What’s Stopping You From Cloth Diapering?

Is it the laundry?  Is it the money? Is it the poop?!?!  

When my daughter was a tiny little thing, I knew I wanted to try cloth diapering.  I wanted to do it mostly because I wanted to do something positive for the earth instead of creating waste that will sit around for the next 500 years or so.

Two Years of Disposables vs Two Years of Cloth

But what stopped me was the research.  I had read (briefly) that to cloth diaper, you would invest a few hundred dollars for everything you need.  I felt guilty spending the money on something that I didn’t know if I would be able to do successfully or not.  But mostly, I felt like I was shooting in the dark as far as what brands to buy, how to wash them, what would work and what wouldn’t.  I knew there was lots (loads, endless amounts) of information out there, but I didn’t have the energy to sift through it all. I had no clue what brand to try and I had no good way of seeing and touching different ones to get a feel for what I wanted.

Of my many new mommy friends, I only had two friends who cloth diapered and they both had completely different approaches, which confused me even more.  And one of them lives in another state so it wasn’t easy to get advice from her.

I checked Babies R Us and they carried gDiapers.  They looked so cute but I thought they were kind of pricey.  I felt like I was already spending so much money on diapers that I didn’t feel justified spending even more on something that might not work for me.  They had nothing at Target and the only other baby store near me had one other brand that I was not familiar with.

I decided to try gDiapers.  They were the ones I constantly saw (since I was in Babies R Us multiple times a week at this point) but I bought one single pre-loved diaper on eBay.  This mitigated my guilt over spending the money and it was a way of testing the waters without a huge investment.

My little Birdy in her cute little gDiaper at 3.5 months old

I was so proud of myself for having tried this out!  I’m not much of an eBayer so it was an ordeal for me to find what I wanted, stalk the price, make the lowest bid and win!  Finally when I tried the diaper, I loved how it looked, but it leaked every time I tried to use it. Looking back, even just from looking at the picture above, I can see why!  It was not put on properly, but I hadn’t stopped to see how you put on a cloth diaper. It actually hadn’t even occurred to me at the time that there was such a thing between a “right” and “wrong” way to put one on.

I didn’t stop to do research or join cloth diapering facebook groups (nor did I even think this was a thing at the time).  So I quickly gave up and sold the diaper back to the next eBayer and went back to disposables. I felt somewhat better for having tried at all, but I knew it was a feeble attempt.

Fast forward about six years when I decided to take the plunge and start this business.  One of my biggest motivations is being the resource for someone else that I didn’t have back then.  There IS a lot of information out there, but once you understand it, it’s not complicated at all! Especially if you have someone that can explain it to you in person.  Plus, now I know the different ways to cloth diaper and I can help you choose the one that will fit best with your life and your family!

For a lot of the moms I talk to, what stops them is the laundry.  This is a legitimate concern.  After all, there’s no way around it.  Cloth diapers have to be washed. But the good news is, this can be made simple too!  Step one: throw dirty diapers in the wash for a short cycle using some soap. Step two: start a second long cycle using full recommended amount of soap.  Step three: toss in dryer on low heat. That’s it! I mean, there can be more to it than that (this is a link to a post all about How to Wash Cloth Diapers) but that’s it in a nutshell. The easiest way to fit cloth diaper laundry into your routine is to wash your baby clothes with your cloth diapers.  This solution isn’t for everyone, but it is a way to make it even easier for you.

I know for some moms, they hesitate because it can be a big investment.  I mean, this was also a big part of what stopped me.  I had read that you need to spend hundreds of dollars to cloth diaper and I just couldn’t spend that kind of money on something I was unsure of.  But what I didn’t realize then was that cloth diapering can save you SO much money! Like hundreds if not thousands of dollars.

Impactful to see not just the trash but the spending!

When I thought I couldn’t afford to cloth diaper, I should have thought that I couldn’t afford not to!  Yes you can spend hundreds of dollars on a cloth diaper stash. (It’s kind of like shoes.. How many pairs do you REALLY need vs how many do you have) But you can also diaper full time with as little as $200.  You can also try just a couple brands and types for $40 or so to find what you like. To me, when you have someone explain what you’re ACTUALLY buying and the difference between one product and another, it makes me more comfortable and confident in what I’m choosing to invest my money on.  Once again, that’s what I’m here for!

And let’s not forget, the dreaded poop.  I don’t know if many parents would actually come out and say this is what keeps them from cloth diapering, but I think it’s definitely something that crosses everyone’s mind as well as a reality for all parents.  With disposables, you wrap up the stinky mess and toss in it a diaper genie or something similar and hope for the most airtight seal you can have. If you’ve been there, you know it doesn’t always end up being a stink-free situation.  But what you might not know is you’re not supposed to throw poop away in the trash like that! It’s actually a public safety concern (see here per the American Health Association). Human waste is meant to be properly disposed of in the toilet. That’s my PSA on that.  But I digress…

With cloth diapers you have the inevitable task of dealing with your baby’s poop in a more up close and personal way.  But you have several options, some a lot less hands-on than others. The first option, if your baby is exclusively breast fed, is to do nothing!  Breastmilk poop is water soluble and you can toss the dirty diaper right in the wash with no problems. However, if formula or solids are involved, or if you’re just not comfortable throwing a poopy diaper in with your non-poopy laundry, you have to get the poop off before you wash the diaper.

Poop Removal Assistants

The easiest choice is a flushable liner (pictured, top right).  This is a thin sheet that sits on top of your diaper’s absorbent inner pieces.  When baby poops, it keeps the mess away from the diaper pieces that you wash. You just take the sheet and the poop and flush it all away.  Easy peasy. And the ones I carry are bamboo, so they’re still a natural, soft material against baby’s skin.

The next option is a diaper sprayer (pictured, left side).  This attaches to your toilet and you spray the poop off the diaper and into the toilet.  This will also leave your diaper poop free and wash-ready. Along with this option, you can use a washable liner (pictured, bottom right).  This is just a way to keep you from having to rinse the whole inner diaper piece. It’s a thin layer that sits in baby’s diaper (just like the flushable liner) and leaves you with just that small piece of fabric to get the poop off of.

There are other methods if you want to be low-tech or creative.  Some people keep a designated spatula in their bathroom to scrape the poop off with or whatever.  Honestly, once baby gets into solids and out of blowouts, you can just kind of roll it off into the potty and that’s that.

So what’s your reason?  Or more importantly, what’s your reason to WANT to cloth diaper?  Is it the environmental impact?  The savings? The natural materials vs chemicals being on your baby’s skin 24 hours a day for years of their life?  The cuteness of the darn diapers?! The benefits can greatly outweigh the effort, especially if you have help pointing you in the right direction.  Remember that cloth diapering doesn’t have to be an all or nothing proposition and as with most things, the more you do it, the easier it becomes. And as always, I’m here to help in any way I can to make it simple and worthwhile for you and your family!

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