Welcome to Part 2 of my cloth dipaering series. If you missed part 1, you can check it out here. Today’s post, brought to you by Rivki at Life in the Married Lane, is all about using prefolded cloth diapers with covers — a system that Rivki makes seem infinitely doable.
My cloth-diapering career had a rather inauspicious beginning: When we were expecting our first child, my doula asked me and my husband how we were planning on diapering our baby.
“Cloth!” I exclaimed. “Huh?” said my husband.
Well, it seemed like a clear choice to me. It was going to save us a bunch o’ money, and the those cloth-covered tushies are just so cute. That was two years ago, and since then, my husband has repeatedly told me how much he appreciates that we use cloth.
Here’s my system:
- I have about three dozen pre-folds. These are the diapers which most people use as burp cloths. You know, three layers, the middle layer thicker than the rest? They are great. I fold the diaper so it resembles a “Y” and stick it under my baby’s bottom.
- I also have three dozen wonderfully soft and fuzzy cloth wipes and some easy-to-make spray to clean those cute tushies. I don’t need to use the wipes unless there is a seriously dirty diaper, so three dozen is even a little too many for me. As for the diaper spray I make my own – you can too! I use 2 cups water, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons baby wash and then about 5 drops of Tea Tree Oil. One batch will last a while.
- After I change a diaper it goes in the pail, which is lined with a bag that I can throw right into the wash (convenient!). The wet diapers go straight in, and the dirty ones get swished in the toilet first (ah, the joys of being a mommy). I do a wash every other day or so, with soap compatible with cloth diapers – I use Charlie’s Soap. Both my boys are in the same size right now, which means I have to be fairly on top of the laundry situation.
- When putting on the clean diaper I use a Snappi. The Snappi keeps the diaper secure without the need for scary pins (can you imagine trying to pin a diaper on a squirming toddler? I can’t). I used to go Snappi-less, and I highly recommend using them. I’ve found that it really keeps the mess in the diaper (as opposed to on the diaper cover or the outfit).
- Diaper covers help keep the moisture and whatnot inside the diaper from leaking out onto clothes. Wool covers allow little bottoms to breathe more, but the synthetic covers are more trim, and more waterproof. I use Wonder Wraps, which is a one-size cover (the Thirsties Duo is also a great one-size cover). One-size means that they fit 9-36 pounds; you just adjust the snaps to fit your baby.
- Essentially, my boys will be in the same diaper covers until they are potty-trained. How’s that for value? They are super-easy to use; you put them on just like disposable diapers. I have eight of them, and that usually lasts me a couple of days, until the wash is done. It’s better to let the covers air-dry, but mine have survived many a tumble in the dryer.
- For trips out of the house I have a couple of smaller cloth bags with a waterproof exterior. They keep the smell of the dirty diapers well hidden until I’m able to toss them in the bin at home (yes, those bags get washed, too). Whipping the cloth diapering out in public is a sure-fire conversation starter. I’ve experienced reactions ranging from “Why???!!!” to “You’re my hero!”
Cloth diapering can require a bigger up-front investment when you start with cloth diapering, but it doesn’t have to. You could purchase some gently-used items (look on Craigslist). Also, check around your community to see if there are any other cloth-diapering mommies who would be willing to share some of their goodies.
I’ve borrowed diapers, covers, Snappis, and wipes. It’s also great to borrow because it’s like test-driving the products. If you really like them, then you can get them for your own, if you don’t, you’re not out any money (although you can always resell your used items and they do really retain their value).
Rivki Silver can be found enjoying life with her husband and two boys; writing, arranging and performing music; teaching piano lessons; blogging at Life In the Married Lane; and marveling at just how much it can snow in Cleveland.