I love our cloth diapers. I wish I could buy one of every brand just to see how they all measure up against each other, and because every brand’s designs are cuter than the last. But, that would get expensive really really fast. In the beginning of our diapering journey, I knew my parents used cloth, and Will’s parents used cloth. They all used prefolds, covers, pins, and a diaper service. But until the last 10 years, I never heard of anyone doing it anymore! Pampers and Huggies seemed the only way to do it. Enter my friend Christina. We met in Grad School, and in the second year we spent a lot of time on campus together. She was preparing for the arrival of her 1st baby and introduced me to Modern Cloth Diapering. And when little Emily arrived I saw all those cute fluffy dipes in action, and I decided I would be following suit when I had a baby(s). It’s become really important to me for the following reasons:
1. Saves $$! You spend money on diapers one time. Then you can reuse them for future kids, and even re-sell them when finished for some of your money BACK. We registered for the majority of our diaper collection, I have since bought 2 extra diapers for overnight use, which I didn’t know I needed. We saved big $ since all of our awesome friends and fam pitched in on the registry.
2. Saves the landfills. This is a biggie for me. I reuse plastic baggies for pete’s sake. The numbers of diaper products in landfills is disgusting, and even the “eco” diaper options don’t biodegrade because they aren’t ventilated properly. Once in the landfill, the stuff in the diapers gets into the ecosystem – also bad. Even though laundering uses water and electricity, it’s worth it to me to save the landfills from at least my babies. Read a little about it here.
3. Chemicals. I’m not crazy about needing everything to be organic and chemical free. It’s nice if it is and it’s affordable, but when it comes to babies, disposables have a LOT of chemicals in them. That is how the diapers have become so thin and absorbent. In my opinion, we wear cotton underwear, so should babies.
4. I think it’s gross to throw poop in the garbage. Now that the babies are eating solids, their poop goes from the diaper into the toilet for disposal. We have a nifty diaper sprayer that shoots a stream of water to dislodge solids from the diaper, it’s handy dandy.
5. We never run out of diapers. Just do a wash and we’re back up and running.
6. Washing is way easier than you think.
7. You know those blowouts that explode up the back and smear poop all over the baby and his clothing? Cloth holds everything. Usually when we have a leak it’s user error.
8. No diaper rash! All those chemicals in disposables are really irritating. Baby skin gets lots of air with the cotton dipes, and even Teddy with his sensitive skin doesn’t get diaper rash. It’s awesome.
So since I’ve written out our cloth diaper stash and routine in emails for a half dozen girlfriends already, I decided to put it all up on the blog so I have a place to direct people for the future.
I use the following diapers:
*Prefolds and Covers (the old fashioned way)
Osocozy unbleached cotton prefolds (18 size 1, 12 Better Fit Premium, 12 size 2 we use for burp cloths, change pads, etc)
Boingo fasteners (instead of pins)
2 Thirsties covers (we had 4 x size 1s lasted until 5 mths old. since they didn’t fit into pockets until about 2/2.5 months old this was all they wore for the 1st few weeks, and size 2s will go the rest of the way); 2 Blueberry covers (one size fits all)
12 KaWaii and 10 BumGenius (KaWaii are a little less $, BG are a little better made)
Both are one size fits all and snap on just like a disposable diaper
Pockets are great because you can stuff anything in the diaper for extra absorbancy. I use my prefolds in these as well because I find they hold moisture better than the microfiber inserts that the diapers come with.
Babykicks organic hemp/cotton diaper and a Cover
This diaper is great for overnight because the hemp/cotton blend. This diaper goes on like a pocket but is not waterproof, which is why it needs an extra cover, the whole thing is absorbent.
It’s one size and baby can wear it literally from newborn all the way through potty training.
I have 2 of these, they are the priciest diaper ($22/each) but by far my favorite of all. I might save for a few more.
*Doublers – 4 Thirsties,(2 small, 2 large) they’re 100% hemp/cotton and we use them for overnight combined with a prefold on the 3rd night since we only have enough fitteds for 2 nights. They’re not super fast at absorbing liquid but are terrific at holding it without leaking, and can hold A LOT. So they’re very good when combined with cotton or even microfiber if you’re in a pinch. The microfiber is good at absorbing quickly but not good at holding liquid, so the hemp picks up the slack. The thirsties brand doublers are really good, but are kind of thick. I’ve heard really good things about the babykicks hemp/cotton doublers. If they’re anything like the inserts that come with their fitted diapers, they are thin, trim, and function perfectly. Pair a doubler with the insert of your choice lay it underneath the insert next to the diaper cover and either stuff in a pocket or lay in a cover.
Other cloth diapering supplies:
*Cloth Wipes – BumGenius and GroVia brand wipes, about 40 in all. I used a homemade wipe solution in the beginning with some dr bronners baby soap and grapeseed oil, but it irritated Teddy’s skin (everything does) so now I just use water. I dunk the wipe in a closed container I keep by the changing table, and toss in the diaper pail to wash with everything else.
*Diaper Pail/Insert – We use a regular old plastic garbage can from Home Depot, it works just fine, you just want something with a lid. The bag we use is Kissaluvs brand and is WONDERFUL. It has really good elastic to hold it up on any pail you choose to use and is lined with a similar material to the diapers to waterproof it. It hold 3 full days of diapers for us and is odor resistant so helps contain smells (as long as the pail lid is on). I wash it once a week with the diapers and hang dry. We have 1, and use a garbage bag on wash day, I wish we had 2 to use one, wash one.
