CLOTH DIAPERING 101: Everything the modern mom needs to know to start cloth diapering
Posted on July 06 2017
There are a million decisions to make when you’re expecting a new baby. Basics of cloth diapering should be the one of them.
Many natural mamas see the appeal of cloth diapering, but don’t know where to start. Other parents may not have even considered cloth diapering. Or don’t know anyone who has done it other than their grandma.
Well, the good news is that cloth diapering is easier to do than you may think. And today’s cloth diapers are a lot easier to use than your grandma’s.
Here’s everything you need to know to get started.
Getting started with cloth diapering
Before you invest a big chunk of change in particular brand, try variety of cloth diapers from different brands. That way you will see what works best for your baby. Borrow from friends or even try consignment stores or online shops. You can also visit the Facebook and Twitter pages of various brands offering testers.
You can even get it right here in our store. Check this out:
Its clear for Shannon Griffith, owner of Green Diaper Babies cloth diaper service in Chicago.
"Once you're ready to build your stash, you'll need a two to three dozen diapers or diaper-plus-insert sets for a newborn.", she says. (You'll need fewer as your baby gets older.)
Cloth diapering is easier if you invest in some accessories. A diaper pail for storing the dirties before washing, a waterproof "wet bag" for stashing soiled diapers when you're on the go, disposable diaper liners.
Benefits of cloth diapering
Cloth diapering have many benefits. These are the few of them:
Good for your baby
Disposable diapers contain harmful chemicals. These chemicals can irritate baby’s skin, causing diaper rash. Dioxin, a by-product of bleaching, is recognized by the EPA as the most toxic carcinogen. Disposables also contain Tributyl-tin which is a chemical causing hormonal problems in humans.
Good for the environment
Disposable diapers generate sixty times more solid waste than cloth diapers do. Also, they use twenty times more raw materials to make! Yikes. Additionally, it’s estimated to take 250-500 years for a single disposable diaper to break down in a landfill.
Cloth diapers can be used over and over before heading to the landfill. Moreover, they they take about 5 months to break down! You may even be able to compost old cloth diapers as long as they’re made from natural fiber such as cotton or wool.
Good for you
They’re cheaper! Cloth diapers cost more upfront but save you a lot in the long run. Disposables are more convenient sometimes but cloth is much more convenient at other times. For instance, you never have to run out to the store in bad weather or in the middle of the night to buy more!
Fresh options in cloth diapering
Cloth diapering have come a looong way, baby. These days, there are a dozen types of cloth diapers. Ranging from the traditional flat squares of cloth to hybrids with washable covers.
"There are so many options -- no matter your baby's body type or activity level, there's a style on the market that will work for him or her," says mom blogger Erin Odom, author of Confessions of a Cloth Diaper Convert: A Simple, Comprehensive Guide to Using Cloth Diapers.
There are three modern (i.e., no bulky, ugly plastic covers) options to consider:
Pocket Diapers. Pocket diapers resemble a basic diaper cover with snap or Velcro closures. They have built-in inner pocket that you stuff with an absorbent, reusable insert. They're the cloth diaper of choice for many moms. They dry quickly, aren't too bulky beneath clothes, are more affordable, and you can control the absorbency by how you stuff them.
One-Size. Believe it or not, there are "one-size" diapers that grow with your baby. You can use the exact same diaper on your eight-pound newborn as you will when she is ready to potty train. Snap or Velcro closures let you adjust for size. Besides, large inserts accommodate changing absorbency needs.
All-in-Ones. No stuffing inserts here. With AIOs the absorbent insert is sewn right in to the diaper cover. You can diaper your baby as normal, then toss the whole thing in the laundry when it gets soiled. Yet, multiple cleaning of the diapers ruins them most of the times. Most of the moms are focusing on one-size pocket diapers. Only reusable insert is washed from them and the diaper cover remains intact.
You can find a wide selection of LIMITED EDITION: LITTLE BLOOM one-size pocket diapers in our shop. Get theme here:
One thing all these options have in common? It is a wide array of bright colors and designs, from punk-rock skull-and-crossbones to fire trucks and mustaches. They're also on the pricier side, ranging from about $25-$40.
Cost of cloth diapering (compared to disposables)
There’s no doubt that cloth diapering will save you money, but how much?
Diaperdecisions.com conducted a study in respect of cost of cloth diapering. Cloth diapering from birth to age 2.5 can run from a $381 (for the simpliest covers), washing included, to $1 468 (for hybrids). Disposables would in this case cost about $2 577. We’re going to cut that price of cloth right down the middle for this graphic here.
In reality, you can get away with fewer diapers than they suggest, so your actual cost could be lower. With Diaperdecision.com’s figures, you are saving between 43% and 85% of the price of disposables.
If you choose to buy more diapers that is necessary, you will put less wear on them. Thus, your diapers can either be used for a sibling or sold for about 50% of retail, saving you even more.
Debunking the misconceptions
"Cloth diapering seems like too much work"
Here's a little secret: You don't need to be a hardcore, all-or-nothing cloth diaper user. Some parents use disposables in the first few weeks after their child is born, then switch to cloth. Others use cloth at home but travel with disposables. Still others go the hybrid-diaper route, which combines the best of both worlds. A washable cover that never comes in contact with any fluids, save the occasional blowout, plus a flushable, biodegradable insert that won't hang around the planet for as long as a disposable diaper.
As for all that laundry, take a cue from San Clemente, California mom Kate Mudge. She simply ran a load at bedtime every night (or every other night as her kids grew). After that she moved the clean diapers to the dryer at midnight feedings. "I'd fold and stuff diapers while watching TV at night, so it never felt like a huge chore," she says. "And once they were waiting in the drawer, they were as easy to use as disposables."
"But I Don't Want to Deal with Scraping Poop into a Toilet"
Who does, mama? But disposable liners, which come in a toilet paper-like roll and can be placed on the diaper next to your baby's skin make that chore easier. Pop a liner in baby's diaper, then gather up any solid mess and flush it before placing the diaper in the laundry. Easy-peasy!
"But I heard they're as bad for the environment as disposables"
Disposable diapers clog up landfills -- nobody's arguing that they don't. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average baby uses 8 000 diapers. All in all, it creates a staggering (and stinky) 3.6 million tons of municipal solid waste every year.
Cloth diapers aren't perfect, either. Laundering requires energy and water and introduces chemical detergents into the environment. And while cloth diaper delivery services that pick up your dirties and drop off clean ones use less water than home washings by operating in bulk, they need gas-driven cars, contributing to air pollution. From an environmental perspective, neither option is perfect. Still, go with the one that feels best to you.
How about you?
Did (or do) you cloth diaper? What type do you use? Why did you choose cloth diapering? Still, we hope that we have eased our life a little bit. In case you want some high-quality limited edition cloth diapers, do not hesitate and get yours for a discounted price!