How to Start Cloth Diapering

Cloth diapers – Now What?

Cloth or disposable? It seems like an easy question, right?

I never intended to cloth diaper. My husband was actually the first person to ask “cloth or disposables”? I gave him a “duh” look and said “I’m not doing cloth diapers!” I really had no clue about cloth diapers. I thought prefolds (those thick large cloths) were burp cloths! I knew my mother had cloth diapered me, meaning she dunked the diapers in the toilet and put plastic pants on . . . hmm, no thank you! My first look at today’s cloth diapers was at the last class of my Birth Boot Camp childbirth class. After that class, I thought “hmm . . . maybe I could do that”. If you are curious about why anyone would want to cloth diaper, click here.

RESEARCH ONLINE

Deciding to cloth diaper can be overwhelming because there are so many options. I spent many hours researching the meaning of different cloth diapering terms, options, costs, etc. Doing this research gives you some background knowledge. I found Kelly’s Closet and ZukaBaby websites helpful.

GO TO A STORE

The biggest help was going into a local store (I was living in New Orleans at the time) and asking for help. You can also find help in Lafayette, as well. Once you get to touch and see everything, it begins to make a lot more sense!

ASK A FRIEND

Most people that cloth diaper like to talk about it. They can spend hours discussing the pros and cons of each type of diaper, cleaning routine, or accessory that may be needed. When I first started, I asked my childbirth educator for tips, since she was the only person I knew at the time that cloth diapered. Plus, it was her fault I had turned to cloth! Once my friends learned that I cloth diaper, I had many other friends that likewise asked for some advice. Don’t know anyone that cloth diapers? Go to a La Leche League meeting. Many mothers that go to those meetings often have a lot of knowledge about cloth diapering and babywearing.

START SHOPPING

Shopping is the fun part! There are so many cute styles to pick from. Try a variety of brands and types of diapers, then experiment what works best for your family. My favorite shell brands are Thirsties (especially for a newborn) and Rumparooz (when they get a little bigger). I like that they have double gussets and more elastic. I think rumparooz have more cute designs, but they are also more expensive. I also like cotton and hemp for prefolds.

There are so many things to discuss, when talking fluff (cloth). Stay tuned. In the meantime – Good luck, and happy diapering!

I teach parenting and childbirth classes in Lafayette, LA, and serve clients as a childbirth doula. I also cloth diaper my active son. For more information about me and my services, visit M.Y. Birth & Baby.

5 Reasons to Consider Cloth Diapering

5 Reasons to cloth Diaper

There are a few reasons people decide to deviate from mainstream disposable diapers and cloth diaper. To be honest, I never thought I would be one of them. The big reasons are inexpensive (if you do not become addicted), easier on the environment, healthier for baby, and cute! Let’s talk about these reasons.

COST

My decision to cloth diaper was cost. The size of your stash (amount of diapers you own) will likely determine how much money you save from not using disposables. If you stay in budget, you will most likely save money, especially if you cloth diaper multiple children.

Since we cloth diaper for cost, we chose the cheapest route – shells and prefolds/inserts. There are many other options as well, such as pockets, all-in-ones, and two-in-ones. Going to a natural parenting store can help you visualize your different options, and choose what is best for your family.

HEALTHY FOR BABY

Disposable diapers have a lot of chemicals in them to help with absorbency. Before choosing cloth diapers, I was having a hard time deciding which brand of diapers to pick. I knew I did not want the chemicals, but also did not want to spend the higher cost for diapers with less additives – cloth diapering was just meant to be. Additionally, unless there is an issue with your cleaning routine, babies who are cloth diapered tend to have fewer diaper rashes – SCORE (another point for cloth)!

HEALTHY FOR ENVIRONMENT

Disposable diapers fill up landfills, cloth don’t. Did you know that disposable diapers are the third largest single use item in landfills, and that 4% of that is solid waste? Did you know that manufacturers of disposable diapers recommend disposing of solid waste into the toilet, like cloth, but less than 0.5% is actually disposed of this way? This means that waste is going into our landfills instead of the sewage system. It is estimated that it will take 250-500 years to degrade disposable diapers. With cloth, diapers are used approximately 50-200 times, and then used as rags afterward.

LESS MESS

Usually the biggest argument against cloth is the mess, or poop. I actually find them less messy. With disposables, poop leaking out of the diaper is very common – I was a pediatric nurse for 7 years, so I’ve changed A LOT of diapers! I have had a “blow-out” using cloth maybe once or twice. The absorbent layer and water resistant outer shell, really holds in poop.

Many people also do not want to deal with the poop afterward. Using disposables does not save you from exposure to poop; if you are dealing with a “blow-out”, you are dealing with poop whether you like it or not. With breastfed babies, when poop is often the runniest, their poop is water-soluble, so you can just throw it in the washer. Once they eat solids, you do have to plop the poop in the toilet, but as discussed above, we should be doing that anyway regardless of the type of diaper. You can also install a diaper sprayer that will help with cleaning the diaper.

THEY ARE CUTE!

Lastly, but most importantly, cloth diapers are way cuter than disposables! No need for bloomers here – my baby wears cloth diapers! There are so many styles and colors to pick from. This is where it can get dangerous (and expensive) . . . cloth diapers can be inexpensive if you do not get addicted and start buying every new and special edition print. Who knew that something, whose purpose is to contain poop, could be so adorably addicting. Tip – stick to your budget!

Happy cloth diapering!

What’s your number 1 reason for cloth diapering? Comment below.

I teach parenting and childbirth classes in Lafayette, LA. I am also a childbirth doula. For more information about me and my services, visit M.Y. Birth & Baby.