When you have a new baby, if there’s one thing you can absolutely guarantee, it’s that you’ll be using a lot of diapers. While most moms use disposable diapers, if you’re more environmentally conscious and feel like saving money is very important at this stage, you might actually want to opt for cloth diapering.
It’s also something parents opt for if they don’t like the idea of chemicals interacting with their newborn’s skin. Cloth diapering isn’t as old-fashioned as you might think, and there are actually a lot of options out there for parents who might not know. So, here’s everything you need to know.
So you can get several types of cloth diapers, which makes it a lot easier to decide if you want to give it a go. You can get the normal flats, which are just pieces of cloth that you can fold any which way you want to make them into diapers, so you can customize them according to what the baby needs (and when). But there are also ones that require much less effort on your part:
All-in-one cloth diapers have an absorbent soaking pad with a waterproof cover, so you can just take it off and throw it in the wash. These are a bit larger in terms of size, and they tend to be a bit pricier, but they’re very convenient. They can also take a bit longer to dry.
These are similar to all-in-one diapers, but are slightly pricier as well. The soaking pad is removable and can you wash the inserts and covers separately.
Prefold diapers are pretty basic; they’re rectangular squares which are thicker in the middle for absorbency. You can basically fold them around your child’s shape and keep everything compact with a cover. They’re quite cheap and very rarely leak because they’re so compact and make for double protection with the cover.
So these can be more useful than prefolds because, as the name would suggest, they’re more fitted.They’re very absorbent and have closures, with elastic for the leg area. They don’t have waterproof covers, but they’re very good at dealing with leaks. The price range for fitteds starts at a reasonable mark and can go up to the pricier end.
Pocket cloth diapers have diaper covers and an insert under the fabric. You can wash both separately.
You should get two or three dozen cloth diapers to start, and you can always borrow them from a friend or use hand-me-downs. It can seem expensive upfront, but in the long run, you actually save a lot of money when you’re not buying diapers every few days.
Using cloth diapers
Often, cloth diapers have snaps and are adjustable, to help you out. You should change them every two hours, and you’ll know they need changing specifically when they hang lower and are stiffer (because of the fabric). That’s if you use waterproof covers.
Wash them separately from the baby’s clothing.
Pros and cons
Cloth diapers will save you a ton of money, and you can reuse them later if you choose to have more children. If you buy types like flats or prefolds, you can use them for non-baby purposes as well. You can pass them on to your siblings or friends. It’s a big investment in the beginning but will save you a lot. It takes an estimated 500 years for one disposable diaper to decompose, so in comparison to that, cloth diapers are great for the environment. It’s a very sustainable option.
However, depending on the kind of diapers you buy, you might have to get more hands-on with your baby’s waste than you’d like. But there are a lot of specific kinds of diapers you can use to make this easier. You can even use a diaper sprayer to rinse the waste into the toilet. You will also have to do more laundry.
Cloth diapers may appear to be an extreme choice, but remember that you can always use them with disposable diapers if you’re not fully convinced. Whether or not cloth diapers will work for you depends on your approach to it and what you find convenient. Although they can be a very good choice, they’re not for everyone. But you should definitely consider trying them out!