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You’re a Mama-to-be and planning for baby. Ah, the diapers and all-nighters.
It’s fun to plan for the greatest blessing in the world. In my pre-baby research, I found the rabbit hole that is cloth diapers.
I quickly realized I was in a subculture of frugal, environmental conscious mamas who enjoy the benefits of fewer chemicals and cute fluffy baby butts.
This world sizzles with talk on pre-folds, all in ones, stripping—the jargon is thick and the options aplenty.
It took me a while to plan out which diapers were best for our baby and which supplies were absolutely necessary versus optional.
Between our birth center birth and using cloth, we’ve saved some serious cash. Our monthly maintenance-type baby expenses are around $20 a month!
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What cloth diapers do you use?
We settled on all in one diapers (AIOs) that fit our baby great. These were the closest version of disposable diapers I could find.
I preferred to avoid any extra laundry work, and the AIOs really did their job well. There wasn’t any extra folding, supplies or work needed.
The other great aspect of AIOs is that many fit the baby through potty training age! I hope to reuse our diapers through baby number 2 and beyond.
What supplies did you buy to get started?
We’ve been happy with these items in our home.
- 12 all in one diapers
- Free and clear detergent
- Wet bag to hold diapers before washing
- Stripping bubbles
- Hangers to air dry the diapers
A few other items like a sprayer and shield are nice but not totally necessary. We bought a diaper sprayer to remove the solids quickly and a shield that kept the water from getting everywhere. It made the maintenance part easier for us.
How soon did the diapers pay for themselves?
It took us 2 months to recoup the money we spent on cloth. Given that Terin will be in diapers until she’s 2 – 2.5, I’m happy that there’s so much time to save left.
Aside from medical expenses, diapers can be one of the most expensive items of parenting an infant. By using cloth, we bring our costs down to around $20 / month since I breastfeed her.
What’s your wash routine?
We wash the diapers every other day in two cycles:
- Cycle 1: Wash on Heavy Duty Cold setting with soak or extra rinse option selected.
- Cycle 2: Wash on Heavy Duty Hot cycle
- Hang dry – do not dry in dryer because it’ll damage the diapers
Fluff Love University has some great resources for setting up a wash routine for your specific washer. This was helpful in the beginning.
Every six weeks, we strip the diapers. Stripping diapers removes any buildup from detergents and keeps the diapers working their best. I’m currently using these and have been happy with the results.
Any hacks you use to save time?
I save time by putting the diapers in the wash at bedtime. I set it so the first cycle ends when I wake up. In the AM, the diapers are ready for the second wash.
In the second wash, I sometimes put items that don’t cause pilling in with the diapers. Some towels, sheets and other items can go in the wash and don’t damage the diapers at all.
For stains, sunning diapers can work amazingly well. I’ll put any stained diapers outside for a few hours. This has helped keep my diapers in excellent condition.
Social media community groups can be a good place to start when beginning cloth diapers. You’ll meet other cloth diapering Mamas who are experienced and can help troubleshoot if you have questions.
What about the poo and stains?
Before baby is on solids, their poo is water-soluble. Instead of having to rinse the soiled diapers, they can go directly in the wash. From 6-9 months, our baby’s digestive system was learning to digest solid food.
This is a period when diapers need rinsed before going in the wash. It wasn’t fun per-se, but it was a quick stage. Now, our baby’s poo is solid and easily goes into the toilet. It’s much less messy than previous.
We put our diapers in the sunshine for a few hours. This has gotten out some very dark stains in a matter of hours. Our diapers have no stains using this natural stain remover. 🙂
Are there any times you don’t use cloth?
We try to cloth diaper as much as possible, but sometimes it makes sense to use disposables. When traveling, we’ll use disposables when we don’t have easy access to a washer.
When we drove 4 hours to Denver, we used a disposable. Within each family, a slightly different system works. Each time I use cloth, I’m thankful to save the money.
I love to cloth diaper and plan to do it for all of our babies. Even outside of saving money, I feel good that fewer diapers will fill up the landfills. Exposing my baby to more natural products helps me feel like I’m advocating for her well.
What is one thing you do to save money as a new parent? Tell me in the comments!