cloth diapers for beginners

My mother used cloth diapers on me, my brothers, and my sister. When my brothers and I were in diapers, she used prefolds with those plastic pants and diaper pins. By the time my sister was born, we lived in a place where there wasn’t a cloth diaper service, so she had various types of modern cloth diapers.

My 13 year old self was thoroughly amused at the brand names. Bum Genius. Fuzzibunz. Happy Heiny. Hilarious. 

My Relationship with Disposable Diapers

Later in life, when I was pregnant with my son, I was absolutely adamant that I was NOT going to cloth diaper.

  • I found the idea of potentially poking the baby with a diaper pin stressful.
  • Our washing machine came with the apartment we rented and wasn’t truly mine, so I was completely uncomfortable with the idea of poop going into it.
  • I also knew that we were going to move at least once, but possibly as many as three times, while my son would be in diapers. During the course of the first move, my son would be three months old and we would be temporarily living in a hotel.
  • It was just too much stress.

I don’t really regret that decision. I couponed an enormous stash of disposable diapers. I generally paid only 60%-70% of the regular retail price. That was enough money saving for me. If you’re interested in going that route, I would suggest checking out The Krazy Coupon Lady.

Why Did I Switch?

I am expecting my second baby in February, which means that I’ll have two kids under two and…two in diapers. 

Upon this revelation, I decided to rethink my diapering approach. I ultimately decided to make the switch to cloth for various reasons.

Couponing required buying 4-5 boxes of diapers at a time when the price was right. For two kids, I would need to buy 8-10 boxes at a time. When I was pregnant with my son, I had considerably more storage space than I do now. Currently, I have nowhere to store that many diapers until they’re needed.

I feel uncomfortable supporting a certain business now. I bought the majority of my disposables at a certain store. In the time since I did my stockpiling, they have implemented some policies that make me uncomfortable. I try to avoid shopping there when possible. Even though couponed diapers are significantly cheaper, buying my diapers there would still cause a sizable sum to be going to this company. No matter how you do it, diapering two children is going to be expensive.

I really highly doubt that my firstborn will be early to potty train. I have heard of kids who have it down at 18 months. I completely believe that they exist. I also believe that it’s pretty unlikely that my kid will be one of them. It’s just not how he rolls.

For me, these reasons were enough to make the switch.

Would I Recommend Cloth Diapers?

Maybe. It depends on a lot of factors.

Do you have laundry under control? In my experience, adding in diaper laundry is not particularly difficult IF you already have a good handle on laundry in general. I don’t like to let my diapers sit for more than 3 days before being washed. I previously wrote about how I got my own laundry under control.

Are you grossed out by poop? The level of grossness involved here varies based on the age and diet of the baby. My toddler’s poop can be plopped into the toilet easily, but a younger baby’s poop takes more work. Dealing with poop is part of parenting, but some people don’t want to deal with it more than is absolutely necessary. I completely understand that. If you’re in that camp, cloth diapers probably aren’t for you.

Do you aspire to be crunchy? I am what I like to call “accidentally crunchy.” I didn’t set out to be this way, but sometimes “crunchy” things just work well for me and I go with it. Some moms are attracted to cloth diapers because of the environmental benefits, or because they prefer to have natural materials on their baby’s skin.

Do you have a child with sensitive skin? Some babies cannot tolerate any brand of disposable diaper and need to be in cloth for health reasons. In that case, cloth is a great thing.

I personally don’t believe that cloth diapers are for everyone. However, they can be a great option! Next week I plan to share more about the most inexpensive way to try out cloth diapers.

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