Before having J, T and I discussed the many reasons why we wanted to use cloth diapers. Cloth diapers are environmentally friendly, cheaper than disposables (even more so when we use them for our children in the future), and healthier for our baby. There is so much information with regards to cloth diapers on the internet that I was thrilled to start my research. And this was the moment where I, at 30+ weeks pregnant, ripped out my hair,
ran waddled in circles, and sighed in exasperation. Too much information made me panic.
One-size diapers? Hybrid diapers? Pocket, Sleeve, Fitted, Prefold, Flat cloth diapers? Wet bags, pail liners? Snappi Fasteners? (Okay, seriously, why the hell are they called snappi fasteners? I don't see any snaps anywhere.) WTF! How is someone able to choose what works best from so many choices and zero experience?
I pretty much threw all the information out the window and connected with a friend of a friend who makes cloth diapers. I told her to tell me straight - what do I need and how can I get it affordably?
This is what I ended up with:
J at two weeks on the quilt stitched by his Great Great Grandmother.
Be still, my heart.
She made us 20 newborn diapers made from organic bamboo cotton. The insert was sewn directly into the diaper, folded to create extra absorbency, and fastened with a snappi. We used the Thirsties brand diaper covers over his newborn diaper. Voilà! We were so happy and J was thrilled (i.e. no fussing for diaper changes)!
As he's grown out of the newborn diapers (*tear*) we've moved into the next size up made by the same woman. She spiced it up a little bit and used fun, printed fabric for the outside layer.
Here is J at 4 months:
Cloth diapers! Leg rolls! Heaven!
She also explained to me what wet bags were and why they were so much better than using a plastic bag to carry around and store dirty diapers before the wash. I ordered 4 wet bags, 2 larger ones for bathroom storage and 2 smaller ones for our diaper bags. They keep every mess contained and I literally unzip, dump the contents and throw the bag in with the wash. So simple!
Our wet bag hanging in the bathroom next to our incredibly useful diaper sprayer.
We currently have 10 fitted diapers and use Thirsties duo hemp prefolds when the fitted ones are in the wash. For the fitted diaper, we put it on him, close with the snappi, and put him in a Thirstie diaper cover. With the prefolds, we tri-fold them, place them directly in the Thirstie diaper cover, snap him in and let him loose. Look at how adorable these are!
The insert and shell of the fitted diaper made from
organic bamboo double-sided terry cloth.
We fold the insert 3 times at the top (because he's a little boy)
and then position the last part of it under his bum.
I am ashamed to say I have no idea how much I have spent up to this point on diapers and all their accessories but I would ballpark around $400. But! But! We have saved, by 4 months, close to that same amount in disposable diapers.
We use cloth diapers around 90% of the time but I'm pushing to make it 100% by the fall (look for the future post on the eco-friendly, compostable disposable diapers we use). We, unfortunately, live in a small urban apartment sans washer/dryer. Lugging cloth diapers down three flights to the communal laundry room is feasible but not always convenient. We use disposables as a result of running out of clean diapers. Mommy. Fail.
I still have so much to learn but I am excited to continue to experiment and learn from other expert cloth diaper-ers.
So please share! Do you use cloth diapers? How did you get all of your information on how to do it successfully? What have you found does/doesn't work?