I love cloth diapers! We’ve been on this journey since 1.5 weeks postpartum and haven’t looked back!
My hubby was apprehensive at first, but I told him if he’s never changed a diaper before then it doesn’t matter if it’s cloth or disposable since the learning curve was going to be there regardless 🤷🏾♀️ AM I RIGHT?!
Why Cloth Diapers?
From the very beginning of finding out I was pregnant I wanted to use cloth diapers. The main reason was for economic purposes – the savings are crazy! Essentially, you invest in a set amount of diapers and in return you wash and reuse them. Pretty straight forward, right?
This leads me to my second point – sustainability. I want to ask you: when you soil your clothes, do you throw them out? Personally, I don’t. I wash them and reuse them. To me, it makes the most sense to do that with diapers. I wash my underwear so why not wash diapers?
Additionally, sustainability holds one accountable for how they treat the environment. Did you know that disposable diapers take 500 years to decompose? Imagine all that shit in the landfill (literally). To lessen my environmental footprint, I decided that cloth would be the best.
Then, there are the toxins found in these diapers. I couldn’t, in good conscious, put her in commercial diapers knowing that she spends majority of her time in them and the toxins would be sitting right on her skin like that. There are green brands of diapers, but avoiding those that goes back to my whole sustainable approach. You can read more about dangers of disposables here.
Lastly, since I planned to breastfeed (and still am, by the way – 8 months strong!), I knew any and all waste from breastmilk would be water soluble meaning it will dissolve in water. Once she started solids that was another story, but I have a fix for that if you keep reading.
Purchasing Cloth Diapers
When Hubby and I made our registry, we requested cloth diapers. Yet, we were gifted a few boxes of diapers at our showers and back to the store they went. I did keep some Honest Company diapers that were gifted 1) because they were opened by the gifter and 2) because of advice I received in my postpartum birthing class about the meconium days. The instructor suggested keeping a few disposables on hand so that the meconium didn’t stain the cloth. Once those days passed and after we used the disposables up, we started using cloth.
The cloth diapers we were gifted were Nora’s Nursery brand from Amazon plus extra inserts (by Naturally Nature) that are a little thicker for night time or travel. We double with the smaller inserts occasionally when we are out and about. In total, we have 27 cloth diaper covers and a little over 40 cloth diaper inserts.
Cloth Diaper Accessories
There are cloth diapers users who are the purest of hearts. They scrap the waste into the toilet and dunk their cloth diapers in water. That ain’t me.
If you aren’t here for the shits (literally), you can purchase biodegradable liners (we used the GroVia brand) to put on the diaper. That way, you can toss or flush the waste and insert the diaper in the wet bag for washing. Our cloth diapers came with a few small wet bags, but we ended up purchasing a larger wet bag from Amazon for the house and use the smaller ones that came with the cloth diapers for travel.
Washing Cloth Diapers
Regardless of if you have 27 or 50, you will have to wash the used diapers every 2-3 days because of ammonia from urine, so it’s best to have just enough for a full four days (you’ll get to know how many your baby uses, but I say 27 is a great start).
We use recommended detergents for cloth diapers, those being Rockin’ Green and Charlie’s Soap since they both contain no harsh chemicals. When washing cloth, it’s important to know what you’re doing so we follow these instructions for washing cloth diapers.
Challenges While Using Cloth Diapers
Cloth diapers can have its set of challenges. One of the biggest is how to travel with them. We learned how to travel with them on a few days travel only lasting 2-3 days away from home. You can read about how to air travel with an infant and car travel with an infant by clicking those links.
However, last week I came back from a 12 day travel tour with my little one and we only packed cloth diapers. I was fortunate enough to stay with friends and family who did not mind me washing my diapers while I was in town, so I packed 10 covers, 16 cloth diaper inserts, a roll of biodegradable liners, and enough detergent to last me for the trip. Before you go off thinking “det’s tew much” I will have you know I only packed a diaper bag and a carry-on for the ENTIRE trip. All was well.
Another challenge is fitting them to a newborn’s body. Since the babies are so small, you literally have to snap them in a way that it will fit the baby’s bum and under the umbilical cord (well, Scout’s fell off in 3 days but that’s neither here nor there). Here was my go-to in our beginning days:
Is your child in daycare? You can cloth in daycare, but they will send the diapers back with all contents in it (poop included) because they can’t dispose of that there. If you’re breastfeeding, the poo is water soluble so it’s less to worry about; however, formula and solid food poo is a different story. I would highly suggest getting biodegradable liners so you don’t have to dunk the diapers.
Overall, our experience with cloth diapers these last 8 months has been great!
And I’ll say it here: cloth diapering isn’t for everyone and I’m not trying to convince you to do what I do. I know what I am willing to put into this practice to make it work for us and, in reality, it fits MY lifestyle. As one of my favorite lactation consultants says: Do what is best at YOUR address.
Do you cloth? What are some of your favorite brands and practices?