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Did you know that your grandparents most likely were dressed in cloth diapers? The mass production and marketing of disposable diapers started around the 1950’s. (Source 1)
A lot of families are choosing to cloth diaper their children for a few reasons
- Cost savings
Cloth diapers have an initial investment (no where near as expensive as buying a few cases of diapers) and then the upkeep cost is added into the laundry budget. Unless you’re like me and form a collection of cloth diapers. Come on, they’re so cute!
- Eco Friendly
Most babies will go through upwards of 5,000 diapers or more by the time they’ve been potty-trained. These diapers take at least 450 years to decompose, and release toxic gasses in the process. Cloth diapers are reusable and generally easy to wash.
- Less Chemicals
One of the biggest reasons I see moms switching to cloth diapers tends to be their goal of limiting their child’s exposure to toxins. Diapers are made with a number of chemicals and pollutants that can be risky for children’s health.
Types of cloth diapers
There are a number of different types of cloth diapers so I’m going to add the most popular types.
An all-in-one diaper is exactly what you may think it is, a one-piece diaper that includes a shell and insert sewn into each other. These types of diapers tend to be more expensive but have a high longevity.
Similar to the popular all-in-one diaper, an all-in two diaper comes with a diaper shell that has a lay in or snap-in insert. These can be useful for parents who want to replace the inserts over time.
My personal favorite, a pocket diaper comes with a shell and insert that you tuck into the diaper shell. It makes for a little more work when washing and prepping diapers, but the inserts tend to stay in pretty good shape. There are a few different types of inserts for these diapers and they include
Pre-fold diapers are very similar to diapers your parents or grandparents wore as babies. They include an absorbent pad that you fasten around your baby with a fastener (a new-age approach to safety pins), and a cover that you velcro over top.
Cloth diapers will usually start fitting your baby at 6lbs and can be used all the way until potty-training.
There are many different cloth diapering brands.
Price point diapers
If you want to dip your toes into the world of cloth diapering but not break the bank, I have a few different brand recommendations for you. Keep in mind that you really only need enough cloth diapers to last two to three days. In my experience, 40 is a safe number for newborns, but I start my babies around 3 months old and find that 25 is plenty as long as I can get a cycle of diapers clean every other day. You will also need at least one wet bag but I recommend having two so you can cycle out your laundry and always have a bag to put wet diapers in.
My recommendations are all pocket diapers because I believe they are easy to work with, not hard to clean, and stay new longer.
I have about a dozen Leekalos diapers and used this brand exclusively starting when my first born was about 2 months old. They are everything a first time cloth diapering mom would need to decide if it’s the right thing for their family. This brand uses bamboo inserts which tend to be higher on the absorbency scale. A set of these diapers comes with a wetbag as well.
Babygoal diapers come in a variety of colors and patters and are around the same price point as Leekalos and maybe a bit cheaper. The only drawback I have with these is that they come with microfiber inserts. Microfiber inserts are on the lower end of the absorbency scale and do not tend to work for overnights or children with heavy urination. These diapers do not come with a wetbag.
Wegreeco is another price point cloth diaper brand that uses bamboo inserts. I do not have this brand myself but I know moms that do and they have great ratings on Amazon. They also have a few different pattern and color choices that could pass for ‘boys’ and I can’t say that about the other two brands. These diapers come with a wetbag.
Alvababy diapers are wonderful. I really enjoy the material that the shells are made of because it’s less likely to stain and the elastic helps hold blowouts better than the price point diapers. These diapers do not come with a wetbag and the inserts are microfiber. Alvababy makes the best charcoal bamboo inserts. I love these charcoal inserts for overnight diapers.
If you know you want to cloth diaper your children and you’d like a brand that will hold up for years and multiple children, Nora’s Nursery is the brand for you. These diapers are wonderful. You get what you pay for with this brand. They are super easy to wash, light weight and stay new for a very long time.
The inserts that these come with are made of 4 layers of bamboo. They also come with my all time favorite wetbag. This brand has some of the best color combinations and patterns. A must purchase for those who really want to get into cloth diapering full time.
Most of my cloth diapers are Nora’s Nursery and after exclusively cloth diapering my first child I will be using the same diapers with my second baby here in a few months.
These 4-layer inserts are compatible to Nora’s Nursey inserts but just a bit cheaper. I like to use bamboo inserts in all of my diapers especially after 6 months old. These inserts are the best for overnight diapers no matter what shells you use.
This is my first choice for my cloth diaper wash cycle. Made from four ingredients, this brand is biodegradable and free from chlorine, fragrance and other harsh chemicals commonly used in popular detergents.
These are the best option for those who want to minimize the amount of mess associated with cloth diapers. These will lay on top of the diaper area so that when you change a diaper and have to clean solids, the liner keeps the solids from soiling the diaper and leaving stains.
My wash cycle consists of two cycles, the first cycle is just a rinse cycle. I will pour the wetbags into the wash without separating them and run a hot water cycle with an extra rinse. Once that cycle has finished I will remove the inserts from their shells and do a full heavy duty wash cycle, adding in the laundry soda with an extra rinse. I try my best to refrain from drying my cloth diapers as the elastic will wear quicker over time so I will hang them as often as I can. If any diapers have stains, a few hours in direct sunlight will fade them quickly.
It is important to note that if your baby is breastfed, the poop on their diaper is completely soluble. You will have to dump any solids into a toilet that come from a solid-food fed child and when it comes to formula fed babies, give the diaper a good rinse in a washtub or with a toilet sprayer attachment and diaper pail.
I hope I was able to answer any questions and give some confidence to new moms that are interested in using cloth diapers. If you have any further questions feel free to email me or comment below.
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