Before Nate was born, I knew I wanted to cloth diaper. It’s better for his skin and the environment. Did you know that one baby makes an entire TON of waste if you use disposable diapers? But, I started out with disposable diapers. Nate didn’t sleep through the night for almost a year so I was too tired to make any big changes. But, when he got a nasty diaper rash at 8 months old I immediately decided that our days with disposables were numbered.
Disposable diapers are simple. You choose a brand, you slap the diaper on, and when it’s dirty you change it and toss it in the diaper bin.
Cloth diapers are more complicated. There are so many options that it stressed it me completely out.
First of all, cloth diapers are expensive to purchase upfront. I didn’t want to make a mistake and have $300 worth of diapers I didn’t like. There are all-in-ones, which to me seemed totally absurd. As bulky as cloth diapers are, I couldn’t see putting Nate in one that would fit him from five pounds to 30 pounds. That’s a lot of diaper for a tiny little guy.
After lots of agonizing, I decided to go with prefolds.
Why I Chose Prefolds
Compared to all-in-ones, prefolds are inexpensive. For two dozen organic, unbleached cotton diapers I paid $72 at Green Mountain Diapers. That works out to $3.42 each. Two dozen diapers is plenty! I wash diapers every other day. I ordered the red size which should fit from 15 – 29 pounds. All-in-ones range from $15 t0 $20 per diaper.
I bought nine diaper covers, which were about $10 each. You need many less diaper covers than you do diapers. I can usually use the same diaper cover for 2 -3 changes. Unless it’s a messy diaper. Those go right in the diaper bin.
Cotton is easy to wash and less likely to cause skin irritation.
Cotton doesn’t hold odors like synthetic fabrics can. It’s easy to wash, too. And, the best part is that it’s less likely to cause skin irritation than polyester and nylon, which is what many all-in-ones are made of. When you use cotton, you don’t have to worry as much about what you wash your diapers with either.
It doesn’t hurt as much when you have to toss a diaper.
Let’s face it – sometimes there’s just too much mess to wash completely clean. I’ve had to toss one diaper cover in the last 7 months and it was much less painful than tossing a $20 all-in-one diaper. I haven’t had to toss an actual prefold yet, but if I do it’s just $3.42. Not painful at all.
So how does it work?
If you read my homemade wipes post, you might have wondered how I launder my diapers. This made my head spin in the beginning too. I couldn’t comprehend how you take dirty diapers and not soak them.
But, it’s really simple. I bought a cheap diaper pail for about $20 at the baby store. I have two large wet bags. I toss the dirty diapers and the wipes in the bin (after removing any solid waste) and wash them every other day. I use a homemade laundry soap, too.
I still use disposable diapers when we’re out and about. I have no desire to deal with a messy cloth diaper in a public restroom. And, we use disposables at night. Nate finally started sleeping through the night and I like my sleep. I’m not ready to mess with his nighttime diapers.
Finding clothes can be challenging. Cloth diapers are much chunkier than disposable. I have a hard time finding clothes that fit over the extra bulk. Kohl’s carries a brand called Jumping Beans that usually works well. And, I love the one piece outfits. They always work.
What’s your opinion about cloth diapers? Do you think they’re too complicated or worth the trade-off?