When Sam was in utero I began researching cloth diapers. I was already committed to it in my mind but the more research I did & blogs I read, the more fluid my commitment became because they seemed so intimidating. I decided to give it a try anyway and I’m glad I did. For those of you who may be considering cloth diapers, I hope to offer a little encouragement and practical advice and possibly help eliminate the intimidation factor with some helpful tips. You really can do it and here’s how.
People cloth diaper for all sorts of reasons…for some it is the green factor that attracts them, for others it’s simply the cost savings and for others they like that it is a more natural approach to dressing baby’s bottom (disposable diapers contain chemicals & are more prone to cause diaper rash). For us, it was a combination of all three of these reasons.
To start us off, I want to debunk a few myths about cloth diapering with some of the reactions that I get when I tell people that I cloth diaper:
1. “I couldn’t do that, it takes up too much time
True, you’re gonna have to wash one load of dirty diapers every couple days. If you’re not down with that, then cloth diapering probably isn’t for you. Other than laundry, there is no additional time required each week for cloth diapering.
2. “Isn’t it expensive?”
Here’s a little simple math:
$1000 :: the amount I would pay on disposables by the time Sam is 1 year
$750 :: the amount I will pay on cloth diapers by the time Sam is 1 year. (includes the cost of extra laundry detergent)
My numbers are conservative, but as you can see, there is pretty significant annual cost savings. Add in another child and the cost savings sky rocket because those smaller cloth diapers your older one has grown out of can be recycled to your new little bundle.
3. “It seems too complicated.”
I agree. But now that I’ve actually done it – it’s not. We live in a culture of excess and waste and where time is of more value than quality (i.e. Starbucks – sorry, coffee snob, I had to throw that in here). But all that to say, cloth diapering is by far one of the least complicated of all of the new skills you learn as a parent. Learning how to operate Sam’s stroller was far more complicated than learning how to put a piece of cloth on his butt. But to help you sift through all of the cloth diaper terminology, here is a crash course and really all you need to know.
All-in-one, Pocket Diaper, Diaper Cover…. what’s the difference?!!?! The only difference in all these is merely a matter of your preference. They all do the same thing – prevent poop & pee from going everywhere at the most inopportune times 🙂 To help simplify things, I’ll divide the terms into the two categories that cloth diapers are comprised of: Outer Layers & Inner Layers
- AIO (All In Ones) – these diapers already come with the lining in them so they are single use
- Pocket Diaper – drop a prefold or a liner into one of these and you are ready to rock. You can usually get 2 or 3 changes out of them before you have to move on to another pocket diaper because the liner/prefold absorbs the pee pee/ doo doo and the outer layer stays dry.
- Diaper Cover – a water-proof outer layer you can put a prefold or liner into. When baby dirties up the liner or prefold, simply remove and put a fresh, clean one in the cover. Unless baby has a total blow out – you can usually get some good mileage out of covers which makes them the most economical choice.
- AIO (All In Ones) – again, these diapers already come with the absorbent inner layer in them – no other moving parts, hence their name
- Prefolds – cloth-like layer that you can use inside of a pocket diaper or diaper cover
- Liner – pocket diapers usually come with these. They serve the same purpose as prefolds, just a little bit different in shape. You can use them with pocket diapers or diaper covers.
By now, you can see that there is a lot of versatility and inter-changeability in the cloth diaper world. Just remember:
outer layer + inner layer = baby booty coverage!
Choose All In Ones and don’t worry about the layers or choose the other options which are more economical.
SO WHAT DO YOU NEED TO GET STARTED?
- 6-9 diaper covers or pocket diapers (or combo of both)
- 12-15 prefolds
- 12-15 All-In-Ones
I’d be happy to answer questions :: Just leave a comment