Making Cloth Diapers Work in a Busy Life

Did you know that 28 BILLION disposable diapers are buried in landfills each year in the United States?! That’s a staggering number. I knew before I had my first child that I did not want to add to the trash heap. I was glad when my knowledgeable midwife was able to give me the low-down on cloth diapers and I used them from the get-go. As far as I can tell, the benefits of cloth diapers are many. They can be reused (over and over as I’ve proven by using the same diapers on 4 babies), they save money, and they are non-toxic. But I’m not really going to go into those details in this post. Instead, I’m simply going to show you how I cloth diaper.

My original guinea pig, now 7 years old, recently diapered the baby. The picture above is her handy-work! While I don’t recommend using cloth diapers like that, I do recommend you give them a shot! They’re not as hard as you might think.

If I can use cloth diapers, almost any one can! I started using cloth diapers when my first daughter was born in 2004. At first I used pre-folds and plastic pants. When I realized cloth diapering wasn’t as hard as I thought it might be, I asked for cloth diapers for Christmas. (I know, right?). But I figured with the money I saved using cloth diapers over disposables, I could buy myself a nice present! And I was right. But I digress. Here’s a photo tutorial of how I make cloth diapers work in my busy life.

First, and most importantly, get a super-cute model… 😉

Next, get a good amount of diapers. Cloth diapering is much harder if you don’t have a large enough supply to avoid having to do laundry every day. It’s hard to keep a baby in clean diapers if you don’t have clean diapers to put her in. And anyway, who wants to do laundry that often?! I have 5-6 dozen, but that’s way too many. 3-4 dozen should be more than sufficient for one baby. I dump my clean diapers into a tote unfolded. I do that because I’m busy, lazy, and it’s easy! I keep the tote of diapers in my bedroom because that’s where I change my baby most often.

This is my baby in my favorite cloth diapers – Mother Ease Cloth One Size Diapers – on my changing pad (please ignore the unsightly stain…) 🙂 I keep the changing pad in my closet next to the tote of diapers at night and pull it out during the day. I leave it on my bed and tuck it back in the closet at night. It’s not ideal, but we’re living in cramped quarters for the time being as we prepare to build a home. She’s such a big help, though,

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Comments

  1. Thank you for linking up to the Thrifty Peach Blog Hop! I think for our next child, I'll try the cloth diapers. They're so much better for the environment! Thanks for the great post!
  2. Great photos and peek into the life of a cloth diaperer. I had the opposite experience from you -- never got disposables to work for me at night (even the super absorbent night time ones), and never enjoyed leak-free nights until I switched to cloth. I co-sleep and nurse several times at night so my older babies pee A TON at night. Here is a post about my night time favorites: http://www.eco-novice.com/2010/04/favorite-nighttime-cloth-diapers.html BumGenius and the like do a decent job of wicking away the moisture. The trade-off is that they stink more. And, yes, disposables do stink way more. We use disposables occasionally during travel and I can't believe how bad my baby's bottom smells during that week. I also find one wash cycle with no extra rinses is sufficient if I line dry (b/c that helps with the smell so much). I should mention that I DO pre-rinse if there is a lot of poop in the diapers, but since we have done early potty training, I've had few poopy diapers to wash with my 2nd.
  3. I'm at the tail end of my cloth diapering days with my 3 year old getting ready to potty train. I didn't do cloth diapers with my oldest, nor did I know they existed. When my 2nd son came along 7 years later, I started with cloth diapering and breastfeeding, and loved every, well, almost every minute of both. I would echo your tips. My dh does dunk the poopy ones, but I never do. I used to use the velcro covers until I discovered the ones that snap. I think the snaps are so much easier, and the velcro always collected little bits. Yuck!

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