The Beginners Guide to Cloth Diapers
I’m so glad you’re here! You are about to learn anything you’ll ever need to know to be successful at cloth diapering. If you are anything like me, when I first heard about cloth diapering, I assumed it was old school fabric with safety pins! I envisioned a gross poopy mess every time I changed my baby. Thank goodness, I was wrong and it is way easier than I could have ever imagined, and I learned there were so many benefits. Cloth diapers are cheaper than disposables, environmentally friendly, have less toxins and they are adorable.I have been using cloth diapers for over 5 years now. I cloth diapered my oldest son since day 1. I’ve never even used a disposable, and I am now using the same cloth diapers again for my second son. I would love to teach you everything you need to know and answer all those questions you are thinking.
First, let’s chat about why you would want to cloth diaper. Once, I started learning more about the benefits, I realized this was the only way to go for our family!
What are Cloth Diapers?
Cloth diapers are a reusable diaper. They come in all different brands, styles and sizes. The majority of people assume cloth diapers are fabric with safety pins. However, cloth diapers have come a long way. Modern cloth diapers now have very many different styles and types. To name a few; pocket diapers, all-in-one diapers, and hybrids. They come in different fabrics and close with button snaps or velcro. They can be washed and re-used over and over.
Why Cloth Diaper?
There are many benefits to cloth diapering. Here are the 4 top reasons why most people choose cloth:
1. The Cost:
Using cloth is cheaper than disposables! As long as you stick to the basics and get a decent cloth stash at a good price, you’ll be saving a lot of money. The average cloth stash costs $200-400, compared to the first year in disposables is a minimum of $986 (8 diapers a day x365 days + 2,920 x .30/eachand not only are they reusable year after year, they can also be used on subsequent children and you can even resell them for a good chunk of money when you are finished. Cloth diapering is the way to go if you want to save money. The average family spends
2. Environmentally friendly:
Did you know? Americans throw away 18 BILLION disposable diapers a year. A disposable diaper sits in a landfill for over 500 years before they can decompose. five h u n d r e d years.
Those numbers are mind blowing. Disposable diapers are a large part of our waste sitting in our landfills. Disposable diapers are the 3rd largest consumable product in our landfill.
Also, disposable diaper companies use a lot of water, energy and other resources from our environment to make disposables. Disposables use over 2.5 x the amount of water and , 3.5x the amount of energy Cloth helpful to our environment because it can be reused over and over. You may think, what about the water used to wash diapers? That is just a small fraction of water used compared to the
We chose disposables because we didn’t want the following toxins on our baby’s bum: dioxin, sodium polyacrylate, dyes, fragrances, plastics, tolulene, xylene, ethlbenzene etc… Our child is in a diaper full time for 2-3 years and that’s a lot of chemical exposure! A disposable diaper is practically dripping in oil. Oil is the raw material for the polyethylene plastic in disposables and it takes about 1 cup of crude oil just to make the plastic for 1 disposable diaper. Taking that a bit further, assuming you use at least 6,500 diapers, this means that it takes about 1,625 quarts of oil to diaper your baby for 30 months—not including the oil involved in the diapers’ manufacture and delivery. (For more info)
Did you know? The gel-like substance that is used to absorb liquid in diapers has never even been tested. No studies have ever been done to show if it is safe to be absorbed into our babies’ skin. Disposables are also linked to long term health conditions.
Cloth diapers are cute! There is no denying that a fluffy baby is cute. How could you resist all the cute colors and patterns that can match every outfit? Plus, you avoid wet/poop disposable diaper sag and cloth is linked to less diaper blow outs.
Even, if cloth cost the same price as disposables and if cloth wasn’t eco-friendly. We would still choose cloth over and over again to avoid the toxins. We love cloth and our little boys’ fluffy bum!
I’m sold! Where do I start?
When I began cloth diapering, saving money was a huge incentive for me. We had one income at the time and I was a stay at home mom. I started with the basics because I was broke and I wanted to keep it simple. I added myself to several facebook cloth diaper group pages and purchased 6 used newborn diapers, 6 pocket diapers, 2 wet bags, and my sister gifted me a few cloth diapers too.
