I could visibly see the gulp in Myk’s throat when I brought up, once again, the dreaded “cloth diapering” subject. It’s not that opposes it, and definitely not because he doesn’t care about saving a buck, but because the thought of having shit diapers washing in the same washer as our clothes is just plain nasty.
It is. The thought it nasty.
And while an incredible father who has NEVER shunned changing a dirty diaper, I still see him get teary eyed and gag. It’s still mostly booby-poop, so it’s not even “that bad” but bodily fluids for some people are just hard no matter how much he has tried (and MAN has he tried) to get over it. It is because of this that cloth diapers were out of the question for so long. With every diaper change my heart sunk a little deeper until finally I brought up the subject again and Mr Wonderful (because he is) agreed to finally give it a “shot”. Little did I know getting Myk on board with cloth diapering was actually the EASY part.
It is no big secret that disposables are terrible. Not only do their non-decomposing parts end up in landfills, but they have crap in them that was banned from being used in tampons (sodium polyacrylate) and some of the most toxic carcinogenic chemicals in the environment according to the EPA(dioxins, among others). There’s no way in hell I want that crap around my daughter’s cooter. I’ll be honest, the likelihood of Layla having a bad reaction is really slim (as she hasn’t had one yet) and her brother was fully diapered in disposables and turned out fine. However, having learned what I have about them, it’s just NOT COMFORTABLE to me. I’m the same way about the food my kids eat, the toys my kids play with, the people I choose to allow around my kids, etc. And I don’t know everything. Maybe I just spend too much time on Google. Either way I’m a very protective, OCD type Momma. And I know my kids will hate me as teenagers for it, and I’ve accepted that.
Once I got the go-ahead for the “trial” of cloth diapers, I eagerly browsed (and I’m not kidding) hundreds of pages in search of information. There’s AIO’s, AI2’s, pockets, prefolds, fitteds, flats, covers, soakers, etc etc etc… the products out there now in the world of cloth diapering are amazing…
AND EXPENSIVE. With the most easy systems racking in up to $25 per diaper, it is a SUBSTANTIAL initial investment and, let’s face it, I’m broke. So I looked into making my own, even bought the materials (knowing full well I can’t sew), and went to work with the help of an equally unexperienced momma. $80 and 6 hours later we ended up with a partially done half of a cover and a migraine. Therefore, at least until I master the sewing machine, making my own diapers is out.
I felt very dissatisfied. And irritated at presumably wasting $80 on supplies, patterns, a book, etc. I stuck it out though. I am a google MASTER and I hopped on google, and youtube, to find an easy, cheap, and painless way to cloth diaper my baby. I see it just as I did with childbirth and breastfeeding- in the old days you had no choice but to just do it and find what works, so it was time to put on my big girl panties and figure this shit out. Where there’s a will there’s a way, and I am VERY strong willed…
Low and behold, I discovered that I have had what I needed to get started all along and with the purchase of just a few inexpensive accessories I have managed to scrap together enough supplies for a meager starting diaper stash at right around $40.
Here’s what I did…
Layla got a TON of receiving blankets from her baby shower and throughout my pregnancy. All of them are 100% cotton and worked as awesome burp rags. The days of burp rags, however, are long gone so I am really excited about having this new use for ’em. The best part? We are talking about like 12-15 diapers for free. AWESOME. And cotton t-shirts? How many of those do you have lying around?
These things to the left are AWESOME… I am terrified of diaper pins. I’m also clumsy as hell, and just getting into the cloth diapering thing with a wiggly baby made me really, really nervous about sticking her. This is the exact pack I got and it was $7.95 on Amazon, with free shipping since I
I also invested in some cheap diaper covers. This one is also on amazon, priced at $5.50 a piece, and is a one size fits most meaning it has the potential to last Layla well into toddlerhood. Hooray to saving even more money!
I also went ahead and bought the Econobum trial pack for $11.95 which includes 1 cover (much like the green above) and 3 “real” prefolds advertised to fit babies newborn to toddler. They seem to work decently for us for overnights (my biggest concern, which is why I went for the “real” prefolds) and amazingly neither of the covers has had a leak so far. I was really concerned about that because I am mostly using old receiving blankets as prefolds so while they work just fine, they aren’t really as absorbent as I would like them to be. Totally hasn’t been a problem. If the blankets soak through a little bit I simply wipe it down with a wipe and reuse.
I bought OxiClean Baby at Babiesrus to do the diapers with and it seems to be working great. I also have Earth’s Best Organic Baby Detergent and have used it to wash diapers with as well. The biggest thing from what I have read is to make sure it doesn’t have any perfumes or fabric softeners as it will build up on the fabric, causing it to not be as absorbent. The OxiClean Baby was on sale at the time I believe, but is normally priced at $9.99
And there you have it! Two covers, 12-15 “prefolds” made out of receiving blankets, countless others made out of t-shirts, 3 heavier duty prefolds, and detergent for right around $40. This doesn’t break most people, and is a ridiculously easy “start” considering you really don’t have to do much of anything. For better absorbency, just add in more material. I plan to use my sons old swimsuits that don’t fit anymore as “wicking” material to keep Layla comfortable. I am doing laundry every single day but it is no big deal, really. Keep in mind that you can get receiving blankets at thift stores as well, and the dollar store has packs of rags you can purchase to use as wipes (assuming you don’t want to just cut a towel you already own).
Now I know life would be much, much easier if I went ahead and bought some pockets or AIO’s but that is just not in my budget right now. I also still have my “supplies” to make my own, I just needed a break from the headache. I’m not a dumb person, but I am not a very good DIY-er no matter HOW HARD I have tried to be. Some of us just don’t have the knack for it. Bummer. I can slowly add “real” diapers to my stash as the funds become available, or as the practice with the sewing machine kicks in, whichever comes first. As far as the laundering part… the diapers go through twice. You clean out what you can before you put them in there. If you’ve ever dealt with a blowout and lived to tell the tale, it’s not THAT bad. Keep some hand sanitizer handy and you’ll do just fine.
Cloth diapering doesn’t HAVE to cost a fortune! It really IS possible to diaper your baby for next to nothing and minimal effort! Give it a go, it may surprise you how easy it is ;-).
BTW, I would LOVE feedback. If you have any advice to give me on diapering (since I am obviously new), please do! I also like knowing what you think on any other topic in this blog, so feel free to leave a comment 😉