A few weeks before our peanut arrived, I posted about our intention to cloth diaper, and shared with you our plans and the things we had purchased for our starter stash.
Well, now that Nora is one month old, I know that some of you are likely curious about how this whole cloth diapering business is going for us. The short answer is that it is going great! I’m pretty sure I’ve already fallen in love with it.
Going back to the beginning… we didn’t mess with the cloth diapers for the first two weeks of Nora’s life. We had a pretty decent supply of newborn and size 1 disposables thanks to my baby showers, so we figured we might as well use them. Plus, Nora was just so tiny, I didn’t think there was any way that the cloth diapers were going to work very well on her. Looking back, I’m sure they would’ve been fine, but I don’t regret doing things the way we did them, either.
But when Nora was two weeks old, I decided to bust out one of the cloth diapers and see what we were working with. And I’ll be honest–when I got that first diaper on her (which was a little bit of a challenge in and of itself), I was totally second guessing myself. Not only did it take me longer to change her, but the diaper seemed SO BIG that I thought she looked borderline ridiculous. I knew to expect a “fluffy butt,” but I did not expect it to be that extreme. It seemed like her pants barely fit her anymore. Then, later that night, I had her in my lap and the diaper leaked on me.
We certainly weren’t off to a great start.
The next day, I don’t think I even put a single cloth diaper on her as I was kind of disappointed in the whole thing, and I was actually saying things to Michael like, “Well, worst case scenario, we can sell what we bought and we’ll probably get almost all of our money back.”
But on Monday, I woke up with a renewed determination about it, and I wanted to be sure to give cloth diapering a fair chance before giving up on it. So, back into a cloth diaper Nora went.
And, well, I had to admit that while still big–it was awfully cute. I also did some more internet reading and found that people said that as you get better at putting them on, the prefold/cover combination becomes a little less bulky. So I looked for instructions to remind myself how to do it, and the next time I put a fresh diaper on her, I made sure to make everything a little tighter (now that I know what I’m doing, in that photo above, the diaper is actually way too loose on her).
We haven’t looked back.
In two and a half weeks, we’ve never had a leak, we’ve never had a blowout, and things have been going great. I officially love cloth diapering.
When we first worked the cloth diapers into our routine, I was still afraid to take her out of the house in them, so I was using disposables for trips out of the house. But after a few days of that, I became more comfortable with the cloth and started using them all day long.
At this point, we’re still using disposables at night, as I don’t think the prefolds are absorbent enough for overnight. I don’t like to have her go more than 2-3 hours without changing her prefold diaper, and even then, sometimes the prefold is completely soaked (like every inch of it). And because she’ll sometimes sleep for longer stretches at night, I’d hate to have her sitting in a diaper that wet for an extended period of time. So until we move into our next stage of cloth diapering (pocket diapers) and can use an extra insert for nighttime, we will stick with disposables for overnight. Thankfully, that only means using two disposables a day, which we can live with for now. Especially since we still have a supply left from the diapers people purchased us for the baby showers.
As for our starter stash, it has served us pretty well. The 24 prefolds are definitely enough for us–I’m doing diaper laundry every third day. Once I was feeling confident that we were sticking with this, we did order one more Thirsties Duo (size 1) diaper cover, as I was often running out of covers before I ran out of prefolds. (Sometimes, baby poop will leak out the side of the prefold, but is thankfully caught by the cover–but this means the cover goes in the diaper pail for washing instead of being reused!) I also ordered an additional wet bag for traveling outside of the house, and an additional pail liner (we only had one of each before now).
Here is what the laundry pile looks like before folding. It’s really not a lot of work to do this every couple of days. My biggest complaint is folding the cloth wipes since they tend to stick together due to a little bit of static. We’ll see how long the folding lasts before I just throw them all into the bin in a big ball. :)
Here’s our diaper drawer. We use the baking soda to sprinkle in the pail every so often to help combat any odors, though I really haven’t noticed any thus far.
Oh, and have I mentioned we’re using cloth wipes as well? If you’re using cloth diapers, it’s just easier to use cloth wipes as well, since everything can be thrown into the diaper pail for washing. We purchased several packs of cheap baby wash cloths (the really thin ones, Gerber brand) at Babies R Us. They come in packs of 8 for like $5, and I think we got four packs. I have yet to run out of cloth wipes. We use a spray bottle filled with water to wet the wipes. We haven’t found the need to add anything to the water.
For washing, I do a cold rinse, then add the detergent (we’re using Charlie’s Soap), then run a hot wash with another cold rinse. After it’s all done, I hang the covers up to dry. Then all prefolds, wipes, wet bags and the pail liner get thrown into the dryer on low heat. I’ll usually remove the wet bags and pail liner about 20 minutes into the drying cycle and hang them to dry the rest of the way.
Here’s Nora in just the prefold and a Snappi. We’ve been using the “angel wing” fold, and it seems to work very well for us.
And here she is with the Thirsties Duo cover, all diapered up. (This is the extra one that I ordered–of course, now that we have a girl, I just had to order it in pink!)
I think that’s really it for our routine and our experience so far. It’s really been great–and I know that if we can get the hang of and enjoy prefolds, we’ll be more than fine when we get to the pocket diaper stage, as things will be even easier.
My biggest concern right now is where we go from here. It’s my understanding that most one-size pocket diapers do not fit babies well until they are around 12-13 lbs. And well, Nora is a month old and she’s probably hanging out around 8 lbs. right now. Ideally, we’d be able to move directly from the newborn prefolds to the pocket diaper, but I’m not sure if that’ll work–I’m worried she’ll outgrow the newborn prefolds (the Green Mountain Diapers “orange” prefolds) before she’ll actually fit into the pocket diapers. And if that’s the case, do we invest in another 24 prefolds in the next size up (the Green Mountain Diapers “yellow” prefolds) so we can continue to use the Thirsties Duo covers, or do we use some more disposables to hold us over until she can fit into the pockets? Ugh, I really hope to not have to do the latter, but I’m not sure if buying the next size prefolds will be the way to go, either. For now, I’m just hoping that she’ll continue to fit into the newborn prefolds for a while!
I hope this answers some of the questions you all may have, but if there are others, please feel free to ask in the comments. And if any of you cloth diapering moms have any wisdom to offer, please, I’m all ears!
If you’re curious about our stash and how we got started on this cloth diapering thing, please check out my first post on the subject.
AboutI'm Heather. I just turned 30. I'm happily married, and mommy to the most beautiful little girl in the world (what, you're saying I could be biased?). Determined DIYer and homeowner. Sarcastic. A perfectionist. A bleeding-heart liberal. Frugal. Loves a little dog way more than many humans. Loves food, hates exercise (it's an ongoing battle). A loyal football fan. I love to laugh. Value family and friends above all else. Vie to be a world traveler.
- Holiday weekend morning snuggles with my girl instagram.com/p/ZsY85Fh-4r/ 20 hours ago
- Haven't seen her hair this curly in forever! instagram.com/p/ZrIlpTh-0g/ 1 day ago
- BFFs wp.me/s2MaZz-bffs 1 day ago
- @minivanmomof3 So glad to "hear" this from you. A good update, even if not a full one. :) Congrats. 4 days ago
- 28 Weeks: Lost Track of Time wp.me/p2MaZz-Dm 5 days ago