One of my favorite topics. :) We started cloth diapering when Ty was about 18 months, mostly to save money each month. I started reading and researching online and was overwhelmed with the different types, brands, and opinions out there. My husband was completely against this venture, for various reasons. Mostly, I think, because he didn't want to invest a bunch of money into something he didn't think I would stick with. Which totally made sense! So we started by purchasing a "try it kit" from Cotton Babies, a great online retailer of cloth diapering products. The kit was $35, and came with enough to diaper Ty for one day. I was hooked. I loved saving money, felt great about keeping disposables out of the landfill, and Ty loved the soft diapers! He didn't want me to put disposables on him anymore. This kit came with prefolds and covers, the most inexpensive and basic type of cloth, and probably what comes to mind when you think of cloth diapers. Slowly we added to our stash; I bought a dozen more prefolds, and started buying used off craigslist. Eventually I spent the money to buy a one-size pocket diaper, something I had been interested in but avoided since they cost anywhere from $15 to about $25 each! It seemed crazy to me when I knew I could buy prefolds for around $2 each, and the covers were about $13, which I could wipe out and reuse several times! But, wow, did I fall in love with my pocket diaper. They really are just like a disposable. Velcro (or snap) tabs. Hidden waterproof layer. Inner fleece wicks moisture away from baby. But the best part? They fit from birth to potty training! Hence the "one-size". That beats a disposable any day! So basically, for a newborn, you need about 24 diapers total. From day 1 until that baby is out of dipes. Yes, it's a bit of an investment to begin with, but considering the average parent spends close to $2000 on disposables per child, its a HUGE savings. Plus, these diapers really last and can be used on second children, and third, and it goes on. You can even sell them on eBay when you're finished with them and depending on the wear and tear, get 50-75% of what you paid! Not to mention the environmental impact.
So, I slowly bought more and more of these fabulous diapers, different brands, when we could afford to. At 2 1/2 Ty was potty trained, and I sadly (yes, I enjoy this!) packed away my diapers for another baby one day. There was absolutely no question that we would use cloth again. Even my husband was on board! That day came in August of 2009 when little Beckham arrived. We planned ahead this time, knowing we would need more diapers, and knowing that we loved the one-size pocket style. When people asked what we needed for baby, since we weren't having another shower, we shared some diaper websites with them. Mike's mom bought us some of my favorite diapers called Rumparooz (pictured above). I also found some "bargain" pockets on etsy called cushy toosh, and I think I got ten of them for around $100. I even got a coupon deal through diapers.com on some bumgenius diapers. So by the time Beckham was born, we had a nice stash of 25 dipes. For the first couple weeks we used disposables, mostly because I was afraid of meconium staining my pretty new diapers, plus it was nice to have a little adjustment period before adding more laundry to my already-full plate. But once I switched, it was just as easy as I remembered! And now that he is 7 months old and not pooping 10 times a day, I have enough dipes to go three days between washings. So it's even easier.
Stuff I recommend:
- a diaper sprayer; once baby is on solids you have to flush the poo down the toilet, and a sprayer makes it so much easier. I got mine on ebay for about $20. Newborn (breastfed) poo is water soluble and can go straight in the wash.
- several wetbags; you need a place to put your wet or dirty dipes when out and about. These are waterproof and can just go straight in the wash with all your diapers. Plus, they're gorgeous! Also great for travel, swimsuits, even to stash baby feeding supplies in your diaper bag.
- a pail liner or two; made of colored fabric and a pul (waterproof) layer, you can line any garbage can with a lid to create a diaper pail. We got a pretty bronze pail to match Becks' room. Much nicer looking than those awful diaper genie things. The liner can go straight in the wash also, so you don't have to touch the dirty dipes when putting them in the washer. Just shove it all in.
- cloth wipes; well, think about it... you wipe baby's bottom and where do you put the wipe? In the diaper, roll it up, stick it all in the pail. What a mess if a disposable wipe goes in the wash. With these soft flannel wipes, you just wash them along with the diapers. I fold mine so they "pop" up in a regular plastic wipes container, and either wet them with plain water, or make a wipes solution with special soap bits. For a newborn, plain water is best anyway, and disposable wipes can irritate a diaper rash. Plus, less waste and less wasted money.
I haven't even mentioned how gorgeous cloth diapers can be... there are so many pretty new designs and prints. One could go a little nuts. There is a raging shopaholic who lives inside me and I try not to let her out. Except maybe at garage sales. But that's beside the point.