Being a mama is my absolute favorite "job"! I had my son during the pandemic in 2020 which was a little bit scary, because of lockdowns, sickness, and shortages. But bringing him home brought so much joy to me and my family! I had wanted to give cloth diapering a try in 2020, but felt very overwhelmed with it since I was getting used to being a new mom. So we went with disposable diapers. We did successfully start elimination communication when my son was around 4 or 5 months, which is so cool and I definitely recommend it! But I could write a whole other blog post on EC (This website is a great resource if you're interested in EC and there is a wonderful book about EC and how cloth diapers can help)!
Anyway, I finally gave cloth diapers a try in 2021 and absolutely loved it! Now we use cloth diapers during the week and then I'll usually give myself a break on saturday or sunday and use disposables. So, it's a bit of a combination right now. I personally feel like any amount of time that you're using at least LESS disposable diapers is a win-win scenario, because 1: it's better for your baby because of diaper rash and things, 2: it's better for the planet, 3: it's costs a lot less in the long run!
Here are a few quick tips and recommendations to help you get started on your cloth diaper journey! This post contains amazon affiliate links. This simply means that if you purchase a product that I am recommending, I can make a commission at no cost to you. Please keep in mind that the products I recommend are products that I personally love and have worked for me.
1: Choosing Cloth Diapers
This is the first step of the cloth diapering process. What type of cloth diaper do you want to use? There are cloth diaper covers and inserts, trifolds, clips, and belts. This is the part that seemed very overwhelming to me. So, here is my personal recommendation as a mom. I found that the easiest option for me was using waterproof diaper covers and inserts. I like these because they have adjustable buttons to fit your baby from birth all the way to potty training. It's a good investment for your current child and if you want to have more kids. The inserts are great because you can use one insert in each diaper during the day and double up at night if you needs some extra leak protection.
So, where do you find these cloth diapers. Well, I started at one of my local baby and kid thrift store. I know, I know. Using used cloth diapers seems so gross, but hear me out. I found 3 or 4 cloth diapers in perfect condition at my local baby second hand store. And they were so affordable. I felt confident in trying cloth diapers, because I wasn't breaking the bank just to try it out. I washed them twice in hot water and made sure they were thoroughly cleaned before putting them on my baby ,of course.
Once I was comfortable with cloth diapering, I was browsing amazon and found a brand called Alvababy that had a pack of 6 cloth diapers with 12 inserts for about the cost of a large box of disposable diapers. I really like these, because you can put the insert into a pocket of the cloth diaper cover, or you can just lay the insert inside the diaper. Easy! I was in shock how how affordable they were! After reading the reviews, I decided to make a purchase. Let me tell you, these diapers get the job done! They are not super expensive like other brands (those other brands are great by the way!), and they also have some really cute patterns if you want!
The picture shown above is the first pack that I ordered and I loved them!
2: Washing your Cloth Diapers
So, how do you care for your cloth diapers? Whichever brand that you choose will most likely come with care instructions. I personally don't exactly follow the instructions. LOL Of course, that is not recommended so that you can get the most life out of your cloth diapers, BUT here's what I do make sure my Alvababy diapers are super clean and disinfected. I usually wash 8-10 diapers at one time and I wash them by themselves in the washing machine. I always pre-rinse poop diapers and make sure to separate the inserts from the diaper covers. I like to change the load size to small and put it on a hot water setting. I use All Free and Clear detergent and use white vinegar in the fabric softener spot for disinfecting purposes. After the diapers are done washing, you can hang dry, but I personally prefer throwing them in the dryer for 45 minutes to an hour on the lowest heat setting. I can get this done during my son's nap time and am usually doing a load of diapers every other day.
I use this wet/dry bag to store my dirty cloth diapers. I put one in the bathroom hanging on the towel rack and have one for on the go in the diaper bag. I really like that there's 2 zipper pouches so I can put any soiled clothes in one pouch and diapers in another if I want to. I throw the bags inside out in the washing machine with the cloth diaper load and it's as good as new!
3: Establishing a Wash Routine
A washing routine is what makes cloth diapering easier! Pick a time during the day to wash your diapers and always wash them at that time that convenient for you. That's my suggestion from experience! Keeping up with the washing and drying routine will help you make sure you always have cloth diapers ready to go for your baby. For me, the perfect time is during my son's nap time. For you, it could be at night, or first thing in the morning. Establishing a wash routine is not only sanitary, but I feel like it is essential to cloth diapering success!