I decided to use cloth diapers for my daughter, Penelope, once I learned of a local delivery service where I live in Charlotte, NC. For $24 a week they come by every Tuesday, pick up the bag of dirty diapers I leave on my doorstep, and replace it with a sack full of clean ones. Decrease in diaper rash, considerable cost savings, and not having to wash dirty diapers in our own laundry machine = BIG WIN in this household.
But…there are a few pieces of advice I wish I had received before beginning the process. Here are the 5 things I wish I knew about cloth diapers before I began using them. No matter your reasoning for wanting to use cloth, hopefully these will help your decision.
1. Cloth diapers don’t do well overnight.
I consider myself lucky that by 6 weeks, my little one made it clear that she loves sleep. But something kept waking her up – and it wasn’t a craving for milk. Her diaper was becoming saturated, and as a result, was soaking right through to her onesie and swaddle.
I realized I’d be insane to have her keep waking up not because she was hungry, but because her diaper was maxed out and not allowing her to sleep comfortably any longer. I’m all about saving the earth. But believe me; myself, my husband, my daughter, AND mother nature would be much more at peace if we all got some greatly needed rest.
There are fixes for the overnight issue but… When I contacted the diaper service about my problem, they mentioned that there were a few things I could try.
2. Solutions for overnight
First, I could take another diaper, fold it into thirds, and place it inside the main diaper (sort of like a maxi pad.) If that didn’t work, I could use a “hemp” insert, and lastly, if that failed, I could use the two diapers as in the first suggestion followed by a wool diaper cover.
Yikes. It all seemed like a bit much and none of it seemed like it would be comfortable for Penelope. Which leads me to #3…
3. Explore your choices
There are excellent brands of regular diapers available. Today, we have far better choices in terms of quality to make our babies’ butts happy as well as the environment.
We wound up purchasing diapers from The Honest Company that are absorbent, eco-friendly, soft, hypoallergenic, and are free of chlorine processing & risky additives (like fragrances, lotions, and latex), which we use at night.
Consider what you’ll do while traveling or out of the house. This isn’t to say you can’t travel if you use cloth diapers, but just have a game plan in place.
- If you are staying overnight somewhere you’ll need to bring a bag to collect the dirties.
- If I’m running errands, I simply bring a Ziplock bag for the dirties (so I don’t stink up my diaper bag).
Think about the introduction of solids. Currently, we are in the honeymoon phase of stink-less poop and (relatively) easy cleanup. But I am bracing myself for solids and having to “fling” the poop into the toilet before tossing the diaper in the bag.
(*Although I learned that technically you are supposed to do that with regular diapers as well before throwing them out, and that this is printed on the packaging – who knew?)
So, where are we today? Penelope is now three and a half months old, and we use Honest brand diapers at night. They last her all night long (12 hours!) and keep her nice and comfortable. We still use the cloth diapers all day long via the weekly service. When we travel for the holidays this year, we may use the Honest diapers the entire time to make things a bit easier on ourselves, but we are not sure just yet. And, in a couple of months when we begin to introduce foods into her diet, I will hold my breath…(literally…)