Cloth Diapering: Why I Love It & What I’ve Learned
When I first decided to write a blog post about cloth diapering I wasn’t sure which route I should take. I’ve seen many posts on Pinterest like Cloth Diapering 101, All You Need to Know About Cloth Diapering, and Cloth Diapering Do’s and Don’ts. Should I take a similar approach? Do I do one big step by step post or segments? Well, after thinking about it for some time I decided that that’s not really my style. I don’t like to claim I know everything there is to know about anything. My whole purpose for this blog has been to share my experience and journey of natural living to inspire and draw inspiration from my followers. If you are considering cloth diapering I highly recommend that you read not only my blog post, but post of many other moms out there that have tried it. If there’s one thing I’ve learned about being a mom (being a human really), it’s that we are all different! We live different lifestyles and have different priorities as well as different abilities. Who’s to say that one way of doing things is the “right’ or “wrong” way. That being said, this post is going to be about my experience cloth diapering. I’m going to share with you how I do it, what I love and don’t love, and the things I’ve learned a long the way.
Why cloth diapers?
As soon as I found out I was pregnant, one thing I knew I wanted to do was use cloth diapers. My husband was unsure about it at first so I had to do my research and convince him.
So, the upfront cost sounds scary. It cost about $300-$600 to get everything you need for cloth diapering (diapers, wet bags and toilet spray). At first I thought that was expensive until I looked into what disposal ones cost, apprx. $2000 for 2 years. Another factor that I looked into was, is it natural? Many disposable diapers contain chemicals that can irritate baby skin. Obviously, not every baby is affected by it since there are many people who use disposable diapers and have not had an issue, but there are some babies who have gotten chemical burns from disposable diapers. This is one of those controversial matters that you have to make a personal decision with from the research you do. As an esthetician for many years, I have seen adults with very sensitive skin that would get reactions to the simplistic things, even from products that claimed to be for sensitive skin all because they included chemicals that were “extensively tested”. If adults can have terrible reactions to chemicals that are meant to cause no reactions than imagine a baby who has fresh new skin and is more likely to react easily. In my last post (My Journey To An Eco-Friendly Lifestyle) I also talked about another controversial matter, whether or not they are eco-friendly. In that post I explained why I felt like they were more eco-friendly.
One of the big reasons why my husband did not want to use cloth diapers was because he thought it was going to be a hassle and he liked the convenience of disposal ones. I read many blog post that said cloth diapers were just as convenient as disposable ones but I wasn’t sure if I should believe it or not. In the end I was able to convince my husband (It also helped that my sister in law gave me her hand me downs so we did not have to buy them ourselves).
Convenient or not?
Let me start off by saying that I use Charlie Banana which are all-in-one diapers, and since I’m writing from my personal experience I can’t speak for other brands or types of diapers. So the big question that everyone wants to know is are they convenient? Well, yes and no. Personally I think they are just as convenient, and at times more so, than disposable ones. The process of using the diaper is the same, they are not difficult to put on or take off. What makes them more convenient at times is the fact that you don’t have to run out in the middle of the night to buy more. They do however have to be washed every couple days, which some may consider inconvenient. Laundry has never bothered me. I’ll admit, I did worry a little when everyone said I would get sick of cloth diapers because of the laundry that I will be doing with a newborn. I’m glad I didn’t listen to them because honestly, it’s not a big deal. Yes, there is a lot of laundry with a baby, but whether I use cloth diapers or not there would still be a lot of laundry. Whats one more load every few days? Now, some of you may not agree with that and that’s where difference in opinion comes in. If you dislike laundry and you know that one more load will make you crazy than cloth diapering is not for you, and that’s fine. We all know our limits.
Something I get asked a lot is: isn’t it a pain when you go out? No, it’s really not. You remove the diaper like you would the disposable, you put it in a wet bag and you put the wet bag in your diaper bag. There are many places that don’t allow you to put poop diapers in the trash cans anyways, so even with a disposable you still have to put it in a bag and into your diaper bag. Plus, the wet beg doesn’t allow the smell to get out so you don’t have to worry about that. You do however, have to remember to take the diaper out when you get home (I have forgotten before and that was not fun).
Exclusively cloth is not for this mama…
No, we do not use cloth diapers exclusively. There are times that I use disposable ones and I’ll tell you why. I didn’t realize how bulky cloth diapers were until we started using them, they’re seriously bulky (it’s not so bad in the beginning, but when you have to double up the inserts they get really bulky). There are some outfits that just don’t look cute with cloth diapers, shorts for example. If I’m putting shorts on Amelia or an outfit that shes getting close to growing out of than I will put a disposable on because sometimes they wont even fit over the cloth ones. Also, because they are so bulky they take up a lot of space in the diaper bag, and we all know how precious space is! If I am going to be out long I will just put a cloth diaper on her, but I’ll pack the bag with disposables to save space. Our favorite disposable diapers are Babyganics (We also love their wipes).We found them to be very absorbent and the fact that they are made with more natural ingredients is obviously a plus. We tried Honest diapers and they are cute but definitely not as absorbent. We do try to stick mostly to cloth though.
Some things I’ve learned:
The Charlie Banana website has a lot of helpful information on how to cloth diaper. I read a lot of this while pregnant but lets be honest, in the moment you forget so much. For a while we started using mostly disposable because the cloth ones kept leaking and we couldn’t figure out why. I thought we had ruined them from drying them in the dryer (which you are not supposed to do), but it turns out we just needed to double the inserts. Those two things I learned from their website.
We never ended up getting a sprayer and at first I thought we didn’t really need it. In the beginning the poop really isn’t all that bad, but as soon as she started eating solids I was wishing we had a sprayer (you definitely do not want to put that in your washer without rinsing first). Thankfully though, our toilet and shower are really close and we have a hand held shower head, so we use that as the sprayer. If you also have a close toilet and shower with a handheld than save yourself the money and forget the sprayer, it’s basically the same thing (you will want the splatter shield though!).
One thing I’ve noticed with cloth diapers that I LOVE is that they hold in poops so well. Since we started using cloths we have probably experienced 2 blowout diapers as opposed to the very many we would get with disposable ones. This means less poopy messes to clean up, yay!
When it comes to cleaning them, I just use Method laundry soap because that’s what I use for everything. I do dry them on a cooler setting that my dryer has and then I let them air dry to finish. The recommendation is to air dry them but I haven’t had any issues with the way I have been doing it.
I wish I had more “hacks” for you but I feel like cloth diapering is pretty straight forward and easy. If you have any hacks to share please do in the comments below. I would love to hear your experience cloth diapering or if your considering it, do you have any concerns? If your a super natural mama you might even want to look into cloth wipes. I use them sometimes and love it!
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