I get asked about this on a fairly regular basis. Yes, we use cloth diapers. Sure…go ahead…get it over…call me a hippie.
Now that we are past that, let me start at the beginning. Our 2nd child (Quinten) who should have been easier than the 1st (ya know, cause it was our second time around the block) made us rethink everything we ever thought we knew about parenting. But that is probably worthy of its own post. He had a rash for MONTHS. We did EVERYTHING, we changed diaper, wipes, diaper creams. Nothing seemed to work. Then someone suggested we try cloth diapers…and shocker of all shockers, it cleared up nearly immediately. The point behind this is that we never really meant to get into cloth diapers, we were perfectly happy wasting our money on disposables!
But we are here now…Quinten is no longer in diapers, but now we have Calia. When she came around we knew that it was just normal for us to use CDs and I automatically started gathering newborn diapering supplies. We used disposables in the hospital (our choice…not the hospitals) but actually brought her home in a cloth diaper (I packed 2!). Since coming home I think we have bought 2 packs of disposables, both for long out of town trips (3+ nights when we’d be staying in a hotel).
I think we have tried NEARLY every type of diaper. I prefer one type and my husband prefers another, so we keep both on hand. The general “type” of diapers are these:
- Prefolds (these are the ones that you fold and pin-or in my case…snappi) – I have used both Green Mountain Diapers and Little Lions and have been happy with both. I like unbleached only because poop stains dont show up.
- Fitteds – these are an absorbant diaper that is shaped like a diaper and it is either secured with velcro/aplix or snaps. I was pretty impressed with Thirsties Fab Fitted for a more affordable option, however, Goodmamas seem to be a very popular brand. Lots of fitteds come in pretty colors and patterns…which doesnt make sense to me because they arent seen!
- Covers – These are needed for the 2 above type of diapers. It is not absorbant and needs a prefold or a fitted. You could use the other 2 types of diapers. I like Bummis Super Whisper Wraps (these are my go to awesome for hard every day use covers…as a bonus they have super cute prints!), Thirsties Duo wraps, Gen-Y (fun prints…awesome CS), and Flip (my favorite snapping cover) covers. You can change the absorbant part (prefold or fitted) and use the same cover for a few changes.
- Hybrid – These are usually ones that offer a disposable liner with a washable cover. This does reduce the waste that you are putting out. Some popular brands are Flip, GroVia, and GDiapers. All of these brands also offer washable liners as well, I think that sort of puts them in the all in 2 (AI2) category as well.
- Pocket Diapers – These are a water proof shell with some sort of insert that you stuff in, these are 1-use (per wash…obviously) items. They are secured with either velcro/aplix or snaps. Some popular brands are BumGenius, Fuzzi Bunz, and Knickernappies
- All in One (AI1) – This one is the easiest because it goes on just like a disposable and it doesnt have to be prepped after washing.
Still with me?
Okay, so I prefer to use prefolds w/ a snappi and a cover. Part of it is because its CHEAP. You could probably get going with cloth diapering and buying everything new for $150 or less. If you were going to do full on prefolds w/ covers, I would suggest 2 dozen (minimum) prefolds and 6-8 covers (depending on how many times a day your baby poops). Daddy however prefers the pocket diapers, he likes bum genius the best because they are easy to put on. For an ideal stash I would suggest 1-2 doz prefolds with covers (maybe 6) and about a dozen pocket diapers.
What else do you need?
Wetbag – this is a PUL lined bag that usually has a zipper and is used for when you are out and need to change a diaper…you dont want to just put a dirty diaper back in your diaper bag! There are plenty of great options on diaper sites and etsy.
Big wetbag and/or trashcan – this i for home. I have a big PUL bag that is the size of a regular kitchen trashcan (picked up at target) and it is the diaper pail and when a diaper is change it goes in there
Cloth wipes are sort of optional…you could use disposable wipes but when you are already washing the diapers, a few wipes isnt a huge deal. Cheap baby washcloths work and if you can sew, you can make your own! (You can also buy them!)
Wipe solution – You can buy different types and you can just use water
Diaper Rash Cream – I am not an expert on this, but this site has a nice explanation of what is and what isnt ok.
Finally…the BIG question. How the heck do you wash them?!!?!?
We wash every other day, sort of out of habit more than anything (as opposed to running out of diapers), but I also dont want dirty diapers sitting much longer than that either. Once you get into a routine, it is not overwhelming AT ALL. You dont have to use a special diaper detergent, for a long time we were using just All Free & Clear. However recently we have switched to Rockin Green which while formulated for cloth diapers you can use on your regular clothes!
This is my wash routine:
- Dump entire contents of diaper pail into washer (if you dont have a liner of some sort, you may wanna spray it out occasionally)
- Run a cold wash cycle
- Run a HOT wash cycle with 2 TBSP of Rockin Green (of if using a regular detergent, use 1/2 of the recommended amount)
- Run an extra rinse
- Hang the shells/covers on hangers to dry in the living room
- If its sunny/nice out I sometimes hang the prefolds and inserts out on the clothes line, but I just toss them in the dryer.
After everything is dry, it usually takes me about 10 mins to stuff the pocket diapers and fold the prefolds to put in the basket.
Where can you get this stuff? There are a number of places on line, including a place in Indy. But I’d have to say about 80% of our diapers have come from Abby’s Lane. While I’ve never met Stephanie…I have talked to her a few times…she’s always helped…has super fast shipping and I have never been anything but THRILELD with her company.
I think I have covered everything. If you have any questions…feel free to ask.