I have realized that people who cloth diaper love to talk about cloth diapering. People have whole websites dedicated to it. If you blog and cloth diaper – there is at least one post. I know. I read them either when I was deciding to cloth diaper or when I ran in to some issues with my cloth diapers. So since I cannot go against the trend – I figured I would share with you the good, the bad and some tips if you are diving in to the cloth diaper world.
- They save you money – how much is up to you. Cloth diapers come in all sorts of types from cheaper prefold versions to all in ones. I use Charlie Banana one size, a few Fuzzibunz and a couple of Grovias. I won’t get in to the types, but your savings depend on the kind you use (and how much you pay upfront). I never paid full prize for a diaper. Target sells Charlie Bananas (or at least they did) and I was able to find them 50% off a few times to help build a stock for two kids.
- They are good for the environment. And you have to take the trash out less. We use Honest disposables at night and when I am too lazy to wash the diapers and it makes me feel bad about the whole landfill business. I mean I figure if I cloth diaper, then I can set my A/C to 72 and not feel bad, right?
- You never run out of diapers. Well I mean you can run out of clean ones, but usually I will see that I just put the last cloth on so I can quick run a load. Or rely on my disposables as back ups if the wash isn’t done. Either way I never am like crap I need to go to Target.
- You avoid Target. I mean yes you can get diapers elsewhere and I even get my disposables delivered from Honest every few months (one honest box usually lasts around 2-3 months and that’s with 2 kids using them), but I feel like needing diapers is an “excuse” to go to Target and well I don’t know anyone who leaves Target spending under $100.
- My kids rarely had a “blowout”. Flynn rarely pooped out an outfit when wearing a cloth diaper. Actually, the one time he did it was in front of a bunch of people and quite the sight. Nola has never pooped out a cloth diaper on to her clothes, but she has in a disposable quite a few times (she got disposables a little more than Flynn did in the beginning as I built up a stash of diapers for her)
- They look cute. Well I mean this is debatable. Nola does look like she has an odd figure when she wears her diapers. And Flynn’s booty is quite the sight, but the patterns are cute and it is funny to see Nola rock her skinny jeans with a double stuffed Charlie Banana.
- They say your kid will potty train faster. I don’t know about this. Flynn just turned 2 and was fully potty trained for 6 days. Yet, he hasn’t peed on the potty in three days. So I mean I am not sure he is a good case study because apparently something went wrong there.
Not so Good Stuff
- They take up a lot of room in the diaper bag. So this is a stupid one, but I figured people don’t always think about this. It is hard to run out with a small bag because a few diapers + wipes take + a wetbag take up some space. That being said, I do successfully cloth diaper and travel with two kids in cloths, but I tend to carry a larger bag and some disposables just in case.
- You need to do wash at least every other day. Depending on how many cloth diapers you own, you will need to do wash every day or every other day. If you wait longer than that it kind of smells, but I suppose you could push it to three days if you had a lot of diapers.
- You deal with poop…sometimes. I think the biggest question people ask is what do you do with the poop? When the kid is younger ie before solids (and especially if they are breastfeed) the poop is pretty soluble. I just throw the diaper in the wetbag and then wash like normal. If it is really gross I will rinse it in the laundry tub or sink (and then wipe down the sink). When your kid gets older and the poop more solid I usually just dump the poop in the toilet (like you really should with disposables) and then throw in wetbag/trash. If it is a massive poop, they make diaper sprayers and other contraptions to make it less gross- but I find running water over the diaper in the laundry tub/sink to do the trick. This happens not all that often and really isn’t all that gross, but still you are dealing with poop.
- You will have times you have to “solve” the leak or smell issue. Your diapers – particularly if you don’t wash right – will get a smell or start to leak. There are ways to fix the diapers from soaking them in RLR tov changing up the detergent to letting them dry outside. Google it – there are a million fixes. It’s nothing that can’t be fixed, but it does cause a small headache.
- People will make assumptions about you. Like you don’t vaccinate your kids. Or that you refuse your kid any food that is nonorganic or laced with GMOS. Or that you go to chick pox parties. I don’t really like to be labeled or bucketed because I suck at doing things fully. I am half assed at many things – particularly diets and exercise plans.
- They say your kid will potty train faster. As I said Flynn was potty trained for a few weeks (fully for about a week). It was a pain in the ass. So maybe delaying potty training isn’t such an awful thing.
- Don’t buy a whole bunch of one brand in the beginning. Many people want to cloth diaper, but it just isn’t for them. You need both parents (and if needed the daycare or caregiver while you’re at work) to be onboard. Plus, every diaper fits a little different so you want to play around with what works best for your family. You also may be able to find different ones on sale at different times and so that helps in building the stash. Once you are fully committed and you find a brand you like then go ahead and stock up on however many you feel you need, but don’t go all in upfront.
- Get a few small wetbags (and 1-2 big ones). When you travel you are going to need to throw the dirty diapers in a wetbag. In the beginning, I only had one, but if you don’t wash it or you forget it in the laundry basket, it gets annoying. I have three in rotation and that works pretty good. (I also stash plastic bags in the car just in case).
- Read the directions for washing and stick to one cloth diaper friendly detergent. I have found that sticking to one detergent (I like Charlie’s Soap) helps to avoid build-up and avoid any leakage. I have no scientific fact on this, but find a detergent that works and stick with it. Also, some diapers you are to wash on warm, others not. Read the directions.
- Be flexible. Sometimes it may be easier to throw your kid in a disposable or just pack disposables for a long trip. We have always used cloth diapers when we travel, but we do bring disposables in case we don’t find a washing machine or get backed up from being out and about. With two kids – I have definitely lightened up a little bit and have had a few days where we used more disposables than cloths just because I was too tired to put inserts into a shell (I know, pathetic).
- Make sure you are both on board. Your spouse needs to be on board. And both need to know the laundry routine. And how to clean and adjust the diapers. If one person is running the show and the other is not on board, it becomes a waste. So discuss before you buy. If your husband needs some convincing have them email my husband. He is all onboard. When we had one kid and both worked – he kept up with the diapers more than I did. He loved the savings. Still does.
So there ya go. I have blog and now I have a cloth diaper post. I am complete. If you have questions about types of diapers, washing diapers or if it is worth it (I obviously think it is since both kids are currently subjected to a huge ass) feel free to comment or message me.