I get questions almost everyday about Jack’s cloth diapers. So I figured it was time for a detailed post about them. The most common question is do you regret buying/do you like cloth diapering? and the short answer is I love them! My husband even came around. But because I know you want the ins and outs (and some of you wonder how I could feel that way). Here’s the details . . .
What diapers do you use? We have 18 one size adjustable Alva pockets that we purchased on Amazon before Jack was born. I chose pockets because they’re cheaper than all in one’s and you can personalize their absorption. All in one’s you can add extra liners to if the baby starts wetting through, but most of them are around $15 to $20 a diaper. The Alva pockets we purchased were 6 for $40 and came with 2 inserts a piece. You can also add more inserts/liners for more/better absorption. I also chose the organic cotton because they had better reviews. Finally, we chose snaps over velcro. I feel like it’s obvious that they will last longer since velcro doesn’t hold well through many washes. The snaps also help the sizing go smaller and bigger so he can wear them from 8 to 32 lbs instead of 10 to 25 lbs.
What inserts do you use? We just use the microfibers that came with our diapers. We use 1 diaper with 1 microfiber insert for 2-3 hours and we have no problems. I started doing that at about 4 weeks old, and still do. Now at night we actually put him in a disposable. We’ve tried putting in another insert and we’ve tried hemp and charcoal inserts as well (and many mixes of the three). The longest he lasts in a cloth diaper is 6 hours. We could do one change a night since he’s waking up after about 6 hours anyway, but changing his diaper would stimulate him enough that it’d be hard to get him back down. No thanks! You can’t put microfiber against their skin so I’m glad we have the hemp and charcoal inserts just in case.
How do you wash them? After each use we put them in an open mesh bag that’s in a open small hamper. We wash every other day 9 at a time. So I usually end up with 9 in use and 9 being washed. We have an old school agitator washer so if you have one of the newer front loaders this won’t work for you. We wash in hot water for a small load with a quarter cup of pyrex all natural soap for a rinse and spin. Then we use a full cup for a full wash. Then we dry on low heat for an hour. If there are any big stains or anything we lay them out in the sun for awhile and the stains come right out. Once they have cooled down we re stuff them and put them in a dresser drawer.
How do you deal with poop? We have this sprayer that we very easily in about 5 minutes attached to our toilet. After every #1, we just separate the insert from the diaper and put it in the pail. After every #2, we spray the diaper well then separate and put in the pail. You don’t have to do this with breastfeed poop per what everyone tells me, but we did and I highly recommend it. We’ve never dealt with poo smell, and our diapers rarely stain enough that we have to sun them.
but isn’t it gross? The spraying of the poop is gross. Not gonna lie. But so is wiping their butt after said poop. It’s literally 30 more seconds of gross for thousands of dollars saved.
but doesn’t his whole room smell? Nope. At first we did not do the extra rinse in our wash routine, and it would smell in his room. It also smelled highly of ammonia when we would take the diaper off of him. So after som research on pinterest we added the extra rinse before things got really bad. We haven’t had a problem since. If we leave them out for more than 36/48 hours before washing it comes back, but that’s our fault. Some moms use pails with lids (not diaper genies just regular pails with lids) or a closed wet bag. I imagine they don’t ever deal with stink unless they open it.
and what about the bulk? Yea they are bulkier than disposables, but we haven’t had a problem with clothes fitting or him looking weird. He’s usually just in a tshirt and a diaper or a onesie and a diaper. I think he looks cute. He’s 8 months old and he fits perfectly in 9 month clothes. He’s tall and lanky so sometimes even 6 month clothes still fit.
and what about leaks? Yes, leaks happen. It’s not common, and can always because of something we did. Sometimes it’s too tight because he’s bigger, sometimes we left it on for too long, sometimes we put it on weird, etc. Again this is not a common thing, maybe once a week. Nighttime is the struggle. I really think I know of 2 ways that would work for him. But it would be very bulk or I’d have to buy a couple new diapers. Not worth it to me. Also – he’s never had a blowout in a cloth, but he has had many in disposables.
how much money are you really saving? A quick google search tells you most babies go through over 3000 diapers in their first year (i think that number is high, but ok). Huggies sells diapers 72 for $24. So in the first year you’d spend $1010 on diapers. Or you could spend $150 to get some cloth and buy 1 box of 72 for out of town trips and overnights to last you 3 months. Our water/electric bill went up around $10 a month. We’re doing more dishwasher loads, bathing a baby every night, cooking more, and added 3 loads of laundry a week. Anyways, if Jack is potty trained by 2 years old we’ll save approximately $1500.
What would you recommend to someone thinking about cloth diapers? Do your research. Learn about all the different diapers – google and pinterest lots and lots. All in ones, all in twos, or pockets are going to be the easiest diapers. But there are many other options, especially for inserts and liners. I knew there were a lot of diapers that were going to be too much work for me and that my leary husband would not be ok with. So I chose to get all of the same without trying different options. I’d actually not recommend that unless you’re like us. I’d also recommend not buying more than 12 or so diapers until you know it’ll work and you’re 100% committed to it. Some people only have 12 forever anyway. You have to find what works for you if this is going to work for you.