If you’ve been a part of the gang for a while now, you already know that I am a cloth diaper mom. Now, I’m no expert, but I’ve definitely gone through my share of trial and error. Here are your answers to some frequently asked cloth questions. HOW do you cloth diaper? You would think it wouldn’t be as simple as the process of picking out disposables in a store, but in every way, it is. Imagine, it’s time for your first baby to be on its way. You don’t know anything about diapering a baby, because you’ve never had to know anything about diapering a baby. So, you would start from scratch, with collecting some quick research. You could check out online reviews, get opinions from other people on what brands and types to use, opinions on the average amount of diapers a child goes through in a day, or many other things.
So, starting from the top, choosing a cloth diaper that works best for you will always be trial and error based on your household needs, and also the needs of your baby. You could choose your perfect diaper system from the get go, and have a smooth sailing experience from then on out, which would ideally be great, because there’s no need to fix what isn’t broke, right?
Or, you could make a left turn down the cloth diapering yellow brick road, only thinking that you’ve found your perfect diaper. It’s affordable, from your reviews you hear that it’s easy use, only to find out that the system doesn’t agree with your baby’s needs, and then you end up dealing with leaks, mess, and diaper rash. The most basic types of diapering systems include:
• Flats and Prefolds
• All In Ones (AI1)
• Hybrid (AI2)
Flats and prefolds are probably the cheapest way to start a cloth diaper journey. The prefold is (You guessed it!) folded and securely placed around your baby, sometimes with a snappy if you’d prefer. Prefolds however, aren’t waterproof, and if used by itself, will for sure give you a mess that you don’t want to clean up. This is where your flat comes in. This diaper comes with no inner lining, it’s simply just a waterproof outer shell, or cover to lock in any “moisture” from your baby’s daily bathroom breaks. The flat and prefold option is also one of the sleekest methods for traveling during outings, and the fastest drying diaper system. So now you’re probably either thinking, “Wow, that’s great, and simple enough. I’ll take a dozen of those.” Or “No no no, that looks way too complicated. I need more options.”
So, moving on. I personally prefer the pocket diapering system for my littles. This has been my favorite diapering system thus far. We’ve found it to be easiest for us, no leaks, no poopslosions, pretty easy cleanup, and a simple wash routine. Badda boom, badda bang. Pocket diapers come with an inner lining built to basically wisk away a lot of the moisture from your baby, and it all gets absorbed by the inserts, or even prefolds, that are stuffed into (You guessed it!) the pocket.
An all in one diaper system, or AI1 is known to closely resemble disposable diapers. The system pretty much like the title describes, provides all of the necessary diaper elements all in one place. They have built in inserts for absorbency, and an extra stay dry liner stitched in. They do however take a bit longer to dry after washing because of the thickness of the fabric.
A hybrid or AI2 is a two part diaper system that pretty much provides a little bit of everything. They normally come with detachable inserts, with the option to snap in place, (much like a flat and prefold system), and a sewn in pocket to provide the option of tucking or stuffing your inserts or prefolds. (much like a pocket system)
Now, for WHERE you can purchase your cloth diapers, the average costs for individual diapers, and diaper start up. Let me just start by saying there are so many options for brands in the cloth diaper world. You can really always find affordable options in your price range, no matter what that price range may be. As you know, I’m a mom who likes to save her coins, so I try to look for good quality, affordably priced diapers. I also take into consideration whether I’m looking to purchase a few single diapers, or placing a larger order.
My very first cloth diaper purchase was from a woman in a local Yardsale group on Facebook. She had a brand new set of 6, Baby Goal diapers. The set came with 6 individual microfiber inserts, and a wet bag, all for $20. This was my start up into the cloth diaper world. I took them home, washed them, and tried to really get a feel for whether or not cloth was for me. (And it waaas!) DO NOT sleep on checking online sites like Facebook, and Craigslist for both new and gently used cloth diapering resells. Especially, when on a tight budget. It could possibly end up saving you a good chunk of change.
Many of my first buys after that were from Amazon, many of them just one or two diaper orders. They have free shipping with a prime membership, so that worked to my advantage. I ordered a few Alva baby cloth diapers, roughly between $7 and $10 per diaper, which arrived in 2 business days. (Highly recommend them if looking for a cheaper diaper) Alva baby also has their own direct website that you can also order from. The diapers on their direct site are usually slightly cheaper, (they range from $5 to about $8) than the listed amazon prices, but shipping usually takes longer, and the shipping cost does vary.
Another great site for shopping is Cotton Babies
, or Bumgenius
. They’re a huge brand in the cloth world. The individual diapers are priced a bit on the higher side, at $18.99 per diaper, but they do offer free shipping with all orders, and the option to receive a free “Flip” cover with a $100 purchase. They also offer a ton of information on cloth diapering for beginners, and info on maintaining your diapers in the future. If you’re buying brand new, with larger orders, sometimes it’s better to buy from sites like this, because they do offer customer perks like a free diaper cover, or cloth diaper accessories with large purchases. You can even sign up to be a part of mailing lists to receive first looks at sales, and access to special coupon codes.
