Cloth Diapering as a Rookie
Not only are The Mister and I first-time parents, but we chose to be first time cloth diapering parents as well.
Why cloth diaper? One reason of course is the environmental factor. We don’t have garbage pick up service. It’s insanely expensive in my opinion. So The Mister makes a trash/recycling run every 4-6 weeks depending on how much we have.
Another reason is the convenience. It’s so nice to know that diapers are just in the washer or dryer instead of at the store. No late night diaper runs for us!
Lastly, it’s cheaper. There’s an initial outlay but the cloth we have will last months and there’s a market for gently (and even heavily) used items. So some of our initial investment will come back.
Bonus? Once I have a bit more non-feeding free time, I can knit wool covers for her little cloth bottom!
Our parents cloth diapered. My mom was gifted a year long diapering washing service when I was born. We don’t have that available here. The closest service is 30 minutes away. So when we started looking at cloth diapers, I calculated out everything to last at least a day and a half between washings. With Breastfeed babies the entire diaper, poo and all, can go into the washer. It’s formula and solid food poo that has the knocked off before going into the washer. Since little miss is breast fed, I just put her diapers in our Dekor diaper pail and call it good until wash time.
So when I sat down to figure out how many of what to buy, I went straight to Green Mountain Diapers online. GMD is a gold mine of information for the beginner cloth diapering parent. Anything and everything is written about and there are pictures of cloth diapered butts to boot.
Karen, the owner (who doesn’t know me from Adam), gives a range of recommended quantities of diapering supplies. On a budget? She lists out the bare bones basics. Want to splurge on everything top dollar? She has that supply list down too. I sort of made up my own.
Based on a newborn’s potential to dirty up to 18 diapers a day (cloth doesn’t wick so little butts need to changed a bit more frequently), and the fact I don’t necessarily want to be doing a load every day but every other, I decided 36 was the magic number.
I bought 36 newborn-sized prefold diapers. This was a gamble on my part. I had no idea how big or little our little miss would be. But I was relying on the fact that I could resell my gently used prefolds to another newborn momma.
Turns out little miss fit perfectly in her newborn sized diapers (and newborn sized anything!)
Even though I bought the prefolds new, I bought covers used. With cloth, because of its non-wicking properties, you have to have a waterproof cover of some sort, wool included.
So I scoured diaperswappers.com and bought up a number of covers in colorful solids and patterns. The majority that I bought are made by Thirsties with aplix (Velcro – much easier to deal with in the middle of the night) and will grow with little miss for a number of months. I also snagged a couple of Bummis super whisper wraps and I really like these covers. I bought newborn sized ones and the fit is fantastic. Plus the material is a bit thicker which I also like not that it makes a difference in a cover. Covers are meant to last a couple of days. But sometimes there’s leakage and the cover has to be washed sooner than planned. The cover stash doesn’t need to be as large as the diaper stash. Everything I’ve read says to have 4-6 on hand. I have a couple more to tuck in our diaper too.
We were gifted a number of all in one (AIO) and pocket diapers as well. The AIOs are just how how the sound: cover and prefold all in one diaper. Pockets are a cover with an absorbent fleece material seen in. The absorbent pad is stuffed in between those two layers to make the diaper. These diapers say they’re made to get worn from 8lbs up. But having a baby at almost 9 lbs and at 5 weeks old they’re still a tad big on her except for the BumGenius AIOs. Come August when I have to go back to work, these will be our daycare diapers for the ease and convenience.
Because little miss is gaining weight and growing, she’ll be moving out of her newborn prefolds in the next month I think. So I bought the next size up, small, and they’re waiting to be prepped.
To prep a cloth diaper is a four step process that comes with your order if you buy new from GMD. there’s also a prewash process with AIOs and pockets.
We love using cloth diapers with our little miss. In the diaper drawer we have Snappis to close up and hold the folded diaper together under the cover. And we also sometimes just fold the prefold in thirds and lay it inside the cover. Either way works.
One thing that doesn’t work with cloth diapers is diaper cream. It can ruin the absorbency of a cloth diaper and create repelling issues. So coconut oil was recommended instead. However, when I tried it the first time little miss had a rash, I felt like the oil made things worse. So during her rasht times we are using disposables simply to heal up her little cheeks and use a butt cream. We may start using them at night once she starts sleeping in longer stretches but I want to try cloth methods first, like more layers of absorbers.
Overall, I’m happy using cloth. I also see value in using disposables. Our blend works for our family right now and it may change in the future. I like the flexibly that cloth gives us and seeing her cute little fluffy butt all diapered up.