Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Cloth Diapering

Yes, you read that right - cloth diapers. I can picture 98% of my friends rolling their eyes at this. And I know I said I wouldn't at least a dozen times, but came across a great deal online and thought I'd give it a shot. I actually started last night, but figured I'd wait it out the first 24 hours before I "came out."

Cloth diapering is not at all like what I thought it was. I've got a not quite two dozen prefolds, a cover, a snappi, and two waterproof bags to keep the soiled diapers in ($30 spent total.) I've bought quite a few other things online and I am trying to make sure a lot of I buy is one-size, meaning it is adjustable with snaps from newborn through toddler-hood.

For those of you who don't know, this is what I'm talking about:
prefolds: old-fashioned cotton cloth diaper
covers: waterproof snap-on or velcro diaper cover that goes on over the prefold
snappi: the new substitute for diaper pins that holds a cloth diaper on the baby

As far as the laundry goes, I had to wash the prefolds several times when I very first bought them in hot water to make them more absorbent. After that, we keep all of the wet and dirty diapers in a waterproof bag until we're ready to wash. I do a cold wash with 1/4 of the recommended laundry detergent and a little bit of baby oxiclean, then hot wash with 1/4 of the recommended laundry detergent (free and clear only) sometimes with a Downy ball of white vinegar. Then another cold rinse and line dry everything if it's a nice day, or hang the covers to dry and put the prefolds in the dryer. No dunking, wet pails, or any of the other antiquated things I originally envisioned. As far as putting the diaper on, I'll post our version tomorrow.

There are numerous types of cloth diapers and way easier ways to do it if you are willing to spend the money. I will probably expand my collection to a few other types as I find good deals, but using prefolds with covers is the least expensive method by far. I have also been selling things on eBay for the past few weeks and I'm limiting myself to that money to spend on cloth diapers, so nothing is coming out of our bank account or credit cards.

I've still got tons of disposable diapers in the top of Ben's closet. We still need them for now, as I don't have enough cloth to do that exclusively yet. We'll also use disposables for when Ben's at mom's or Pam's.

And for the people who argue that cloth is actually worse for the environment, I've seen a lot of evidence on both sides, but I'm leaning towards cloth being better for the environment as long as you aren't using bleach (which we don't), and when you consider the original cost and natural resources that go into producing the disposables in addition to the landfill waste. Either way, it's far less expensive and that is one of my biggest priorities these days.

Ben also looks so cute in his very first cloth diaper.


  1. good for you. if you have any questions about it, let me know. just send me an email. i used prefolds for the first 4 months but didnt even bother with a snappi. I just trifolded and layed them in a cover. worked fine. for any poo explosions on clothes, I used one of those scratchy round ball things you can get to scrub dishes with. that and some of the clorox oxygen spray stuff, but I bet the baby oxyclean would work exactly the same way. you just rinse off any 'stuff' and then spritz and scrub and wait for laundry time. no biggie.

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  3. Thanks! So far we're doing well. I don't know if we'll keep using the snappi. We're using gerber prefolds right now, and when I get my order of Green Mountain prefolds then we'll try without the snappi.

  4. Oh yeah - it's a whole new (better) world when you get "real" prefolds. Gerber is super cheap but not at all the same thing as more absorbent ones. You'll be happy :)