Okay, so your new to cloth diapering or considering using cloth diapers and you have no idea where to start. This was me just months ago, so I have decided to explain what worked for us and why.
I personally purchased a variety of different cloth diapers because I wasn't sure what kind I would prefer or what would work best for little one. I just picked up one of each, I didn't want to make an investment without trying the product out first. I often wish I could have avoided this, but honestly, every baby is different and every mom is different, sometimes its a matter of trial and error to find the perfect fit for you and your little one!
I've decided 100% to go with prefolds. I love them. There are so many different cloth diapers out there, they are all amazing in many ways and I feel like there is no perfect diaper for everyone. Just like every baby is different, every cloth diaper is perfect for a different baby. For little one and I, prefolds just worked out perfectly.
I love prefolds, here is why:
#1. They are cheap!
#2. They get more absorbent with every wash.
#3. They have so many uses! Once you move up to a bigger size, you can use the smaller prefold as a doubler or a burp cloth or even to clean the house (if your not planning on using them on another baby).
#4. The covers can be used all day, so I usually pick the one that matches her outfit and I use it for about 24 hours (unless it gets soiled) and then I wash it with my diaper load that evening. They come in so many cute designs and almost every color!
#5 Snappi! There is no pinning anymore. Snappi's are amazing and work perfectly!
Okay, so now you are like "what the heck are these things she is talking about??"
A prefold (I get mine from Green Mountain Diapers) looks like this:
It is easily and quickly folded into a diaper shape and held closed with a Snappi.
After fastened, it is covered with a super cute waterproof cover. I prefer Bummis Super Whisper or Super Brite's waterproof diaper covers. I have one Thirstie's cover and am liking it more and more every day. There are so many choices, I would suggest purchasing one Bummis and one Thirsties until you know what fits your baby perfectly. There is more great information on this at Green Mountain Diapers.
All of these items can be purchased at Green Mountain Diapers, as well as many other places, but I am a fan of Green Mountain Diapers and would rather #1 one stop shop and #2 give my business to someone I've found I can trust.
When I was doing my research, I found this video on how to use a prefold very informative.
You will need some additional items, besides the actual diapers, in order to make cloth diapering work.
#1. A Waterproof Pail Liner - I prefer Kissa's Antibacterial Pail Liner which I purchased on Amazon.com.
#2. A Wetbag for when you are on the go - I prefer Planetwise Wet/Dry Diaper Bag which can also be purchased on Amazon. This allows you to store wet and dry items in the same bag which I find necessary.
#3. Cloth Wipes - I absolutely prefer to use Green Mountain Diapers Two-Sided Wipes. They are amazing. The terry side is perfect for getting the dirty stuff off and the smooth side is used after to wipe clean. I LOVE them. I have tried others and these are far superior.
#4. Wipes Warmer - this is absolutely unnecessary, but little one and I LOVE our warm wipes, especially in the middle of the night when its chilly. I use the Prince Lionheart Cloth Wipes Warmer and I love it.
#5. BumGenius Odor Remover - this is not necessary, but I tend to spray this in my wet/dry bag after it has held a soiled diaper. It removes the odor by eating the odor-causing bacteria. You will still need to wash your wet/dry bag every now and again, but less often if you are using this product. You can also spray it directly onto the diaper before putting it in your wet/dry bag if you prefer.
#6. Cloth Diaper Friendly Detergent - I use Rockin Green and have been very happy so far. I am still on my first bag. I have also heard great things about Charlie's Soap and will probably try that next. There are many options out there, its best to research and choose one that is right for you.
I am sure you are wondering what all of this will cost you, right? Here is a breakdown of cost based on what I would recommend purchasing:
Prefolds from Green Mountain Diapers (Qty. 12) $28.00
(price listed is for size small, prices vary based on size)
Snappi Fastener (Qty. 3) $8.00
Bummis Waterproof Diaper Cover (Qty. 4) $48.00
Diaper Pail Liner (Qty. 2) $30.00
Wet/Dry Bag (Qty. 1) $24.00
Cloth Wipes (Qty. 48) $40.00
Wipes Warmer (Qty. 1) $24.00
Total Investment: $202.00
Eventually, you will need to purchase a larger sized prefold, so lets say you spend an additional $100 over the time your child is in diapers purchasing larger sized diapers and/or covers, you are still only spending $302 (less if you don't purchase some of the unnecessary items I listed above, such as the warmer) which is nothing in comparison to the national average of $1000 a year on disposables or $3000 over the diaper life of the child.
I can also compare this to purchasing some of the other popular brands and types of cloth diapers. For instance, one brand of pocket cloth diapers (which I am familiar with and feel works equally well and is also super cute) sells for about $20 a diaper. You will need a minimum of 12, but will most likely prefer to have 24 to make your life easier (more diapers means less washing). For 12 of these diapers, you will already be spending $240. So these types can get pricey and if that is in your budget then go for it! They work very well and I even like having one on hand in my diaper bag just in case little one is fussing and I need a super quick change. These are also more acceptable in day cares and with some grandparents who refuse to use cloth while watching your little one (they are much more like a disposable diaper in the way that you put them on). So depending on your situation, this might be better suited for you! There are many great options out there, but the ones I am familiar with and would recommend researching are the BumGenius 4.0 diaper and the FuzziBunz diaper.
So now your have TONS of information to work off of. I want to leave you with some of my tips (things that have helped me make cloth diapering work for our family).
#1 You will always need a minimum of 12 diapers. The more diapers, the less washing. However, you will need to wash AT LEAST every other day or things will get STINKY!
#2 You will need at minimum of 2 pail liners, these are washed WITH your diapers and therefore when one is in the wash you will need another one for the pail.
#3 Make sure your diaper pail has a foot pedal, don't even bother with anything else, you will regret it!
#4 Some babies DO get diaper rash even in cloth (very unheard of, but it happens!). My little one has her Daddy's sensitive skin and I had to find away to keep rash at bay and keep her in cloth. If this happens to you, refer to my blog on Diaper Rash and Cloth.
#5 I tend to use disposable wipes on the go. I do not want to, but I am still working on figuring out a good method for traveling with cloth wipes. When I do, you bet I'll post a blog entry on it!
#6 Don't give up. Cloth diapering is like breastfeeding, the beginning can be hard for some, but if you push through and figure out what works for you, you will be soooo glad you did!
#7 Cloth diapers can be bulkier than disposables, especially prefolds. Because of this, you will need to always put baby in larger clothing than you would if she was wearing a disposable (this really only applies to onesies and pants). I always use one size larger and it works perfectly for us. I also typically put little one in a onesie or shirt with legwarmers and let her cute little cloth diapered butt hang out, but we live in So Cal, so unlike us, many of you will be fighting the weather and if that is the case - go one size up on those cute little baby pants.
Hopefully this helps!