While I was pregnant I struggled with the idea of spending a good portion of our household income on diapers. I worried about the inconvenience of running out, and the thought of every diaper I threw away going into a landfill didn’t sit well with me either. I considered my options. If I wanted to cut down on cost, I could have a diaper party. If I was worried about the environment, I could get the cute, eco-friendly disposables. However, none of these fixes solved all my problems.
Enter cloth diapers, or as my mom group calls them, “CDs”. I was full of questions. Did anyone even use them anymore? Did I have to have a brush in a bucket by my toilet to clean them off before putting them into my washing machine? Speaking of washing machine, do the diapers really get clean, and do they get poop all over my other loads of laundry?
I started to do my research and decided to try cloth for a few reasons:
- After the initial investment there was very little recurring cost to diapering. The cloth diapers I buy for my first baby can be used for my second baby.
- Cloth diapers have come a long way and were fairly hassle-free. Since I chose the all-in-one diapers, I didn’t need to fold anything or use any inserts. I simply just put the diaper on my baby and when It was soiled, I sprayed it off in the toilet. Once I had a full load of diapers, I put them in the wash. Simple.
- Cloth diapering would greatly limit our impact on the environment. Sure, there was the increased water usage, but that is outweighed by not putting diapers in a landfill where they’ll sit for years to come.
I set up a system for cloth diapering that works great for my family. This is what I recommend:
- Get a good sprayer. When you have a dirty diaper you take it to the toilet, spray off as much poop as you can. I got a sprayer that is easy to install and has good, variable pressure. You’ll be thankful you have a good sprayer.
- I keep the diapers in the top drawer of our dresser, right under the changing table.
- Start with great quality, hassle free cloth diapers like these. Don’t get the ones that require you to fold things, or insert different fabrics for increased absorption. You’re already going above and beyond, don’t out do yourself.
- After the diapers are sprayed off in the toilet you’ll put them in the diaper pail until you have a full load to wash.
- Get a diaper pail that with a good seal and line it with a cloth liner. The Ubbi and Munchkin diaper pails are both great choices. I chose the Ubbi diaper pail and I’ve had no trouble with being able to smell the diapers. I use a cloth liner and toss it in the wash with the diapers.
- Keep the diaper pail in your bathroom close to the toilet so you don’t drip all over.
Things I’ve learned about cloth diapering:
- Certain things can decrease the absorbency of your cloth diapers. Avoid laundry detergents that have softeners, don’t use dryer sheets or fabric softener, and don’t use diaper rash cream (instead, use coconut oil). This site has a list of detergents that are safe for cloth diapers.
- Choose the diapers with snaps instead of the diapers with velcro. They’ll last longer.
- Some sites will tell you to hang dry your diapers. I put mine right in the dryer and had no problems.
- I like to use disposable liners with my cloth diapers. Liners are a very thin piece of fabric that look like a dryer sheet. You put them over the fabric panels of cloth diaper and they decrease the amount you have to spray off. These liners are convenient because they’re flushable.
- If you are sending your baby to daycare, there is a good chance you will have to put your baby in disposable diapers. You’ll want to consider this when weighing the costs of cloth diapering.
I’ve been using cloth diapers for a little over three months now and I’m happy I decided to do it. While spraying off the diapers can be a bit of a chore I feel like it outweighs the inconvenience and cost of disposable diapers. If you’ve had positive or negative experiences with cloth diapers, we’d love to hear it!