Pampers? Huggies? Luvs? BumGenius? Fuzzibuns? Kawaii? Rumparoozs? Thirsties?
Only heard of the first 3? That's probably why you should keep reading...
Cloth diapers have been totally revamped in the past decade. They are now just as easy as disposables at a fraction of the cost.
Just how much less?
Cloth diapering birth to potty: $100-$400 ish (depending on style and shopping addiction problems). Can be used for multiple Children, and resold when done for over 50% the cost of new. They come in all sorts of colors and prints.
Disposables: Cost about $0.20 per diaper, newborns use 10 per day at least, $2 per day. So birth to potty you're looking at roughly $2000+ of garbage.
There are many types of cloth diapers, but all consist of two basic parts:
An absorbent layer and a waterproof cover.
Flats: This is the cheapest of cheap. The kind grandma used. The kind that requires folding and pins, or a snappi
Prefolds: Despite the name, it still needs folded. It's just thicker in the middle already.
Fitted and contour: designed to wrap around babies legs, no folding.
All of the above require a separate waterproof cover. No no, not rubber pants. Covers now are usually made of PUL, fleece or wool. PUL is polyurethane laminated fabric, it's soft and breathable and totally waterproof. Fleece and wool are water resistant.
Wait.. I said cloth diapers were as easy as disposables- separate pieces isn't AS easy. That's why there are:
Pockets: absorbent layer (often microfiber) is tucked between PUL and a layer of microsuede or fleece. The fleece/suede fabric wicks moisture away from baby's tushy and keeps them feeling dryer longer. It goes on just like a disposable and secures with Velcro or snaps. When taking the diaper off, simply remove the absorbent layer and dump both in the pail.
All-in-two (AI2)- absorbent layer snaps into the cover so it won't slide and it is put on easier.
All-in-one- like a pocket but everything is sewn together! Only downside is it takes longer to dry. That's why pockets are popular.
And guess what? Many cloth diapers are ONE SIZE. Yes, with either a snap-down rise or adjustable elastic, the same diaper will fit 7-35lbs. Buy once and forget about it. Of course you can buy sized cloth diapers as well.
The Diaper Pail:
Forget overpriced DiaperGenies. Use a lidded trash can with PUL cloth liner. The liner gets washed with the diapers, and it doesn't smell unless something is wrong.
Use free & clear detergent. Diaper friendly detergents (tiny bubbles, Rockin Green, Country Save, Charlie's soap etc) are usually cheaper per load than what you are using.
Prewash cold (this removes gunk and helps prevent stains)
Hot wash (to clean)
Extra Rinse (to get out detergent)
Tumble dry Medium heat, line dry weather permitting to remove stains and extend lifespan.
It only takes a few minutes to start a load and transfer it to a dryer later.
Do not use diaper rash creams or fabric softener- these stick to the fibers and make them less absorbent.
Wait, no diaper rash cream?
Statistically speaking, cloth diapered babies get diaper rashes less. My 3 month old has never had one. If there is an outbreak, there are a few cloth diaper safe creams like CJ's BUTTer.
What about poo?
Before solids are introduced, poo goes straight into the washer. No special treatment. So 6 months of simplicity.
After solids are introduced: poo goes into the toilet. How? Flushable liner or diaper sprayer.
And technically speaking, it says on the side of disposable diaper packages to dispose of solids in the sewage system, so it's really no different. Human feces should not end up in a landfill. This also helps cut the smell down a ton.
Won't my electric and water bills increase a lot?
Rates depend on area, but you'll only be doing diaper laundry 2-3 times per week. You're looking at a few dollar increase. Not nearly enough to make cloth more expensive.
What about going out?
In your diaper bag bring cloth diapers, cloth wipes, a squirt bottle and a wet bag. A wet bag is a zip-closed bag made of PUL, allowing you to take even the nastiest diaper with you without a mess. The squirt bottle is to moisten a dry cloth wipe, or you can wet one in the bathroom sink. When you get home, unzip the wet bag and dump into your home pail.
Well, might as well! No sense searching for a trash can when you're going to wash diapers. Cloth wipes are made of flannel or Terry cloth usually.
Breastmilk poo is liquid, incase you didn't know, and babies can save it up for several days before having a "blow out". If you are lucky, that stays in the diaper. Many moms that have done both claim less leaks with cloth! I have only had 1 poo leak in 3 months, and that was because someone put the one-size diaper on too loose! Live and learn.
How many do you need?
Newborns need the most, so 10-12 per day, every other day laundry, need 20-24 total
Budget 1-2 wipes per diaper change and get 30-50 wipes. Get two cloth pail liners (so while one is in the wash, the other is in the pail)
Where to buy?