When I found out I was preggo, we got a lot of literature. One book was the Eco friendly baby guide which I got for 1$ in a sale bin… 😉 In the book it talked about ways to save money with a baby an one of the biggest was cloth diapers. Apparently you could save upwards of 1500$ if done right. This was something I needed to look into.
When most people think of cloth diapers they immediately jump back to 1965 when people used rubber pants and dealt with crazy chaffing rashes. But it’s the new millennium and these things are high tech. There are so many options; from a 2$ cloth to a 50$ fitted insert, there are companies and stay at home mom brands, plain colors and crazy sought after fabrics. People are ebaying looking for limited edition prints, I kid you not. Now I wouldn’t go so far as spending 50$ on one diaper that needs a cover so that’s another 15$, it defeats the purpose of the $ saving scheme, but there are other reasons to consider cloth.
Diapers, the pampers we all love, are really bad for the planet! Lets start in the past when pampers were all the rage: (facts from realdiaperassociation)
In 1988, over 18 billion diapers were sold and consumed in the United States that year.
In 1988, nearly $300 million dollars were spent annually just to discard disposable diapers, whereas cotton diapers are reused 50 to 200 times before being turned into rags.
No one knows how long it takes for a disposable diaper to decompose, but it is estimated to be about 250-500 years!!
Over 300 pounds of wood, 50 pounds of petroleum feedstocks and 20 pounds of chlorine are used to produce disposable diapers for one baby EACH YEAR!
I know most people don’t want to cloth because they don’t want to think about the poop, but did you know that you are suppose to dump the poop from disposables into the toilet? It’s against federal sanitary code to dump feces in a landfill because it can and HAS contaminated water supplies.
So it’s cheaper, better for the earth, and let’s face it so much cuter to cloth.
One thing that I did and so recommend to start and take the pressure of laundry off of the first weeks with a newborn is to use a diaper service. Most major cities have at least one. They will provide either prefolds, AIO, or AI2s for you, pick them up each week, and launder them for you. It is a bit expensive but you don’t have to commit to long periods an with mine I could cancel at any time.
Plus the first poops are only breast milk which is water soluable, so you don’t need to rinse. The diaper can go into the bin as is.
This brings me to the many types of cloth. A prefold is a cloth that you can fold in several ways. It isn’t waterproof so you need a cover to put over it. I would say at least 6 covers to make life easy. You can reuse the covers unless they get poop on them and then just rinse and wash. The covers are a fabric with a PUL waterproof inside tht is breathable.
An all in one or AIO is just that. A diaper system that you put on and take off in one piece. It’s the closest to a disposable an super easy for family, friends, or daycare to figure out.
An all in 2 or AI2 is sometimes also called a hybrid. It is a diaper that has more than one piece. Like a cloth that fits in a pocket, or a cloth that snaps on the inside. Hybrids also sometimes have a biodegradable disposable insert for travel or if you don’t want to go full out. A popular company for that is g diapers. Grovia also makes a good liner. I’ve used it for long trips and it is very easy.
Another common type is a fitted. Fitted diapers are a diaper that is super absorbent but not water proof so like the prefold needs a cover. But they are good for overnight or heavy wetters.
There are also one sized diapers that fit from certain weight ratios like 7-18lbs and 18-35lbs, and sized that grow from birth to potty with baby. They expand to last longer.
I bought one of each to see what worked best for me. Some diapers I thought would be great or that were so adorable I found didn’t really fit my baby so well or I didn’t like as much personally. So as tempting as it might be, don’t buy a bunch just because the pattern rocks, because it might not work on your baby. Some fit better on chubby legs and some on bigger tummies.
Here are a few that I’ve used and what I liked/didn’t like, but remember find what works for YOU!
Kissaluv fitted: love. Used at night, absorbs. Takes a bit to dry.
Apple cheeks: love the design, not a big fan. I like that the insert agitates out in the wash and its so cute but it doesn’t fit Fiamma so well in the leg area.
Grovia AIO and hybrid: I love them! They fit her so well and are cute too. They are more expensive however. Around 18-22 dollars each. They also started making fitted diapers but I haven’t gotten those.
Kawaii: I love these all in 2. They are cheaper, around 7$ each and the minky style is so soft! Good bang for your buck.
Sun baby: made by a stay at home mom in china, these can only be bought by the dozen, but it works out to about 5$ each. I got the size 1, which fits my baby right now very well at 4 months. Very basic but has good patterns and I haven’t had any issues this far.
Bum genius: I have the AIO elemental, free time and insert. The first 2 take forever to air dry but absorb really well an work great for overnight. The free time opens like a flap so drys better. I actually really like these. I know they are main stream and a big company but they seem to be working for me. They are around 15-25$ depending on the style.
Blueberry: this is an all in 2 insert diaper that is great. It fits well and came with extra inserts. I like it a lot so far.
For covers I had romperoos newborn in the beginning, which were great, and now I have one bummis which is cute but I hate all the buttons, there are a million. I also have the thirsties covers which I love! She was wearing the size 1 but at 15 lbs they are snug on her so I’ve moved to the size 2.
You can get Velcro(aplex) or snaps, and although I prefer snaps, the Velcro will give a better more precise fit at the waist.
As for inserts most are microfiber, which is a man made super absorbent material that you should never put directly against baby’s skin. It wicks away moisture but can cause a rash, which is why it’s inserted under a layer of fleece.
Bamboo and organic cotton are also available, and these can go against the skin, are absorbent, but baby will feel wet faster; though not so fast that immediate changes are I order. Hemp is another fiber available and is sososososo absorbent.
Lastly there are doublers. These are additional inserts you can use if you have a heavy wetter. They are generally a bit more narrow than the insert and give extra protection. Many people use them at night just in case.
I know that was a lot of info and it can seem overwhelming at first but it is so so easy. Just get one and try it out. You will get addicted to it. They are too cute!
You can find them at baby stores, on amazon.com, kellyscloset.com ( which has great coupons) diapers.com just to name a few.
I will post more info later on, but check them out and enjoy!