I just LOVE cloth diapering! I heard about it while pregnant with Bee and immediately knew it was for me. I like to think that I care a lot about the environment. I am very conscious of the amount of garbage we put out every two weeks and make sure we produce more recycle and compost than garbage. Cloth diapers just seemed like a natural progression to me and my husband was pretty on board with whatever I wanted. They have such cute patterns and quickly become addictive.
I knew that I would be doing laundry every two to three days, plus they would need a day to dry, so I would need roughly ~30 diapers. After doing a lot of research I decided to try them all and buy a variety of different types, pre-folds, pockets, all in 1, etc. I chose different brands at different price points, Grovia’s, Kawaii’s, AMP, Apple Cheeks, Kushies, Bummis, Thirsties, etc. I even won some Funky Fluff diapers and found I really liked them too. I found that as my daughter grew some brands and types fit her better than others. I bought a lot of one-size fits all, which were great, but so big at the beginning it took awhile for her little legs to be flexible enough to fit in them as the crotch was so bulky. The smaller ones at the beginning fit her better, but of course didn’t last as long (and barely lasted three month with Po). Here are some things I learned while cloth diapering:
- You need to have a lot. You never know when they will go through a lot of diapers, or you get behind on laundry for whatever reason and run out.
- I kept some covers and prefolds (or just put a regular insert in the cover) to supplement when I ran out. I was not a fan of prefolds, Thor refused to use them as he found them annoying to use, it is the cheapest way to go though.
- As easy as they may seem, other people will have issues using them and do them up wrong so they leak. Always give a little tutorial to anyone changing your little to help them.
- If they do not fit properly they will leak every time they pee or be so tight they leave marks on baby’s skin.
- I did not like cloth diapering on vacation, too many things to bring with us, and bringing smelly diapers home stunk up the car. I use disposable on vacation.
- After Bee started sleeping through the night (aka stopped nursing at night) I could put cloth on her overnight. I found the Sandy’s Motherease diapers could contain her night time pees, but they smelled so bad in the morning and she got horrible rashes everywhere the diaper touched from the ammonia in her urine so after a few months I switched back and will always use disposables at night even with Po, it is much easier and just seems more comfortable for them.
- They are much cheaper than buying disposables. Now that Bee is potty trained, she wears pull-ups at nap and night-time and I cannot believe how much money I spend on diapers now! Plus I have all these diapers to put on Po and don’t have to spend any extra money on him.
- It is much cheaper to air dry your diapers than run them through the dryer. It also preserves them better so there is not as much wear on them and they last longer.
Things I like about cloth diapers:
- Less leaks and almost no blowouts. Like clockwork when Po is in disposables (overnight and while on vacation) he has massive blowouts in disposables, all his onsie’s right now have poop stains halfway up the back from our vacation and his daily (or sometimes four times a day) poop explosions (and he is 6 months and in size 4 disposable diapers so it’s not too small). The elastic at the top of the diaper really contains those nasty blowouts and it’s easier to clean up off the diapers.
- Sunning at my backdoor. A great way to admire all my cute diapers!
- I feel like I am doing my part to reduce waste at the landfill.
- They are easier to change on a wiggly baby, you can’t rip the tab off a cloth and you can stretch that around them standing or lying down, or upside down without worrying about ripping it.
- Extra padding when they learn to walk and fall on their bum a lot.
- A lot less diaper rashes. Without fail, 48 hours in disposable and they have a diaper rash. This is one of my top reasons!
- It is a lot easier to potty train. By 20 months Bee could identify when she pooped and tell us, and frequently pooped on the potty and not in her diaper, by 22 months she almost exclusively pooped in the potty so it was much easier to train her as she could really feel the poop and didn’t like how it felt on her.
- AMP’s are my overall favourite diapers. They fit the best on both of mine and leak the least. They are trim and not too bulky and I love the colours and patterns.
Downsides to cloth diapers:
- Time consuming. I do diapers every two to three days, regular rinse load, soap load, hang to dry. It is a lot of up and down to the laundry room and I can’t always do that with two kids and not being able to hang them up one handed, it can frequently take 24 hours once in the wash to being hung up. Then I have to stuff them and put them back in baskets in the nursery, may not seem like a lot but it does take up a lot of extra time.
- It makes their bottom a lot bigger so they go through clothes faster. Po is wearing 18-24 month shorts (again he is six months) and some shorts don’t even fit over his diaper, and his rompers won’t shut at the crotch, neither of my kids ever fit in jeans with their cloth diapers either.
- Dumping/spraying the poop into the diaper isn’t the most fun and can be quite messy too.
- When they do get a bad diaper rash that needs zinc I cannot use that with cloth so I have to switch to disposables temporarily if they need that so I don’t wreck my diapers.
- Po never fit the small cloth diapers. The first three months of his life he leaked almost every time he peed. I could never get them tight enough without being too tight and it was annoying having to change his whole outfit each time he peed. But he leaked in the disposables too.
- Having two in cloth diapers is really expensive! At 3.5 months I switched Po to the large/one size fits all cloth diapers (they finally fit with no leaks!), but immediately I potty-trained Bee as I did not have enough cloth diapers for the two of them in big sizes and I was not going to go out and buy a whole bunch more.
- They smell! My husband hates how bad they smell and says our whole basement smells like dirty diapers (that’s where they dry).
- They are a lot bulkier to bring in your purse/diaper bag for changes while out and about. I think it is worth it as there are less accidents so I do not have to bring as many changes of clothes, but they take up a lot more room.
Overall I love cloth diapers and am glad I did them. I would choose to do them again but only if I worked-from-home as I do now with my little’s. I think if I worked outside the house I would find it to hectic and stressful to keep up with the washes. But that is just my two-cents!
Do you cloth diaper? What is your favourite types? What are your favourite and least favourite parts of cloth diapering?