There are lots of reasons to use cloth diapers. Now when most people hear the words cloth diapering they think, “oh she is an ultra-Earth nut,” or something along those lines. I actually found cloth diapers more cost effective in the long run over disposable diapers. I was spending $120+ a month and my son was only in cloth diapers when we were away from home or at night. I spent a total of $140 for all my cloth diapers.
Now there are many different kinds of cloth diapers and many reasons to use cloth diapers.
1. AIO: All-in-ones
Now, these are the most closely related to disposable diapers. They don’t have any inserts you need to deal with or that you have to fold. These are also the most expensive.
2. Pocket Diapers
These are the kind that I use. They consist of a waterproof shelly that has a “pocket” that you put an absorbent pad into. I like these because at night my son is a heavy wetter, so I just add two inserts and he is fine throughout the night
These diapers are the cheapest to buy. I have found Walmart even sells them. These are actually in two parts like a pocket diaper, but the major difference is that a pocket diaper has a pocket and pre-folds that you lay on the absorbent layer. With pre-folds you can just change out the pre-fold at a diaper change instead of changing the whole diaper like pockets and AIOs.
These are the three main types of cloth diapers but there are many others. Even in just these three categories, there are many different places that you can get them and many different companies that make them. As I said previously I used pocket diapers, the brand that I absolutely love are called Alva Baby.” Now, these are considered one of the many “China Cheapies” of the pocket diapers. This just means that they are made in China and are cheaper than other brands that may be made in the USA.
For me, I found the easiest way to keep my diapers between washes when dirty is in a wet bag. I just hang it next to my changing table and put the diapers in after the change and I pull out the insert. Some people use a trashcan with a lid for the smell, other people use a bucket of water. Everybody has their preference. I honestly don’t find mine smell in the wet bag, but I also wash them every 2-3 days.
Now, when you start cloth diapering or go to any cloth diapering forum you are told you have to nock the solids into the toilet after every change that involves number two. If you are breastfeeding your baby’s poop is water soluble, so you do not need to if you either don’t have the time or find it a little disgusting. Now my son is formula feed and I honestly do not knock his poop into the toilet off the cloth diapers. All I do is in the wash I run one cycle that has soap in it and then another one with no soap and his diapers come out clean. And in case you didn’t know it actually says on the disposable diaper box that you need to knock solids into the toilet.
You do have to do what is called “striping” your diapers. You have to do this when you first get them and about once a month afterward. All this means is you wash them multiple times, you do not dry them in between washes when you do this. What I do when I strip my diapers is I do one wash with just soap, a second wash with some vinegar, a third wash with soap again, and then my fourth and final wash I run it with just water.
Now when it comes to drying my diapers I do not like to put them in the dryer. Some forums will tell you its fine to put them in the dryer and others will tell you not to because it will damage the waterproofing. I figured why take a chance and ruin a diaper, so I hang them to dry on a drying rack. Now to clean my wet bag which has been holding all my dirty diapers until wash day, all I do it turn it inside out and throw it in the wash with the diapers.
As you can see I have found cloth diapering to definitely be cheaper than buying disposable diapers every couple of weeks. As well as for me I have found it to be just about as time-consuming as disposables, as in I don’t have to run to the store to get diapers I just have to throw them in the wash then continue playing with my son. I have also found that my son has less diaper rash since I have switched to full time cloth diapering. Everybody has a right to diaper their baby however they want but I hope if you have been on the fence about cloth diapering after reading this article you may have found that cloth diapering isn’t as crazy as you may think.