My sister used to groom dogs out of her house and I would bathe them for her. I have so many stories about that and I will save them for another day. I was at her house one day and we came out to talk to her neighbor, Arlene and her little daughter, Sofia. She was holding her and I said something about how cute and squishy she looked. Arlene then laughed and said, yes she is but this cloth diaper helps. I barely acknowledged it, but the comment stuck with me. When Jordan and I had Lila on the way, we were just like any expectant parents. We were browsing the internet, gorging ourselves on baby product information and we found that babies can be pretty expensive. We weren’t exactly rich, and so we looked at our options and reached out to fellow parents. I used facebook and messaged Arlene and asked her about cloth diapering and how it works. She answered all of my questions and, more importantly, encouraged me that I could do it. It took some convincing to get Jordan on board, but once he was, we ordered our diapers.
You don’t even know how excited we were when they came in! They were so adorable and it made us even more eager for our little bundle to get here! We cloth diapered her from when she was about 2 weeks old until she was fully potty trained at 18 months old using the same diapers we bought that night.
Now I have my little Danny man in them too. It grew from being a way to save money to being a hobby of mine and something I really enjoy. It’s not for everyone and there is no judgement for those who use disposables. I do have some friends who want to try it and so I want to share with you my methods and some of the things I’ve learned along the way. You can click on any product images to order them.
Let’s start with the diapers. I have tried a few different kinds and they’re all ok, but one brand is by far the best I’ve used. Rumparooz.. These diapers are amazing. They aren’t just adorable and fluffy, they are durable and very effective. They held in blowouts that a disposable sent shooting right up the shirt. Parents, you know what I mean. They are an all in one diaper and they “grow with the baby”. Meaning, they start out small and you can expand the rise and width as your little babe grows. They have a patented “double gusset” which basically is a double poop catching barrier. They are fuzzy on the inside and waterproof on the outside.
These things are serious. To cloth diaper full time, you need about 20 diapers. They come with their own inserts that soak in moisture and hold it there. It keeps the moisture off of the baby and essentially eliminates diaper rash. If you do ever experience diaper rash, you can use coconut oil and it should clear up. Rumparooz have so many colors and prints. These are just a few of them. You can click on the diapers to follow the link and check out all of the different color options.
When you change the diaper, there are tons of different things people do with the dirty one. If you exclusively breast feed your baby, their poop is water soluble and can go directly into the wash. I take the dirty diaper off, pull out the insert and then put them both in a wet dry bag. I have four of these: a travel sized one for my diaper bag that has a second pocket for dirty clothes, or wet bathing suits, one hanging in the baby’s room, one small one for storing wipes in my diaper bag, and one in an open laundry basket by my washer and dryer. You can wash and dry them with your diapers. Just like the diapers, these come in so many adorable colors and prints. I love these things. I think they’re handy to have even if you don’t cloth diaper.
If your baby is formula fed or if you have introduced solids, you don’t really want to put that poop in your washer. All you have to do is dump/scrape the poop into the toilet then put the diaper in the wet/dry bag or diaper pail. I used gloves and a poop spatula for this part and just scraped dirty diapers at the end of each day. This time around I’m getting a diaper sprayer to just spray it into the toilet. They are super easy to install right onto your toilet and they are there when you need them. You can also use this spray pal. It holds the diaper and covers it so nothing splatters. (Just click on the image to order)
When it is time to dry my diapers I either hang them on a Bamboo Drying Rack to dry in the sun or inside overnight, or I throw them right into the dryer. When I use the dryer, I typically throw in a few unscented wool dryer balls balls. They help absorb some moisture and cut the drying time down, saving my energy bill. I use these in all of my laundry, it just makes things quicker and more efficient. I hope I didn’t lose you by talking dirty, but really, it’s not as bad as it sounds. For me, I was changing the diaper anyway, one or two more steps really didn’t phase me. Laundry day ends up being a small or medium load about every other day. I usually wash at night so that I can fold them first thing in the morning. I start with a cold rinse, hot wash with soap, cold rinse and then I hang them overnight or dry them in the morning. I make my own laundry soap and I’ve used it since I diapered Lila. This stuff works. I’ll post how to make it soon. If you don’t make your own (yet!), you can always use store bought, it just has to be natural with no softeners or additives in it because those could build up on your diapers and cause them to repel moisture instead of absorb it. Before I made my own, I used Seventh Generation Natural 2X Concentrated Laundry Detergent. My homemade laundry soap works for the everyday washing, but there is one product you have to have. It’s this Rockin’ Green Classic Rock Laundry Detergent. It washes the dinge right out. I add a teaspoon to each load and then about once a month I do an overnight soak just to keep them fresh. On those days, I sun the diapers outside. The sun naturally disinfects them and keeps them white. You seriously have to have this stuff. Once they are clean and dry I usually stuff them and put them on my changing station just so they are all together and are easy for me. Real talk: sometimes I just leave them in a laundry basket and stuff them as I need them. Either way works fine. I started out using disposable wipes but it was a little clumsy to put diapers in the pail, but find a garbage for the wipes. I just bought a bunch of baby wash cloths and use a spray bottle with water, a dash of natural baby soap, a drop of melaleuca (tea tree) oil, a drop of lavender oil and a little drop of baby lotion or coconut oil. When I change a diaper, I spray the wipe and use it. Then, I just put it all in the diaper pails. (message me if you want to know which brand of oils I love!)
Does it sound like a lot of work? It really doesn’t feel like it. Maybe that’s because I’ve done it for so long. I am doing laundry all the time anyway, cloth diapering really only adds one more load. It doesn’t feel like a big deal. I save a ton of money (cloth diapering is 1/10th the cost of using disposables!). It’s easier on the environment, it decreases diaper rash, and it is so dang cute. For specific facts and the financial breakdown go to (http://www.realdiaperassociation.org/diaperfacts.php). It’s a financial and ecological breakdown of the benefits of cloth diapering. Cloth diapering is something I committed to doing for our kids and for my family. It is a little more work, but in my experience, the things that take a little more work give a little bit more reward. It is not all or nothing. My kids have worn disposables too. Whether I’m stripping all of the diapers for a heavy duty clean, or just traveling for the weekend and don’t want to deal with them, I can just buy a package and use them up. It reminds me how expensive diapers are and I’m always glad to go back to my cute Rumparooz. A disclaimer, I’m not the crunchiest mom of all times. There are some who make all of their own diapers and don’t use any colors. There are some that only buy organic diapers and wipes. I’m not claiming to be the very best and most perfect cloth diaper-er (it’s a word now, because I said so), I’m just doing my best and this is what works for me. Mothering my kids is a passion of mine. Like every mom, I’m doing my very best. For me, that may mean a couple extra loads of laundry that week, or needing to carry a bigger diaper bag. It’s so worth it to me though. I love that I can save our family money by doing making things from scratch and cloth diapering. It’s almost as good as bringing in an income. Diapering is something that people don’t really give much thought to, but for me, it’s just another way to shower love, care, and nurturing on my kids. It has also brought me so much simple pleasure to see their fluffy little butts, that sometimes, I think I’m doing it for me.