Welcome to the Cloth Diapering Basics series! I am so excited to be presenting this series to you with the help of Coleen from Sweet Little Blessings, a long time cloth diapering sponsor here at Raising Arrows. This series will run all week in a Q&A format, covering the basics of cloth diapering from two experienced cloth diapering mamas!
This post is all about Getting Started Cloth Diapering…
Coleen: Cloth Diapers are convenient, save money and are super cute!! Plus they are better for the environment.
Amy: I started cloth diapering to save money when I found myself with 2 babies in diapers. Then I fell in love with the utter cuteness of cloth diapers! It also felt good to be doing something that didn’t contribute to the trash on this earth.
How much should you expect to spend for one child?
Coleen: The amount you spend can vary a lot depending on the style of diaper you buy and how many you want on hand. I would estimate you could spend anywhere from $125 for prefolds and covers to $400+ for all in ones.
Amy: There are so many different kinds of cloth diapering methods (which we will be going over in the series!), you really have to decide which method is right for you first and then figure the cost. However, any method you choose will be cheaper than a full supply of disposables (especially if you diaper more than one child!).
What is the cheapest cloth diapering system?
Prefolds and covers are definitely the cheapest option!
Should I buy used or new?
Coleen: Buying used is going to save money, but they may wear out a lot faster. It is a good way to try different styles of diapers and find what you like best. Then you could purchase your favorites new!
Amy: I’ve done both and there are pros and cons to both. Used, you run the risk of them wearing out and also dealing with bacteria from another household that may be difficult to get rid of. However, it is typically much cheaper. New isn’t cheaper and you run the risk of buying something you hate that cost you more than you can get back out of it; however, diapers do have a high resale value on places like DiaperSwappers.com.
How do I keep my cloth diapers organized?
Coleen: A changing table is a great place to store cloth diapers if you have room for one. I always change our little guys on the floor in our family room and store the diapers in the drawers in our TV cabinet. Baskets work great too!
Amy: Currently, I have a changing table (shown below), but I also keep a large flat basket at the opposite end of the house for changing diapers on my bed. I’ve seen diapers kept in trunks in the living room, cardboard boxes, and plastic stackers. It doesn’t have to fancy, just functional!
What else do I need to cloth diaper?
Coleen: You will need some kind of diaper pail. A trash can with a liner works well. I use a FuzziBunz hanging diaper pail on a hook in our laundry room. You may also want to purchase some cloth wipes or wash cloths. Just throw them in the wash with your diapers. I also keep a bottle to squirt water on my wipes as I need them. You could make your own baby wipe solution, but I find that plain water works quite well. It might also be nice to have a smaller wet bag for in your diaper bag. Another extra would be a diaper sprayer to help make clean up easy.
Amy: I agree with Coleen! I use a diaper pail that is actually a heavy duty plastic trash can with a flip-top lid that can easily be opened with a yucky diaper in hand. In my bathroom, I have a diaper sprayer (must have in my opinion!) and another trash can that you step on a lever to open so there’s no touching anything thus eliminating the whole “ick factor.” I use a plastic grocery sack as a wet bag when away from home simply because I’ve never gotten around to purchasing one! And I make all my own cloth wipes.
How often should I wash?
Coleen: I recommend washing at least every other day. The longer your diapers sit, the more odors can build up.
Amy: Agreed! However, there are times when I don’t manage this and have to be a bit more diligent about how I wash them. (You can read how I wash and dry my cloth diapers. See also this Cloth Diaper Care series from Mama’s Laundry Talk for more info on caring for your cloth diapers.)
What is your #1 piece of advice for cloth diapering mamas?
Coleen: There is so much information about cloth diapering that it can be overwhelming at first, but it is really not hard at all!
Amy: If you can, find another cloth diapering mama and watch her do it! That was one of my biggest obstacles…I needed to be shown just how easy it was! If you can’t find another cloth diapering mama, then watch online videos like this one I did on using a prefold diaper…it really does help to see exactly how they work!