CLOTH DIAPERING FOR THE MODERN MAMA

Full article at www.mimosasandmotherhood.com

First… Why Cloth Diaper?

There are so many reasons why parents choose to cloth diaper, but ours were simple: we wanted to make less of an impact from a waste perspective, super sensitive skin runs in Hubby’s family, and honestly disposable diapers are expensive!

  1. Cloth diapering is SO MUCH CHEAPER, and results in so much less waste. 27.4 BILLION (yep, you read that right!) disposable diapers are used in the United States every year. When you think about how many diapers the average baby goes through in the first year, you’re looking at between $800-$1,000 spent on disposable diapers before your baby turns 1. I don’t know about y’all, but we are doing everything we can to raise this baby on a budget, and when I read just how expensive disposable diapers can get I knew I wanted to look into other options.

Our family got started cloth diapering by spending just $100. I was encouraged by experienced cloth mamas to pick out a few different types and see what worked for us (and I highly recommend the same thing to other parents just starting out in cloth!). We ended up loving pocket diapers,  especially Mama Koala, Alva Baby and Bum Genius. They’re easy to put together, easy to clean, and the patterns are so adorable. Plus with Archer being so teeny when he was born, these were the brands that we found to be the most adjustable. I spent just $120 more to add 18 more diapers to our stash once we made this decision, and those diapers will last us through Archer being potty trained.

2. Cloth diapers are an amazing alternative for babies with sensitive skin! Super duper sensitive skin runs in my partner’s family. I’m talking Hubs skin is so sensitive that he can’t use most free and clear detergents. I started researching disposable diapers, and found that the majority of disposable diapers are made of dyes and chemicals that can be found to easily irritate sensitive skin. Many parents have also found that Little Ones with ultra-sensitive skin can also be more prone to diaper rash while wearing disposable diapers.

We saw this first hand when Archer got the stomach flu at 2 months old. We thought it would be easier to keep him in disposables and just change them frequently, but within 2 days his little tush was completely on fire, and the diaper rash just got worse from there no matter how dry we kept him or what diaper cream we used! As soon as he was over the stomach flu we put him back in cloth, and he hasn’t had a single rash since then.

3. And of course… they are SO stinking cute.

Cloth diapers come in literally hundreds of patterns these days. I’ll admit, I’ve purchased cloth diapers for holidays, special occasions… like for this mommy and me matching Halloween outfit!

Popular Brands: Mama Koala, AlvaBaby, BumGenius, Thirsties
Notes: Pocket diapers usually come with an insert you slide in. You can also buy your own inserts or prefolds to stuff inside. A pocket diaper works like a pillowcase: there is an opening on one end and you stuff the insert inside.
My Preference: Mama Koala and AlvaBaby. Pocket diapers are my favorite system by far and our go to cloth diapering choice. I like the flexibility of being able to throw an extra liner inside for extra absorbency overnight, and they are so easy to clean! Both the Mama Koala & Alva Baby liners come with their own inserts, though you are able to mix and match inserts with liners. Pocket diapers seem to be one of the most popular diaper systems and there are a ton of options for patterns.

But… What About Cleaning Them?? (Isn’t it super hard and gross?)

I honestly think the fear of cleaning cloth diapers is what turns of the majority of folks out there. I’ll admit: when I first told my partner that I wanted to cloth diaper he said he was totally on board, but ONLY if it was easy.

With the pocket diaper system, I simply pull out the inner liner from the pocket diaper and put both into the diaper pail. If there are solids I dump them down the toilet, or spray them off with the SmarterFresh Sprayer and then again put the diaper in the diaper pail.  We wash diapers every other evening. We dump the diapers into the machine, along with the reusable diaper pail liner (turned inside out) and follow these steps:

  1. Do a plain rinse cycle with no detergent.
  2. Set washer to normal warm cycle, and also select “presoak” and “extended rinse.” I throw in our regular detergent (we use Seventh Generation) and half a scoop of OxyClean. I let the diapers soak, then go through the regular cycle with an extra rinse just to be sure they’re extra clean.
  3. I know “best practice” says you should line dry cloth diapers but… ain’t no normal mama got time for that. So I throw mine into the dryer on low heat!

TA-DA!

I absolutely love cloth diapering. It is already saving our family a ton of money, and I feel good knowing that we aren’t creating an insane amount of waste that is impacting the environment. Is it for everyone? Of course not! But if you’re on the fence about adding cloth diapering to your routine, I hope you’ll give it a try! Feel free to reach out to me with any questions as I’m always happy to help get more folks on the “fluff butt” train! =)

xo, Sibhan (full article here)

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