Cloth Diapers!

Prepping for Baby

35-36 weeks now! This time has flown by so fast. We're in the final stretch of getting ready for this new little love that is coming soon. In hindsight...traveling for 2 months this summer and then renovating a bathroom was probably not the smartest decision right before having baby #2. Whatever:) We had a lot of fun and I wouldn't take back the experiences, but it's definitely been a lot of work!

My favorite parts of getting ready for baby are the cloth diapers and the baby carriers. Can't.get.enough! Disclaimer: I am not a cloth diaper expert, and certainly don't know everything...but I'll tell you what I do know and hopefully make things simple for you. 

Why cloth diaper?!

  • It's better for your baby. No exposure to weird diaper chemicals that are best avoided for your sweet new squish. 
    • In cloth diapering my first baby for close to 2 years (she was done with diapers pretty early), the only diaper rash she ever had was when using disposables when traveling. 
  • It's better for the Earth. Your baby will go through around 5000 (FIVE THOUSAND!) diapers between birth-age 2. If your baby is in diapers longer than 24 months, then it's even more. 
    • It's estimated that disposable diapers take between 250-500 YEARS to decompose. For this crunchy mama, I just can't!
  • Anecdotally, and certainly our experience as well, cloth diapered babies tend to potty train earlier. I certainly don't believe in pushing this if your child isn't ready, but if that just naturally happens - I'll take it!
  • And my favorite reason?! They are super cute and just too adorable to pass up. Not ashamed to admit this! 

Types of Cloth Diapers

I like ALL the diapers, and we use a combo of prefolds and covers, fitted diapers with a cover, and all-in-ones.

  • Prefolds
    • A diaper that has been constructed to have several layers sewn together, to be easily folded around baby and then used with a cover. We like Snappi's to hold them together and Thirsties are my favorite covers. I prefer the snaps over the velcro, they last longer and baby can't take them off as easily when they are a little bit older. 
    • Properly cared for, prefolds last a very long time. We're reusing prefolds from Zula. If you're offered used diapers from a friend, take them! Definitely nothing wrong with buying used cloth diapers. 
    • I keep our prefolds in a large basket on the floor. It keeps laundry easy, they don't need to be folded, and are easily accessible.
  • Fitted Diapers
    • These are sized diapers that don't require any folding and typically stay together with snaps. These are nice for convenience, and can be a little bit faster than a prefold. They need a cover. Last time, I had a combo of different fitted diapers. This time we went with the Green Mountain fitted diapers, starting with newborn and small sizes. For all diapers - I prefer cotton or hemp to any of the synthetic options. 
  • All-in-one's
    • AIO diapers are exactly that - the diaper and the cover are integrated into one. They are convenient but more expensive. Some people prefer to use all AIO's, some use all prefolds/covers, and many use a combo. 
    • The Thirsties AIO's are my new favorite, the prints are super cute, they are organic cotton/hemp, and we really liked our Thirsties covers last time around. Links for: Thirsties Newborn AIO's and Thirsties Size 1 AIO's.
      • Side note - Thirsties makes a microfiber (synthetic) version and an organic cotton/hemp version. The prints are the same, so check and be sure you're getting what you want!

With my first baby, we had a stash of diapers for 0-2 and another, bigger stash for after that. We never ended up using any of the Size 2 prefolds or covers, and this time I didn't buy any of the fitted or AIO's that were larger. Wait and see what you need! 

If you're going to CD, use cloth wipes!

I hear a lot of people going the cloth diaper route but still using disposable wipes! And you certainly can do that..but if you're going to be washing diapers anyway, I promise it's super easy to just add the wipes in there too. While we sometimes keep some disposable wipes around for travel/etc, I love using these instead. They are made from organic cotton and hemp, super soft, and last forever. You wash them with your diapers, just the same way. Easy easy. 

DIY wipe solution

Some people keep their wipes in a container with a homemade solution, simulating disposable wipes. I prefer to keep the wipes dry and use a wipe solution in a spray bottle. There are many premade options you can buy, but it's super simple to make your own: 

Combine the essential oils, baby wash, carrier oil in a 4oz glass spray bottle. Swirl together, then add distilled water to the top. Distilled water is important to avoid unwanted microbial growth. 

We also like to keep some 1-2 oz spray bottles of the same solution to use when we are out and about. 

Washing routine

Alright, this one can take a little time to work out. I promise it's worth it! For ALL the info, check out Fluff University. I think it's a great resource, though does come with some intense opinions sometimes. I'll share our wash routine that our babysitter helped us out with, who IS a cloth diaper expert:) 

If you are exclusively breastfeeding, your diapers can go straight from your wet bag to your washing machine. Poop and all, no rinsing or pretreatment needed. If your baby has ANY formula or once they start eating solids (wait until 6 months!) then you need to spray the solids off your diapers before you wash. Getting a diaper sprayer that attaches to your toilet will make this quick and easy.

First you will want to do a prewash. For us we use the "quick wash" option, hot water, and a normal amount of detergent. Then you will do a second wash, your "main wash", with the heavy duty/hot/high spin options. In the main wash, we use Seventh Generation Ultra Power Plus Unscented and some Borax to soften the water. This keeps mineral deposits off your diapers, which makes them stinky:) After washing, you can dry in the dryer or line dry outside. I prefer hanging up outside when I can! The sun is a natural bleaching agent, and it's more energy efficient. I like to pop them in the dryer for several minutes after line drying outside to soften them a little bit.  

Again...not an expert, but this is what will work for us! Before deciding on this routine we did check our water for pH, dissolved solids and other things to see what the best options would be for us. I would recommend you do the same! Fortunately our water is only a little bit hard, and we can successfully use a plant based detergent. If you have very hard water, you may be better off with a mainstream powder detergent. Sad story for sure, but it's what I've heard!  

Still need a baby registry?

We didn't make one for this baby...but for my first I loved using Amazon for our registry! It's easy for everyone, all online, and we could put pretty much everything in just ONE place. Huge Amazon Prime fans here - Every family needs this! If you don't already use Prime, 30-day trials are totally free here. I buy everything I can online!