Posted by: spaghettipie | September 26, 2007

WFMW: Cloth Diapering

I totally recognize that cloth diapering isn’t for everyone, but I love it. As a part of our focus on stewardship, I became interested in cloth diapers, even though my daughter was already two years old. I’m working toward potty training, but we’re just not there yet. Originally I thought we would switch for our next child, but the more I thought about it, the more I felt like why wait? My husband was a little skeptical but agreed to go along with the plan. Here were my main reasons for wanting to switch:

  • While some people will debate how much of a financial savings you will gain, the bottom line is that it’s cheaper to use cloth diapers (without a diaper service), especially if you use them on more than one child.
  • Environmentally speaking, all those disposable diapers just get sent to a landfill. And I recently read this article which states, “Have you ever read the back of the box for disposables? When you do, you will find a statement that baby soil should be put into the toilet before the diaper is disposed of in the garbage. Human waste is not meant to be in landfills, but when was the last time you tossed the contents of a disposable diaper into the toilet?”
  • Health-wise, I am slightly bothered by the gel that sometimes gets left on my daughter by disposable diapers. I know the box says that it is harmless, but it still seems like strange chemicals on a very personal part.

A friend of mine and I decided to try it (she actually started before me), and placed an initial order. Which leads me to my first piece of advice: Try them before you make a commitment. I ordered six pre-fold diapers, two diaper covers (one “Thirsties” and one “Bummies”), a laundry bag (also known as a “dry bag”), a sprayer attachment for the toilet, two “Snappies” (which hold the diaper in place, instead of using pins), one pocket diaper (Bum Genius), one hemp insert (Hemparoo) and one night-time diaper (Dream-eze). The initial investment was about $100. My friend gave me a few wipes solution tablets to try, and I purchased some soft washcloths at Target for a few dollars. Rather than doing the 4-6 diaper washings when I first received the diapers (to remove excess oils and reach maximum absorbency), I boiled the diapers for about 15 minutes and then put them in the wash for one cycle.

I had to do laundry almost every day, but I decided that I liked using them. We definitely had a little bit of a learning curve in getting the diapers on right so they didn’t leak and using the right ones at the right time. I didn’t really like the Dream-eze diaper, but I continue to use it since I have it. My biggest concern was how bulky they were. Some of my daughter’s shorts and pants were a little too tight on the cloth diapers and cover. So I did a little research and decided to try contoured diapers. I placed a second order for two more pocket diapers, two more diaper covers, six contour diapers, and three more hemp inserts. The second order was also around $100.

Since then, I’ve been pleased. Our basic routine is to use a pocket diaper with the insert that comes with it, as well as a hemp insert, for nighttime. I use the contour diapers or the pre-folds during the day, unless I’m taking her to someplace where she’ll be in childcare (church, Bible study, gym, sitter). During nap time I use either the Dream-eze or another pocket diaper. As far as washing goes, if the diaper is dirty, I rinse it off in the toilet with the sprayer first. Then, both wet diapers and rinsed dirty diapers go into the laundry bag. I air out the covers during the day. When I actually go to do the wash, any covers that are airing out I throw in the wash. I do a rinse only in cold water. Then I run the hot/cold cycle with a diluted amount of regular detergent (they say that “free and clear” type detergents actually coat the diapers and reduce absorbency). I pull out the diaper covers to air dry and tumble dry the rest.

I’ll definitely continue with cloth with our next child. If you are interested in using cloth diapers, here’s what I would recommend.

  1. Evaluate your lifestyle to see if cloth diapering make sense to try. Talk to others you know about it, but get a balanced opinion.
  2. Read about the different types of cloth diapering products. A great source of information (and to buy) is Soft Cloth Bunz.
  3. Buy a sample pack or a small order to try it out before you make a commitment.
  4. Give it at least 1-2 weeks before making a decision.
  5. Don’t feel bad if you decide not to do it, or if you only go for cloth diapers a percentage of the time. Right now, we’re probably 75% of the time in cloth diapers.

Good luck! Check out Rocks in my Dryer for more great Works for Me Wednesday tips.

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Responses

  1. Good tips. I want to cloth diaper and I think the most difficult thing will be figuring out which type of diapers I want to use.

  2. E – Good luck! Feel free to contact me if you have any specific questions. I’d be happy to talk with you about it.

  3. i too loved cloth diapering…but i’m sure glad we’re done ;o)

    thanks for the great post!

  4. A – Thanks for stopping by!


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