Hey there! Pesty Laura here to share with you the world of cloth... x 2. I remember being pregnant with my first and you are faced with choices. Breast or bottle, swing or bouncer, what bedding, first outfits and the list goes on and on. Another choice that has really hit the radar for new moms is the choice of cloth or throw aways, called sposies by the cloth community. I knew I wanted to cloth.
I will not stand on a soapbox and tell you the various ways cloth will help you save the planet. Or the disgusting chemicals you are putting next to your child's very sensitive areas. These weren't the reasons I went with cloth. I wish I could tell you I was 'that' mom and I had a cause and I sacrificed the Pampers for it. But no. I'm just cheap.
My children are.. well.. who knows what generation of cloth diapered. My mom clothed me and her mom clothed her and I guess none of us were in sposies. My mom told me horror stories of how I was so sensitive that I had to be changed every time I wet and she was going through 18 diapers a day so she went to cloth. So I checked out the prices of those fancy diapers. And I RAN to cloth.
My cloth journey took me to babyzone where I asked opinions, suggestions and advice from moms that already clothed. I went to 100's of websites and looked at snaps and velcro and inserts and prefolds. And my head swam. Then one day when I was browsing craigslist I saw a girl selling her cloth stash for $100. And I bought it. Faced with different diapers in different sizes and colors and options, I really wasn't less confused. It wasn't until the baby was here and I started using the diapers did I fully understand how it worked and what I liked.
Right now I have a 23 month old and a five month old in cloth. I am blessed to be a stay at home mom but I did cloth while I worked full time. I clothed at the sitters. I cloth now when I have four babies in my home under 2 all day. To me, it really didn't add that much more work to the household. They thought I was crazy when I clothed Rett on our vacation to Florida when he was 6 months old. The cloth flew in the airplane along with us and I really didn't think it was that big of a deal. When we went in September, I clothed both. Now my in laws think I have officially lost my mind!
Here is what I have decided works through my own experience:
Accessories you need to have to start:
large wet bag (I have this one which works nice)
small wet bag (I have this in a medium)
cloth friendly detergent (I use just normal tide)
Now for diapers:
Newborns: purchase 2 dozen prefolds from greenmountaindiapers.com. Pair these with 3 or 4 thirsties covers in extra small size with velcro.
Newborns poop a LOT so you'll really go through the dipes. This is the best time to save money! Also if you nurse, you don't need to rinse out the poop! This prefold/cover system works by you folding the prefold, sliding it into the cover (it has a lip to hold into place) and velcroing it onto the baby. When baby needs a new diaper, simply put the prefold into the wet bag and put a new prefold into the cover. If your cover is damp, use a different one and rinse the other in the sink and hang to dry.
You will only use this system a few weeks but it really saves you money! Also since these won't get much wear and tear you can resell after you're done. Cloth diapers resell for almost as much as you pay for them new. Diaperswappers is a great place to buy and sell cloth diapers.
After baby reaches 9 or 10 pounds:
This is when you are ready to start the second phase of cloth. Personally, I use Bum Genius one size diapers. However if I had to do it over, I'd probably just order these off ebay. They are cheaper and work just as well. You will need the same amount of cloth as you do sposies. I personally change before and after every nap, night time and maybe two extras. That makes it about diapers a day for us per child. If you only want to wash every 3 days you will need around 20 diapers.
Once baby starts solids, you do start having to swish. You can purchase diaper sprayers that attach to your toilet to make rinsing easier. If you are fortunate enough to have a baby with pretty solid poo, you get away without much swishing. You will want to pull the insert out before you swish, then swish the cover and put both into the wet bag.
There are TONS of wash routines out there. Most of it is playing around till you find something you like. Here is what works for me in Oklahoma with semi-hard water.
I put my washer on pre wash/super large load and fill up with cold water. I put all the dipes in and 3 squirts of bac out. I let them sit for a few hours. I then close the washer lid and let the pre wash do its thing.
Next, I put my washer on super large load/heavy soil and hot water. I add 1/4 of the tide that it calls for for normal loads. After it goes through that cycle, I do one extra rinse and I'm through!
You need to dry on low heat with no dryer sheet.
Another perk of cloth is that you can use an unstuffed cover (just the pink part of this diaper on Evie) and you have a great swim diaper to reuse! They dry in a flash at the beach!
I survived cloth diapering with two and I'm sure you can too! I'd love to hear any personal cloth stories of your own or family and friends that you have that cloth!