It’s about time for my first fully baby-related blog post, I think. And the topic is cloth diapering!
I decided a long time ago that I wanted to do cloth diapering, way before we knew we were going to have a baby. I was working as an assistant teacher in a toddler classroom, and one of the toddlers had cloth diapers. All it really took was for me to see how simple it was to use them. They were shaped just like disposables, and the only difference for us was that we put them in a wet bag and sent them home with her mom instead of throwing them away. Of course, I know that on mom’s end that was a huge difference 🙂
So cloth diapers were on my radar when a local business, Little Neetchers, appeared as the subject of a newspaper article. And finally, when we found out I was pregnant, I knew exactly what I wanted to do and where to go for my cloth diapers!
But, like with anything that you decide to do differently from other people, we’ve gotten a little resistance and reluctance surrounding our decision to use cloth. So, I thought it would be fun to explain our decision here. Plus, the cloth diapers are so cute, they make for great pictures 🙂
I just finished washing them all up and preparing them for baby, so my photo taking session was inspiration for this blog post.
Cloth diapers are less expensive.
Yes, when you look at the price tag for one cloth diaper, they actually seem more expensive. But the truth is, in the long run they are less expensive. There are lots of estimates of exactly how much money you save over the 2-3 years your baby will be in diapers, but I’m just happy to know that diapers aren’t going to be a new recurring theme in our budget. I really don’t relish the idea of having to make emergency middle of the night runs to the store for diapers when we’ve run out. Much more convenient to be able to wash some!
Cloth diapers are reusable.
Knowing that I’m not contributing to the millions of diapers in landfills makes me happy. I actually wish we were a lot better at reducing ALL of our waste in our household and composting more, but diapers are a huge one. Right now our garbage service only picks up our garbage every other week, and I’m willing to bet we’d have to increase to a weekly plan if we started using disposables.
It’s not really that much harder to deal with cloth diapers.
Okay, I can’t actually know this one from experience yet. But, as a daycare worker, I already know I’m not shy about rinsing poop out of garments in the toilet. And after that it’s just a matter of doing laundry more often, which is mostly a set it and forget it kind of task. One big difference will be toting around a wet bag filled with soiled diapers when we’re away from home. But the waterproof wet bags make this a non-issue for me. I’m confident we’ll develop a routine that works for us.
And, I just want to share this awesome tip I learned while working with potty training toddlers: You can rinse out poopy underwear in the toilet by holding a corner of the underwear (we wore gloves), swishing it around, and then flushing the toilet while still holding the underwear. The toilet sucks away all the poop! The day I learned that trick, I knew it would be an invaluable parenting trick.
Cloth diapers are cute! And so are the wetbags.
Those are our main reasons for cloth diapering. Now I’ll show off some pictures of the ones we went with. There are three main styles of cloth diapers, which you can read about here on the Little Neetchers website. We decided to go with the prefolds and covers, partly because they’re less expensive to get into, and partly because they sounded easier to wash and dry.
Prefolds are the absorbent part of the diaper, a folded cloth that fits inside the cover. The cover is the colorful, waterproof part that holds everything onto the baby. What we liked about using covers and prefolds was that you don’t have to wash the cover every time, just the prefold. If the cover hasn’t gotten soiled, you just pull out the wet prefold and replace it with a dry one. Way less bulky than the all-in-one diapers.
So, for covers and prefolds, Little Neetchers recommends starting with at least 7 covers and 24 prefolds. We are trying 3 different brands of prefolds in cotton, hemp, and bamboo. The orange, green, and purple things are called doublers, which means that you layer them in with the prefold to give the diaper extra absorbency, like for night time. These prefolds recommend washing and drying them 5-6 times before using. They fluff up and become more absorbent with each washing. I just finished the last washing and they really did fluff up!
Tuesday is our due date, so really baby could come any time now! Or after the due date, which is what I’ve suspected all along. I’ve got some updates regarding our crowd funding campaign for tomorrow’s blog post. And I’m making serious progress on the next Dragons of Arethia novel.