Monday, July 30, 2012

My Love for Cloth

My love affair with cloth diapers actually began before my daughter was even born, and continues to evolve through research and experience. The first time I heard someone mention trying cloth diapers, I was a skeptic. My immediate thought was, "Eww. No way I'm ever doing that!" Then I asked myself (maybe in my head, maybe out loud...) "Why not?" I figured I should at least see what it was all about before scoffing at the idea. Guess what? I didn't have an answer. Every preconception I had about cloth was wrong. I thought it would be complicated. I thought it would be messy. I thought it would be expensive. I was completely wrong.

It's easy! Sure, it can be overwhelming trying to decide which types and which brands to use, how to wash them, when to wash them. How will I know these will fit? How do I know they won't leak? Can I use them in public/on trips/at night? The best thing you can do is pace yourself when first learning about cloth. There are a ton of valuable resources online. Many online retailers include a FAQ/help section (Kelly Wels has even written a highly recommended book) and there are several forums dedicated to cloth diapering as well as websites that contain reviews of almost every brand and type of diaper on the market.
Having done six months of research before my little monkey was born, I can answer most questions about cloth now without even hesitating, or at least tell you where to find an answer.
My stash: I have a bit of a variety. I have mainly fitteds and covers, pockets, and a few AIOs. I also have a few stacks of prefolds around, but I've found that I don't prefer them like I thought I would. (It happens.) 

It's inexpensive! The reason many people believe cloth diapers are expensive is because of the upfront cost. Yes, it does sound crazy to spend $15 on a diaper when you can get 50 disposables for that amount. But you get hundreds of uses out of cloth (and obviously only one out of disposables.) It's also possible to buy pre-loved diapers (from retailers and other moms) to cut costs. Every online retailer I've visited ALWAYS has items on sale and clearance. And if you're still not sure, you can try/rent diaper packages for a minimal investment.
My stash: I purchased most of my prefolds, fitteds, and covers from the swap (FSOT) on for great prices. I have also purchased sale/clearance dipes from online retailers like,, and and had wonderful experiences with each!

It's not any messier than using disposables. Trust me. A poo explosion doesn't care what material is on your baby's bum. When you have a baby, you accept that you will have to tolerate a certain level of grossness. I haven't found cloth to be any grosser, messier, or smellier than disposables. I actually HATE how squishy disposable diapers get when they're full of pee. It's so unnatural.
My stash: I wash my diapers every two days in a front-loading washer with Tide Original (and occasionally OxyClean if there are any exceptionally impressive poops) on hot (Heavy Duty cycle with a prewash and and an extra rinse) and it takes 2 hours. I dry everything that doesn't contain PUL (so my fitteds, prefolds, and inserts) on hot. Everything else gets line dried. NO FABRIC SOFTENER! Fabric softener and dryer sheets leave a film on fabric that keeps it from absorbing moisture, leading to leaks. There are several theories on how to wash your diapers and what detergents to use, but I have found that this works for me.

With that said, I want to celebrate our first week of EXCLUSIVELY using cloth diapers! At first I was afraid (I was petrified. OK, bad joke...) of using cloth in public, but I got over that. But we were still using disposables at night because I was afraid of leaks. When my Pampers Baby Dry overnight diapers actually leaked all over my little monkey's jammies halfway through the night (even though they are supposed to last 12 hours) I decided enough was enough. What did I have to lose by trying cloth at night? The answer: nothing. But I do wish I could get my $10 back for those horrible disposables. Ugh.
My stash: I currently use BumGenius 4.0 pocket diapers with one stay dry (microfiber) insert and a Thirsties hemp insert for added absorption. No leaks so far!

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