid and let the water drain.
Then use a hot wash/cold rinse cycle, two rinses. The heat will kill the germs. Add your detergent and Oxiclean – never bleach because of the chemicals, of course.
My detergent recipe:
2 cups of Borax
2 cups of WASHING soda
1 cup of Oxi-Clean
I mixed mine together in a shallow dish and then funneled it into an old fabric softener container. Any container will work fine - but this detergent should only be used for cloth diapers. If you want homemade detergent for clothing, it's the same as above - just add 2 grated bars of soap, or a cup of soap flakes if you can find them!
Add plain, white, distilled vinegar to the fabric softener disposal and it will make your diapers smell fresh, especially if they smell of ammonia, and it will soften them up. Your clothes will not smell like vinegar!
For drying, just make sure to use medium heat because you don’t want to ruin your plastic diaper covers and such – I’ve already ruined one. And again, don't use fabric softener - I use these SUPER cute Nellie's Dryer Balls with all my clothes - these will save you so much money on fabric softener in general
I wash diapers every other day. They are the last thing I put into the dryer at night before I got to bed so when I wake up, they're ready. I also wash bibs and burp cloths along with the diapers.
Don't wash any actual clothes with your cloth diapers - the diapers won't clean as well!
Preparing Cloth Diapers
When you first get the diapers they are not very absorbent because of the oils in the natural fibers. You need to wash them in hot/cold rinse cycles three times with detergent each time. It’ll take about an hour and a half. You do not need to do this for all-in-one diapers or diaper covers – only for diaper liners and actual diapers, and only once.
This was my least favorite part of starting cloth diapering. I hated it! When they are absorbent enough, you will be able to slowly drip water onto the diaper, and the diaper should absorb the moisture. If it doesn’t absorb - it you will need to wash it again.
Diaper Rash Cream
You can't use regular diaper rash cream with cloth diapers. Donovan doesn't have a diaper rash since switching to cloth diapers, but we still put baby powder on him after baths and after he poops. There are a lot of cloth diaper friendly diaper ointments - but some brands you might actually recognize include Burt's Bees Baby Bee Diaper Ointment and California Baby Calendula Cream, which can be bought online or at Target.
The Real World and Cloth Diapers
Once you start you will be addicted! It is so much fun to buy diapers and match the style to the baby. I bought a lot of neutral color diapers so I can reuse them for our next baby.
Right now we are still using disposables for overnight, and when we go out. However – I think once I get my fleece liners I will start using cloth diapers at night, and when it’s just me and Daniel, I will bring our Kushies wet bags that we bought, and just put our dirty ones in the wet bag, and put the wet bag inside our giant diaper bag. I would bring one diaper per hour you will be gone.
I am not sure that I would use cloth diapers with a daycare, or with another babysitter who isn’t accustomed to them. I can't see myself using them on vacation either.