Let me start by saying, I am not a super natural, crunchy mom. I feed my kids (non-organic) frozen fish sticks and the occasional McDonalds Happy Meal. I get all my groceries and mattresses from Aldi.
And I love cloth diapers.
I didn’t set out to use cloth diapers to save the planet, I stopped using disposable diapers because I couldn’t afford them/didn’t want to pay for them. So, I researched the cheapest alternatives to traditional diapers and discovered the world of cloth diapering.
I am a stay at home mom and realize that many daycares won’t let you use cloth diapers, so this isn’t a choice for many moms, but it worked great for me and my 3 daughters.
If you are interested in using cloth diapers, but a little nervous to try it out, I thought I would dispel a few myths to cloth diapering.
Myth #1 – They are too expensive
My favorite brand is Smartipants (I cloth diapered all three of my children and used these diapers for each of them). I bought a bundle of 12 diapers for around $200. Those 12 diapers lasted me for three kids. I also bought a few other kinds from Facebook Marketplace, but Smartipants are my favorite. They are adjustable and I would usually start using cloth diapers when my kids were around 2 months old. My daughters were all potty trained by 2. So these same diapers lasted each girl about 22 months.
As noted in my first paragraph, I was not looking for organic or hemp cloth diapers. I was cloth diapering just to save money. If you choose to cloth diaper due to health or environmental concerns, you will pay much more for them.
Myth #2 – Isn’t it gross to have to clean up poop?
Not really. I wanted to keep my cloth diaper process SUPER EASY. So if my child pooped I would take the diaper to the toilet and “plop the poop” (this became my kids favorite phrases). I also had a very large wet bag with a zipper, so I would put the soiled diaper in the bag and zip it up.
If your child is exclusively breastfed, his/her poop is water soluble. So their poop is so easy to clean. I never had a hard time getting the poop out of the diapers. Once the large part of it is plopped in the toilet, the rest comes out in the washing machine.
For me, the hardest part of cleaning these diapers was getting the ammonia smell of urine out of them. I would wash them with a very small amount of All Free and Clear laundry detergent and occasionally I would add a splash of bleach. This helped to get rid of the ammonia scent.
Myth #3 – You have to do so much laundry
I put all the dirty diapers in the wet bag and washed them every other evening. It didn’t seem like too much extra work. I have three kids so I already have a lot of laundry, the load of diapers was my smallest one. And, you just have to stuff the inserts back into the diaper, there is not any sorting, folding or hanging up – so it is way easier than a normal load of laundry.
Myth #4 – They leak
This is sort of a myth. I do have a friend that had some serious problem with her son leaking through all kinds of cloth diapers. If you can get cloth diapers that have a lot of snaps to adjust around their legs and waist, it makes a big difference. My girls didn’t leak too much. I did use disposable diapers at night, I could never find a cloth diaper that could make it all night.
Myth #5 – They are too hard to use when you are out of the house
I never had any issues with cloth diapers when my girls and I were on the go. I would simply pack a couple cloth diapers and a small wet bag to put the soiled diapers in. The wet bag would keep the dirty diaper from getting everything in my diaper bag gross and it would help keep the smell contained.
A little word to the wise, if you fluctuate between cloth and disposable, it is hard to use cloth diapers…because they are more work. If we were on vacation and the hotel didn’t have a washer and dryer, I would use disposables. It was REALLY HARD to get back into the groove of using cloth diapers when we got home. If you want to really try using cloth diapers, I highly suggest using them exclusively for several months and form a good routine. Once you are used to them, it really becomes very easy.
When cloth diapering became part of my routine, I was hooked. For me, it was a great choice that saved us a ton of money and we ended up having a lot less trash. I got really used to them and when my youngest daughter was potty trained, I cried when I passed them on to another mom. Who would have thought something that held so much poop, could cause such an emotional reaction?!!? I guess that is how motherhood works.
I wonder what it will take for more childcare providers here to work with cloth diapers. I’m gonna look into that…anyone else?
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