Now that we have survived a solid nine-ish weeks of cloth diapering, I feel like I can finally write this post. I think it is safe to say that when we made the decision to cloth diaper, we had no idea what we were getting into, which is something you could broadly say about literally every aspect of parenting since Critter has arrived on this Earth! Our motivation for cloth diapering had nothing to do with environmental impact, and was only very casually related to the fact that my skin is extremely sensitive and I had to be cloth diapered. We also knew we could get away with cloth diapering because Critter is not going to daycare and many daycares will not accept/do cloth diapers.
TL;DR: We Have No Idea Why We Are Doing This Or Continue To Do It But Here We Are.
A brief summary of our cloth diapering journey: Week 1 we used them, Week 2 he was recovering from his bris, Week 3 we started using them again and then two days later we discovered a yeast diaper rash and promptly stopped using them again, and Week 4 we resumed with the cloth diapers once more.
So, not always a straight line. On the other hand, we have now used enough disposable diapers as well to know what we do/do not like about both disposable and cloth diapers.
What’s nice about disposable diapers: You can throw them away. The blue line makes it much faster to tell if a baby is wet. They’re more compact in the diaper bag.
What’s nice about cloth diapers: Fewer blowouts. Less diaper rash. You can pretend you care about saving the Earth even though we are basically hemhorraging water each day in order to facilitate the use of these things.
Currently, we are using prefold diapers with Snappies and Thirsties covers. This is probably the most time-intensive way to cloth diaper but it is also the cheapest.
Exhibit A: The Basic Setup
I did the math and the initial outlay for our materials (prefolds, Snappies, covers, pail liners, wipes and solution ingredients) was about $300. In a perfect world, this would have lasted us a good three months. Or more! But Critter is a basketball player (or a linebacker) and so we’re already out of the Size One and Infant Diapers and into the diapers that run 18 – 30 pounds because he is so tall! That was an additional $316. So our total investment is $616. Plus whatever water we are using to get the laundry done. Every day. You can do this more cheaply if you purchase the diapers used, but if we’re keeping the honesty train going, I was too lazy.
We have 24 diapers and 18 covers for both sizes. I think you’re supposed to be able to get away with 12 covers or something like that, but that just has never worked for us.
We also use cloth wipes and we have…approximately 50 of those. Why cloth wipes? Because then everything can go into the same diaper pail instead of having to find ANOTHER place to put the dirty disposable wipes. In essence, they facilitate some degree of laziness. They’re just made out of cheap polar fleece (on Paula’s advice because then you don’t need to do any edging/hemming on them) and cutting them was an exertional third trimester activity. Seriously. Since the wipes are always dry, we have a wipe solution that we spray on the wipes when there are poops. Also given to us by Wise Paula, with some modifications, I have documented it below. Partially so if you need it you can use it, and so that I can finally throw away the Post-It note on my counter.
- 16 oz bottled water (apparently if you use tap, it can mold? idk I don’t make the rules)
- 2 T Olive Oil
- 2 T Mild Baby Soap (we use Dr. Bronner’s Castile)
- 1/2 t Apricot Oil
- 6 drops Lavender or Chammomile Essential Oil (we have yet to add this)
That all gets mixed together in a glass spray bottle that we ordered off of Amazon (here it is, no there is not an affiliate link) and then we replace the mixture every two weeks. Each time we use it, we just turn the bottle a few times to ensure it’s well mixed and then we fire away.
We do keep a stack of disposable diapers at home. They’re for when siblings come over to watch him so they’re not bound to our questionable decisions. They’re also for when we’re on the road. I always pack two cloth diapers in the diaper bag under the assumption that if we need more than that, we’re gone too long at this age. But the disposables are there, just in case. We might not know why we’re cloth diapering, but we’re not idiots.