Cloth diapers used to be much different a while back. In fact today they have been made so easy to use I am almost wondering why everyone hasn’t jumped on the band wagon. It has appeared that although not everyone is doing it just yet, it has gotten more mainstream.
I don’t have much negative to say about cloth diapering as it does save tons of money in the long run, but to start out it can seem a bit overwhelming.
A lot of people appear to be turned off by the idea of washing dirty cloths in their washer and dryer, but I am here to say that it is not as dirty as you think. In fact, I wouldn’t even consider it a dirty thing much at all.
If there was one other thing I had to mention about cloth diapering and any “unattractiveness” about it. I would have to say that breastmilk poops were not my favorite thing to clean, but in all honesty, they come right out with the help of a sprayer that hooks right to the toilet. You can find many of these kits that hook right up to the water line on the toilet, all you do is turn the knob and spray. Or you could do it the old fashioned way and take it outside to the hose.
What Do I Need to Start?
- A Cleaning Kit or Sprayer- We used this one ( cloth diaper sprayer) and it works wonderfully, we have had no issues with leaking or over spray and the price is reasonable for its durability.
- About 15-20 Diapers to start- now I know this seems like a lot, but trust me, unless your planning on washing diapers every single day, your going to want more than 5-6 diapers and that’s not including the inserts.
- About 30 inserts- now this includes the ones that come with the diapers, you can mostly find them online in 6 piece sets, but I have found a great link on amazon for Snap in inserts in a 10 piece set. Some people might find that more or less works for them, but as time passes you will know how many diapers works best for you and your family lifestyle.
- Dry Bags- Dry bags are important for throwing the soiled diapers in before you wash them. These are especially helpful if your going to be cloth diapering on the run. This way you don’t have a bunch of wet inserts laying in your backseat while your doing your running. We have a couple of simple dry bags like these ones but there are many more options on the market.
Now lets talk about the brands on the market. There are quite a few good brands that you can go with when your looking for cloth diapers and personally, out of the two brands we use its hard to tell which one I like best because they are truly two wonderful well known diapering brands. First is Bum Genius diapers, this brand is a little more well known, it is quality and they have many different patterns to choose from. The diapers that we have from them are commonly known as “pocket” diapers. I like these because they are easy to use. HOWEVER, when you use the “pocket” diapers with the slip in inserts only, you find that you might need a number more of the diapers themselves because when you change the diaper your not just going to be able to remove a snap in insert like you would with the two in one diapers from Happy Endings Diapers. I like the two in one diapers for traveling purposes. Carrying a couple of extra diapers with a number of different inserts takes up much less space than packing a whole punch of stuffed pocket diapers and trying to stuff them all into one dry bag on the go. Another reason I like the snap in inserts is because buying inserts for diapers is much cheaper than purchasing a number of different diapers.
I will say however that the bum genius pocket diapers have not let me down, they are well put together and I have not experienced a leak with these diapers. As goes for the two in one snap in insert diapers, I have found that if the insert is not aligned correctly, the lining of the diaper itself can get wet when the insert becomes crooked in the diaper itself. Although this can be considered a negative, it usually only happens about 1 out of 10 times. So if your looking to do something a little cheaper, I would consider looking into the cloth diapers with snap in inserts. Purchase about 10 diapers and go for about 15-20 more inserts themselves.
Now the fun part. Cleaning isn’t all that bad. Like I had mentioned above, breastmilk poops weren’t my favorite, but they come right out with a sprayer. While you go to wash the bulk of the diapers in the washer and dryer there are a number of said ways that are mentioned out there on how to clean them. I’ll tell you first how I clean them and what I use to clean with.
First, I dump all of the soiled inserts in the washer, turn it on a cold rinse and let it go for a short rinse and spin.
Secondly, I open it up and add in my soap. We use a Seventh Generation unscented soap because we find that it works best with our baby’s bum. Some babies skin might be different but always try to go for the unscented soaps when choosing something to wash with. I do however have to mention NOT to use softeners as they can destroy and leave residue on the inserts and diapers.
Turn your wash on to the hot setting and then let them run their course.
Lastly comes drying. Most cloth diapering companies recommend you don’t over dry the diapers as it can cause a little more wear on the diapers so I find that alot of people just air dry them outside. You may dry them inside as well, but it may take a little longer. If you live in a cooler climate like me most months out of the year though, this might not be an option so opt to drying your diapers on a low tumble dry setting for about 30 minutes or so.
(Every dryer is different so if it takes a much shorter time to get them dry than do so!)
The one and only last but not thing I have to talk about is diaper stripping. There are a number of ways that this can be done. Although some sites recommend bleaching them, I’m not comfortable with doing that so I opt to try and do this the most natural way possible by instead of adding soap to a hot wash I add 3 cups of whit vinigar and a half of a cup of baking soda.
AFTER the wash you can take them to dry in the sun for a NATURAL BLEACH! This method has said to work effectively for many moms in the past and will be my go to.
Even though, the thought of cloth diapering can seem overwhelming at first, I promise the benefits outweigh the negatives. (Just cleaning messy poo’s). Cloth diapering is now easier than ever so if your thinking of doing it, I would suggest first getting everything you need so that it remains as easy as possible. Besides, who doesn’t love a happy puffy baby butt! (: