When I was a squirt… (a curly-haired squirt) and most likely when you were a squirt too, cloth diapers were the thing to use. You know… the old fashion kind… the ones where you had to use REAL clothespins… My Mother stuck me in those things and then put a dang plastic diaper cover on me (for spillage purposes obviously).
See image below. Now isn’t that cute…
My Mother continued to use cloth diapers into the 90s with my Brother – who I am 8 years his senior. I still remember changing these diapers and FEARING those darn clothespins. Pricked myself a bunch.
I was no stranger to cloth diapering. But modern-day cloth diapering?
Before I can even begin this post, I need to give a shout out to one of my closest friends, Emily. If it wasn’t for you girl… I would not have ventured into modern-day cloth diapering!
SIDE NOTE: I have provided you with links to all products I purchased. I do NOT get paid for the links or referrals. These are just my honest recommendations.
Second SIDE NOTE: The start-up cost to cloth diapering one would say is a tad expensive. Keep an eye out for sales. Start early into your pregnancy. The pay out in the long run is huge. Especially if you plan to have more than one child.
When I found out I was pregnant, I started to get grilled about many things… Some of them were TMI but for the most part the normal… “will you breast feed” “will you use cloth diapers” etc. I started researching the pros and the cons on cloth diapering and found out a close girlfriend (as mentioned above) used these. She too is a part-timer. I bounced ideas and questions off of her and it sounded like I could get the hang of it. So I jumped in, purchased them, washed them (numerous times), stuffed, and folded and then waiting for mister Gentry to arrive!
Below is what how I incorporate cloth diapering into my fast paced, ever-changing, SAHM life. Too each is own but I hope that someone out there will find my situation similar and might want to give these a try!
BRAND: I use KaWaii diapers. I got them when they were on sale for about $5 a pop which is almost unheard of. Keep your eyes peeled for more of their deals if you are on the hunt. They range from $5-$10. The quality is good but I have nothing to compare it to. These are the only brand I have ever tried. I did have ONE button that came off and that is totally not normal. I messaged KaWaii and they requested I send a picture of what I was talking about (probably because it never happens) only problem is that I stuffed that sucker somewhere so I don’t use it and now I can’t remember what I did with it. Ha!
HOW MANY TO BUY: When KaWaii had their sale going on and Emily told me about it, I had NO idea how many to purchase. After all the amount of diapers a day slowly decrease as they get older and I didn’t know of bat how soon I would get him in them. I didn’t know how long the disposables I had on had would last us. So I purchased 20 of them. If I didn’t do laundry nightly, I would get maybe 2-3 days out of 20 diapers. Not saying to forgo the nightly washings, just giving you an idea how long they can last. As a part-timer to one squirt in diapers I would say that you could probably get away with 10 diapers. BUT if you think even for a split second that you may end up with another squirt in diapers and have to squirts running around in them, purchase around 20.
WASHING: My husband installed a sprayer to our toilet (super easy to do he says). While Squirt was breast-milk fed, his poopsies weren’t bad. But when they were, I would use the sprayer and then place the diaper in its container which I keep in the bathroom. I also purchased two pail liners to switch out when one was busy being washed. Here is the one we purchased. They have so many cute designs and colors. For not so messy diapers and pee ones, I just threw in the pail. It is also a good habit to remove the liner before you place it in the pail. You don’t want to get to the washing machine and have to smell the old diapers as you are taking out all of the liners = no bueno! I wash the diapers nightly. I use all natural laundry soap from Amway and it works fine. I originally was using Free Tide and that worked okay too. Also, Gentry is really good at his poops. He usually has one a day and its usually in the morning. They usually end up in that one disposable that I use for his nightly sleep. At the end of my day, I usually only have pee diapers to wash. Hopefully, your squirt will be that helpful. 😀 IMPORTANT: When you first get the diapers, you need to wash the diapers and inserts 4-5 times, back to back, so that they become absorbent. After washing, you can hang dry outside (to save even more $) but I do not. I use the good ol’ dryer. I turn my diapers inside out at this point (even though the instructions say to do it prior to washing) and dry withOUT a dryer sheet. Then turn them right side out, stuff the inserts… fold… and ready to go.
