A few weeks after The Baby was born, The Husband and I tentatively got out the stash of cloth diapers we had accumulated leading up to baby’s arrival. We were hoping to save some money and reduce the environmental impact of our family, and, if I’m being honest, prove wrong the people in our family who told us we’d get sick of it and give up, as they had.
When we finally braved the transition at around four weeks, I realized it really wasn’t a big deal. There was already a mountain of laundry, so it didn’t feel like much of an extra burden (although our second-hand all-in-ones that made up the most of our collection took forever to dry). It felt really good to not have to run to the store when we were out of diapers. We stuck with disposables for nighttime, and I expected smooth sailing at least until The Baby was no longer exclusively breastfed.
The Baby, however, had other thoughts on the matter.
He hated having a wet cloth diaper, so much so that it would rouse him from each and every nap during the day.
Finally, after about two months of trying to power through it, in the midst of our big, overwhelming move, I conceded. We started using only disposable diapers, and I sadly packed away the cloth diaper stash in hopes our next baby might be more amicable to them. While the rational side of me knows that The Baby’s comfort, and above all, SLEEP, are more important than my proving a point, I am also really stubborn and didn’t want to hear, “I told you so,” from the people who had told us so.
Nobody really did that, but I still felt a little sour about having to give up this thing I had been pretty sanctimonious about.
About a month ago, The Baby and I were visiting the library when I saw another baby, a little older than him, crawling around with a big fluffy butt–obviously cloth diapered. I had honestly forgotten about them. A few days later, running low on diapers and not particularly wanting to go buy more, I unearthed our stash and decided to get back on the proverbial cloth diaper horse.
It worked! The Baby sleeps soundly through a wet diaper (though we’re still disposable at night, I’m not crazy!) and we’re back to saving a million dollars a month on diapers and not throwing away so much.
To be clear, I totally get that cloth diapers aren’t for everyone. I was one of those people for most of The Baby’s life. The further into parenting I get, the more I realize I really like the path of least resistance… for me, that’s eliminating a Target trip here and there to buy diapers.
I’m so glad I decided to try again. It’s probably a good lesson for parenting in general–I’m not going to get to decide how everything goes, and I have to be flexible; but also, just because something doesn’t work during one stage of our lives doesn’t mean it’s off the table forever.
In case you’re wondering… here’s my gear list:
My cloth diaper stash
2 Econobum covers plus 6 prefolds (Honestly, these work great and are very cost effective, but I can hardly get The Baby to hold still long enough to get them on)
I also use these liners now that The Baby is pooping more than just breastmilk (I’m thinking about getting the hose thing that attaches to the toilet, but for now, these have been working pretty well.)
For wipes solution, I use these great Baby Bum Drops by Knickernappies
Holding dirty diapers:
1 Planet Wise large wet bag and small wet bag for taking wipes to-go
1 Kanga Care pail liner (suspended from the door, rather than using a pail, because my baby is essentially Godzilla in his room)
Charlie’s Soap for the diapers – I haven’t had much issue with staining; actually, we started using this soap for all our laundry and I’m really happy with it. You only need like a tablespoon for a whole load! I wash in hot/warm and run everything through a presoak and extra rinse cycle
I also dry everything with wool dryer balls (except the pail liner, which hangs dry). As I mentioned, the downside of the all-in-ones is they take 300 years to dry, but when the weather is nice I’ve been hanging them out to dry either straight from the washer or after an hour in the dryer to finish them off. There’s something so nice about seeing your laundry swaying in the breeze, and the sun also helps with staining.
I wash whatever is in the wet bag at least every other day, or when we start to run low on the all-in-ones. Now that The Baby is almost 10 months old, we’re going through probably six cloth diapers and one disposable a day (which feels like nothing compared to those early days!)
Now here are a few questions I have for you:
- Do you use cloth diapers? Any tips and tricks or favorite products?
- What’s something you had your heart set on for parenthood that didn’t work out the way you hoped?