When I was expecting my first baby, I had a brief desire to use cloth diapers, but being a first-time mom and already having so many things to decide, it got pushed to the backburner. When I became pregnant with my second, I knew for sure I wanted to try cloth diapers. I did some research and started talking my husband into it. We cloth diapered my second from around 1-month-old until she was potty trained.
Now, we’re expecting our third baby and plan to cloth diaper this little babe as well. I’m excited to share why we love cloth diapering! Things have changed in the cloth diapering world since your grandma and great grandma and there are so many options to choose from now.
Cloth Diapers 101
Sending out the diaper genie full of diapers each week to the garbage made me cringe. Knowing cloth diapers reduce what we are contributing to the local landfill feels great. Keep in mind that you do still use electricity and water if you choose to wash your own diapers, but we still felt in the long run, it was worth it.
There are several types of cloth diapers to choose from. Some are very budget friendly and some cost more upfront. Either way, using cloth diapers saves money. Prefolds and covers are the most budget-friendly option, but there are also pocket diapers and all-in-one diapers, which more closely resemble a disposable diaper.
We went with a pocket diaper with inserts, which cost about $17-$19 (depending on brand) for each diaper. Sites like Bum Genius also offer package deals. We purchased approximately 12-15 diapers in the beginning and have added to our stash as we went forward. Bum Genius diapers fit babies 8-30+ pounds so we didn’t have to buy different size covers. You can see which ones we chose here. We had more upfront cost than prefolds/covers, but if you think about diapering a baby until around age 2 (and some kiddos are in diapers longer than that!) you are saving quite a few bucks in the long run. In one article I read during my research, it was estimated that parents spent approximately $2,000+ on disposable diapers before their child was potty trained!
We are especially seeing the benefits of cloth diapering now that we are expecting a third baby. We already have our stash of cloth diapers ready to be washed and used! Not only can you reuse them for the next kiddo but you can also sell them- there are a ton of sites on Facebook that you can sell them and get some of your investment back when your kids are potty trained.
Less diaper rash
Cloth diapers aren’t as absorbent as disposables, so they need to be changed more. (Which could be a con for some people) Also, cloth diapers are free of chemicals, dyes, etc. so the risk that your little one will have a reaction to them or develop a diaper rash is also less common. We dealt with barely any diaper rash when we used cloth diapers.
When your little one is ready for potty training, a lot of parents who cloth diaper say that it seems to be an easier transition because cloth diapers aren’t as absorbent so kiddos feel that they are wet sooner than they would in a disposable. I can’t say I noticed that huge of a difference with the kiddo we cloth diapered but she was very easy to “train” and maybe that helped! Either way, anything that will make that potty training possibly more easier is worth a try!
Call me crazy, but I actually didn’t mind doing diaper laundry. We had a system going that worked for us and was super easy. We simply tossed the soiled diaper in a wet bag in the laundry room and when it was laundry day- we dumped all the contents of the wet bag right into the washer, including the wet bag.
For breastfed babies, you can even dump the poopy diapers in the wash without rinsing because breastfed baby’s poop is water soluble. At first, that grossed me out, but they came clean and didn’t make my washer stinky or dirty. Once baby starts eating solids, you just give the diaper a quick dunk in the toilet, throw it in the wet bag, and wash when ready. One of my favorite things to do is lay them all out on a sunny day and watch them get bleached naturally by the sun. So fresh and clean!
Cute and fluffy
My husband would roll his eyes at me right now, but can you think of anything cuter than a babe with a fluffy bum?! Most covers come in different patterns and colors and are pretty darn cute!
I get that cloth diapering isn’t for every family. But if you’re on the edge of deciding whether they’re worth it, I’d say go for it! My husband was VERY hesitant at first and now he brags to everyone about how much money we save and how they’re so much better than disposables.
Here are some Facebook groups that I found really helpful while we were cloth diapering:
Central Iowa Cloth Diapering– Everything from buying/selling cloth diapers to laundering, fit, and troubleshooting advice
Central Iowa Cloth Diapering Swap– a place to buy and sell diapers