I've been meaning to do a cloth diaper post forever since cloth diapers are all the rage with babies these days :) Finally, one year later, I'm writing it while a load of diapers bumps around in the washing machine.
If you aren't interested in cloth diapers, you may as well just quit here. If you are interested, here goes. I linked to stuff I bought from places I bought it--no affiliate links or anything ;)
My "goals" (can one have diapering "goals?" that seems a touch weird but....) my goals with cloth diapering were (and are) 1. save money 2. save the planet/reduce waste.
So basically I'm a total cheapskate who has not purchased a single, adorable, handmade fitted diaper a la Temerity Jane. At some point I figured I'd pay off my initial investment of about $150 in about 4 months or regular cloth diapering. I have had to buy more since then but not much so I'm pretty certain I've acheived goal #1.
My friend got me started with the $10 trial from Jillian's Drawers. I highly recommend that program. Right away I found that synthetic covers with prefold inserts (basically flat diapers) seemed the best system for me. I returned all the fitted diapers, all-in-ones and pockets straight away.
So for most of the last 10 months I've had
Honestly, I could use 1-2 more good covers but I'm muddling through. I use each cover (except the pocket) through 2-3 diaper changes assuming it didn't get poopy so I use about 2 covers/day if I'm cloth diapering all day.
This is my entire stash:
Two one-size Flip covers with snaps--love these. They seem to be the only one-size diaper that actually fits many sizes. The snaps are a teensy bit more of a pain to use but way more durable. Highly recommend.
Two one-size Flip covers with velcro--these are fine. One has held up pretty well (but is now wearing out) the other has had non velcroy velcro for months now and is basically unusable. I'd recommend the snaps.
A size 2 Thirsties Duo with velcro--thought I hated this but realized it just didn't fit for a really long time. Now it fits and I like it alright. Still prefer the flip
I got one of these prowraps (with snaps) here in town and I hated it. Never fit right and then he outgrew it. Oh well.
One pocket diaper like this one. I got it free from Jillians (they were having a FB contest and I won!). I like it for overnight since the fleece seems like it'd be more comfortable to wear with a wet diaper. But it has to be washed with every use so I don't use it often.
INSERTS/PREFOLDS/THE THING THAT SOAKS UP THE PEE
8-10 prefold diapers. I like the Indian cotton ones. I can't figure out sizing on those things to save my life so I keep ordering the wrong sizes online. I have some I bought 8 months ago that aren't going to fit for another year. At this point he's outgrown first round I purchased. Just when I was going to buy more I found a stack of "burp cloths" Biscuit had received that were perfect size cloth diapers. So despite the decorative fabric they go on Oscar's butt.
2 of these hemp tube things. I use them but don't really like them. Not at all worth the extra money and the fit is very odd.
4 flat diapers. Surprisingly I love these. They dry quick on the line (or in the dryer) and can be folded to fit any butt. I usually just fold in a rectangle and set it in the cover and go. If I was starting over I'd probably have 10 of these and a few prefolds and the covers and that's it.
I had a few synthetic inserts (that came with the pocket diaper) and I HATE them. HATE. Threw them away. Something really gross about how they feel.
I made about 15 wipes out of an old flannel sheet (cut in about 7 inch squares, serged edges) and they're still the only cloth wipes I'm using a year later. We also have regular, disposable wipes but I think we're still working through the mega three-pack we bought at Target about 10 months ago. If you're cloth diapering, use cloth wipes. I just wet them with water from the sink. I gave up on spray bottles etc.
WASH AND WEAR
We don't cloth diaper 100%. Mr. H still doesn't like it and if he's diapering it's about 90% chance he'll use disposable (we always have disposable on hand for Mr. H, for travel, for convenience). Daycare provides diapers so three days/week he's in her disposables during the day. If I'm diapering I try to always use cloth but I'm not 100% and often use disposable at night.
So 4 days/week it's mostly cloth and 3 days mostly not so it makes washing sort of odd. I usually wash diapers 2-3 times per week. I line dry when it's hot and I feel like it. I almost always hang the covers to dry rather than putting them in the dryer.
We still keep the dirty diapers in the Home Depot bucket that I bought when he was a week old as a temporary solution. It works. I dump/rinse poo in the toilet and then toss the wet diaper in the pail. Pee diapers go right in the pail.
I typically wash with powdered Charlie's Soap and sometimes use FuzziBunz soap to mix it up. We have a front loader machine. I do a cold rinse cycle with no detergent. Then I add 1T detergent and do a hot cycle with an extra rinse. We've had very little problem with odor/build up but the time we did I used BacOut and it seemed to work.
Overall, I've found cloth diapers surprisingly easier than I thought. Keep in mind I have a kid who poops very rarely and very solidly so I've dealt with relatively few poo diapers and almost no blow out diapers in cloth (he's good about getting poo in his morning disposable ;) We haven't had any issues with leaks and the pail rarely stinks although tonight was a notable exception (not sure why but it STANK today).
And there you have it. Simple cloth diapering by Melissa. Did I miss anything? I'm amazed if you're still reading!