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Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Cloth Diapers: Getting Started

Save the planet AND THE MONEY!

If you had asked me when I was pregnant with mini-d if I would consider cloth diapers I probably would have laughed at you. Mentally I would have been envisioning a dish cloth and safety pins.

This is SO not the case. Cloth diapers have come a LONG way, society just has to catch up. It amazes me that our generation is so focused on "saving the planet" and yet the majority of those same people won't even consider using or researching cloth diapers. That the majority of Daycares won't even consider using them because it's "too much work." 

It really all boils down to two words:

1) Apathy 
2) Convenience 

Ok and maybe we are brainwashed by Pampers commercials. End rant.

If you've decided that you want to save the planet and save yourself quite a bit of money by using cloth diapers you've probably noticed that getting started can be overwhelming. When we started using cloth on mini-d I was SO LOST! Of course I turned to Pinterest and Youtube. Luckily, I also had a very supportive group of Mommy's to help out!

The very first thing you are going to need to do is gather your supplies. 

What you need:

Diapers! There are SO MANY options when it comes to diapers and the types available are really like a language all in themselves. I'm not going to go over every single one, I'm just going to mention the ones that worked best for us after a lot of trial and error.

Brand: Sunbaby
Type: Pocket, meaning your have to "stuff" the diaper with a separate insert.
Cost: $
- These come by size, meaning they are not a one-size diaper.
- This was my diaper of choice. We double stuffed our diapers with two CBI (Charcoal Bamboo Inserts) and never had any leaking issues.

CBI: You can usually find these for $1 each

Brand: Applecheeks
Type: Pocket
Cost: $$
- These are a higher quality pocket diaper. They do look fancier than Sunbaby, but operate about the same (in my opinion). 
-They come in size one and two.

Applecheeks does have their own brand of inserts. These inserts are pretty expensive ($8 - $10 each), but again the quality and absorbency are excellent. The diapers used along with their inserts are going to make for a less bulky diaper than the Sunbaby. Personally, I enjoyed seeing the cute little fluffy bottom though!

Brand: Bumgenius
Type: Multiple Options / We chose all-in-one
An all-in-one diaper means the insert is already attached. This is better for convenience purposes because you save time "stuffing" the diapers.
Cost: $$, although a little more costly you aren't having to purchase a separate insert so that should be considered.
- This is a one-size diaper so it can be adjusted to be worn throughout your diapering journey.

The multiple snaps allow you to adjust.

There is SO much more out there, but this is what made up our stash. How many make a stash?? This is debatable but I would recommend at least 24 diapers so that you aren't washing every single day. Washing daily can make cloth diapering seem like a burden, when it shouldn't. Basically you would be making your life harder than it had to be, and who wants to do that?

We purchased the majority of our diapers and supplies from Kelly's Closet . The website also has a lot of good information about cloth diapering available for you. I would suggest reading up on it there. 

Next, you will need a wet bag. What the heck is that?! It's a bag you can throw your dirty diapers in until you get ready to wash them, which you will need to do every couple of days. You can zip the bag up, and no it won't stink up your house. Just throw the bag in with your diapers when you wash and it will come out squeaky clean and ready for another round. We kept a large bag next to our changing station and a small bag in the diaper bag.

You are also going to need specific detergent. This really is trial and error, as it depends on the type of water you have. We ended up having luck with the brand Country Save. We purchased it from amazon.

No matter which brand you choose you need to make sure it is cloth diaper friendly. Kelly's Closet has a great reference guide to go by.

If you use diaper cream you will need to be sure it is also cloth diaper friendly. We always used coconut oil or The Honest Company's healing balm.

Some optional things you might need include a spray pail, diaper sprayer, and RLR. If you are exclusively breastfeeding there is no reason to spray your diapers. Just throw them in your wet bag and wash them just as they are. If you have started feeding your baby solids or use formula you will need to spray the solid waste off before putting it in your bag. We made our spray pail out of an old trash bag and some hair clips, redneck style.

The spray pail allows you to spray your diaper off with a diaper sprayer that attaches to your toilet without getting back-splash on yourself or all over your bathroom (spoken from experience). I only say the diaper sprayer is optional because we found it easier to just take all of our diapers outside and spray them off with a water hose at the end of the day. Again with the redneck style. Ha!

About every 3-4 months you need to strip your diapers. The easiest way to do this is by using a product called RLR in your wash routine.

I know this seems like A LOT, but once you get everything you are set. Another thing to keep in mind is that your diapers have a resell value. Yes, you heard that right buying and selling used diapers is totally a thing people do.

The cost up front may seem like a lot, but in the long run it is not even close to what you would have spent in disposables! I know I'm barely scratching the surface here, but this should at least get you started. I will try to get more in-depth for you guys soon!

PS: We do not place judgement on those that choose not to cloth diaper. We actually now use disposables due to our Daycare circumstances! Cloth will always be my FAV though!

Much Love, Misti

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