*Wet Bag – you need this for your diaper bag, for dirty diapers. Ours is Planet Wise brand, size medium I think. It holds a full day of diapers and zippers to close. Love it. Oh and it works great for swim suits and such as well. I also wash this with the diapers when it’s dirty.
*You have to be careful using rash creams with the diapers because they can cause buildup and repelling. I use CJ’s BUTTer, it’s moisturizing and clean. Cloth diaper bonus: baby rashes less common. You can use rash creams without fish oil in the ingredient list (like Triple Paste) on cotton and hemp diapers it won’t botter them. Oh and for spots that are a little extra red I have used Burts Bees Dipaer Cream without any problems. It probably wouldn’t be good for everyday, and definitely not with the pockets. (Pockets can be sensitive). http://www.cjsuniqueboutique.com
*All of the diapers and covers come in a snap or velcro (also call aplix or hook and loop) option. Velcro is quicker to use, but snaps are more durable with all the washing, and I understand babies learn pretty quickly how to take off the diapers with velcro. Snaps are a bit harder for little fingers to operate. I went with snaps on everything.
My Washing Routine:
*Cold Rinse with no detergent
*Hot Wash with 2 tablespoons Tide Original unscented Powder
*Warm Rinse to make sure all detergent is gone
*All inserts and prefolds go in the dryer
Covers and Pocket Covers hang dry (if it’s warm and not raining outside I will dry on a clothes line…the sun takes out all the staining!)
*In the beginning when they were using 10 diapers each per day I washed everyday. Now they are down to 5, washing every other day is fine.
I would say for diapering one baby at a time, you would probably need about 20 diapers to be washing every other day. For twins we could probably get by with 20-25, but I’m much more comfortable having 30. A few more wouldn’t hurt us either (I’m still thinking about 2 more babykicks!)
Update: In the last few months I ended up ordering 4 more babykicks fitteds, another dozen cotton prefolds, and 2 more covers. I have been thinking for awhile that our pockets are in a pretty heavy rotation and we are gonna need them for at least another year (and that’s a pretty ambitious estimate). Having enough diapers to stretch to washing every third day would help a lot to extend the life of our diapers, and the least expensive way to do that is covers and prefolds. My sister bought a cover by Diaper Safari that is really reasonably priced and works well, so that’s what I went with. I’ve been drooling over a Rumparooz brand cover but I could get 2 of the Safaris for the price of one Rumparooz. So there you have it. So now we have 40 ish total diapers, whew!
Update 2: So Diaper Safari had a sale last month and I ordered MORE, ha! 2 more covers, so now we have 8 covers all together. And a half-dozen of these nifty things called “tri-folds” which are a stay-dry fleece on one side and a bamboo-cotton on the other. They were such a good price I couldn’t pass them up. So the tri-fold are basically like the prefolds except they aren’t layered cotton and don’t have the predesignated seams. The tri-folds are not meant to wrapped around baby and secured, they are designed to fold in thirds and laid in a cover. They fit especially nicely in the diaper safari covers (same brand and all) and work excellently with no leaks. They fit in with our rotation very well, and I think we’re all set for the time being. We are now washing every 3rd day and that is working out great for us – only 2 diaper laundry days a week!
Update 3 (3/30/14): I have an addiction. In my defense everything listed here was on super sale or used. I recently bought an extra pail liner, it’s Plant Wise brand, and so far just as nice as the kissaluvs one we’ve been using for a year. Also a second small planet wise wet bag which I’m using for wipes in my diaper bag. I pre-wet the wipes, zip them up in this, and go! I also found a few gently used diapers to try out some different brands of pockets. In addition to 6 more osocozy better fit prefolds, I got 2 Babykicks premium pockets. They are wonderful, super trim, and very absorbent. The only issue with them is the fit. They definitely fit Teddy better with his slender long torso, than Lucie with her shorter torso and chubbier legs. Opposite for the other 2 diapers from Rumparooz. These are lovely looking diapers, and the fleece is so very soft on the inside. However they have very short rise under the belly and so fit Teddy just ok. With Lucie’s big toddler tummy and roll-y legs, they fit perfectly. So, I’m glad I didn’t build my stash on these brands, the BGs and Kawaiis are holding up very well, and these 4 pockets are good supplements. My blueberry covers are showing some serious wear, the elastics all over are all but shot, but they’re so big that they still protect the fitteds at nights so that is all they’re used for these days. And sadly, I did lose one kawaii to broken leg elastics and a broken snap, luckily it’s the only true causality. Lastly, a swim diaper for each, but Lucie has outgrown hers already…I’m on the hunt for another!
So diapering twins the supply total comes to:
- 36 prefolds
- 6 trifolds
- 6 fitteds
- 25 pockets
- 8 covers
- 4 doublers
- 3-4 dozen wipes
- 2 wet bags
- 2 pail liners
- I stuff my pockets with prefolds, so all in all I have 42 diapers
So that is my cloth diapering spiel. Now what you’ve been waiting for, pictures of the twins in their diapers…Lucie is wearing a BumGenius stuffed with a prefold, Teddy in KaWaii stuffed with microfiber. Both babies I discovered had poop in their diapers when I went to change them after these photos, so you can see that both brands hold in squishy poo just fine 🙂