Your Cloth Diaper Questions, Answered!
I never thought I’d be a cloth diaper mama. I didn’t really know much about cloth diapers before having kids, and I didn’t really care to. Because, real talk, it sounded gross.
But then I became pregnant. And it wasn’t too long into my pregnancy that I knew I wanted to quit teaching and become a full time SAHM.
And with that decision came lots of things to consider: “How are we going to go from two incomes to one?”, “What can we cut from our budget?”, “Where are areas we can save?”
I’d heard the horror stories of how much a family can spend on diapers over the course of 2-3 years…and that’s about all it took to bring cloth diapers to the table.
I only knew one person who cloth diapered, and I decided to get alllll the dirty deets from her. It took all of 5 minutes for me to be convinced.
Long story short, I’ve been cloth diapering for the past 3 years and I LOOOOOVE it!
I had so many questions about how to use cloth diapers and, if you’re considering it, you probably do too! I’m here to answer your questions, and give it to you straight (even the stuff you’re NOT going to like).
The Truth About Cloth Diapers: The Good, The Bad, and The Dirty
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“How much am I reeeeally saving by using cloth diapers?”
According to The Bump, a family can spend about $1,000-$2,000 on disposable diapers in just 2 years…and that’s if you’re lucky enough to have a baby fully potty trained by age 2.
Throw in multiple children in diapers, and we’re talking about literally thousands of dollars a year!
“But, aren’t cloth diapers expensive?“
I won’t lie…the start up cost isn’t cheap. But they’re also a one time investment, that’ll practically pay for themselves in just a few months.
Cloth diapers can cost you anywhere from $6-$30 per diaper, depending on the brand you use. Your high quality cloth diaper brands (listed below) will be on the more expensive end of the scale, while you can find more affordable cloth diapers on Amazon (but be careful!).
If you don’t want to be washing diapers everyday (and trust me, you don’t), you’ll want to have enough diapers to last about 2 days…which is around 24 diapers. That means you’re investing about $150-$720 in cloth diapers, depending on what brand you go with.
That sounds crazy, right?!
But think of it as a one time, up front expense that you pay just one time….rather than paying more than triple that over a longer period of time.
You can usually purchase cloth diapers in bundles, making them a little more affordable. Plus, when you’re ready to add to your family again, you already have your supply of cloth diapers. You don’t have to buy more.
“Where can I buy cloth diapers?”
There are several popular brands like Grovia, Glowbug, bumGenius, Rumparooz, and more. These are among the more expensive brands, but they are also quality diapers. These diapers will run you about $17-$30 each.
You can buy cloth diapers on Amazon, for less than half the price I listed above. BUT, just remember that you get what you pay for and to always check the reviews first!
Here are some affordable cloth diaper bundles on Amazon that have good reviews:
- Mama Koala One Size Baby Washable Reusable Pocket Cloth Diapers,
- 6 Pack with 6 One Size Microfiber Inserts
- ALVABABY Baby Cloth Diapers One Size Adjustable Washable Reusable for Baby Girls and Boys
- 6 Pack with 12 Inserts
- Babygoal Baby Cloth Diapers Washable Pocket Nappy
- 6pcs Cloth Diapers+6 Inserts+4pcs Bamboo Inserts
“What other supplies will I need?“
If you’re gonna go the cloth diaper route, there are a few extra supplies you may need to make things a little easier:
- Cloth Diaper Pail
- Cloth Diaper Pail Liners: You can use these in a cloth diaper pail or by itself. When you’re ready to wash your diapers, the cloth diapers AND the bag all go into the washer together.
- Travel Wet Bag: If you’re going to use cloth diapers out of your house, you’ll need a smaller, travel-sized wet bag to store the dirty diapers.
- Diaper Sprayer: This attaches to your toilet and gets any extra poop off the diapers (more about this below).
- Diaper Liners: If you don’t want to deal with spraying poop, use can use these diaper liners instead. It’s a barrier between the booty and the diaper…catching the poop so you don’t have to spray the diaper (more about this later).
- Additional Diaper Inserts: You may need additional diaper inserts, especially if you plan on using cloth diapers at night. Bamboo cloth diaper inserts are super absorbent, so they may be a good option for nighttime or a long trip.
“What’s with all those snaps??“
There are several different styles of cloth diapers, but the most popular ones today are the pocket cloth diapers. It’s pretty much an all-in-one diaper, and super easy to use. You can recognize them by the seemingly millions of “snaps” on the front of the diaper.
Pocket cloth diapers are made up of 3 layers:
1. A waterproof outer layer (usually with cute designs!)
2. An inner “stay dry” layer.
3. These 2 layers form a “pocket” which is where you stuff an absorbent pocket diaper insert.
The best part about pocket cloth diapers is the snaps! No folding, no clothes pinning. Some diapers have more snaps than others, and I say: “The more snaps, the better!” And here’s why:
Meaning…the cloth diapers grow with your baby. The more snaps on the diaper, the more adjustments you can make.
“Do I really have to wash poop?“
Well, yes. And no. That kind of depends on you. But let’s just get real for a minute: you’re gonna come into contact with poop. It’s just a fact of life.
Whether it’s now or later, a little or a lot, newborn or toddler, at home or in public, cloth or disposable. You’re a mama, and poop is just part of the package.
- If the thought of washing poop grosses you out, but you reeeeeeally want to give cloth diapers a try, then the diaper liners are your best bet. Just throw a diaper liner inside the diaper before you put it on your baby. Think of it like a panty liner. When your baby poops, the liner will catch it and you can just dispose of the liner…poop and all.
- You can also use a diaper sprayer. It attaches to your toilet, and you spray the poop off the diaper and into the toilet. Personally, I never used one because I just used the liners. But I have friends who use the sprayers and love it.
- If you don’t want to deal with (or buy) diaper liners or sprayers and your baby is exclusively breastfed, you can literally throw the whole diaper…poop and all, into the washer. I know, I know….it sounds disgusting. But breastfed poop is water soluble, so it’s safe for your washer. Note, do NOT do this if your baby is formula fed.
“How do I wash cloth diapers?”
When it does come time to wash your diapers (I wash mine every other day), always check your cloth diaper brand’s instructions first. A good rule of thumb for most cloth diapers is:
- Wash diapers on a “rinse” cycle only.
- Then, add detergent and wash on “sanitary” cycle or “heavy duty” with hot water.
- Optional, you can do one more rinse afterward…but I never do. Again, check with your brand.
- Dry on low or hang dry.
“So, I never have to buy another diaper…ever again?“
That’s up to you. Some people choose to exclusively cloth diaper, while others like to cloth diaper at home only. Consider these questions:
- Will you use cloth diapers or disposable diapers when you go on vacation?
- Will you use cloth diapers when you’re out of the house running errands?
- Will you use cloth diapers at night?
Until my son was a year old, I exclusively used cloth diapers….except at night. Kids pee alot at night, and I still haven’t found a cloth diaper that doesn’t leak overnight.
I used cloth diapers when we went out of town, running errands, and even left them with babysitters. After about a year, I decided it was a little easier to use disposable diapers when we were out of town or staying with company.
It’s really just a personal preference. If you do decide to use disposable diapers occasionally, Aldi has the best price….and they’re actually good diapers!