Yes, I am the beginner.
I’ve always wanted to try cloth diapers. I remember the cost of diapering three children in disposables after the twins were born. Besides the cost, there was something about the way some of my friends talked about cloth diapering–like it was actually something they really enjoyed. I’ve always been curious and fascinated at the same time and having my fifth child seemed like the perfect time to try.
It would take some convincing of my husband, and myself with some aspects. I liked the idea of putting something nice and soft on my baby and saving money and the process of it all. I decided my approach with Bobby would be that of “the experience”, like making our own bread and laundry detergent–that somehow the process and naturalness of it all made it more meaningful and special.
The biggest fear/question for both of us was in the laundering of cloth diapers. After some research, the real test would be trying it out, as part of the whole process, once Rowan was born…
Our cloth diapers:
Before Rowan was born, we purchased 3 packs of Charlie Banana One Size All-In-One cloth diapers. That’s 18 diapers and lots of extra liners.
It was much easier spending the money knowing that these diapers would fit him from baby to toddler. He’d get plenty of use out of them (not to mention any baby that would follow). The $330 cost of his diapers is much cheaper than 2-3 years in costs of disposables.
Rowan being roughly 5 pounds at birth was a bit too small to fit the diaper. By one month he had bulked up enough to wear the cloth diaper so it would fit snugly.
I love the snaps. Unlike the velcro cloth diapers that I read can become less “sticky” after many washes, the snaps are secure, solid, and of course, adjustable. Bobby and I have Rowan’s snap pattern based on his waist size ingrained in our heads: left flap extends one snap past the middle snap, right snap overlaps the first. It is like a puzzle we get to put together at each changing.
The function of the all-in-one diaper is ingenius. The thick, absorbant liner slides inside the diaper through a flap and can be doubled up like we do at night. The elastic legs can be tightened or loosed for the babies legs from inside the flap. Rowan’s leg elastic is tightened to an extra small right now. There’s nice elastic backing that has eliminated any messes up his back (something I’ve always had with a baby in disposables). And of course, the diaper and cover being all-in-one is awesome for keeping moisture in. I’ll be the first to say I wouldn’t be trying cloth diapering if modern cloth diapers weren’t designed so well for baby and mama.
It only made sense to have reusable cloth wipes since we were already laundering the diaper so we wouldn’t have to just throw away the wipe. I really love the Charlie Banana Double-Sided Reusable Wipes–soft organic cotton on one side, fleece on the other. And lucky for Rowan, I just run it under warm water and wring it out before using it on him. I’m sure he appreciates that.
Laundering Cloth Diaper:
I am happy to report laundering cloth diapers isn’t as scary as I thought it would be or how I remember it when my mother did it for my little brother. No swishing in the toilet, that’s for sure.
Here’s how it goes around here.
Thrown into the wet bag hanging on the changing table. Done.
Sprayed with the incredible Bac-Out Stain & Odor Eliminator, placed in the hanging wet bag with wipe. Done.
Usually every 2 days as the wet bag is getting full to capacity, I know it is time to wash diapers.
I take the wet bag to the washer and begin a cold pre-wash with one half of my homemade laundry detergent amount, one TBSP. (It is a general rule with washing cloth diapers to cut your detergent in half. And the borax and washing soda in our detergent are awesome for cleaning cloth diapers.)
I unzip the wet bag and dump the whole bag of diapers into the wash, including the wet bag. (Wet bags are awesome– the interior seams are all sealed to keep in moisture and odor. Rowan’s room, even with a full wet bag, doesn’t stink.) I close the washer lid.
After the pre-wash finishes, I make sure all of the liners came out of the diapers in the pre-wash. Usually half do. At this point the diapers are actually pretty clean so taking liners out of a few diapers isn’t a big deal.
If some diapers are a little stained, I might give the diaper another spray of the Bac Out. Then the load of diapers runs a regular cycle with another scoop of detergent, this time on hot.
(Exclusively breast-fed babies make laundering cloth diaper super easy because stains come out with little effort.)
After this cycle, into the dryer they go. I sometimes put a few drops of lavender onto my dryer balls to freshen them up a bit.
And then, one of the best moments of the week-- beautiful, clean, soft diapers come out of the dryer. This is the only laundry I love doing, can you believe that?
They are tossed on Rowan’s rug, diapers and liners. And there I sit quietly, sliding liners into diapers, folding the diapers in half, and stacking them neatly. Now I find myself a bit smitten with cloth diapers like all those looney friends. It really is the process of it all that makes it special, both for Rowan to wear and for me in the caring of.
Overall, “the experience”:
I love lifting that little bum of Rowan’s and sliding a beautiful, clean, soft cloth diaper under him. I love carefully wrapping one side of the diaper and snapping. Pulling the other side over the first, snapping again.
I love seeing what color is next on the pile of clean diapers.
I love how cloth diapers give him a pudgier bottom. ”Big bottom Jones” is his nickname around here.
I love that a cloth diaper doesn’t feel crinkly and paper-like like a disposable.
I love modern wet bags that are sealed around all of the seams so I never smell dirty diapers in his room or in my diaper bag.
I love that my baby can wear something soft and comfortable against his skin all day and all night.
I love packing my diaper bag with a few beautiful diapers (Hey, aesthetics matter, don’t they??) and our travel wet bag. It makes changing in public so much more exciting.
And I love now knowing how to launder his diapers… and pretty much enjoying it.
And little Rowan sure wears them well on his little increasingly chubby birthday suit.
the sleepy time gal