What you need:
- 10-12 cloth diapers. (1 baby, washing every day)
- 1 large wet bags (for the house)
- 2 small wet bags (for out and about)
- Wipes (cloth or disposables)
If you want to buy brand new diapers, I recommend going here and starting with 10-20 cloth diapers. The best way to find out what style is best for your baby is to buy a few of each and then once you try them out deciding what you like best. I recommend buying a few newborns, pocket diapers and all in ones to start.
If you are waiting to save even more money or you don’t have a huge budget, I recommend going to “buy sell trade cloth diaper groups” on facebook and getting 10-12 used diapers. Make sure before you purchase from somebody the diapers you are buying are in VGUC (Very good used condition). Ask the seller about the condition of the elastics and the condition of the PUL (the water proof cover). You want the elastics to still be tight and not stretched out and the PUL to be waterproof with no holes.
Tips for Success in Cloth Diapering
- Add the cloth diapers you want to your baby registry. Target, Amazon and Buy Buy Baby have a great selection that you can add to your registry list. Make sure to put on your baby shower invite “no disposable diapers please, we will be using cloth” or you will end up with a bunch of disposable diapers because most people will assume you are using disposables. Hopefully, your family respects your wishes and they don’t buy disposables but, incase they still do, you can always return the disposables and get store credit to buy other baby items you need.
- A great way to be successful with cloth diapering is to connect with other Moms that cloth diaper. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Add yourself to several facebook cloth diaper groups, so you can connect with other moms and have a support system. I highly recommend joining the facebook group: “Cloth Diapers for beginners” and following the instagram page: “@clothdiapers101”
Common Questions/FAQ About Cloth Diapers
How many cloth diapers do I need?
- 10-12 diapers per day, per child. If you have 1 child and plan on washing every day you only need 10-12. If you plan to wash every other day, you will want at least 20. I started with about 12 and washed every single day. Then over my first year I slowly worked my stash up to 40 diapers. You don’t have to buy them all at once.
What brand should I buy?
- Personally, my favorite is Bum Genius by Cottonbabies. You can buy them on amazon or you can buy used through facebook Buy Sell Trade Groups. Every baby is different so the sizing and fit does differ. I have tried about 10 brands and Bum Genius was my favorite brand. I recommend getting a few brands and seeing which diapers you prefer.
What do I do with the poop?
- Great Question. Breastfed and formula fed poop is water soluble. 0-6months old (before your baby starts eating solids), you can drop the cloth diapers in your wet bag until wash day, and then toss them in your washer (no rinse before the wash is needed). Once baby is eating solids, around 6-12 months, you will need to swish and dunk the poop in your toilet or use a diaper sprayer. Once Baby is eating more solids than milk, you will be able to plop the poop in the toilet.
How much do Cloth Diapers Cost?
- $5- $50+. There is a wide range in pricing because you can buy cheaper made diapers from china, middle of the road quality and higher end diapers, which are usually handmade custom cloth diapers from Work at Home Moms (WAHM diapers).
- I recommend picking diapers in the $20 range. They will be a good quality diaper that will last you a while, better material used, but not too expensive to break the bank.
- An average stash of cloth diapers will cost you around $200 (10 diapers x $20 each). It is a bit of money upfront, but within a few months you’ll be saving money and not having to run to the store to buy disposables every few weeks.
How do you cloth Diaper while out and about?
- Cloth diapering while at the grocery store on vacation is pretty simple. I recommend purchasing a wet bag. Here is the wet bags I like and use while I am out and about. When you go out, you will pack cloth diapers, wipes and the wet bag in your diaper bag. Then, when you change your baby, you will toss your soiled diapers in the wet bag until you get home. The wet bags are waterproof and keep the smell inside. You will toss the soiled diapers into your larger wet bag when you get home. EASY PEASY!
My child is in daycare, can I use cloth diapers?
- YES! There are many care providers who will allow you to use cloth diapers. That is one question I would ask when you interview your daycare before your child attends. I would pick a day care / babysitter that knows about cloth diapers and is supportive of your parenting choices.
The Last Thing You Need to Know about Cloth Diapers
- There are many great benefits to cloth diapering. You will save so much money. You’ll be helping the environment for generations to come, your baby will be exposed to less toxins every single day and you’ll fall in love with their adorable fluffy butt.
- You’ve got this! And before you know it, you’ll have the hang of cloth diapering and be telling everyone they should too!
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Cloth Diaper Guide!
This freebie is awesome! If you are new to cloth diapering this guide will help you get started!