Thursday, August 2, 2018

Why I Wish I Started Cloth Diapering Sooner

While preparing my home (and life) to bring my daughter home I researched a crazy amount. I wanted to be prepared, but I also wanted to do things as naturally as possible. I stumbled upon cloth diapering several times. My initial thoughts were: "eew, what would I do with the poop?" "how could I find the time to do that in addition to everything else?" "how would I really know they are getting clean?" and so many more! The more I searched about it the more intimidated I became and it didn't take long for me to decide that it wasn't the route for me.

When my daughter was about 10 months, life was starting to become a little less chaotic, we were starting to get a good routine down, and I had finally started meeting other moms. I realized that there is a surprising amount of people that cloth diaper these days! After asking a lot of questions and learning more about the process it started to seem pretty manageable. Plus, the more I learned the more reasons I found why cloth diapering is beneficial. Before we get to the tips, here are just some of the many benefits to choosing to cloth diaper.





Benefits of Cloth Diapers

*Environmental: 16,000,000,000 diapers are thrown out in the U.S. each year!
(honestly this reason alone in enough to make cloth diapers worthwhile)

*Health: Cloth diapers are more gentle and make baby come in contact with less chemicals.

*Financial: Not only do you save money by not having to continually buy disposable diapers, but you can also reuse them if you have more kids, and potentially sell them if they are still in good condition (or pass them along to another family).

*Fun Patterns: Okay so this isn't exactly a benefit, but it sure is fun to collect fun patterns :)

Some of my favorite patterns from Cloth Diapers for Less


Tips and Resources to Get Started with Cloth Diapers

#1: Find Support

-As with everything to do with parenting, support is the key to success! I have several friends as well as a Facebook group (Fluff Love & CD Science) that I can go to when I have questions or concerns with my wash routine. My friend Kim Smith essentially sent me a step-by-step guide on how to get started and Kim and Brittany Lumley have both been available for answering my questions along the way which has been a lifesaver! Having this support is what inspired me to write this post in hope that it will make it a little less intimidating and more manageable for beginners!

#2: The Holy Grail of Cloth Diapering

-Fluff Love University has been an incredible resource for me! It has an index for washing machines and laundry detergent to help you develop your wash routine. It's incredibly important to develop a successful wash routine in order to: extend the life of your diapers, make sure your diapers are getting clean, and avoid stink issues. It can be intimidating when you are first starting out to figure out how to wash your diapers, but Fluff Love makes it pretty simple. Plus, it's FREE!

#3: Test Your Water

-Testing whether or not you have hard or soft water is an important step in developing your wash routine and knowing it can help you determine what (if anything) needs to be added to your load.

#4: Pick a Style (Or Decide to Try a Few)

-When you are first starting out it can be hard to pick what style diapers to go with. I will list some of the options below with a brief description, but we decided just to go with pocket diapers so those are the only style I have tried.

-Flats: Large squares of single-layer fabric that can be folded in a variety of ways, usually made
     of cotton. They are the cheapest, but must be used with a cover.

-Prefolds: Rectangular piece of fabric folded in three sections. You must always use a cover with         prefolds. (These are often times used as burp clothes)

-Fitteds: Usually made of cotton, bamboo, hemp, or fleece and are very absorbent. They do not           require folding, but they do need to be used with a cover.

-Pockets: These do not need a cover or folding, but they do need to have absorbent layers stuffed         into the pocket section of the diaper.

-All-in-Twos (AI2's): Similar to pockets except instead of stuffing inserts into a pocket, the absorbent layers are snapped inside the diaper.

-All-in-Ones (AIO's): Require no extra work (stuffing, snapping, folding) and are ready to be used (just like a disposable), but are usually more expensive and can take longer to dry.

