Lately I’ve been getting a few questions about cloth diapers, so I figured, why not write a new post?! I actually love to cloth diaper (lame, I know), and I love to tell people about it to try and encourage and support any other potential/current cloth diaper mamas.
7 month old E
You Started Solids, Now What…
I know. I had this SAME question. Breastfeeding alone made washing cloth diapers a breeze! You toss the entire dirty diaper into the wetbag/trashcan and then into the washer without dunking or rinsing anything off into the toilet (read more about my washing routine here). Then, oh but then, you introduce solids and you’re worried that your little dream cloth diaper world is going to be ruined, and you’ll be one of the people that says “I used to cloth diaper, but it didn’t work for me.” I too had that same thought. I googled “how long until poop changes after solids” and a ton of other variations of that same search. But, I was pleasantly surprised. Honestly! Once babies start eating solids, they poop so much less often. No more 5+ poops a day; we’re usually at about 1 or so. And, it’s pretty contained, so I can just turn the diaper upside down above the toilet and flush it away. I find that I have to get closer to my dogs’ poop on walks when I pick up after them, and that’s much more disgusting. For a while I thought I might need a diaper sprayer, but we’ve actually been able to get by without one.
How Did You Convince the Hubs?
This one really depends on what your husband is like, but mine is extremely frugal, and appreciates information so he can make an informed decision. So, I did a lot of research, compared prices, found out when Cotton Babies was doing their buy 5 get one free deal, and talked to him about it (I think it’s going on now). I also told him about how we could use these same diapers for multiple children, AND we might be able to resell them. Also, because we live in Austin, there are some local stores that sell cloth diapers and one even offers free classes. So, I took him to the class and talked to him about the expense of disposables and he was sold. Plus, hello! So cute!! (He didn’t care about that part so much). Convincing him really wasn’t an issue for me.
Working Mom and Cloth Diapering
Being a working mom is tough. Period. Adding cloth diapers to the mix might make it a teeny bit harder, but I don’t know any other way. Yes, you have to wash every other day (or every third day if you can get away with it), but it hardly takes any time at all. Sean and I have a pretty good system down, and we share in the duties. Which I think is key. Doing it all alone would make it more difficult. But, I’ve done it when Sean was out of town for a week or so a few times. So it is definitely doable! But, what works for us is to have him do all the washing while I do all the stuffing. While I’m feeding E for the last time before she goes to bed, he starts the wash process. He then heads to the gym, so I usually hang the shells to dry and toss the inserts into the dryer, but that takes less than 2 minutes. Then, in the morning before work I’ll stuff all the diapers. If I don’t find the time to do this, I can always do it later because we have enough diapers that I don’t have to do this if I can’t find the time in the morning. I wake up pretty early though, and E is still asleep, so I only have to worry about getting myself fed and ready.
Another thing to consider as a working mom is whether or not your daycare/nanny will be on board with cloth. When we initially interviewed potential nannies, I made sure to tell them that we use cloth to make sure they were ok with it. I didn’t research daycare facilities, so I’m not sure if they were receptive to cloth diapers or not. But, I imagine that you could find ones that are. If we had to use disposables while E was away from us, that would certainly not make it worth it. I made sure to check in with our nanny (now my mom) to see how the use of cloth diapers was going. Both our nanny and my mom thought they were just as simple as disposable and had no complaints. Score!
Pockets, AIOs, Hybrid, what?
It’s like learning a new language. I work on policy for the government, so I’m familiar with acronyms and this was yet another instance of that. We decided that pockets were the way to go for us and filled our stash with bumGenius 4.0 and Fuzzi Bunz . But, I actually think if I could, I might tweak things a bit.
See, when we go out of town we always use disposables (unless it’s a quick one night trip), and I hate that we have to do that. But, it’s not feasible to pack our stash, wetbag, detergent, etc, so we don’t. So, if I were starting my cloth diaper stash today I think I’d do a mix of pockets and hybrid diapers, like gDiapers . Hybrid diapers give you the option of using either cloth, or a disposable insert. The reason I opted not to do that originally was because I was afraid that learning how to use 2 types of diapers would be difficult for a future caretaker, grandma, aunt, etc. I figured if I could mimic a disposable as much as possible, that would probably be the easiest route. And, that’s still probably true, but I don’t think I gave people enough credit to learn how to use both kinds. Financially it doesn’t make sense to invest in a second type of diaper right now, so we’ll continue using the disposables when we travel. But, I wish I’d thought of that before.
Why Not a Diaper Service?
I looked into this in the beginning, and I’m sure it’s different everywhere. But, from what I heard here, you had to get the diapers pretty clean before you left them for pick up. Um…if I have to clean them anyway, why not just wash the whole thing myself? Also, diapers are used to catch poop and pee. I am somewhat distrusting about someone else washing the diapers, and maybe not getting them as clean as I would want before putting them on my baby, so I figured I needed to take that step into my own hands. Some people are grossed out at the thought of buying used cloth diapers, but essentially with a diaper service you are constantly diapering your child with used diapers. Lastly, it wasn’t worth the cost. It made more sense to purchase the diapers myself, and potentially have the option to resell them later, or use them with any other kids.
So, there you have it. Any other cloth diaper questions?