Two other sites that actually offer various brands, and various prices, all in one place, would be The Fluffy Penguin Company (free shipping over $75), and Diaper Junction. As time goes on, you’ll begin to develop an idea of which diaper brands work for your baby, and what you feel is really worth spending your money on.
Cloth WHY though? There are so many reasons why you should cloth diaper, but to narrow it down to the 4 most important to me, it would have to be:
• More natural on your baby’s skin
• Money SAVERRRR
• CUTE PRINTS! (Obviously)
Who really knows exactly what’s in a disposable diaper? I don’t. Obviously some synthetic stuff, most likely manmade, even more than likely full of chemicals, because let’s face it, most things these days are. Cloth diapers give the benefit of at least knowing what you’re putting directly onto your baby’s skin, whether that be cotton, hemp, bamboo, or microfiber. There’s many options of each, to fit whatever diapering system you’re using.
Now, I wasn’t always a cloth diaper mom. I did diaper my first child for well over a year using only disposable diapers. Oops! A little bit late on the cloth train, but I can say it’s reassuring to know exactly what materials are being used. I can also for sure tell you that I’ve saved a good amount of money in my time cloth diapering. I’ve seen some people say that parents who choose cloth diapering don’t really see the saved money until at least a year of diapering, or until you’re reusing them on a second baby, but I don’t personally believe that to be true.
Yes, it is easy for the start up to get pricey, but only if you get wrapped up in all of the cute prints, (Which I’m now very guilty of) or if you’re only opting for buying the more expensive brands of diapers. However, I’ve already explained that the beauty of it is, there are cloth diapering options for every single budget, and not every $30 diaper will be your perfect fit just because it’s $30, and not every $5 diaper will do you wrong, and be poor quality. After you find your happy medium, and accumulate a stash, your diapers can be refused from newborn, up to potty training, and from baby 1 to baby 2, and you can feel the financial benefits right in your wallet.
What you guys really care about are the numbers though, right? I would estimate that I was spending about $65 to $80 on disposable diapers for my 3 kids in a month. That was using Luvs, and Pampers when I caught the Target baby sale. My estimated cloth diaper start up costs, were about $120 to $140, over the span of 2 months. (Roughly 2 months worth of diapering with disposables) Now, if you’re a super couponer, and you can manage to build your disposable diaper stash with a little bit less than nothing, then financially maybe that’s still a better route for you for obvious reasons, but not everyone is that coupon saavy.
Another financial perk for using cloth diapers is that after you’ve gotten your use out of your cloth diapers, they still hold a decent resell value if maintained properly, and there is always someone out there looking for a decent cloth diaper stash to get their hands on. Whereas, disposables are a one time use, into the trash, and into the landfill they go.
Also, speaking of landfills, do you know just how long it takes a disposable diaper to decompose? Uh, FOREVER. Well no, not really, but basically. It’s estimated to be between 250 and 500 years (So long that no one really knows) before a disposable diaper decomposes. I had never really stopped to think where my children’s dirty diapers were going once they were gone. All I cared about was the fact that they were just that, gone! Only to find out that they never really were. In a years worth of time, after having my twins I was sending about 8,760 diapers to sit and rot for another 500 years. I was creating that much waste in diapers alone. It was astronomical to even think about. That was along with the 2,920 the next mom used for her baby, and the next mom, and the next. Really crunching those numbers was enough to make me think, “Hmm, I should at least give this a try to see if it’s for us.” Full time, or part time cloth diapering can slowly change the planet, so I’ve been satisfied with my decision ever since.
Lastly, my absolute favorite reason to cloth diaper, they are so freaking ADORABLE! When I initially started, I was just slowly accumulating diapers to get a stash big enough to get me through at least a full day of diapering my littles, so that I wasn’t constantly doing diaper laundry. The cute prints were just a bonus. After reaching that comfortable number for me, I wanted diapers with little frogs, diapers with dream catchers, diapers with elephants, and Hamsas, and mermaid scales. I was throwing so much on my wishlist, and into my shopping cart during virtual window shopping trips, but I didn’t want to be right back at spending $65 to $80 a month on diapers. Especially when it realistically just wasn’t necessary. I do continue to buy new prints, but only in moderation. I believe it’s feasible to have more than the “required” amount of diapers to increase the longevity of your entire stash, but definitely not feasible to just go crazy on payday.
I do hope I’ve successfully answered a few of your cloth question with enough detail. Hopefully you stuck around from start to finish, hopefully you aren’t sleeping. WAKE UP! Just checking.
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