Cloth Diapers: Overview

A couple weeks ago I mentioned writing a post about our experience so far using cloth diapers, and I decided to devote a whole week to it! Who knew that writing about diapers would be so thrilling? :)

We decided to start using cloth diapers mainly because of the amount of money we'd save cloth diapering, the health benefits (no nasty chemicals), and the environmental benefits.
But mainly the financial benefits :)
I knew a few families in our neighborhood that cloth diapered, and they loved it. I also have two cousins that cloth diaper, so I was able to talk to them and get excited about it!

What kind?
When I first started researching cloth diapers it was overwhelming. There are so many different styles and companies that it is enough to make your head spin.

Before Sawyer was born, I made about 15 fitted cloth diapers and 5 wool covers to use while he was a newborn. Unfortunately, he had quite a "milk belly" after a few days and they didn't fit around his wide girth.
I really wanted to cloth diaper before we got too used to using disposables, but we didn't have a very good washer/dryer in Seattle so we decided to use a cloth diaper service for the first 4 weeks (it was a prefold/cover method).
We both really liked the ease of cloth diapering so we decided to buy our own cloth diapers when we got back to Utah.

Currently, we are using prefolds and Prowrap covers. We found a great deal on Craigslist for over 100 prefolds (all sizes), Motherease one-size fitteds (21),  plus Prowrap covers (about 40). This cost $140. Which was an amazing deal, especially considering that it will last him until he potty trains, and will most probably last another baby or two.

I've also used homemade wool soakers (covers) that actually work pretty well! I would definitely recommend trying to make your own wool soakers, however, check my tips/tricks comment below regarding wool soakers.
wool soaker

We are really pleased with the prefold/cover method and will stick with it until they wear out and we have more money to invest in another method, like pockets and/or all-in-ones.

Also, we aren't cloth diapering "purists." We use disposables when we go on trips and when we are away from home for more than a couple of hours. We just haven't gotten comfortable enough to carry around a wet bag full of cloth diapers. Maybe someday!

Yes, I do most of the diaper changes, mainly because Aaron is a full-time student and is working as a TA AND will most probably start an on-campus internship soon. But when he does change diapers he does it easily. It took a week or two for both of us to get used to it, but once we learned the tricks of cloth diapers we rarely had leaks and diaper changes take less than a minute.

Pros? Cons?
The best part of cloth diapering is the low cost (although there is an initial investment) and that it is healthier for your baby. Sawyer has never gotten a diaper rash, or even a sore bum, and I don't have to wonder if there are chemicals being soaked up by his skin. There are a lot less blow outs and leaks than with disposables! Seriously.

The only problem we've faced is that it takes a week or two before you get used to cloth diapers. At first there were a lot of leaks. I was getting a little discouraged, but once I finally learned how to fold the diapers correctly I was loving it!
Another thing that I'm not crazy about is the fact that when Sawyer starts eating solid food I will need to start spraying off the poop; right now I don't do anything special with poopy diapers.

These only apply to prefolds as I haven't tried any other system yet...

First, bigger is better. Don't get the preemie size prefolds. Just don't do it (unless you are planning to cloth diaper your 4 lb baby). Newborn or small are the best to get because if they are a little too big you can always fold them in the front or back and add some extra absorbency.

Second, try different folds. When Sawyer was first born we used the newspaper fold with a Snappi because it was the only fold that really prevented leaks. Now we use the tri-fold technique and it works great!

Third, change your baby's diaper often. I just make it a routine to check/change his diaper right after feeding him. Which is every 2-3 hours. If you regularly change the diaper you won't experience leaks.

Fourth, make sure the velcro on your covers are attached before washing, otherwise the velcro will stick to EVERYTHING in the wash. Also, air dry your covers. They will last much longer. You can air dry the prefolds, but they are stiff as a board. I usually let them air dry until the are almost dry, and then I throw them in the dryer to soften them up.

Fifth, if you decide to try wool covers make sure you buy XL men's 100% wool sweaters from a second-hand store, like Savers. They are usually around $6 and they can make 2-3 covers depending on the size of cover you are making. Also, get the thickest sweater you can find and only make a couple covers before buying more sweaters! I bought way too many and now I'm stuck with XL sweaters that I can't use :) You need to lanolize the covers before you use them. Check out my Pinterest board, you can find all kinds of articles and instructions for wool covers.
wool cover

That's all I have for you today! Check back everyday this week for posts written by other cloth diapers, as well as a recipe for (inexpensive) cloth diaper detergent and how to make cloth wipes!
Also, check out my Youtubr playlist and Pinterest board for more information on cloth diapering.
If you have any specific questions you can email me at jessr90@gmail.com

Cloth Diaper Playlist - Youtube
Pinterest Board

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