WHEN TO START & SIZING: This was a hard one for me, but this is what I did. We were blessed to have enough disposable diapers from our baby showers and gifts to last us for a few months. I did not start putting cloth diapers on Gentry until about 4 months old. Besides having enough disposable diapers, when I would try them on him, they just looked MASSIVE. My Husband called him an ant because he really looked like one. *lol* No matter how I snapped the little suckers he was just swimming in them. They still worked – no leaks but still the poor kid was at an incline when he was laying on his back. In addition, babies go up in different size diapers QUICKLY and at different times than other babies based on their size/weight. So who knows, you might pop out a 9 pounder and find that the cloth diapers actually fit your squirt by month 2. The cloth diaper manufacturers do say that it is one size fits all. I think two each is own personally.
COST: The initial cost is whats the kicker. When I got the diapers on sale for $5 each, I purchased 20. The pail, liners, sprayer, and soap (if you want to throw that in there) is another $130 give or take with the soap you purchase. So to this cloth diapering thing up for me was around $250. Going forward, I purchase CHEAP diapers. I am not a cloth Mama to save the environment. If that’s you, great, but for me it was a plus not the whole reason why I went this round. The BEST diapers on a budget are surprisingly Walmart brand. Next up is Target. I buy a box of around 80 diapers maybe every other month. And the boxes are about $20.
LEAKING: At the beginning, Gentry didn’t have any leaks. But as his appetite grew, his bladder grew. I find now, that I must change his diaper around every 3 hours to prevent leaking. You can double up on your insert to make that diaper last longer. BUT I purchased more than my share of diapers and I have plenty to go around. Plus I don’t want to add more bulk to the already bulky diaper. Because of leaks, I do not use cloth diapers through the night. See the rest of my Part-Time nuances below.
INSERTS: If you purchase KaWaii diapers, do NOT purchase inserts. Each cloth diaper comes with TWO inserts. They way that a cloth diaper works is that it has an opening at the back-end of the diaper (where the babies lower back would rest on the diaper). This opening you would slide an insert into the diaper. It stays put and absorbs all of the liquid. This is the insert that you need to remove for washing.
SNAPS: Good Lord. This will take a little bit of getting used to. Play with your diaper when you first get it. Go online and see how other Mama’s snap their diapers. When you have “one size fits all” there are different ways you can snap the diapers to make it fit your little better. Once you figured it out there is no turning back. It becomes second nature.
- Don’t use diaper rash cream when they have a cloth diaper on. They won’t need it and it is bad for the absorbency of the cloth.
- Also, I feel like I use less wipes. Using a cloth diaper as your wipe for poops are so much gentler on their hineys. I give a swipe down when changing to get a majority of the poops. Then clean up the left overs with a wipe.
- If you do not like dealing with poop diapers to wash and have it in your budget, there are services that can clean your diapers for you.
Once you get into your groove it becomes second nature.
PART-TIME NUANCES: So as the title of this post states, I am a part-timer. I don’t devote my whole lifestyle to the cloth diaper way of living. I am a BUSY body. I am in and out of the house often. I love to entertain. I get a babysitter often. And I didn’t want to be tied down to a cloth diaper as it seemed to be more of a frustration than any thing. And I didn’t want to have to each everyone that watches Gentry on how to use these diapers. So these were my thoughts going through my head as I was working this all out and bouncing ideas off of Emily. What she came up with that I latched on to was when Gentry is home with Mama or Daddy, we use cloth diapers. When we are out and about, we use disposable. When we have a babysitter, we use a disposable. When he goes to sleep for 10-12 hours at night, we use a disposable. We use cloth diapers to save us money… a longer stretch of time before we have to purchase another box of diapers etc. So the “normal day” at home with Mama, he’s snapped into a KaWaii. When things are not normal, hes in a disposable. Some might say that the cost isn’t that big of a difference BUT when you add additional children in the mix… And when you don’t have to worry if you ran out of diapers… you will ALWAYS have back up… That is what sold me and I hope it does the same for you!
You don’t have to go into a full-time cloth diapering lifestyle. You can use it to your benefit in the way that adheres TO your lifestyle.
Reasons why I love cloth diapering:
- Saves on money
- Don’t have to run out for diapers
- They make diaper rash vanish (fresh cotton, breathable diapers. When the Pediatrician complements you on never having diaper rash, you know you’re doing something right!) – Save money on diaper rash cream too!
- I save money on wipes.
- They fit around our family life
- I never worry if we have diapers
- I won’t have to worry when we decide to have squirt #2
- They come in cute colors and designs. I’ve only stuck with the light blue. But have you seen some of these styles?! Adorable!
- They grow in size with my little
- Helps the landfills even just a tad with less diapers
- When diapering has commenced and your littles no longer need diapers AND they have had their share of back to back washes, another Mama in your circle might be willing to purchase from you!
- Husband approved