When I was exposed to cloth diapers I was a nanny for a 17 month old little boy. He was cloth diapered and his mama had a fantastic set up! She showed me around her setup, how to put on the cloth diapers, launder them etc. I thought they were interesting. Little did I know I’d be a cloth diaper fanatic one day!
Before disposable diapers became marketed mainstream and cloth diapers were the norm, children began potty training at one year and were mostly done by 2 years of age.
“The current average age of potty training completion in the US is 35 months for girls, 39 months for boys.” (Ambulatory Pediatrics Journal, 2001)
Stats from The Barefoot Baby say that the average baby will be changed 6,1000 times before they are potty trained (think 6x a day for 25 months). For disposables that is anywhere from $1900 to $2900 per child, depending on what brand of diapers you buy. With cloth you are looking at a minimum of 24 diapers (enough to get you through 3 days at a time) and if you buy brand new a cost of $400 to $900 in one go.
We used disposables exclusively the first 2 months for both boys. We use them at night, on weekends and when we are on the go. It works for us. I’ve put together a basic list for cloth diaper beginners.
- Have at least two large wet bags as well as one or two travel size ones. I use these in baby boy’s room. They are safe to throw right in with the diapers when I wash them.
- RUBBER GLOVES-unless you wanna be touchin’ the gross stuff all the time!
- Get a diaper sprayer or bidet-this one has worked GREAT for us! It was fairly easy for the husband to install and it gets the yuckies gone! More on that routine later.
- ENOUGH cloth diapers!! Unless you want to be doing laundry every day, you need to have enough diapers to last you a few days.
- A solid but simple wash routine. I use powder tide, hot/cold wash on delicate cycle and then hot/cold regular wash cycle. Hot water gets the nasties out! I dry my inserts on high. I hang my pockets to dry. Drying shells and pockets can wear down the inner PUL a lot faster.
- A sense of humour. You will touch poop at some point. I had a moment the other day where I wasn’t sure if I there was mustard or poop on my sweater. Same colour. Seriously. What are you going to do? WELCOME TO PARENTHOOD.
- It’s an investment of both your time and money. We didn’t start cloth diapers until 2 months in because being a brand new parent is enough work to begin with. I didn’t want to add a complicated wash routine to new life as mom. Also-newborns poop A LOT. This factors into much more laundry with cloth diapers. By 2 months poops slow down which makes the transition to cloth that much easier.
- Have a setup you love. Check out my cloth diaper set up here.
- Research different types of diapers. Don’t have time? I did some work for you already, here.
I really love cloth diapering. That being said-it’s not for everyone and that is ok! Do you cloth diaper? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section!
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