You decided to cloth diaper your little one once they arrive into the world but where do you start? How many diapers do you buy, how do I clean them and what about the poop?
First off – congratulations on deciding to cloth diaper, you are going to save a lot of money. The average family can spend $2000 – $3000 on one child for disposable diapers. With cloth diapering you invest in diapers that you can use on multiple children. Cloth diapers run between $15 – $28; some include microfiber, bamboo or hemp liners. Woah! Micro what? Bamboo? Hemp Liners, what are those?
Where do I start?
1. Research – take your time to find out what cloth diapers are all about. Find out the difference between an AIO (All-In-One), AI2 (All-In-Two’s), Pocket diaper, Prefolds and the list goes on. This will help you understand the design, fit (Size Small 6lbs to 18lbs and Large 15lbs to 35lbs), inserts and boosters (Hemp, bamboo, microfiber). Don’t forget about choosing the colour of your diapers too!!!
2. Save your Money – If you have the opportunity to save during your pregnancy that is great. Try to put away $20-$30 a pay cheque which will roughly cover the cost of one diaper but remember you will use this diaper over and over and over again. You could spend that $20-$30 on disposable diapers but you cannot use them again.
If you decide to cloth diaper once your baby arrives, then you will need to invest a few hundred dollars to start your collection of cloth diapers. You could start with 5 of six diapers or ten to twelve to get you through one full day of cloth diapering.
3. Prep Your Diapers – Once you get your diapers home you must prep them for usage. I would strongly recommend purchasing laundry detergent that is cloth diaper friendly such as Allen’s Naturally. When buying your diapers don’t forget to ask for recommendations for laundry soap. You will need to wash your diapers and liners between three to four times before they can be used. This will ensure that the diapers and inserts will absorb all liquids and solids. It is recommended that you stay away from bum ointments as they can stop the absorbency and effectiveness of the cloth diaper.
4. Accessories: There are lost of accessories for cloth diapering; wet bags, wipes etc. Wet bags are extremely handy to have in the home and while traveling. Once a diaper is soiled you want to rinse it out and then place it in a wet bag. This wet bag could be in a dry pale for storage until you are able to wash your cloth diapers. You can also purchase odour tables or use a drop of tea tree oil in your wet bag to help with the smell.
5. Storage – Now that you’ve done your research, saved money and purchased your diapers and accessories you need to store them in an accessible place. Clean, ready to go diapers can be stored in baskets, hanging wall storage bins and dresser drawers that are handy to your change table. Once you have a wet or soiled diaper you should rinse it right away and put it in a wet bag. It is recommended that you wash your diapers every two to three days.
Now you have the basics on how to get started with cloth diapering. Enjoy and have fun!
Blog contributor: Anna Sherwood from Piper’s Run: the balance of being a mom, wife, working and working out.