Cloth Diapers

tips & tricks for beginners!

Why Cloth Diapering?

While easy, disposable diapers are filled with potential toxins that could be harmful to your baby. And some babies have extremely sensitive skin that may require more expensive natural disposables. On the other hand, cloth diapering is not always the easiest to start. Making the decision that will decide whether cloth diapering is right for you only requires you to ask a few questions of yourself. Something to note beforehand. One - I do not cloth diaper during the newborn period. Between the fact that newborns generally upend any type of routine, hormone imbalances, getting used to nursing, not sleeping well and the meconium poops, it's a hard no from me. I love cloth diapers and I will always suggest using them, but the first few months I am all about doing whatever I can to make life as easy and simple as possible.

Can You Afford to Use Cloth Diapers?

Disposable diapers are expensive but the expense of disposable diapers is one that adds up rather slowly over the first few months and years of your new baby’s life; especially if you use savings methods such as coupons or rebates. Cloth diapers, however, are almost the opposite. They are more expensive upfront but the one-time purchases you make last far longer than the expense from disposables. In fact, I have diapers from 7 years ago that have diapered all 3 of my children and will continue with baby 4.

A few tips for how to start a cloth diaper stash on a budget:

– Buy used. Look on Facebook Marketplace, Poshmark, Mercari, and B/S/T groups. – Register for cloth diapers on your baby registry. – Buy a small number of cloth diapers at a time while pregnant. 2 diapers a month may not seem like much, but over 9 months of pregnancy, you could have almost had a full stash built up!

Do You Have Time to Use Cloth Diapers?

When your baby pees or poops in a disposable, it goes into the trash. However, cloth diapers need to go in a well-ventilated diaper pail/lined can of some kind. And the most time-intensive part of cloth diapers that I feel like is always the most daunting is washing and drying the dirty diapers. But folding/stuffing and putting them away is something else to consider. The time needed to do this will definitely depend on which style of cloth diapers you use.

Do You Have Room to Store Cloth Diapers?

Before deciding if cloth diapers are right for you, you will need to make certain you are able to store them. In addition to regular diapering accessories, you will need to store diaper shells and diaper inserts. And I swear by biodegradable diaper liners for poop, although they take up virtually no space. If you live in a small home or apartment with little storage space, it's time to get creative! Also keep in mind that AI2 (All in twos) are a full system in one, meaning it's a single diaper. Whereas pocket or prefold styles do have multiple components. With that said, storage options such as hanging diaper organizers, storage baskets, and so on can all be a great help to keeping things organized and out of the way for those that do live in smaller environments.

Are you squeamish? 

As a new parent, you are going to have to deal with the bodily fluids of your newborn no matter what. Again, disposable diapers are quick and easy to deal with. Once they are changed, they get thrown away and the mess is gone from your home. Cloth diapers, however, require more in-depth care. I love cloth diaper liners. Simply place between diaper and baby and toss when soiled. A cloth diaper sprayer or bidet is another great option and can be attached to your toilet for easy and convenient access. Try a cloth diaper sprayer shield! Spray Pal is a long-time favorite of mine.

Do You Have the Means to Wash Cloth Diapers?

In the past, everyone had some method of washing their clothing at home. Whether it was a washing machine or a washboard, clothes were cleaned at home. These days, however, that is not always the case. Because cloth diapers are already expensive, laundering them could be as well if you do not have a washer and dryer at home. If you are using a laundromat to wash laundry, you will want to consider whether the added cost to your weekly laundry bill is feasible for you.

After reading through these tips, do you think cloth diapering is for you? While it can take more time out of your day, you will save tons of diapers from sitting in the landfill if you are able to move forward with it which I highly recommend! But remember, cloth diapering isn't for everyone and there is no reason to be ashamed if you cannot keep up with it!