My First Experience Cloth Diapering
Happy Earth Week!
Cloth diapering keeps disposable diapers out of landfills and it can save money, so I decided to cloth diaper my second child. Amelia has written about the benefits of cloth diapers before and I always wanted to try it. My problem with getting started cloth diapering was spending the time researching what to buy and spending the money on them. You can’t exactly just walk into a Babies R Us and buy everything you need.
Getting the Supplies
I spent a lot of time figuring out the different types of diapers and where to buy them. There are prefolds and covers, all-in-ones, fitteds with covers, pocket diapers, and so much more. I made my list and added up how much everything was going to cost and put it in our budget. However, every month something would come up and it got moved the bottom of the priority list. Then a lady at church heard I wanted to cloth diaper and very generously gave me a gift of prefolds, fitteds, Thirsties covers, Y-straps, and two wet bags. I also gave her forty bucks to “round out my stash.” She used diaperswappers.com to buy everything I needed. I am very thankful that I didn’t have to spend the time and energy to get everything while I was more focused on having my baby.
Using Cloth Diapers
After getting breastfeeding established with my son I decided to tackle cloth diapering and learn this new skill. We quickly learned that you need to be sure to tuck the all of the prefold diaper under the cover, so they won’t wick out on to his clothes. Also, it is helpful to be organized and set up a station. I bought two dollar store trash cans. One is for the cloth diapers and the other is for wipes and other trash. I only had a few blow outs of poo or sometimes the pee would seep through the cover onto his onesie. I am not very good at changing his diaper very often so I use 2 prefolds inside the cover.
Traveling with cloth diapers is fine as long I am sure to bring everything I need – extra diaper cover, extra prefolds, and my wet bag for dirty diapers. They take up more room in a diaper bag than disposables.
Washing and Cleaning
Once I figured out how to fold them and use them I had to learn how to wash them. It seems that every cloth diaper user has their own system. I went with the one that seemed the easiest. Amelia told me to run them through a cold wash first, then a second wash with hot water and soap. I use an regular detergent like All’s Free and Clear. Washing them is easy and it isn’t too dirty to touch the diapers, because they have newborn poo which isn’t that gross.
What is gross is leaving them too long before washing them. I got sick one weekend and went a few days without cleaning them. One fitted diaper grew fuzzy mold. After that weekend when I went to wash them I let the diapers soak in the washer over night in cold water. Then I ran them the next morning. When I took them out of the washer a few diapers had black mold spots. Either they grew from the soaking or from me waiting too long to wash them. I tried oxi-clean and even bleach, but the mold spots never came out.
Sometimes the diapers come out stained with yellow spots, so I sun them. All I do is hang them outside in the sun and the stains go away. (Those are my diapers in the photo.) I have no idea how this works, but it does! They come back to being perfectly white.
Is Cloth Diapering Working For Me?
I am currently cloth diapering about 50% of the time. I may not be 100% percent all the time cloth diapering, but I still feel like my 50% makes a difference on the environment. My husband changes my sons diapers during the night and in our sleep deprived state I didn’t want to make him change a cloth diaper. Also, I think I may not have enough cloth diapers, because I need to wash them every other day to keep up. I am not very good at washing them often. Also there are some days where I am super busy and overwhelmed so I don’t want to mess with them. We were given many disposable diapers as gifts as well, so I haven’t had to spend any money in diapers for my 7 week old son yet. I think when I have to spend my own money on diapers I will be more intent on cloth diapering more often.
How about you? Have you tried cloth diapering? What were your first few weeks like? Are you like me and always wanted to, but never wanted to spend the money to start?