When I found out I was pregnant with my son, who is now 3, I decided I wanted to do cloth diapers. I have been asked by multiple people about my decision to use cloth diapers. Initially when I told people that my husband and I planned to use cloth diapers people thought we were crazy. We were asked why and told that we would probably give up on it, but we used cloth diapers up until my son began potty training. I also plan to reuse my diapers with my second child.
Here are a few of my tips and lessons learned…
I decided I wanted to use cloth diapers mostly because I try to live a green lifestyle and I knew they could save us money in the long run. Once we found out we were pregnant I told my husband I would like to try cloth diapers…he was not on board initially. I think most people picture the old school cloth diapers (that many people now use as burp clothes) with pins and rubber pants. Cloth diapers have come a LONG way. I showed my husband the new cloth diapers and explained how they worked, then he agreed to give them a try. I began researching cloth diapers and spoke to a friend that had tried out several diapers to see what she recommended. We decided on the bumGenius Freetime All-in-one One-size cloth diaper. I picked these because I thought they would be the easiest to use, although they are more expensive than other diapers with inserts. The Freetime diapers are one-size, so they fit babies weighing 8 – 35 lbs and they are considered all-in-one because there are no inserts to use or extra pieces. They also come in a lot of cool colors!
Some of my tips are:
1) Be prepared if your baby is not 8 lbs at birth. Our son was not so we decided to use disposable diapers until he could fit the cloth diapers. It took about 2-3 weeks. Some people choose to buy the newborn size, which is also an option if you don’t want to use disposable diapers at all.
2) GET A DIAPER SPRAYER! I had never heard of these until my friend told me. bumGenius makes a great one that I use. You use a diaper sprayer to clean the diapers over the toilet so you don’t have to dunk your diapers in the toilet to clean poop. The sprayer works kind of like the sprayer that is on your sink. It is great for infant diapers since there poop can’t really be caught with diaper liners. Diaper liners can be used once the baby begins eating solid food. Then you can toss the poop and liner in the toilet and flush. I used Baby Sydie Liners (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00HV6GXS4/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1).
3) The sun can remove almost any stain or dinginess from your diapers. I read this online and didn’t believe it. After you wash your diapers there are stains sometimes, even though they are clean…similar to a clothing stain that won’t come out. If you lay your diapers in the sun (inside or outside) to dry the stains will come out. I typically dry my diapers outside on nice days because they dry quicker. I have been able to remove all of my stains so far just using sunlight. You can also spray a little lemon juice on stubborn stains.
4) Depending on the diaper you choose, you can’t use regular detergent. You can make your own diaper detergent. I found a diaper detergent recipe online that I liked. Of course, you can always buy detergent from the bumGenius or other cloth diaper brands. I also tried Nellie’s Laundry Soda (https://www.amazon.com/Nellies-NLS-50-Natural-Laundry-Soda/dp/B001BYBHHE/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1483490973&sr=8-2&keywords=nellies+laundry+soda). I started using this when I didn’t want to continue to make detergent. For really stubborn stains on diapers (or my son’s clothes), I used the Buncha Farmers Natural Stain Remover Stick (https://www.amazon.com/BUNCHA-FARMERS-NATURAL-BIODEGRADABLE-REMOVER/dp/B00CBSMXNQ). This stick is great on ALL stains, so I recommend it even if you are not cloth diapering. I was able to get almost all stains out of my son’s clothes.
5) Purchase a few wet bags to store your diapers until they are ready to wash. I purchased one large wet bag and two smaller ones to send to daycare and to use around the house. My grandmother also made me two smaller ones that I have been keeping in the diaper bag. It turned out that my son’s daycare didn’t use the wetbags and would just put the diapers in a plastic grocery bag, so two smaller bags might not be necessary.
6) As your child gets older, consider additional inserts for night time diaper use. I used Thirsties Hemp Inserts (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002FB7FLY/ref=pe_385040_188349810_pd_te_s_rp_ti/189-4948380-3194815). They worked great as my son got older and was wetting more at night.
7) Look for sales! As I said above, cloth diapers are expensive, but they are cheaper in the long run…especially if you use them for more than one child. I was able to get all my diapers when they were on sale through the Cottonbabies site and Target. You could also include the diapers on your baby registry if you are having a shower.
Some other items you will need are a drying rack or clothes line and clothes pins.
You will usually wash diapers every 2 – 3 days depending on the number of diapers you have and how many your child uses in a day. I have 24 diapers and I usually wash every 3 days. You probably don’t want to keep diapers dirty much longer than that because it is not good for the diapers. You could also consider a diaper service which is an additional cost (could include on your registry as well) if you did not want to wash.
My son was so cute in his cloth diapers!!
If you have any cloth diapering questions or experiences, please share!