Cloth Diapering 101
If you haven’t already heard the exciting news, we are expecting an addition to the Tiny Yellow Bungalow crew very soon! Baby boy’s expected arrival is mid-February, and we are thrilled to start the cloth diapering adventure soon. I’ve been experimenting with the zero waste lifestyle over the past few years and would like to continue keeping things as waste and plastic free as possible even with a little one in the house. I think cloth diapering is a great place to start!
A couple of weeks ago, I asked my Instagram friends for all of their cloth diapering wisdom and advice. I want to thank everyone for sharing! I’ve compiled their responses here not only to help myself get organized but also in hopes of sharing with any other new-to-cloth diapering parents out there. Starting out with cloth is pretty overwhelming but I am so thankful for all the information shared by my knowledgeable Insta friends. I myself am totally new to the cloth diapering concept (this is our first baby) but I plan to learn as much as I can along the way and share it with you all. I promise I will write another post in a few months time when I’ve tried out cloth diapering first hand with our little guy.
The general consensus on how many cloth diapers you should have in your stash is… it depends. Yes, it depends on how often you want to do laundry. My cloth diapering Insta friends mostly have between 20 and 30 diapers on rotation. If you don’t have as many, you simply need to wash diapers more often – no big deal. However, before you run to the store and grab 25 cloth diapers, a great tip mentioned was to start your stash small!
I was really hoping I would be able to buy 25 cloth diapers in one single brand before mid-February, because I like to be prepared. However, it seems that honestly cloth diapering is something you have to try out first hand and learn along the way. Apparently, each family and baby is different and will prefer different brands and styles of diapers. So starting out your stash small is a great idea, because you can learn which diapers you prefer and build your stash from there. I’m SO glad someone mentioned this to me before I went out and bought a bunch of diapers.
Favorite Brands & Styles
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As I mentioned, every family is different and has certain preferences when it comes to cloth diapering. If you’re like me though and have no clue where to start, it might be helpful to learn some brands that are zero waste parent tested and approved.
You can find all of these style diapers online brand new or if you’d like to go extra eco-friendly, look for these diapers secondhand. Several Insta friends mentioned buying their gently used cloth diapers on Craigslist or Facebook. Buying secondhand isn’t only better for the environment but it’s also significantly cheaper.
It seems like most cloth diapering parents prefer organic cotton prefolds with waterproof covers or AIO diapers. It’s best to splurge on liners and purchase cheap covers. Most of my Insta friends prefer natural fibers like cotton or hemp for their cloth diapers, and snaps rather than velcro.
If you really don’t feel comfortable buying a few diapers to experiment with when baby comes, I learned that some online companies offer cloth diaper trials. This way, you can try out several different brands without the commitment of purchasing your own to see what works best for your baby.
I had a variety of useful recommendations for newborn diapers and I still haven’t quite decided what my plan will be.
Option #1: Purchase cheap flour sack towels & covers for the newborn stage. Using flour sack towels is very affordable.
Option #2: Buy a stash of newborn cloth diapers used on Craigslist or Facebook. You can use these for the short newborn stage and then sell them again when you’ve moved on to the one size diapers.
Option #3: Just start with disposables for those first few weeks. In the beginning, baby poops meconium which will stain diapers. Also, baby legs are often too small for cloth diapers and you might have a lot of leakage. You’re already so exhausted in these first few weeks, make it a little easier on yourself by starting out cloth diapering at about 3-4 weeks old.
Night Time Diapers
Night time diapering is an experiment all in its own apparently. Several parents recommended wool covers for night time use over fitted diapers with bamboo & hemp inserts. Also, some parents like the Grovia O.N.E. diaper for night time since it is very absorbent!
Other parents simply suggested using disposables at night to prevent constant overnight leaks. You’re already washing diapers regularly do you honestly want to be washing baby sheets regularly as well??
You will need two large wet bags to keep soiled diapers in. One will contain the dirty diapers while the other is in the wash, then you swap them out. You also need a small/medium wet bag for cloth diapering on the go. This smaller size bag can hold a dirty diaper or two that you will wash when you get home. According to my cloth diapering friends, cloth diapering on the go isn’t as difficult and yucky as it sounds! I’ll get back to y’all on that one 😉
You can use small wash cloths for wipes with water in a hand soap pump to wet them. You could also repurpose an old flannel sheet as cloth wipes by simply cutting it up into small squares. One person recommended Under the Nile Cloth Wipes as her preferred cloth wipe choice:
If you are looking for a cloth wipe solution recipe, The Zero Journey has one to share which I definitely want try when baby arrives!
Just as each family has a different cloth diaper style preference, each family also has a preferred cloth diaper washing system. Some parents prefer unscented organic detergent for their diapers while others say you can’t beat the effectiveness of Tide powder. Tide does come in a cardboard box so at least it is plastic free! Another mom mentioned using powdered Gain and borax for her diaper stash. The brand Charlie’s Soap is also cloth diaper tested and recommended. You can purchase a diaper sprayer/bidet to remove some of the poo from diapers, or some parents prefer to use the laundry room sink. You will need to prewash diapers on warm/hot and then main wash on warm/hot. Some parents soak diapers while others do not. Most cloth diapering parents agreed that diapers should hang to dry when possible or dried on low heat. To help remove stains, some moms sun bleach their diapers. When it comes to washing diapers, I honestly think it’ll be something you have to try out for yourself and see what works best with your washing machine and diapers.
Recommended Online Resources
Here are some links to websites and resources recommended by my super wonderful Instagram friends.