When you’re about to have a baby you can be overwhelmed with all the different options out there for diapering. Most people don’t even think about cloth diapering. It can be seen as too much work, dirty, too much money, or being worried that your babysitter won’t want to change the cloth diaper. But I am here to tell you that cloth diapering is super easy and can save you trips to the store and some money. So, what do you need to cloth diaper?
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Obviously, the cloth diapers.
Now, you’ve decided to dive into the world of cloth diapers and care suddenly bombarded with so many different terms, types of diapers, and inserts. Overloaded you decide to just quit this journey… Please don’t! I promise it is super simple to choose what type of cloth diaper you want to go with. Some people even choose 3 or 4 different types to sample before going all in and buying a big stash. Here are the most popular types of cloth diaper types:
- Flats and prefolds- the “original” cloth diaper. Think pins or clips to keep them folded and then you put a waterproof shell over them.
- Fitted- these look like regular diapers and snap or velcro right in the front. These too need a waterproof shell over them and if not soaked you can change out the fitted part and keep the same shell
- Pocket- (what we use) These have a waterproof exterior and a pocket where you insert different ‘inserts’ to absorb liquid. We like these because they’re easy to put on, look like regular diapers and we can adjust the inserts to the absorbance we need (like put two inserts in at night).
- All-in-ones – it is how it sounds; it’s ALL (waterproof cover, inserts) looks like a regular diaper and when you change your baby you just throw the whole diaper into your bag/bucket.
- Hybrids- Same as all-in-ones but the liner you can change out if there was no leakage onto the outer shell.
So, how many cloth diapers will I need?
Here’s what we did, and maybe this option isn’t for you, but since we got so many newborn diapers from our baby shower we just used those all up before moving into the cloth diaper. By that time our baby had gained enough weight to where we didn’t need the newborn-size cloth diapers. If you decide to go straight into cloth diapers then you’ll need no less than 12 newborn diapers. The max you’ll need depends on how often you want to do laundry.
Once your baby is big enough (about 3 months) you’ll need no less than 10 if you wash every day to upwards of 20-30 if you wash every other day or every two days. This might seem like a lot, but you can build your stash slowly as your baby grows and see what their individual needs are. Or throughout your pregnancy put them on your registry or buy a few here and there. I bought a good chunk of solid colors and then as the holidays came and went I’d buy a few to match the holiday; Christmas designs, Easter, Thin Blue Line to show our law enforcement support, etc. So don’t think it’s all or nothing at once.
How do I wash cloth diapers?
Simple. The same way you wash your clothes. So breastfed babies, their poop is water soluble so there is no extra rinsing needed if they’re not eating solids yet. You just throw that diaper right in your pail/wet bag. Once your baby is eating solids you can dump it in the toilet or even buy this toilet spray attachment to make rinse off poop so much easier.
We usually don’t let the diapers sit dirty longer than three days. Throw them in and I usually do a prewash cycle with any temperature just to loosen anything that might have dried. Then with hot water add your favorite cloth diaper detergent (no fabric softeners) and just wash. Some diapers need to be just lined dried while others can go in the dryer. Check with your diaper brand’s instructions. Oh, and if you end up with a stubborn stain, SUNLIGHT will get it out. Just lay that diaper or insert after being washed right in bright sunlight and you’ll see the stain go away.
What laundry detergent to use varies by household, just make sure your detergent doesn’t have a fabric softener in it. I like powder detergents, I just feel like there is less build-up on the inserts and they don’t need to be stripped. Here is a great website with plenty of detergents you can look into: Fluff Love University.
Do I have to use cloth wipes?
No. I did it with my first baby who we bought cloth diapers (he’s number four) and I made my own solution for the wipes and just washed the cloth wipes with the diapers. Super easy. For some reason, this seems to gross people out the most. So if that’s you, you can buy the best type of wipes and just throw those away and still use cloth diapers. I don’t know where all the washcloths I bought for cloth wipes went, so for baby number five I’ve just been buying disposable wipes.
Overall, do what’s best for your family!
There is no strict set of rules when it comes to cloth diapering. Everyone has a different style, different cleaning processes, and different brands they love. You just need to figure out what works best for your family! Just by cloth diapering, you’re saving approximately 6,000 disposable diapers from being thrown away. That’s a lot of money to save. Some families only cloth diapers while at home and use disposables when outside of their houses. Do what works for YOU.
Here is a list of all of our favorite cloth diapers and accessories:
- Alva Baby Pocket Diapers
- Flannel Baby Wipes Unbleached
- Bamboo Inserts
- 3-layer microfiber inserts
- Cloth Diaper Wet Dry Bags
- Cloth Diaper Sprayer for Toilets
- Cloth Diaper Sprayer Splatter Shield
- GroVia Mighty Bubbles Laundry Treatment for Baby Cloth Diapers (used to strip the diapers if build up occurs)
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