It seems like every mom in the blogging world that does cloth diapering has to write a post about it. Most (the really thorough ones) will include a video, as well.
I want to take a moment to thank all of these moms. Seriously. You all inspired me to try cloth diapering for myself (that, and the fact that it is going to help us save the big bucks on disposable diapers)!
So, while my post is not going to be nearly as detailed and enthusiastic as some of those other moms out there, I figured since I’m giving cloth diapers a try, I have to write “the obligatory cloth diaper post.”
Confession: We’re not a 100% Cloth Diaper Family
We’re like a 33% cloth diaper family.
The thing is, we have a babysitter who comes to the house a couple hours a day while I’m at work. And hubby is still a little intimidated by the whole thing. So, we don’t get to actually put our cloth diaper stash to good use until I get home at 12:30 (oh, hey! I’m working part time now. Yay me!).
This means that we only use 2-3 diapers a day. Oh, right. Norah doesn’t sleep in the cloth diapers yet, either. She’s still getting up sometimes in the middle of the night and I have to change her. And, I’m so tired and out of it, and it’s just a mess as it is with the disposables. So… yeah… We’re not quite there yet.
Well, there you go. Confession out of the way. Now we can get to the heart of the matter!
There are SO MANY types of cloth diapers out there.
It’s mind boggling, honestly. Embarking on this journey was like stepping into a completely foreign, unknown world. Inserts, bamboo, alvababy, aggravate out? I mean… what does it all mean?!
Well, I’ll be honest (another confession, I suppose you could say), I did it the lazy way. I picked the two most popular cloth diaper companies and put a set of diapers from each on my registry.
There are some moms out there who do some serious research before choosing their diapers. There are different types of inserts. There are even disposable inserts! Some diapers don’t have inserts. Others have inserts with snaps. You could get lost on the Internet just googling what cloth diaper insert to use.
I’ve just been using the ones that came with the diapers I got. And, I inherited some (no, it’s not gross. They’ve been cleaned, a lot. I promise) from a friend of the family.
At the heart of it all, though, it seems as if the concept behind all cloth diapers is the same: a lot of snaps to adjust sizes and a lot of cute designs to keep you coming back for more!
Let’s get down and dirty (see what I did there?) before we talk about the fun stuff
How do I clean these things?
That was my first and primary concern when considering trying cloth diapers. For one, I didn’t have a washing machine in my apartment. Hubby and I are poor students (well, I’m soon to be a poor student, and before I was an underpaid- if I do say so myself- administrative assistant) so we don’t have the luxury of affording an apartment with washing machine and dryer hook-ups.
Well, thanks to my mom’s trusty googling skills, I learned about portable washing machines. And poof! Problem solved.
Well, kind of.
What about the *ewwww* poop?
For now, I’m just dunking the poopy diapers in the toilet a couple times to rinse them off, then dropping them in the diaper bag (as in the reusable dirty diaper bag, not the take-it-with-me diaper bag) to be washed later that same day.
The bags are machine washable, and hold in the smell really well. Of course, we don’t let them sit for days and days with dirty diapers in them.
I might look at investing in one of those sprayer things that attaches to the side of the toilet. They’re not that expensive, and would definitely make my life easier. So, we’ll see what happens. I’m not sure I can bring myself to spend the money (even if it’s not a lot) on something I don’t absolutely need.
I’ll be sure to keep all you lovely people posted on that one.
What it’s really like to use cloth diapers
It’s easy! Really, it is!
I expected it to be a lot more work and a lot more disgusting than it actually is. For one, there’s something about your baby’s “deposits” that makes it not gross. I don’t know. It’s Norah. Norah can’t be gross. She’s adorable!
Besides that, cloth diapers are easy to use and super cute.
As I mentioned before, we don’t usually start our cloth diaper day until around 12:30. At that point, I already have her diapers picked out for the day (I like them to match her outfits). They’re stuffed and folded up in her little diaper caddy we have turned into her primary changing station.
She gets a new diaper at 3:00 and into a disposable for the bedtime at 6:15 (unless she poops, then she gets changed right away). Every other night, once she goes to bed for the night, I wash the diapers (and the bag they’ve been sealed up in) in our little portable washing machine.
I run the rinse cycle a couple times before actually washing them. Just to be on the safe side.
Then, I hang them up to dry. They’re usually all dry and ready to be re-stuffed and added back to the collection by noon the next day.
So, just as a summary, here’s 24 hours of cloth diapers in our home:
12:00 noon- fold and stuff diapers from the day before
12:30- first diaper
3:00- second diaper
6:30- disposable diaper for bedtime
~7:30 (every other night)- wash diapers and hang to dry over night
We’re hoping to increase the number of cloth diapers and decrease the number of disposable diapers we use as we get more comfortable with the whole process. And, it’ll be a lot easier when we aren’t using a babysitter anymore.
So many brands! Which one is the best?
I can’t tell you which brand of cloth diaper is the best for two reasons.
- I’ve on tried only tried two brands
- It really all depends on which brand works best for you and your baby
Here’s my experience with the two brands I’ve been using- AlvaBaby and Mama Koala.
Alva Baby has some super cute diapers. The ones we got don’t have designs on them because when we put them on our registry, we didn’t know if Baby was going to be a boy or girl. So, we just picked solid colors.
They came with six in a pack, and twelve microfiber inserts. They are BPA free, Latex free, Phthalate free, and Lead free. There are tons of snaps (as you can see in the picture) allowing them to grow with your baby.
They are “pocket” diapers. This means that the inserts go inside the shell (i.e. the pink and red things in the picture above are the shells, and the inserts go into pockets inside of them).
Mama Koala diapers are a lot like the Alva Baby in that they are pocket diapers with a ton of snaps. Like Alva Baby, they grow with your little one, and they are come in lots of fun designs and colors!
They come in a pack of six with six microfiber inserts. While they aren’t BPA free, they don’t use harmful dyes.
The inserts for Mama Koala have snaps on them. This makes them smaller and easier to fit in the pocket for those little babies out there.
The Good, The Bad, The Favorite?
If I had to pick between the two, I honestly don’t know which I would choose.
What I like about Mama Koala is that they are more “compact.” They fit Norah a little better because they seem to be a little smaller. The elastic on the Alva Baby diapers feel a little “looser.”
I do like the designs available from Alva Baby a little more. But, I like that Mama Koala has a little flap in the pocket to keep the insert in place:
I don’t really care about the snap on the insert. I don’t really use it, even if the diapers are still on the smaller size snaps. I just fold the insert over a little bit and we’re good!
I like that Alva Baby are BPA free, Latex free, Phthalate free, and Lead free. But, I like the overall feel and fit of Mama Koala better.
So, what does all that mean? It means we’ll probably continue using both brands interchangeably. Maybe this will change as we get more and more into this whole cloth diapering world.
But, for now, as a cloth diaper newbie, I can say that I’m really enjoying the experience. So, if you’re out there, reading all the blogs and watching all the videos the Internet has to offer on cloth diapers and you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t worry! You can do this! You can be as “into” it as you want to be. You can use one cloth diaper a day, or go all in and make your home a cloth diaper only zone.
Are there any other cloth diapering moms out there? Do you have any tips to share with us beginners? What diapers do you use? Why?
If you’re considering cloth diapers but not sure, what about them scares you? What makes you want to give them try?