The Truth About Cloth Diapers | Quad Cities Wedding and Lifestyle Photographer
Sometimes when we tell people that we cloth diaper our son, we get this...look. It's always the same and travels from disgust to curiosity to 'okay that's weird and I would never do it'. This post isn't abut why we chose to cloth diaper but rather how awesome it is! I swear, it's not any grosser than a disposable and it really is just as easy! I wanted to give people a quick intro to cloth diapering and answer some questions that I know people have. It's never too late to start cloth diapering (especially if you're wanting more kids or if your little one still has a year or more in diapers!) and it's really easy to get everything set up! Keep in mind that I've only been using cloth diapers for about 7 months, so there are other people out there who can answer a lot more questions than I can, I just want to show what we learned and really how easy it can be! We're both working parents and have super full schedules, and we are still able to manage it, so I know anyone can!
Step One- Getting the husband on board. I was kind of nervous when I brought up the idea of cloth diapers to Daniel but he was 100% on board from the get! Actually, when I looked into them more, I ended up with more doubt than him! And now? He changes 90% of the diapers and does most of the diaper laundry. This is the habit we fell into while I was recovering post-delivery and it just kinda stuck! A couple nights ago I asked Daniel if he wanted to warm up the leftovers or change the mega poop Charlie had just taken. Daniel said "I'll do the diaper!" to which I said DEAL. He loves changing Charlie's diaper- it's their time together to hang out and play. Since Daniel (obviously) doesn't do any of the feeding, I think it's his way of still feeling like a nurturer. Aw. Cute.
Step Two- The diapers. Oh. My. Lord. There are a LOT of different kinds of cloth diaper (CD) brands/styles/systems out there. It can be way overwhelming at first. We went to a CD class lead by Ulmie's Nest located in LeClaire and that's how we decided on which system we preferred. There are systems ranging from AIO (all-in-ones which are a switch-the-whole-thing-out-every-time-the-baby-gos diaper) Pocket Diapers (which are a diaper cover with a kind of slit at the top where you insert an absorbent pad) to our system of choice- Prefolds.
It's a simple system that has two parts: the insert and the cover. The inserts we use are 100% soft, unbleached Indian cotton with a gauze weave. We found some of ours at Ulmie's Nest and the rest be bought on Amazon. We fold it in thirds (the middle is about twice as thick as the sides) and then place it inside the cover. The covers we chose are from Thirstie's Inc. because after checking out different companies, we decided they were the cutest :). The covers are waterproof and double gusseted so they actually hold in blowouts way better than disposables! When we change Charlie's diaper, we pull out the wet insert, wipe him, then fold in a new insert. We change the cover a couple times a day depending on how wet/soiled it gets. We put the soiled insert/cover in a diaper pail similar to disposable diaper pails, only it has a reusable liner. And that's it!
Step Three- Cleaning. Now for the fun bit. Here's the thing. We do a lot of laundry. Like, 2-3 diaper loads a week depending on how much time we have and how many monster blowouts Charlie decides to have. Since we're still on breastmilk poop, there's nothing special we have to do, but when he starts on solids, we will have to empty solids into the toilet. We take the full liner from the pail, empty it into the washer, toss in the liner and do a rinse cycle. After the rinse cycle, we put in Tide powder and do a regular cold cycle. When it's done, everything but the covers and liners go into the dryer and go on a tumble dry cycle. We hang the covers and liners and let them air dry because the heat from the dryer can cause the elastic in the leg gussets and the waterproof fabrics to break down. When I was first looking into things I figured I'd have to scrub everything is scalding hot water and bleach- not the case! And actually, that's really bad for the fabrics!
Step Four- Wipes. We also chose to use cloth wipes for Charlie. We figured, well, we're doing the laundry anyway, why not!? The wipes are wipe-sized flannel squares. We keep them dry until we need to use them. We keep a bottle full of water and several drops of lavender essential oil to spray on the wipe when we want to use it.
We have a stash of about 5 dozen inserts and wipes and 25 covers. We 've spent about $600 on supplies for CDs. It may seem like a lot, but the average baby goes through about $2,000 worth of disposable diapers before they're potty trained.
I had Daniel and Charlie model for you all how we do diapers! And the best part? The covers are saaaaah cuuuuute!!!