Filed under: | Tags: | January 11th, 2011
Lately I have gotten many people asking me about cloth diapering.
Let me just say this – cloth diapers are not the same as the ones your grandmother’s used on your parents! Although you can get the very old fashioned types with the plastic pants and pins for super cheap, there are far better and cuter options now.
Not only do they come in different colors and patterns, but also in different styles. You can get some that are sized for your child much like disposables are, or you can get all in one diapers that will grow with your child.
Cloth diapers are also far cheaper in the long run. Disposable diapers cost around 1200 dollars or more per year (and that is just the diapers, not including wipes, creams, and powders). Cloth diapers (depending on how many you get) cost around 500 dollars including reusable wipes and dirty diaper bag. Now the only thing I will say is that if you have smaller newborns, you will spend about 350 for new born sizes, and then need to up grade to the all-in-one styles that will grow with the child. My son was 6.5 pounds and he did not fit the cloth diapers that could grow with him until he hit about 8 pounds, so we needed the x-small cloth diapers for the first month. If you have big babies though, you can go straight to the adjustable types.
I started my cloth diapering adventure with bumgenius 3.0 diapers. They have worked well, but the velcro is wearing out, plus my son loves to take them off. He does NOT take off the snap diapers – yet. With this in mind, I think my favorite brand is Fuzzibunz cloth diapers. They are great because you can also adjust the elastic at the waist and legs (this is great if you have a very large baby or a very small baby!) The other great thing about these types of diapers is that they are all-in-one types. What that means is that they have inserts and are just like using disposable diapers…only you get to wash and reuse these!
You will also need wipes and diaper solution. I use some basic flannel diaper wipes that were very cheap. You don’t have to get fancy because they will eventually probably get stained (white ones you can at least bleach!) I have about 24 and that is plenty usually. Now, for diaper solution… I used to fully make my own, but I have gotten lazy lately. Instead I buy a product called “baby bits” which I just mix with some warm water to dissolve. It is very gentle on baby skin and does the job. It also lasts a very long time. I have had my box for several months and still have plenty left for many more to come – so it is pretty economical.
The last couple things you will need are wet bags. One for in the diaper bag so you can cloth diaper on the go (I really like the “Wet Happen?” bag for on the go. It is washable too, so if it gets yucky…you just toss it in with your diapers! You will also need a general large wet bag for at home. There are many different kinds…I might suggest either getting one that shuts fully, or using a closing pail in combination. It can get a little stinky if you don’t wash diapers every couple days (disposable diapers are stinky too though, so either way you can expect the stink.)
The last thing you will need (just for convenience) is a diaper sprayer. There are many different brands of them. I have the bumgenius diaper sprayer, and I have liked it very much so far. It conveniently and easily connects to the toilet to allow you to spray out diapers without having to get poop on you (or dunk your hands in nasty water.) The only thing I will say though is that sometimes if you don’t watch how much pressure you use, there might be a little spray back. The is more a user error than anything else however.
This is a very basic run down about cloth diapering the modern way. I also want to state that there are a WHOLE lot of other options out there, these are just the ones I have personally experienced and can personally recommend.
More information can be found here.
I would also like to say that there are numerous health benefits for your baby if you use cloth diapers. Babies who wear cloth diapers have less incidence of diaper rashes (because they breath better.) Disposable diapers have also been linked to breathing disorders such as asthma because of the chemicals they emit. They only smell nice because the companies put fragrances in them. Not only that, but the absorbent stuff in disposables can be toxic if ingested (say..by your pets, or god forbid your child.)
The last obvious benefit is for the environment. You will save a great deal in physical waste if you go with cloth! It is pretty much a win-win-win!
Last thing… if you are curious about some of the history/politics around disposable diapers.. check this out. I found it very interesting.