Why on earth use cloth diapers?!?!?! Because we're crazy. Crazy broke and crazy in love with the earth. And disposable diapers are just that... disposable. They go right into landfills and don't biodegrade (even biodegradable diapers don't because the conditions in landfills are not conducive to it). Solid waste then goes into trash cans instead of into the sewer system.
To be honest though, it's not really an all-or-nothing thing for us. For instance, we really won't start using cloth until she grows out of newborn size (I didn't want to buy cloth newborn diapers for what would be such a short time, so we'll use disposable for a short while. Plus it'll be just a little bit easier in the first few weeks that I'm sure will be crazy enough anyway.) And I'm definitely using disposables when we travel/camp - it just doesn't make sense - how on earth would I wash them?
AND... it's a heck of a lot cheaper. Thanks to wonderful family and friends, we have only spent $9 towards getting our cloth diapering system ready. But even if we hadn't been gifted so much it still would have cost only about $200 for everything on this page. Disposable diapers cost about $1000 a year. So add in a little extra laundry detergent and a little extra on the utility bill... the cost savings is just incredible.
The Basics: Cloth Diapers
Initially when I started researching cloth diapers and read a bunch of blogs it seemed like all-in-one diapers like the Bumgenius were the best - they were cute, convenient, and so highly recommended that we thought that was for sure the way to go. After going into All Things Diapers and getting a little tutorial and looking at our options, however, we decided that the classic pre-fold route was not only cheaper (by more than half) but the process was more appealing to us. I think what it comes down to are which companies are getting bloggers to write about them... and it had me convinced. Ross and I are pretty happy with what we decided to try out - and will definitely let you know if we are still happy with it after!
So we have the pre-folds, which are just an absorbent cotton diaper worn against the skin.
Then of course you need the waterproof outer diaper! You need 1 cover for every 4-5 diaper changes, which of course will vary as they get older. We got four from Thirsties - their duo diaper. They ran $12.95 ($1 more for prints) in the store. We got 3 with snaps and one with Velcro - I personally feel like the snaps are more durable, but thought we could try out the Velcro as well. Who knows what we will really like. Great thing is we can return/exchange everything!!!
I like that the Thirsties come in a size one and a size two - so you should only need two sizes until potty training as opposed to ones sizes in newborn, s, m, l, xl. They get a bit better fit than one size, but are still very adjustable.
This one was on consignment for $6 so we decided to try it - a Bummis size small. (That's another great thing - they have a used/consignment section!)
These next two are one size and adjustable - we have them snapped to the smallest right now (I should have taken pictures with them unsnapped). This is a Rump*a*rooz cover.
And these two are Econobums which were by far the best deal at only $8.95, and we definitely wanted a couple plain white to go under certain outfits. As cute as the colors and prints are, we thought they might show through some clothing and having plain colors would be nice.
No more pins!!! For which I was relieved. The are called Snappi Diaper Fasteners and work the same way that those little metal clips on an elastic bandage would.
Something awesome that my soon-to-be cousin-in-law (1 week til her wedding!!!!) Jenna found were these flush-able, biodegradable diaper liners from OsoCosy. The line the pre-folds so that solid waste easily goes right where it should - down the toilet. Makes for easier clean up and as my sis-in-law said, she would be much more willing to work with cloth diapers if should could use these liners. A pack of 100 cost $8. Not sure if these will be a permanent part of our system, but maybe! Makes for a nice hybrid between cloth and disposable.
These are flannel wipes from Osocozy - instead of buying wipes! You just wet them with warm water and use one every diaper change. Toss them in with the diapers when you are ready to wash and you're good to go! These were also a great deal - $6.50 for 15.
Seems like it could be the worst part right? Eh... shouldn't be too bad.
My dear friend Krystal sent us this beauty (along with a few diapers and such) - a hand held diaper sprayer (among other things)! It just attaches to the toilet and when you wish to use it you pull the lever and have a high powered stream of water to use to rinse soiled diapers and put solid waste directly into the toilet.
Also we got two diaper pail liners (large) to keep diapers in between washes (recommended is every 36-48 hours) and a small wet bag to use if we are out and about. Both are cloth, waterproof, and go right into the wash with the diapers. I imagine we may need to pick up another small travel one, but we'll see how it all goes.
Many brands of cloth diapers make their own laundry detergent, but really you just need something that is additive free like Seventh Generation Free & Clear. Plus you can find this brand at Target or the like - which is much easier than worrying about ordering it from a website.
For washing you just use a hot wash, cold rinse, extra rinse perhaps, and it's best to line dry in the sun (will remove the most stains) but tumble dry is fine in the winter.
You can see the use of the Snappi here.
Then we tried a couple covers on our Slumber Buddy Frog. This one Ross did... and then he ran away when I grabbed the camera. Oh well.
Looks like Froggy is giving us a thumbs up!
Any tips or advice for using cloth diapers?