Getting started with cloth diapers doesn’t have to be overwhelming. It can be easy to ditch disposable diapers anytime you want. Likely you may have a plan to use cloth diapers for your baby, either a newborn or a toddler and you need help figuring out how to use cloth diapers. You’re in the right place!
Here is an introduction to using cloth diapers for beginners. Let’s get started.
Cloth Diapers vs. Disposable Diapers
One of the best things about ditching disposables is knowing that cloth diapers are made of natural materials like cotton, linen and bamboo. Gone are the ugly plastic-based throwaways that clog the landfills.
Cloth diapers can be easy to use, very budget-friendly, eco-friendly and comfortable. They really can save you money. But most important of all, they minimize your child’s exposure to unnatural chemicals.
Since they are made from natural fibers, cloth diapers can be more breathable than disposable diapers. They are soft on your baby’s sensitive skin and, when folded right, hold everything in place very well. With the proper diaper fold techniques, the chances of leaks and mess are actually lesser with cloth diapers than disposable!
It may surprise you but cloth diapers can encourage your toddler to potty-train. Since cloth diapers do not have the wet wicking layers, your child will feel quickly when they need changed. Instead of carrying on, they will try to let you know they have peed or pooped and this speeds the potty-training process for some children. They are less likely to ignore the consequences of going in their pants if they feel the results immediately.
On the contrary, disposable diapers are made of plastic-based products and chemicals which can be irritating for some babies. Diaper rash problems can arise very quickly and needs to be treated as soon as it’s noticed.
Now comes one of the most surprising things I found when diapering my newborn. The cost!
A newborn baby can need to be changed upwards of 12 times per day. After their first month of life up to about 6 months old, a baby will need 8 or more changes per day. When you consider the cost of diapers, this can add up to about $75 or more per month.
Some parents will choose the disposable diaper route, just like I thought I would at first. Thinking that it would not be worth the effort to do cloth, it took me a bit to even decide to give it a try.
In the end, it wasn’t just the cost and trash savings that swayed my decision. Cloth diapers can actually be really cute. Even super-trendy awesome cute! Did you ever think that? Because I never had, until I looked online at the options!
There are soooo many different great companies making just amazing diapers. You can get cloth diapers in many different styles, prints and fabrics. Styles ranging from contemporary patterns all the way into cute animal themes and super bright fun colors.
I know, it can seem a bit vain and maybe unneeded, but I really love the styles of these cloth vs disposables. It was the thing that really made me check out cloth, and gave it a chance.
Which diaper you end up choosing to use is your call. Just make sure you look out for the options that best suits your preference and lifestyle. Knowing that you give up a little bit of convenience when choosing cloth, but I swear, its WORTH IT!
Types of Cloth Diapers
Cloth diapers are traditional diapers that have come a long way. No one knows when. So, there are many types of cloth diapers available in the stores. The type of cloth diapers you should buy depends on your personal choice, lifestyle, kids’ age, budget, and laundry preferences.
The most common types of cloth diapers you will find in stores are:
- All-in-One Cloth Diapers – As the name say, These diapers have the absorbent layer and outer covering in one piece. You don’t need to insert extra stuff inside while using. When soiled, just toss the whole diaper for laundry.
- All-in-Two Cloth Diapers – The absorbent layer and outer protective layer are two separate pieces. When using, both parts need to be snap together to make a whole diaper. When soiled, you can wash the insert absorbent layer and use the diaper cover 3-4 times before tossing for laundry. This way, it is a lot economical and time-saving. You’ll have less laundry to do. Also, You are saving water and power too.
- Pre-fold Diapers – Pre-fold nappies are old-school triangular cotton diapers. They are folded in multiple layers and stitched to provide more absorbency and less leakage. With these diapers, you still need an extra waterproof cover to hold the mess in place.
- Pocket Cloth Diapers – They are like all-in-one diapers with a pocket inside. You can insert an extra rectangular runner inside the pocket for more coverage. When dirty the entire diaper goes into the laundry.
