This week’s blog is brought to you thanks to a suggestion made by my good friend, Becca, who asked that I talk a little about my cloth diapers. THANK YOU Becca for your continued readership and great feedback!
I love hearing from you readers, and I’m always extra excited to blog about a topic that I know is of particular interest to you…so keep em coming!
I’ve used cloth diapers on both my boys and I have truly loved the experience. I can’t say enough good things about cloth diapering: they are good for the environment, good for your budget, they make life easy (no late night runs to the store because you ran out of diapers!) and they are just so stinkin cute! I love me some cloth diaper butt! (On babies, that is.)
I don’t have first-hand experience with a lot of different brands, however, because I lucked out with my first choice! I have a mom who researches for hours and hours before she makes any kind of commitment, whether that be where to vacation, a new salad recipe to try, or in this case, the best kind of diapers for her first grandchild. After countless hours searching websites and reading reviews, my mom told me about a brand of cloth diapers from Canada called Mother-Ease.
I won’t go into the specifics of how to put on a cloth diaper or what mine are made out of; you can click on the link above to take you to the company’s site for more of those details. What I will tell you however is that I couldn’t be more impressed with these diapers. After using them continually for almost three years with one child and now re-using them with my second, I have never had one single leak or “blow out.” Never.
Because they are not “all in ones” they do tend to be a bit more bulky. This is because the actual diaper and the diaper cover are two separate pieces. But, I will take a bulky baby butt over a soggy baby butt any day. Not to mention, the “one size” diaper can be used on a child up to 35 lbs, so you don’t have to keep purchasing new sizes after your initial investment! And, even more importantly, Mother-Ease offers a two child guarantee, meaning that if these diapers don’t hold up through two uses, then you get your money back. Although, I doubt I’ll be cashing in on that offer, as all of mine are still in great condition.
What other diapers have I tried? Not many…I have two RagaBabe diapers (the red and white in the middle) that I got initially thinking they would be the ones I would ultimately use. It was nice that they had a preemie sized cloth diaper but, unfortunately, that is where my praise and satisfaction ends. Not only did these diapers leak terribly, but the simple process of purchasing these diapers was a nightmare. The seller constantly puts out new colors and prints but in limited quantities which makes these diapers very hard to come by and they sell out quickly. They do however sell packs of cloth wipes that I love. They are organic cotton and absolutely fantastic.
The other brand I’ve tried is fuzzibunz. I like that these diapers are more sleek and easier to snap a onsie around, but again, they don’t contain leaks very well.
I have a Charlie Banana cloth swim diaper that I really love and it works great. I’ve never had any problems with leaks or fit. I would recommend this product for anyone, even if you don’t plan on cloth diapering on a daily basis. For under $20, you can have a re-usable swim diaper!
When it comes to disposable diapers, my first choice is Seventh Generation Free & Clear diapers. They are free of chlorine processing, fragrances, latex and petroleum based lotions. They held up great and would rarely leak. Additionally, though Theo’s skin can easily be irritated, these diapers never left rashes or marks on his skin.
If there is one piece of cloth diapering advice that I can give you, it is this: Don’t be like me and wait until your second baby to purchase a diaper sprayer. Do it now! Quick! Run to your computer! These little babies will cost you less than $50 and will make cloth diapering much easier (aka, less yucky).
I bought our diaper sprayer from Amazon. I chose the Bumkins brand and it cost around $40. This sprayer was easy to install (or so the hubs tells me), has great water pressure, and works like a charm. Plus, it has a little on/off switch that Theo is unaware of, so there isn’t a risk of him spraying down our bathroom with it anytime soon.
Although Theo was well into potty training by time we purchased this, it also made cleaning up his potty-seat much easier. Not to mention it is making our lives much easier and cleaner now that we are again cloth diapering with baby Oliver.
A few more cloth diapering tips and tricks:
♥ I mentioned cloth wipes earlier, and I’ve even talked briefly about them in other posts. I highly recommend making your own diaper wipe solution and using reusable wipes. They are so much less money, better for the environment, and better for your baby’s skin. I personally never liked the paper towel method of making homemade wipes. Instead, I bought reusable wipes, made my own solution and put it in a spray bottle. This made diaper changes super easy as I was able to soak the wipe as much or as little as I needed. I even bought a small spray bottle that I found in the bath and beauty section of the Dollar Store and used that in my diaper bag. Easy and cost effective!
♥ Stains in cloth diapers, especially from breast fed babies, disappear when dried in the sun!
♥ Laundering cloth diapers does take extra work, but I believe it’s worth it. This is my laundering process:
- Cold rinse, highest water setting, no detergent
- Hot wash, normal water setting, using 1-2 TB of detergent
- Cold rinse, highest water setting, no detergent ***However, if there are still suds in your washer or on your diapers, keep rinsing until no more suds appear. Soap left of your diapers will make them smell!
- Dry according to manufactures recommendations. Hang dry diaper shells.
♥ What kind of detergent do I use. *Sigh* I was afraid you’d ask. This has been my one complaint about cloth diapering. It has been quite a journey to find a detergent that is safe on diapers, does the job well, and can also do a good job with the rest of my laundry. Part of the issue is I have boys, and they just plain smelly. I’ve tried Charlie’s Soap and Rockin Green. Both did an ok job and are way, waaaay too expensive. I used plain ole Tide for awhile and that is always my safe, fall-back choice. But what I’m using now that I really like is something I found online from Amazon called Nellies All Natural Laundry Soda. HERE is a good resource for a breakdown of some of the laundry detergent options.
♥ Strip your diapers. Ok, so I have literally invested hours of online research into figuring out the best way to strip diapers. I’m not saying that this is the best way, but this is what I’ve come up with after hours of mind-numbing time in front of my computer.
How to strip….(your diapers, not professionally):
- Was your diapers as your would normally, only do not dry.
- Wash your diapers on the hottest setting with 1 TB of Dawn original blue formula dish soap (crucial).
- Follow with 2-3 rinse cycles until no more suds remain (life the lid of your washer mid wash to see if there are any suds.)
- Do this once every 6 months, or when your diapers get especially stinky/start to leak and lose absorbency. HERE is a helpful video on the whole process.
♥ My final tip deals with what to do with your diapers once they are soiled. With Theo, I used a diaper wet-bag that hung on the edge of his changing table. With Oliver, I purchased two diaper “bags” that fit in a trash can like a liner. They are fantastic. I have the trash can in the closet of our bathroom, (that is where is changing station is at right now) and I love that everything is literally behind doors. I still use my diaper wet-bags, but mostly just for travel. Again, I have an adorable medium sized wet bag from LittleMooseByLiza that goes with me everywhere in my diaper bag. It’s great for wet clothes as well as wet diapers!
Whew. That was a lot of information. But hopefully I’ve given you a comprehensive overview of how I cloth diaper. I love everything about cloth diapering and it has worked really well for my family, but it isn’t for everyone! I hope that I have given you some insight into how it works for us, but please, let me know if you have additional questions that you would like me to answer.