****Descriptions found at The Humbled Homemaker****

#5: Fleece Liners

-Fleece liners can be easily made or bought. They make cleaning up poop easier because the poop slides off easier. And they help create a dry feeling for baby because it pulls the moisture away from the body into the insert. I made mine from cutting out strips from a fleece blanket from Wal-Mart that was only $2.50. The liner fills the entire inside of the diaper (I used an insert as a guide) and I was able to make about 30 from one blanket. It's a very forgiving project because it doesn't need to be perfect (as you can see below!) and since fleece doesn't fray there is no need to sew! Be sure to use micro-fleece, not polar fleece which would repel moisture and cause it to bead up rather than soaking through to the insert!

Homemade Fleece Liner


#6: Rinsing

-Some people use sprayers that you can attach right to the toilet and they are relatively inexpensive. We have a utility sink in the basement that doesn't get used for anything else so we make sure that all the solids are dumped into the toilet (wiped with a little toilet paper if necessary) and then we rinse the rest off before adding it to the wet bag. We started late in the game, but apparently if you have a baby that is exclusively breast fed (not eating ANY solids) their poop is water soluble and so you can add those diapers right into the washer without rinsing!

#7: Wet Bags

-You'll want a couple at home hanging wet bags to put the dirty diapers in until wash day, we have two so that I can just throw one in the washer when I am doing a load and then have one to use on wash day. We also have several on the go wet bags for diaper changes when we are out. I like the ones from Alva Baby because they have two compartments so you can use one for clean diapers or even wet clothes or swim suits.

#8: Cloth Wipes

-We had a lot of disposable wipes left when we started cloth diapering so we haven't switched over yet, but I have started a cloth wipe stash. We plan to use cloth wipes for pee diapers and still use the disposable for poop. They can be thrown in with the diaper laundry so it doesn't add any more work.

#9: Inserts

-If you decide to go with pockets, I strongly suggest getting hemp or bamboo inserts. Microfiber is the least absorbent and tends to have compression leaks (also can't be used against the skin). Charcoal bamboo is really just microfiber between layers of bamboo so it's also typically not recommended, but we have had luck with them.

#10: Have Fun 

-There are so many different fun patterns and it feels so good to know you are taking a big step towards creating less waste!

**BONUS TIP**: If you're trying to get your husband/partner on board, pick out some patterns that they would like!

Superhero themed pocket diapers from Cloth Diapers for Less



This is a very basic overview of cloth diapering! My hope in making this post is that it will help to introduce you to cloth diapering without intimidating you. There is so much more to learn to so hop on over to the Fluff Love University website! Throughout my experience so far, I have been really surprised that I haven't really had to add more work to my daily routine and the benefits definitely out way any minor inconvenience.

If you have any questions or have anything to add, please post in the comments below and don't forget to subscribe to keep up with my latest posts!

6 comments:

  1. I love cloth diapering! We started at 2 or 3 months. Wanted to start sooner, but I skipped the newborn size thinking a few weeks in disposables was fine. Unfortunately, she was a tiny baby, so it was a couple months before the cloth fit her! O well! We had to switch to disposables at night around 9 months though as she leaked, even in the disposables she leaks at least once a week, that girl just pees too much, lol!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha, yeah my daughter was pretty tiny (still is really) so we probably would have had a hard time fitting her in cloth at the beginning. I’ve heard a lot of moms say they do disposables at night if they have a heavy wetter, wool covers are supposed to be great if you decided to try cloth at night again!

      Delete
  2. I love cloth diapering too! We started at about two weeks in once the umbilical cord fell off and have loved every second of it! I agree; the cute patterns are the best!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That’s awesome! I hope to start way earlier if we have another baby!

      Delete
  3. Jelony | Blogging to help mums: I personally have not used cloth diapers simply because I just find the disposable ones more convenient. I like the benefits of cloth diapers and I may toy with the idea of using them the next child I have. Thanks for the useful tips :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I felt the same way, but once I started using cloth and got into the habit it really doesn't feel any less convenient! Just saving diapers from going into the landfill alone is such a huge benefit!

      Delete