Again, it’s your choice to select the one that is the best fit for your baby. Look for answers to questions like who’ll be changing the diapers? What is your budget? How often you do laundry? Are you handwashing and sun-drying?Age of the baby?
Test the diapers before buying the whole stash. Try few options before to prevent you from ending up stocking and later regretting it.
How Much Do Cloth Diapers Costs
Cloth diapers come in various types. There are an array of cloth diaper brands available online and in the store. Even the most expensive cloth diapers will save you a lot of money as compared to disposable diapers.
The average of throwable diapers is from $2000 to $3000, while the most expensive cloth diaper will cost anywhere between $300 to $500.
As cloth diapers will also incur the cost of laundry and detergents, The garbage removal cost will be much, much more with disposable diapers.
You can resell the cloth diapers when you no longer use them. Reselling unused cloth diapers will minus your overall expenditure further. Likewise is not with disposable diapers. Once used, they are a waste.
Where To Buy Cloth Diapers
Cloth diapers are readily available in the markets, super-stores, online. Look on Amazon and other eCommerce websites for variety. Named brands are making super cool diapers for your munchkins.
If you are tight on the budget look for pre-loved ones. Ask your family and friends to borrow preowned cloth diapers. Even if you are not able to buy them, you can make them at home.
You can also resell your cloth diaper stash when you are done using them or save them if you are plan to have a baby in the future.
How To Use Cloth Diapers?
Using cloth diapers is as easy as using disposable diapers. Gone are the days of complex folding and pinning. All the modern cloth diapers come with snaps, velcro, and pins to fasten/remove the cloth diaper. Companies have made cloth diapers for beginners as easy as a click. You will need to open the soiled diaper and put it directly in the diaper pail in case of all-in-one diapers. If you are using all-in-two’s, toss the dirty inner absorbent layer into the bin (to be washed later) and reuse the waterproof cover. Use soft wet wipes to clean the baby’s bottom. Once you are done, put a clean cloth diaper on the baby.
Change the diaper as soon as you notice smell or wetness. Never leave your baby wet. Leaving the baby wet for a long period will cause irritation and rashes. In the case of a newborn, change the diaper every two hours. Older kids may require a change every 3-4 hours.
How To Wash Cloth Diapers
- You can handwash and sun-dry or put the diaper in the washer. In both cases, get rid of the mess first.
- Place them holding bin. Wash the poop using a jet spray. Hold the pail over the toilet pot in the bathroom for a lesser mess.
- Once you get rid of poop, transfer the cloth diapers to the washer. Wash using a gentle detergent meant for washing baby cloth diapers for more cleanliness.
- Dry them in the dryer or under the Sun. Sunlight is a natural disinfectant. If you have a problem with the yellow poop stain left on the diaper. Dry the washed cloth diapers under the blazing Sun.
How Many Cloth Diapers Do I Need?
No matter what cloth diapers you are using, newborns require 10 to 15 changes per day, toddlers 8 to 10, and older kids 5 to 6 changes per day.
Besides, You also have to pile up extra diapers as doing laundry every day is a dream. Normally people laundry once in 2-3 days. Its recommended buying diapers worth 3 days’ use.
You are going to need extra cloth diapers for emergencies like freezing winters, no powers, or you are unwell. Add few more cloth diapers for the daycare.
Summing it up
All you need is a minimum of 36 cloth diapers. Having 50+ will save you from diaper emergencies’ scare. Likewise, go for cloth diaper accessories.
Although cloth diapers require a lot of washing. It will incur water and power usage and will produce a lot of dirty water. It is still more environment-friendly than disposable diapers.
Disposable diapers end up in pits and landfills and amount to 3% of the world’s total landfills. It’s a large number. It also incurs garbage removal costs.
They are made of plastics, polyethylene or polypropylene, adhesives, SAP, etc. By using cloth diapers, you are saving your baby as well as the environment.
Using Cloth Diaper is undoubtedly a healthy, easy-on-budget, and wise decision. Your baby, if they could speak, would thank you for making them wear cloth diapers. You can, however, at times use disposable diapers while shopping, traveling for more convenience. So, what is holding you back from getting started with cloth diapers? Go for cloth diapers for good!