Since I am lucky enough to be able to stay home with my daughter during the day while my husband works, I decided early on that I would give back to the money he makes by learning how to be thrifty with it. As I evaluated what I do each day and how I can cut back on things, diapers for our baby girl was one thing I could cut back on. Since I was trying to SAVE money, I didn’t want to invest a large chunk of cash on expensive, albeit cute, diapers. Especially because I was inexperienced in the field of cloth diapers and didn’t know what I would think of them in the long run. After watching the video found on this blog and talking to my mom about her experience with cloth diapers I have finally found what works for my family! This method could probably be considered a little old fashioned compared to the really cute and slick kinds that are out there. However, these have helped me meet my goal of saving money, and I don’t mind them one single bit.
There are a lot of things to know about cloth diapers. Check out our pinterest board for other great references.
The kind of cloth diapers I use are made by using a prefold and waterproof cover. A prefold is made out of a cloth that will soak up liquid, such as birdseye. It is fastened in place and then a waterproof cover is put over the fabric to keep it waterproof. I like this option because it can be cheaper up front. Please notice that I said it can be cheaper. It will depend on what kind of plastic cover you decide works best for you. There are covers that look like a normal diaper and snap right on over the cloth, these can be really cute and sometimes preferable. The other covers are simple white plastic pants that aren’t nearly as cute, but are just as functionable.
Here is the way my family has chosen to do cloth diapers. It is very simple and fits our lifestyle perfectly. I realize that this probably won’t work for everyone, so keep doing some research if you need a different method just for you! First off, we only cloth diaper during the day and while we are at home. This means, that we still purchase disposable diapers, but we go through them much much slower. The reason we don’t use cloth at night is because we want to minimize any awake time at night and if the plastic pants start to sound like a toy to our little girl, or the extra steps in putting the diaper on arouse her further, it means we will all be awake a little longer. We also use disposable diapers when we go out so that we don’t have to deal with carrying around wet stinky diapers from store to store or at our friends house.
Here is a walk through our cloth diaper routine. In the morning we put on the prefold, fasten the prefold with a snappi, and put on the plastic pants. We use these plastic pants or these diaper covers. When the cloth diaper is soiled, we take off the plastic pants, if they have poop on them I throw them in the wet bag/diaper pail but if they are just wet with pee, I spray them with my diaper cleanser that I have next to my changing table and then let them air dry on the shelf below. Next, I take a cloth wipe and my homemade natural wipe spray and spray the wipe until it is moist enough to clean a dirty bum. I also wipe down the plastic changing table with the cleanser after I have placed the soiled diaper in the diaper pail so that the new prefold I put down doesn’t get any of the previous excrement on it. This is a messy process, so I try to keep it as sanitary as possible. I then replace the prefold, snappi, and plastic pants and do it all over again. I have 26 prefolds, 6 plastic pants, and 3 snappi’s that I rotate through. When a diaper is poopy I drop it in a simple little garbage pail next to my changing table while I finish the rest of the diaper changing process, then after I take it to the bathroom where I put on my plastic cleaning gloves and rinse off all of the solid. After it is thoroughly rinsed, I put it in another garbage pail to await the the washing process.
In order to make it worth saving money on diapers, it is important not to spend that saved money on your water bill, so I was the diapers in the washer every 2-3 days. Diaper pails help to keep the smell away, and I also make a deodorizer that helps.
Washing your cloth diapers can be tricky, it depends on what fabric you use. Some cloth diapers have special care instructions so make sure to follow what the package says. I make my own homemade detergent that works wonderfully. My diapers never smell or look soiled after the washing routine (which is my ultimate test). First, I take the soiled diapers and wipes, as well as the wet bag and put them in the washer. I then run a full cycle with an extra rinse and I don’t put any soap in. This is just to rinse and loosen up everything on the diapers. When the first cycle is finished I put a ½ TBSP- 1 TBSP depending on the size of the load and run a full cycle with an extra rinse. Before putting them in the dryer, I do a look and smell check to see if they need to go in again. Usually they are fine, it depends on how soiled they are. Every few washes I will pour in a little bleach just to keep them fresh. It is also advised to let them sun bleach every now and then.
Gerber plastic pants: