Cloth diapers… some of you might instantly think “that’s disgusting, I would never use them!” I used to be just like you! Until years ago I was reading my favorite blog and there was a post about cloth diapering. It opened my mind to the idea and I always thought MAYBE I’d try them when I had a baby. When i was pregnant a friend gave me a few so I was excited to try them without committing to the initial cost just in case I didn’t like them. I asked my sister in-law if she had any cloth diapering advice since she had used them on her son. She was coming to visit the following week and brought me her whole stash! Anthony was 6 weeks old at this time and I was excited to try them! My husband wasn’t too fond of the idea, but I said we should at least give them a try before we make a decision. Well, we tried them and I really like using them! My son will be a year old in a couple weeks and I’ll keep using them until he’s potty trained. Now, I’m going to give you my opinion about them and explain how they work for those of you that may be curious! Enjoy, and please ask me if you have any questions at all!
I’ll start off with the Pros/Cons of cloth diapering.
- Environmentally friendly
- Saves money
- No chemicals on baby’s skin
- Grows with baby depending on the type of diaper you buy
- I never experienced a poop blowout while my son had cloth on
- Can be used for years if taken care of correctly
- Shells can be used as swim diapers
- Your next baby can wear the same diapers
- Did not notice an increase in water bill from washing
- You have to do more laundry (unless you use a laundering service)
- They can get stinky if not properly cared for
- Harder to use in public than disposables since you carry the soiled diapers with you
- My son is a heavy wetter and can leak if not changed in a timely matter (which doesn’t happen often, but it happens!)
Ok, if you ask me, the pros definitely outweigh the cons. Next, I’m going to explain how we clean the diapers since that is the most common question I am asked when people find out we use cloth diapers. Before we get started I just want to say that there is no one way to do any of this, and I am just sharing my experience and the way that works for me. Also, this post is not sponsored, I just felt like sharing my advice and anything that might be helpful to other people looking into the wonderful world of cloth diapering!
Ok, back to the cleaning! After changing baby’s diaper, I would put the dirty diaper into a wet bag that hangs from the changing table. I usually wait until the bag is full to wash, but no more than 2 days of the first diaper going into the bag.
When babies are exclusively breastfed, their poop is water soluble, which makes laundering the dirty diapers really easy! You can literally just throw the entire diaper/wet bag into the wash and not worry about it. You should remove the insert from teh shell before placing it into the bag (this will be explained further down). I know, that sounds gross, right? Well, when you first put the diapers into the wash, you should do a rinse cycle to get rid of the pee/poop because you don’t want to wash the diapers in dirty water. After the rinse cycle, you should use a “Heavy Duty” setting on the wash, make sure you use hot water, add soap, and you’re done! Once the diapers are done in the washer, you can either put them in the dryer (No dryer sheets!!! They can add a film over the diapers that makes them less absorbent) Or you can hang them. I like putting mine outside to dry (when it’s not raining, obviously) The sun naturally bleaches the diapers and gets rid of any staining, it’s pretty amazing! I wish I had before/after pictures to show you, but I don’t.
Ok, so what if you formula feed or your baby is eating solids? Well, you cant’s just throw the poopy diapers into the wash. I’ve read a lot about people buying diaper sprayers that connect to the toilet so you can literally rinse them at the toilet before putting them in the wet bag. I don’t have one of those… Anthony was exclusively breast fed until he turned 6 months old. When we started solids we (my husband) tried installing a sprayer we got as a gift, but it was a huge fail and the thing basically fell apart. We never ended up buying one. So what do I do, you ask? Well, I just get toilet paper and wipe the poop right off the diaper into the toilet. You’re all probably think that’s super nasty, and I won’t argue with it haha. There has been 2 times when the poop was too much for me to handle and I literally went into the way back of the yard and sprayed it off with the hose. For the most part though, Anthony is a morning pooper (he sleeps in disposables) so I usually have the luxury of tossing his poop diaper into the trash.
Next, what kind of laundry soap should you use?! You can’t use regular Tide/Gain, or any other soap like that. It has to be free and clear of additives otherwise it can ruin the diapers in the long run. We used Rockin’ Green detergent that we bought off Amazon until just recently we switched to Biokleen because I waited too long to buy the soap and that’s what Fred Meyer had that works for cloth diapers!
So, I mentioned that Anthony sleeps in disposable diapers, the reason why is because this child PEES LIKE A BEAST! He sleeps through the night (most of the time) so, if he sleeps in cloth it’s guaranteed that he would wake up with his bed soaking wet. I know there are inserts for heavy wetters, but we have yet to buy them, and probably wont since we have already come this far. We also (mostly) use disposable diapers when we are out in public because of the convenience of just throwing them away. I hate carrying things around as I have mentioned before, so that is why we use disposables when we’re out and about.
Now I want to show you what the diapers look like and how they can change sizes.
This is how I have my diapers stored. I kind of love having them on display, because they’re sooooo cute!
On the left, you can see what the shell of the diaper looks from the inside. This is the part that can be used as a swim diaper as well. In the middle is the insert that snaps on the inside of the shell. On the right is what the shell looks like from the outside. I mostly have Grovia diapers and really like them! I have a couple other brands too, but these are my favorite.
Here is what the diapers look like when the insert has been snapped into place. Notice how there is elastic on the back and sides of the shell? This is AMAZING because it holds everything in! I never once experienced a blowout while my son wore cloth diapers, and he was the King of Blowouts!
Here’s what the different sizes of the diapers look like. Those snaps can all be adjusted, which I love! The far right is perfect for newborns, then as baby grows, the diaper can grow with them. The snaps in my experience have never come undone while they were being washed, so they are always ready to use. The closures are actually velcro, so it is very easy to take the diapers on and off. The velcro can even overlap for the smaller babies.
Here are some pictures below of my son wearing the cloth diapers. You can see the way they change as he’s gotten bigger. Please let me know if you have any questions, or if you cloth diaper yourself and have any new tips/tricks you’d like to share, I would love to hear them!