Is it just me or are we in a cloth diaper boom??? It seems to be the latest baby fad – one that I am totally into! I originally decided to cloth diaper my little one because of the money we could save. There are several estimators and calculators out there, but on average you can plan on saving upwards of $1000 over two years. PLUS the savings continue to add up if you have more babies! This was enough to have my husband sold on the idea… I just had to train him how to use them. 😉
The first trip we took to explore cloth diapers was to our local Peapods store in St. Paul. They have employees that know oodles about cloth diapering and are happy to answer your questions. They also have a good variety of cloth diapers you can check out and even practice putting on a baby doll! I thought this was all great – the hubby went straight to information overload and checked out after about 10 minutes. That was fine…I’d catch him up on what he missed later.
In his defense, there is so much information out there about cloth diapering that it can all be overwhelming at first. There are a million different types and brands of diapers, with a hundred different ways to wash them. To try to help simplify you, I’ll give you My top 10 cloth diapering tips!
1. The best advice I can give a newby is get several different types of diapers and it will quickly become clear what you prefer. There is no one good choice that works for everyone.
2. Start out with the less expensive options. No sense splurging when you aren’t 100% sure you will like a particular diaper. Ebay is a great option to begin shopping for your stash. I also like the idea of second-hand diapers to start building your stash (although, not everyone is comfortable with this option). Check out the cloth diaper swap on Babycenter.
3. You will need diaper covers and diaper inserts. The type doesn’t really matter, although I would personally recommend the cover be water-proof (the cloth diaper term for this is PUL, and not all covers have this property – aka fitted diapers). When my daughter was still a baby, I used one insert in the cover. Now that she is older and the volume of liquid she puts out has gone up, I always put 2 inserts in the cover. For this reason, I recommend getting roughly twice the number of inserts as covers.
4. The number of cloth diapers you get depends on how frequently you want to do laundry. I personally am not a fan of doing laundry and am soooooo glad I have a good stash of around 25+ cloth diapers!
5. Getting one-size diapers that you can adjust as baby grows will save you $$! It is a bummer to have to pack up some of your favorite cloth diapers because baby has outgrown them. Although some of the sized diapers are just too cute to pass up! For me, it was gDiapers. These were definitely my favorite when LO was an infant.
6. There are a lot of different types of “cloth diaper approved” laundry detergents out there. It is hard to know which is best. Rockin Green is the most popular cloth diaper detergent I have come across but it is definitely not the least expensive (you can try a cheap sample to see if you like it). I personally have always used All Free & Clear and have found it works great!
7. What about the poop!?!?!?! I think this is probably the biggest deterrent to people using cloth diapers. And to be honest, it is the worst part about it. But it really isn’t that bad. You can get a cloth diaper sprayer that hooks directly to the toilet that makes this messy job much easier. Unfortunately, I was too cheap to spend the $45-$60 on a poo-rinser. DH said he would instal one on his own (DIY instructions)… That never happened. So we went with the most simple option of using the bath tub and running the insert under the faucet – washing the poo down the drain. This worked well for us while we were dealing with infant poop. And luckily, as our LO got older her excrement got more solid and we could just shake it in the toilet and be done with it.
8. What if you are into the cloth diaper idea but just really don’t want to deal with washing them? Two words: Diaper-Service! In the Twin Cities area, Do Good Diapers or All Things Diapers will pick up your dirty cloth diapers wash them and return them nice and clean. They have several different service options to choose from so browse their site and see which appeals to you. (P.S. Check out their work-shops too, if you are interested! They’re FREE!)
9. I highly recommend having a small stash of disposable diapers to use as back-up. This could mean grandma is watching baby for the day and she has no idea why these crazy cloth diapers don’t need pins. Or you are going to be out and about for several hours and prefer to be able to throw a dirty diaper away and throw on a clean one. For us, we used disposables when LO was first born because she was so little (7 pounds) that her cloth diapers didn’t quite fit her right until she got a little bigger (the first 2 months or so). We also liked to use disposables when traveling. It isn’t necessarily difficult to do cloth diapers when traveling, it just takes up more space.
10. And finally, don’t be afraid to try cloth diapering! As long as you learn the basics, the rest will come with trial and error!
Have fun shopping for those adorable diapers and saving some moooolah!!!!