Getting Started with Cloth Diapers
Let’s enter the cloth diapering world for a bit, shall we? Now I know what most of you are thinking, cloth diapering??? Like with the safety pins and weird folding? Yes – and no…. y’all it’s 2022 now and just like most other things in the world, cloth diapering too has evolved!
In fact, there are many different types of cloth diapers to suit your family’s specific needs. I remember when I first dove into cloth diapering, it was confusing and I felt very overwhelmed – mainly because of how many choices I had. The cloth diapers of today’s world come in many different styles and more than one size. Today, I will only be discussing the more popular choices to help you from feeling too overwhelmed.
Let’s chat styles first ::
These are what you think of when you think of cloth diapers from back in the day. Rectangular or square in shape with the middle panel usually a bit thicker to help with absorption. Usually these are worn with a water resistant cover over it to help from leaking too badly. I did not know about the covers when I first started and did not like this option very much. One thing I did learn about were snappis these guys are a better alternative to the standard safety pin and much quicker too – which is great if you have squirmy babies!
These are similar to the prefolds in the sense that you still need to add a cover to them, as they are made out of fabric. However, these guys are in the shape of a diaper and usually come with with snaps or velcro so there is no need to fold or bother with safety pins or snappis. I will say that personally, I prefer the snaps over the velco, while the velcro seems much quicker – babies usually learn how to unvelcro much quicker as well as the velcro can stick to other fabric during the washing/drying phases.
My choice when it comes to cloth diapers! These guys are shaped like your typical diaper (similar to the fitteds) however, they come with a waterproof cover already sewn in. Now stick with me here because this was kind of confusing when I first read about these…. but basically these are similar to a cover in the sense that they are made from the water resistant material yet they have a whole in the back where you will stuff an insert in. Inserts are a thick piece of fabric to help with absorption. Why I like these verse the All-in-Ones below are because, during when my babies got older I would stuff an extra insert in there before bedtime to help from leaking. I also like that you can pull them out when dirty, and to me, I feel like things get cleaner when they go into the wash separated. These guys also come in velcro or snaps. **Not all pockets have holes in the back, I was gifted some with an envelope closure in the inside middle of the diapers…let me just tell you that these specific diapers were Willow’s FAVORITE to poop in!! So needless to say I treated these ones like an AIO!!
◐ All-in-Two (AIT)
Similar to the pockets, these guys are waterproof and have inserts. However, instead of stuffing them in a hole you just simply lay or snap them in. I know moms who like this option because they can use the cover multiple changes and just change the inserts. During the wash and dry cycles you will also want to separate these
Want the closest to a disposable diaper? The All-in-One is what you need. Waterproof fabric with the inserts sewn in. Less pieces, and less hassle. However, these guys will take longer to dry due to their thickness.
Now onto the sizes ::
To me the newborn sizes are cute and all, however not worth it IMHO. I just used the prefolds during the newborn – 2 month stage. The prefolds are nice because you can customize the fold according to baby’s waist and leg size. I will say though, that etsy has some incredibly cute newborn cloth diapers if you do want to spend the extra $$.
◐ One Size
Around month two is when I started using my pocket diapers. Any earlier and I found there to be a consistent amount of leakage through the leg holes – which is never fun. These diapers should last the rest of your diapering journey.
Where to get cloth diapers
– there are tons of places to get cloth diapers. Like I mentioned above, etsy has beautiful diapers and usually give discounts for bulk orders as well as coupons for future purchases.
– Amazon has many sets you can find for the price that’s best for your budget.
– buy preloved – yup you can check out fb marketplace or craigslist – maybe even your local moms group! This option is much easier on the wallet while also better for our mother earth!
how many do i need?
– The most common answer to this question is anywhere from 20-38 diapers. The older they get the less they will need, but if you’re not wanting to wash diapers on the daily, I would stick closer to 30-38 diapers. We have around 30 diapers with about 42 inserts, this way during the night and early morning I can use two inserts, making them much more absorptive.
How do I wash these things?
- Just like you would normal clothes, although, I usually will have the diapers in their own load. Make sure you are using a safe non-toxic detergent for your sweet little baby, I personally use the thieves laundry detergent for all of our laundry and it works great for our cloth diapers too. After the exclusively breast-feeding face I will start to wash with the settings set to bulky with hot water. I dry in the dryer during the colder months but highly recommend sun drying when the weather is warmer. Not only is it better for the environment but, this is a perfect way to help get any stains that might have occurred by allowing the sun to bleach it out (yes this is a real thing, works like a charm for all stained fabrics!!) as well as making your diapers smell so fresh and so clean.
- I usually wash our diapers about two, maybe three times a week. It’s a part of our weekly rhythm and I don’t think of it as an inconvenience. It’s actually something Luna and Willlow can help fold and put away with me so it makes for great bonding time while giving them purposeful work throughout the day.
What else do I need?
- You want to make sure you have a few wet bags. This is where you will store your dirty diapers in. I have about three and use them for traveling or when we are out and about. When we are at home I actually have a 5L container that I put the dirty diapers in. I usually fill the bottom with a layer of baking soda and heavily spray with my thieves cleaner after each load is washed.
- Diaper sprayer – this isn’t necessary but will make those poopy diapers MUCH easier to clean!
A few bonuses ::
- Pockets + AIT make great water diapers – just remove the inserts and you are good to go!
- Are you done with your diapering journey?
- Check to make sure your diapers are still in good condition and then list those babies, in bulk, on craigslist or fb marketplace! You can usually make back at least half of what you spent on them plus you are creating less waste in the world by passing them on.
- Feeling generous? Donate them to a mother in need or a woman’s shelter (please note some shelters might not accept them).
- You can also save them if you plan on having more babies in the future. Our current set has gone through Luna + Willow and are still in great shape and ready for juniper – although that wont stop me from snagging some cute ones I’ve seen on etsy!
I hope that you enjoyed this post and are feeling less overwhelmed stepping into this new venture! Trust me, it does seem like a lot of information in the beginning but your baby will give you many opportunities to practice starting from day one lol!! You can do it mama – I believe in you & so does your baby!