That’s what I call Monroe when I see her in her cloth diapers 🙂
Backtracking though, when Maya was 5 months old, after some much needed Cloth Diapering 101 info from a fellow military spouse in Florida, I took a leap of semi-knowledgeable faith and started cloth diapering. This time around, with Monroe, I knew from the get-go that I wanted to start her in cloth early on. However, I was weary of washing sticky black tar-ey poo out of cloth diapers (If you’ve ever changed a newborn’s 1st diapers…you know what I’m talking about!) so I intentionally made the decision to start using cloth on her after the 1 month mark.
Monroe is now 8 weeks old. Up until the 5 week mark, I used disposables exclusively. (Pampers, if you reeeeally wanted to know 😉 …..I would only buy them with coupons, and stocked them up throughout my pregnancy during sales, etc.) Ever since her 5 week mark – for the past 3 weeks, she’s been in cloth! ….And I must say, I.Am.Loving.It!
Type of Cloth Diaper
Let’s get back to basics. What kind of diapering system am I using? I am using prefolds and covers. (with Maya I used BumGenius, Alva and Kawaii pocket diapers that required tedious stuffing of the inserts, and a longer drying time) Prefolds are perhaps the type of diaper that most resemble diapers of long ago – you know, BEFORE disposables? (Did there ever exist such a time?! YES!) These consist of a soft multi layered cotton cloth that you then fold up to fit inside a waterproof cover. The cover has snaps and/or velcro that allow for adjusting the size to best fit baby. (I use Thirsties covers) With this system, when you have a wet diaper, you only need to change the prefold (cloth part) – you can reuse the cover all day long as long as it doesn’t get soiled. If it gets slightly damp on the inside, simply give it a quick wipe, and you’re good to go! But I would hiiiighly recommend changing everything with a poppy diaper. I don’t mess with those… Here’s the covers I use:
Now that you know the type of diaper I chose to use, I’ll move into how I prepped them, since you MUST prep the prefolds before use otherwise they won’t absorb adequately!
Prepping Cloth Diapers
Now, if you’re like me, the moment your cloth diaper goods arrive in the mail, you’ll want to start using them. Because, you know…a cloth diaper just sitting around waiting to be used isn’t doing anyone any good! Sometimes I get so excited I tend to skip over a few details, BUT, you NEED to prep them. This is how my prefolds looked when I received them. I purchased 2 brands: Osocozy unbleached cotton prefolds, and Diaper Rite organic cotton prefolds.
I made sure to carefully read the packaging care instructions on prepping the prefolds and also did some trusty Google-ing of my own to get the best comprehensive idea of how to prep these. Good thing I did because I was able to learn a little trick that saved some time and water with my prepping. Now, what kept coming up over and over in my prepping research was that in order for the prefolds to obtain optimal absorbency, they needed to be washed in VERY hot water. Most people would just throw them in the washing machine, raise their water heater temp, and let the washer do its thing. (Keep in mind it’s recommended to wash it this way 2-3 times (drying each time in between). Well, to cut out 2 of those washing machine washes, I simply boiled my diapers on the stove in the biggest pot we had.
I had to do this a few times to get through all the diapers, BUT I didn’t mind at all! I felt so accomplished because as I boiled each batch, I could see the water changing – all of the oils were getting released from the cloth. Here’s the after shot of the water, so you know what I’m talking about:
Next came throwing all these “stove prepped” diapers into the dryer – drying them fully, followed by another washing machine (HOT) wash and another dry. Make sure to empty out your dryer filter each time! You’ll be amazed at all the fuzz that comes off of these… But, it yields fluffed up prefolds – as seen here:
From the “prepping” process, these prefolds shrunk, quilted up nicely and grew in thickness about 2x’s! (I also gave my diaper covers a quick wash and line dried those to get them ready to use.)
Using Cloth Diapers
Satisfied that my “stash” was fully prepped, it was time to test it out on Monroe!
I’m still learning about this whole process, but the way I use the prefold is to simply fold it into thirds, place it in the diaper cover, fold down the front of the prefold to make sure everything stays contained within the diaper cover, and snap (or velcro) it shut. So far, this is what works for me, and since Monroe’s not yet mobile, I don’t have to really worry about anything shifting or moving. Within the next month of 2, I intend to start practicing other folds and I do have a couple “Snappies” waiting in the wings too (for securing these various folds that wrap the cloth entirely around baby’s bum)
Overall Review (so far…)
I must say, so far, I am LOVING cloth diapering Monroe with the prefold/cover system. I tell Marv this all the time, but every time I do diaper laundry (usually every 2 days), I just think “ka-ching, ka-ching” (a money sound in case that wasn’t obvious…lol). Yes, it adds an extra load of laundry onto my ever growing pile of regular laundry, but I actually don’t mind doing laundry and LOVE saving money even more…. And with the price of disposables constantly on the rise (have you noticed how Pampers diapers boxes/bags are getting smaller and smaller yet the prices are going up?! Robbery I tell ya…..) I’m happy to have consistency in our budget. My initial investment into my cloth diapering “stash” was about $200. This included:
– 24 size 1 prefolds,
-12 size 2 prefolds
– 5 size 1 Thirsties covers
– 4 size 2 Thirsties covers
– 1 Planet Wise large hanging wet bag
– 2 Planet Wise wet/dry medium sized wet bags
– 2 pack of Snappies
– 12 cloth wipes
– 2 spray bottles of cloth wipes solution
I anticipate this “stash” to last me until Monroe is basically out of diapers….maybe with a couple small purchases of extra prefolds, detergent, wipes spray etc. along the way. But at a cost of roughly $60/month for disposable diapers, I should be breaking even by about the 3 month mark from using cloth, which makes me VERY excited! I’m all for saving the environment (landfills from poopy diapers) WHILE personally saving money! 😉 Marv even says this system so far is WAY easier than the pocket diapers we used on Maya and he has NO problems changing Monroe, although he does tend to lean towards using the velcro covers… 🙂 We’ve had no explosions or blow-outs since using these cloth diapers – everything stays nicely contained due to the elastic around the waist and legs which is GREAT.
All in all, I guess you could say I’m a cloth diaper cheerleader now. I’m still learning as I go, but if you have ever thought about using cloth, have questions about it, or can even give me some advice, I’m here to help/answer/listen!