We are so excited to have cloth diapered for 9 months! After all the research, prepping, organizing, folding and the excitement of cloth diapering it is great to take a look a back and share about what the experience was like.
Overall, it was a wonderful journey but now that we are full fledge into solids it is becoming more and more messy and tiring! I explored EC for about a week but didn’t have enough patience or energy for it so decided to switch over to disposables.
I wish I could have done it for longer but I’m still really happy we did it for as long as we did.
Here are some highlights:
When to start: We started cloth diapering at about 6 weeks of life. We tried a few times before that but the diapers we had were a bit to bulky and Baby S seemed uncomfortable in them. If you get the newborn sized diapers they probably would work better when they are super tiny.
What type of diapers: We started with pre-folds and covers. These were super convenient since we had a standard sized cotton pre-folds which lasted us from the 6 weeks to 9 months of age. And the covers were adjustable so they grew with Baby S. Our covers were a variety of brands including Kawaii and Sunbeam. As Baby S got a bit chunkier and poops got messier we started using more of the pocket diapers w/inserts. These were thicker and more absorbent.
What about Nights & Travel: We took the convenient route and decided to use disposables for nights and travel. For nights even though I was waking up to feed, I did not want to have to disturb his sleep (or mine) just to change his diaper. We did try cloth diapers through the night a few times but because it was the winter months the poor kid would just get so cold from the wetness. So the disposals just worked a lot better. For travel it was just easier to use disposables. Although, in hindsight it would not have been so bad. We just would’ve had to carry the wet bag for the dirty diapers. But again, as the poops got messier it was one less thing to deal with when we were out. Disposables were like a mini vacation :).
What Wipes do you use: To this day we haven’t used disposable wipes and haven’t really found the need to. When we were cloth diapering we used cloth wipes at home. And for travel we used paper towels with water. Now that we’re done with cloth diapers we still use paper towels with water at home. It is so much gentler on their bottoms. Plus, if/when diaper rashes occur, doctors end up recommending laying off of disposable wipes, so why not avoid them all together?
What kind of Detergent: Cloth diapers require specific detergent to keep the absorbency. We ended up going with Country Save which was economical and met the need. We bought it in bulk from Amazon and ended up using it for all of our laundry since we wanted to use a Free & Clear detergent anyway. For deep cleaning aka stripping of the diapers we used Rockin’ Green, maybe once every 1-2 months.
How do I wash them: For breastfed babies, cloth diapers can be tossed into the washer since the poop is water soluble. We would do a cold rinse cycle to get everything off, followed by a normal hot water wash cycle. Then you can either line dry the diapers or stick them in the dryer. Don’t use fabric softeners and we avoided bleach too. It’s really just an extra load or two of laundry a week.
Other things to know:
You’ll be doing laundry every 2-3 days if not more
Breastmilk poops are water soluble, no pre-washing required (unless you feel the need to)
Sun is a natural bleach and will remove the toughest of poop stains (I have before and after pictures to prove it)
Snappi’s are great to hold together cloth diapers. No need to use those bulky safety pins anymore.
Solid foods make solid poops (not completely solid but it’s definitely not water soluble), time to pre-rinse
It’s a good idea to strip/deep clean your diapers every month or two, this gets any detergent residue off of your diapers making them more absorbent and it also gets rid of any stink that may be lingering around.
Avoid creams and lotions on baby’s bottom. Besides the fact that babies have natural oils on their skin and don’t need This stuff builds residue on the diapers and reduces the absorbency. If you do need to use any creams or lotions (especially diaper rash creams), use disposable liners to protect the cloth diapers.