Cloth Diaper Strategies of a First-Time Mom
Posted by Guest Writer on December 21, 2013.
It's true. I had barely peed on a stick and received a positive sign before going out and buying my first cloth diaper!
In fact, before we ever start trying for a baby, I knew I wanted to cloth diaper when the time came. I jumped on the bandwagon because I kept reading blogs, articles, and personal stories of friends' journeys with cloth diapering. I can honestly say that John and Sherry behind YoungHouseLove had me sold on cloth from these two posts (1 and 2).
I knew cloth would be a little extra work compared to disposables, so I went with the easier cloth route and bought all pocket diapers. Because I am a tad OCD and consider organizing a hobby, I knew I wanted all the same brand and similar colors. We went with 24 bumGenius 4.0 diapers, 6 of 4 different gender-neutral colors - and yes, I line them up by color! (Other items in our cloth stash include 2 diaper pail liners, 2 wet bags, a bumGenius diaper sprayer, a diaper pail, and coconut oil.)
We had decided to use disposable diapers for the first few weeks of our son Ford's life knowing we'd be adjusting to so much. We didn't want the added stress of figuring out cloth while getting to know our son. Ford had just turned 8 weeks old when I announced I was ready to cloth. To be completely honest, the day before we started, as I was prepping all my diapers, I thought to myself, "What the heck did I get myself into?! I don't wanna cloth!"
Yes it is a little bit scary and it takes a few days to get a hang of, but I absolutely love cloth diapering my son. At first, I was a bit overwhelmed with all the supplies available for cloth diapering, but have quickly come to learn that CLOTH IS SO EASY!
Here are some of my thoughts on questions I get asked frequently about cloth diapering...
"I don't have time for the added laundry."
I have enough diapers to last me 3 days without washing and my wash routine takes about 15 minutes of my time. That is ALL. On wash days I usually wait until Ford's morning poop then plop my diapers into the machine and set it to run. Cold rinse, hot wash, extra rinse. Depending on if I have lots of poopy diapers, I will sometimes add an extra rinse at the beginning (adds 21 minutes to the cycle) but in total, the cycle is 1 hour and 21 minutes. When the cycle is complete, I hang dry my diapers and inserts, usually outside if it is nice. Later in the day once dry, I bring them inside and re stuff the diapers while catching up on a show, hanging with Ford on the floor, or chatting with a friend on the phone. Stuffing is the most time consuming part but I usually have about 18-20 diapers and it will take me 10 minutes tops. You get the hang of it quickly! So if you have an extra 15 minutes every 3 days, you can cloth.
"I don't want to touch poop!"
Neither do I! Changing a poopy cloth diaper is pretty much the same as a disposable diaper with one tricky part... the wipes. We use disposable wipes and what I will do is grab a clean wipe and lay it next to Ford and put any dirty wipes I use on it and crumple it up and throw it away. I think people assume I am using my hands to wipe Ford's booty!!
"What about poop in your washing machine?"
What about the sweat, blood, skin cells, mud, etc that ends up in your washing machine? Exclusively breastfed baby poop (which Ford is) is water soluble, meaning I don't have to rinse the diapers before plopping them into my washer. Score! We are just around the corner from starting solids with our little man so to get into a habit, I've been using our diaper sprayer after he poops to rinse. I've heard that doing this also keeps your diapers looking brand new and absorbent.
"Is it gross changing cloth diapers in public?"
Not at all. I always carry a wet bag with me and instead of throwing away a diaper after a change like you would a disposable, I ball it up and slip it into my wet bag. No smell, no mess, no fuss. I be sure to empty my wet bag into my diaper pail when we get home.
"Does cloth diapering really save money?"
You bet! Most people assume that the added laundry will cost you in water but we have not noticed a difference in our bills since cloth diapering. Did you know the average cost to diaper a baby (with disposables) from birth to potty training is about $3,000?! And multiply that by however many children you have. Yikes. That is a college education right there! My husband and I can afford disposable diapers, and we do use them when we travel (for convenience), but the thought of knowing how much money we are saving and how little waste we are shedding into the environment is so worth it! This is one of my favorite articles that talks about the cost savings with cloth diapers.