You might assume that cloth diapering is an antiquated system, which would only complicate your already complicated life as parents to very young children. But cloth diapering has come a long way over the past decades and once you learn how it actually works, you may change your mind.
Hint: You won’t need giant safety pins.
Benefit of cloth diapers
From birth to toilet training, a child can go through up to 7,000 diaper changes. For eco-conscious people, we need to remember most disposable diapers are not biodegradable. They’ll be hanging out on our planet for many, many years to come. Plus, diapers cost about $0.25 each which means $1,700.00 spent on diapers (per kid).
Washing cloth diapers
You might be imagining that with reusable diapers, you will have to wash regular clothes in the same washing machines as the diapers. As it turns out, the reusable diaper makers have a plan for this very problem. Almost every brand has a small, disposable, biodegradable insert that goes in the diaper in the event your kids poop. As our kids get older, we tend to know what times of day to expect these and can line the diaper accordingly.
Cloth diapers are one size fits all
As for the diapers themselves, most reusable diaper makers have made a one size fits all model. It has several different snaps to adjust to the tiniest newborn to the chunkiest toddler. The idea is that you’ll buy a set of diapers before the baby comes and you’ll be set until they’re toilet trained.
Are cloth diapers absorbent?
You might also be concerned about absorbency. No mom wants their child’s sleep to be interrupted because their soggy diaper has made them feel uncomfortable or (worse yet) wet their pajamas. But cloth diaper manufacturers have a solution for that. There are reusable absorbent inserts and the diapers can fit either one or two. They recommend using two at night and one throughout the day.
Cloth diapers vs. disposable: Cost
Now to look at the cost. We’ve established that disposable diapers are expensive, but what about the reusable alternatives? It seems like there’s a lot to buy what with the diapers, disposable liners and reusable inserts. We need to remember two of those three things are one-time purchases. Parents are encouraged to have around 30 diapers on hand, two reusable inserts each and then disposable liners. To get all that’s needed it’s estimated to cost around $500.00 up front, which is a lot, but is ultimately a cost saving over the years (particularly if you have more than one child).
Choosing a cloth diaper
While there are definitely added tasks and effort with cloth diapers, the benefit to the environment, our pocketbook, and an added bonus, potty training earlier when using cotton inserts, what’s not to love about cloth diapering? We’ve rounded up 3 of the best cloth diapers out there for you and found the benefits of each and tips when choosing them.
Tip one: Is your baby a heavy wetter or a big pooper? Babies are well known for doing a few particular things and one of them is using the bathroom. Some babies have uncanny knack for unscheduled exits while others are just doing it like clockwork. You’re going to want to assess your baby and decide whether they are a heavy wetter or poop a lot and use that to decide which diaper is better. After that comes preference. I think for heavy wetters, pocket diapers, which are the ones you use inserts in, are better because you can stuff them accordingly. Different insert materials have different amounts of layers in them for absorption so be sure to read the descriptions.
Tip two: Do you want to stuff or have it all together? This next bit is pure preference. To be totally transparent I have bought and use both for different things. So, a few of the types of diapers are all in ones, all in twos, and pockets. The all ins are basically what the name says everything is included and all together. All in twos are thicker than all in ones. The pockets are also what the name says: they have pockets where you can stuff inserts in to catch everything. The number of inserts is up to the parent of course, and as explained in is your baby a heavy wetter or big pooper section, there are options.
Tip three: What’s your price point? Everyone’s budget looks a little different for one reason or another. You have to decide what your budget is and stick to it when it comes to buying supplies. Whether it be diapers, wet bags, inserts, a bidet for spraying diapers or a hose. There are options to fit every budget.
Tip four: What materials are good for you? Whether you’re super environmentally friendly in every area of life, trying to reduce your carbon footprint or not really too worried past what its absorbing, there are several different insert materials available to go in the pocket diapers. There is microfiber (which is cheaper), bamboo, and charcoal to name a few. Within those materials are different mixtures (like charcoal bamboo) and combinations. Like many things, the type of insert you use will depend on your budget and preference.
Best cloth diapers
Below are some reviews of three really great brands ranging in affordability, but all available on Amazon.
Talk about a bang for your buck. The biggest thing about Alvababy is the affordability. You wont get the crazy prints as you will with the others but there are definitely options. They fit good and hold up with my heavy wetter and that speaks volumes! They also come in an affordable multipack.
If you ask me what brand I’m obsessed and what I have the most of I’ll have to scream Mama Koala at the top of my lungs. The beautiful, vibrant, and up to date prints are amazing. They fit my baby great and wash/dry easy for mamas who aren’t about that clothesline life. All in all this is my favorite brand, very well made, many prints, and super affordable for newbies!
Thirsties are a little more on the pricey side but rightfully so. They are extremely great for heavy wetters hence the name Thirsties. They are like the Alvababy diapers having a limited print selection, but really good solid colors. Thirsties come in all-in-ones which means the inserts are essentially already attached to the diapers. This does mean washing and drying is a longer process. Many people elect to hang their all-in-ones instead of putting them in the dryer. Mine dry just fine, but sometimes depending on how many are in the dryer I have to dry it twice.
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