Let's face it, babies poop a lot! The average baby goes through 8-10 diapers per day. From experience, it can easily cost about $80 or more per month on disposable diapers alone. Some children start showing signs that they are ready for potty training between 18-24 months, but others may not be ready until they are 3 years old. If you calculate how many diapers you will use and how much it will cost by the time your child is ready for potty training, that's a lot of money. Disposable diapers are expensive in the long run and will inevitably put a dent in your wallet.
When I was a new mom many years ago, I was late to the party of cloth diapering. After doing much research, I finally made the switch to cloth diapers when my first daughter turned 9 months old. This was, by far, one of the best decisions I made as a parent that saved a bunch of money over time. Not only did I save a lot of money, but my baby also had less diaper rashes since the cloth diapers I used were hypoallergenic. Now, with my second child, I still cloth diaper. Give it a try, you won't regret it.
Is cloth diapering hard?
Absolutely, not! Modern cloth diapers were designed to make cloth diapering easy. I want to say that not only do I love cloth diapering, but my husband actually enjoys cloth diapering
our girls as well. Not only is it not hard to do, cloth diapering saved us a lot of money in the long run.
What do I do with the poop?
Don't be afraid of the poop in a cloth diaper. Just take that stool, put it in the toilet, and flush. If it is a messy poop, just try to remove as much of the solid waste as possible with toilet paper and dispose of it in the toilet.
How do I clean the cloth diapers?
This part is not as hard as it may seem. Think of cleaning your cloth diapers like another load of laundry. After you've removed as much stool as possible, you can either store the dirty cloth diaper in a dry pail or you can rinse the cloth diaper in the tub under running water to remove additional stool before storing it in a dry pail or a wet bag. I do the latter when the cloth diaper has a lot of messy stool in it. My cloth diaper laundry time was every other day.
A Kanga Care Wet Bag is another option besides storing in a dry pail. The standard size wet bag can hold up to 8 cloth diapers. A large wet bag can be used to store 15 more more wet or dry diapers, and it's water proof. The wet bag not only locks in moisture, but it also locks in smells. You can machine wash the wet bag with your diapers as well.
Make sure to separate the inserts in the cloth diapers before washing. The inserts are used to customize and maximize the absorbency that you want or need for your baby.
When you wash your cloth diapers, you will need to do a cold rinse, hot wash with detergent, cool rinse, and then tumble dry on low. I use either Dreft baby detergent, Tide Sport, or Tide Original, but you don't have to use these detergent if you have another one in mind.
How many cloth diapers will I need?
I would say 18-24 is a good recommendation for the amount of cloth diapers you will need to diaper your baby full time. If you have this amount of cloth diapers, you can expect to wash a load of cloth diapers every other day.
How do I choose a brand?
The best way to find the right cloth diaper for your baby is to just try a few brands. I researched different brands out there, read reviews about the products, and then purchased two of of the top brands I researched. From personal experience, I choose to use Kanga Care Rumparooz Cloth Diapers and FuzziBunz Cloth Diapers, and I loved both of them.
These brands are one size and grew with my baby by having different snap levels. I did not have any issues with leaking either. No leaking is always a plus in my book. According to Kangacare.com, which is the brand that developed Kanga Care Rumparooz Cloth Diapers, "All Rumparooz are made with our patented double inner-gusset technology, which provides maximum protection and contains the messiest of messes."
Here is a quick look at the Rumparooz cloth diapers and inserts that I used on my girls. There are also starter-pack bundles that could be purchased if you don't want to buy each cloth diaper individually.
So what's next?
To wrap things up, I just wanted to share with you how you can start "Using Cloth Diapers Like a Champ." I hope this helps you on your journey to caring for your baby. Cloth diapers are a gem and a great way to save money as a parent. The investment in cloth diapers upfront may seem like a lot. For me it was about $500 to purchase 24 cloth diapers and the inserts, but that beats spending almost $3000 on disposable diapers alone by the time your baby is ready to be potty trained. Because I took great care of my cloth diaper investment, I'm able to use my first daughter's cloth diapers from 6 years ago for my second daughter.
If you have to buy a few and try cloth diapering out first before making an investment in a bigger purchase, start there. From one parent to another, it was very much worth it.
Give it a try, you won't regret it.
See my next blog on "How to make your own baby food?"