Cloth… Yep… Cloth Diapers: Part One

Good morning, SmartyPants!  I hope you’ve had a lovely summer and are full of the anticipation and promise that a new school year brings!

Today marks a new adventure in my household.  As we’ve been preparing to welcome a tiny new member to our family, I’ve been watching the price of diapers rise with fear and trepidation.  It’s already outrageous to spend $30-40 a month on those generic cases from Walmart, but to think of a second bottom doubling that already rising bill?!  That’s two iPhone data plans, my friend!  Today marks the day that I start using cloth diapers.


Oh, how cute they look all snapped up in their tidy little stacks!  Every color of the masculine rainbow is represented in pristine unused condition!  The question is, will I still feel like this is a great idea after I’ve seen the mayhem my toddler’s bowels can do to the insides of one of these puppies???

Cloth diapers have changed a lot over recent years.  This is the outside of one.  It’s made of PUL fabric, which is waterproofed but still soft and breathable.  This is the whole shebang.  No plastic pants cover.  No safety pins.  A far cry from the cloth our mamas put on our own bunz.

You can see there are gobs and gobs of snaps on this thing, and many of them are covered the way I’ve displayed this.  This is a “one size fits all” diaper.  In theory, these snaps will allow my 32 pound toddler and 8 pound infant to both enjoy a custom fit.  This particular brand even has extra snaps around the hips to ensure a good fit around the leg.  Everything is gathered with stretchy elastic, and while some cloth diapers utilize velcro closures, I’m hoping this snappy version will hold up better in the laundry.

And here’s the insides.  The diapers I chose are called “pocket diapers”.  As you can see, I’ve emptied the contents of the diaper: in this case, the absorbent microfiber insert that came with my diaper purchase.  The manufacturer offered  packages that came with either one or two of these inserts for each diaper, as many cloth diaper users like to “double stuff” the pockets for overnight use.  I’m told, however, that you can stuff these little pockets with any absorbent material you get your hands on!  Cotton “flour sack” dish towels come highly recommended, but I also wonder about the large inexpensive packages of microfiber cleaning cloths I’ve seen in the automotive department. (Someone recently recommended those as the ultimate burp cloths!)  The only thing I’ve been told NEVER to use are the Gerber cloth diapers you purchase at Walmart or Target.  I cut one open once, and they’re actually not cotton, but a weird cheap foam inside!  That’s why most people just end up using them for cleaning rags!

The white lining that forms the “pocket” of this diaper is a thin anti-pill fleece.  This material is said to have those moisture wicking properties that keep your baby’s bum dry and comfortable between changes, similar to a disposable diaper.

This all seems great now, but what do I do when nature happens all over it?  Well, at least they’ve included laundering instructions!

I have a special rubber toilet brush that I’m planning to use on those psuedo solids that won’t just fall out into the toilet.  Tonight, I put an empty diaper pail right between the toilet and our washing machine. (It does work out nice that these items are in the same room!)  And for insurance against even further gross outs, I’ve got my handy dandy rubber gloves under the bathroom sink!

If I plan to launder diapers every night, I might as well do wipes, too!  I’ve got a giant pack of cheap white wash cloths, and a recipe for lavender scented wipe water.  (Just keep it in a spray bottle on the changing table and spray as you go!)

Here’s what I won’t do:

  • Cloth diapers are not for church nursery workers or babysitters to have to deal with.  I’ll provide them with the usual dipes and wipes.
  • Cloth diapers are not for vacations.  We’ll pack to throw away as we travel!
  • Cloth diapers MAY not work out for my toddler overnight.  When the disposables only hold up half our nights, I’m not going to stress about cloth in the wee hours!
  • Cloth diapers are NOT for parents just home from the hospital.  I’m sure we’ll be doing disposables for at least a week or two when we first bring home baby brother!

I have to admit, I’ve read a lot of moms documenting their first days cloth diapering with their tiny little hippie babies and their exclusively breast fed poo (which seems to come out perfectly with a mere rinse)!  It should be interesting to see how this Pampers momma can handle a week of cloth diapering a two year old with V8 Fusion/Aldi corn dog poo!  Next week’s post will either be extremely interesting… or extremely brief!  Send me your questions and stay tuned!

Categories: children, Money, Multiples, Parenting | 1 Comment

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One thought on “Cloth… Yep… Cloth Diapers: Part One

  1. Pingback: Cloth Diapers: Part Two! (Or, how I learned to handle all kinds of crap!) | 4SmartyPants

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