Cloth Diapering 101: Part 2

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Yesterday I shared our cloth diapering story.  Click here to read Cloth Diapering 101: Part 1.

Here are 17 tips for cloth diapering success!

Getting Started:

  • Cloth diapering is a team effort.  I do not recommend using cloth diapers if your spouse is not on board.  I can’t say that I would still be cloth diapering if it weren’t for Brad’s support.
  • Do your research.  Ask your friends or cloth-diapering acquaintances what brands they recommend.
  • Try a sampler pack, or buy a few to begin.  Most of the cost of cloth diapering is in getting started.  We bought our diapers new on Ebay.
  • Decide how many you need.  Infants use 8-12 diapers per day, so plan accordingly.
  • Decide how long you will need them.  We originally thought our first 24 diapers would be enough forever.  We didn’t count on having 2 kids in diapers at the same time.  We also thought that all kids potty-trained at 2 years old.  Hahahaha….
  • Consider all costs involved.  We haven’t noticed high water bills, but we do laundry daily anyway so maybe that’s why.  We also hang our laundry to dry, so we’re not running up our electric bill either.
  • Snaps last longer than Velcro, because the Velcro will eventually wear out.
  • Websites like convertmydiapers.com will convert your Velcro diapers to snaps for you, although it is cheaper to do it yourself if you have the time.
  • Keep disposable diapers and wipes on hand for “special occasions.”  We use disposables for road trips and flights, and keep disposable wipes in the diaper bag.  We also prefer to use disposables for the first few weeks after birth since we usually receive them as gifts, and the baby needs the most diaper changes at that time.

Changing Cloth Diapers:

  • Changing cloth diapers does not require much more work than disposable diapers.  Remove the diaper, shake or pull out the inserts, and drop all of it into a plastic tub with a lid (or a plastic grocery bag in the diaper bag).
  • Use cloth wipes.  Why not?  You’re already using cloth diapers.  Brad cut up a bunch of his old t-shirts for wipes, and when they get ratty, we throw them away.  We keep them in a wipes container on the changing table in soapy water.
  • Cloth diapers might not suit you if you have a weak stomach.  However…whether or not you choose to cloth diaper, there’s no avoiding the baby poop, pee, vomit, dirt, spit-up, and numerous other icky messes that come with parenting.
  • Your church nursery or child care provider may be a little intimidated by cloth diapers at first.  They’re envisioning diaper pins, lots of folding, and a squirming baby.  They’ll be amazed once you show them how easy it is to remove the diaper, place it in a plastic grocery bag, and put it back in the diaper bag.

Laundering Cloth Diapers:

  • As long as a baby is breast-fed exclusively (generally the first 6 months or so), their poop will be liquidy and mustard-colored so you can wash everything in the washing machine.  Once you introduce solid foods or formula, the consistency of their poop will become darker and more solid and will begin to stink.  (Yet another good reason for breastfeeding exclusively and holding off on solid foods!)
  • Solid waste can generally be dumped into the toilet, and some people invest in a special sprayer to help rinse it off the diaper into the toilet before washing.  Brad does get grossed-out when he finds raisins, peanuts, or corn on the bottom of the washing machine and has to pick them out.
  • Use whatever detergent you prefer.  Although many websites recommend special detergents, our kids have never had a reaction to regular detergents.
  • Folding the laundry will be a bigger chore if you cloth diaper.  After washing the diapers, the inserts must be “stuffed” back into the diapers.  This being said though, if you have little ones, you’ll be doing a lot of laundry anyway so there’s no escaping it one way or the other.

Have you cloth diapered your children?  What tips would you add?

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5 Responses to “Cloth Diapering 101: Part 2”

  1. Jessica says:

    We recently started cloth diapering & love it! Thanks for the great tips!

  2. […] Click here to read Cloth Diapering 101: Part 2. […]

  3. […] 2009, we moved to Minnesota with our 2-month-old cloth-diapered daughter.  A friend found a tiny upstairs apartment for us, just a few blocks from the high school where […]

  4. […] 1. Cloth Diaper your Children (Cloth Diapering 101: Part 1 and Part 2) […]

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