Recently I have read a lot of blog posts about cloth diapering, and then I noticed that my Facebook feed was filled with all of these cute little babies in adorable diapers. It seems that this way of diapering is really popular, and for good reason!
I did not use CD (cloth diapers) with my kids, and with D2 still a few months away from turning 2, I am actually considering switching over. The advantages are so great for the kids and for the environment- I actually read that not one disposable diaper has degraded since they were introduced in 1960. The cost, the comfort- why didn’t someone tell me more when I was expecting?!
So I asked a few of my mama friends who have used CD in the past or who are presently using them for some input on what I thought to be the most pressing questions out there so that new and expecting mothers can make a more informed decision about what it really is to cloth diaper!
- Let’s address the first thing that I think everyone wonders- do cloth diapers smell any more than regular diapers?
- Babies who are exclusively breast fed have poops that do not need to be prewashed. For formula fed babies or once you add it solids, #2 goes into the toilet to be flushed and you can keep the diapers in a pail. Most moms agree that washing every 2-3 days is crucial. But let’s face it- using disposables and a “diaper genie” can only genie away so much smell anyway. Personally, I think the CD method sounds like it would produce less smell. And with kids, laundry every 2-3 days is the usual, so what’s one extra load for diapers!
- Are there different types of cloth diapers? If so, what type do/did you prefer?
- SO many. A few that my friends have used are
- AIO- resembles a cloth diaper- waterproof with a soaker sewn in, harder to tailor to how much your baby wets, and take longer to dry
- Pocket- waterproof, has a pocket to stuff inserts that can be double stuffed, or folded based on boy/girl wet areas
- AI2- like a pocket diaper, but inserts snap in instead of being stuffed
- Fitted- great for newborns, not waterproof so required a cover, can come in many styles
- Prefolds- flat and can be folded in many ways, requires a cover
- Covers come in many varieties, and the consensus was that fleece is great for the summer and helps to keep your baby the coolest (I have been told that disposable diapers are actually the hottest and therefore the most uncomfortable) and PUL for the winter!
- SO many. A few that my friends have used are
- Is there a certain brand of CD that you prefer?
- This was a mixed response, but the recurring answers were- BumGenius (top runner overall!), Kissaluys, Lotus Bumz, and Alva!
- Do you use a special laundry detergent for washing your diapers?
- Yes! See what your manufacturer recommends! Some mothers have told me that Tide powder is great, others liked the common baby Dreft, and some preferred to use speciality detergents (I think I would go this route) such as Rockin Green!
- Do you use cloth wipes as well?
- Again, a mixed response in the beginning, but I think that the general consensus is that once you start using CD, the cloth wipes just make more sense!
- Are there certain diaper rash creams that are safe to use with CD?
- Babies who are CD generally get diaper rash less. As a personal story on this one, my kids never had it unless they were teething or on a strong antibiotic (strep throat is so evil), and the one time that D2 did have diaper rash and it was BAD, we opted to put him in training pants until the rash cleared. Epiphany here- why weren’t we using them the whole time?! Anyway, a lot of moms who CD make their own cream (check out Pinterest for some ideas), or you can search the internet for one that is safe to use with CD. The popular creams used with disposables don’t rinse entirely from the CD and make them no longer able to absorb moisture.
- Are there “extra” costs associated with cloth diapering? Or is it cheaper in the long run?
- The upfront cost is a more, obviously. But here’s some math- a mother who has a substantial stock of CD that are in varying sizes could spend $200 (or more depending on the type/brand/etc this is just an example!) in diapers. You will spend that on disposables in 3-4 months; EVERY 3-4 months. For roughly 2 years. Now take into consideration if you do this from the beginning with your first child and plan on having more.. the savings REALLY adds up! There are some little things you may want, such as a wet bag for when you travel with diapers, but you only need 1-2 instead of the rolls of scented sacks you use when using disposables! Add in the fact that most people sell CD when they are finished, or give them away, so they’re constantly being reused and saving someone else money!
- Did you use cloth diapers in the hospital?
- Only one of my mama friends who helped with this post had her babies in the hospital, and it was a smaller hospital with midwives and a very accommodating nursing staff. Although, I can’t imagine any healthcare provider being anything other than supportive of this awesome choice!
- Are there different sizes of cloth diapers?
- A lot of diapers come in OS, and most are sized in XS, S, M and L- check with the manufacturer to see what sizes are recommended based on weight/size of your baby.
- If you had to pick ONE advantage to be the biggest of using CD over disposables, what would it be?
- It feels great- this is what every mom tells me! Not only are you saving money, saving space in landfills, and keeping unnecessary chemicals from touching your baby, but the kids are happy in them and you’re doing something SO special for your kids!!
One of my favorite blogs, My Mama Adventure (mymamaadventure.com) talks a lot about cloth diapering in this post, if you are interested in more information! It’s her blog post that sparked my interest in CD all around, and thanks to the wonderful ladies (Pollyanna and Emilee)that helped with this post- it’s something that I would absolutely do if I were to have another baby! Check it out and give it some thought- especially if you’re a first time or expecting mom who wants to have more than one child, the return on the initial investment would be great and your going green impact even bigger!