You want me to do what with cloth?
When I told my husband I wanted to cloth diaper I was met with a blank stare. “Like your cousin does,” I tried to tell him. Still nothing. To him, cloth diapering was just an outdated, less efficient, way to keep our daughter mess free. I can see where he’s coming from, cloth diapering used to be a hassle, with less absorbent pads, and safety pins you had to play pin the diaper on the baby with. But guys, he was wrong.
It’s a whole new era of cloth diapering, made to appeal to our lazier - ahem - busier, sensibilities. I’m going to break down the key parts of cloth diapering.
Firstly there’s the cost. This is a big holdout for a lot of people. Are they more expensive? Yes, 100%. But only in the upfront cost. The average cost of diapering a child for 2 years is somewhere around $2,000. Brand new, you can get a full set of cloth diapers for $285 from La Petite Ourse. And it really depends on how much laundry you’re willing to do. The more covers, and inserts, the less laundry. Another option is buying used. I know, gross right? Not really, the diapers are washed so frequently during use, and there’s no stain sun bleaching can’t get out. All in all, it’s a cheaper option, especially if you’re planning on multiple children.
Then there’s the poop. And the cleaning. And the cleaning of the poop. I have to be honest, this was my biggest concern, I did not want to be washing poop all day. Turns out, there’s tons of products and methods to keep that from happening. There are flushable bamboo liners, from experience these work fairly well, and there are special spray nozzles to get everything off. However, if you’ve ever taken care of a newborn, you know how quickly you get desensitized to the volcano of poop that comes out of their wee little bodies. As an aside there is debate on whether the liners are really flushable, so personally I just throw them in the trash like you would a poopy diaper. The bonus is that once they get to solids, and their poop takes a turn for the worst, liners and sprayers work a lot better.
Now we get into the good stuff. The best part, besides being good for the environment and all that, is the adorable covers. There are a couple different types of diapers: all in ones (AIO), pockets, and prefolds. AIOs (brands like softbums) have adjustable leg sizes and you clip in the inserts, or lay them flat. Pockets (La Petite Ourse) have spaces to stuff the inserts inside. Some have adjustable elastic legs, some are adjustable with the middle lines of clips. Then there are prefolds, which use larger swaths of fabric that get folded and held up by either a cover, or a snappi.
Washing is a frequent question that comes up. Everyone has their own routines, and you'll get into one that works for you. In my house we wash on rinse, then we do a regular wash with Kirkland brand sensitive detergent, no softener. You can hang them up to dry (they'll last longer this way) or you can run them through the dryer without bounce. There are great resources online to teach you how to strip them if they smell, or how to redo their elastics if they give out. Onediaper.org is a fantastic place to start. It was started by some local moms who live for cloth, and they are more than happy to answer any questions, or get you switched over to cloth.
Check out La Petite Ourse if you want to see some of the cutest butt covers around. Delilah has a bunch of theirs, she loves their llama one the best though.