Long before the boys were born, I told Doug I wanted to cloth diaper. At first, he reacted like most people do: negatively. Most people picture scrubbing out poop by hand, ugly puffy rubber pants, and safety pins. Cloth diapers today, though, have changed SO MUCH! There are so many different kinds: pre-folds and covers, all in ones, all in twos, pocket diapers, and more! We mostly use pocket diapers, though our newborn stash was made up of all-in-ones and we also sometimes use pre-folds and covers.
Do you feel like I’m speaking Greek? No worries! I’m about to break down for you the cloth diaper routine in the Marshall household – complete with pictures!
First though, some notes on WHY we decided to cloth diaper.
- Diapers are EXPENSIVE & diapers for twins are doubly expensive!
- Babies who are cloth diapered tend to have less diaper rashes/booty issues.
- We can use the same diapers for our future children!
- Cloth diapers have a high resale value – so after our kids are through I can sell them and get back some of our initial cost, making our diapers even MORE of a great deal!
- Cloth diapers are better for the environment.
So, while cloth diapers are a much larger initial investment (depending on which type of diapering system you select), they will save us literally thousands of dollars as we raise a family!
Some cloth diapering systems (pre-folds and covers, for instance) are very cheap! Others, including some pocket diapers, are more expensive. We chose to go with almost all Bumgenius brand diapers, which are more expensive than some but definitely not the most expensive diapers on the market. We selected BGs because of their rave reviews, tendency to work for most babies, and because they are reputed to hold up well for multiple years. We would love to have more children someday, and wanted diapers that would last!
Keep in mind that they figured relatively expensive cloth diapers here, you can get a complete stash for much less than $800 by buying a simpler kind of diaper, buying on sale (what I did!), and/or buying used. TONS of people buy used cloth diapers, and often you can get dipes that have only been worn once or twice for a much better price than new. We chose to go with all new diapers because we wanted diapers that were in perfect condition to begin with since we intend to use them on multiple children.
Also, in the chart above, the price per child would be repeated for every child you have EXCEPT for the price for the cloth diapers. With CDs, you have a one-time cost for all your kids! How great is that?!
We bought a few diapers each month leading up to the boys’ birth, and after they were born I’ve also purchased some different types of inserts (the absorbent pieces you stuff inside pockets).
So, some pictures and descriptions to help you better understand the cloth diapers we use!
Like I said, we mostly use bumgenius pocket diapers. (We also have a handful of Sunbaby diapers, but, while much cheaper, they are also not nearly as sturdy or well-made as our BG diapers.) In the picture above, I show you the microfiber inserts that come with each bumgenius pocket diaper. There is a large one that can be unsnapped when you child is larger or snapped down for smaller children and a diaper doubler which is a thin piece you can combine with the other. We discovered that our boys are pretty heavy wetters, and just the two microfiber inserts are not enough for them for very long. Instead, we use the larger insert with a couple of small sized cotton prefolds or a hemp doubler.
See why pockets are so great?! They’re easy to customize depending on the age of the child, how heavy of a wetter he is, and how long you need them to keep baby dry!
Many people choose velcro closures for their cloth diapers. We went with snaps because they hold up longer and, again, we want to use these diapers for multiple children. Also, the snaps are not hard to fasten at all!
Another great feature about BG diapers is that they are what is called one-size diapers. Designed to fit babies from 8-35+ pounds, they are made to fit from birth to potty training.
There are three snap settings for the rise, so that the diapers can be made smaller or larger.
We also have a handful of BG Freetimes. These diapers are all-in-one diapers, so there is no stuffing of pockets. However, they take longer to dry and, for our boys, aren’t quite as absorbent as we’d like. As you can see, once a pocket is stuffed or if you’re using a freetime, it’s really no different to put it on baby than a disposable! Especially if you’ve chosen velcro closures! These types of diapering systems make it easier to get reluctant spouses or caretakers on board with cloth diapering!
Sometimes we use prefolds and covers.
Fleece liners are handy because they bear the brunt of the messes. Cut from cheap yards of fleece I purchased at Walmart, they’re easily and cheaply replaceable. These are certainly not necessary, but they’re helpful in keeping your diapers in better shape.
We store our dry, clean diapers in the top drawer of their dresser and in a little three-drawer organizer. When the top drawer of their dresser is empty, I move some diapers over. (We have about 50 diapers, several not pictured here because they were in the wash.)
Dirty diapers: if they’re just wet, they go in the pail in the boys room. I pull the insert our from the pocket diaper and toss both pieces into the pail. Our pail is simply a trashcan like this from Walmart lined with a Planetwise pail liner. I have two pail liners, so that while one is in the wash (it just gets washed with the diapers) the other can be in the pail. Easy-peasy!
For poopy diapers, we have a diaper sprayer. We spray the poop into the toilet (honestly not as big of a deal as it sounds, super easy!) and then I put the diaper into a Planetwise wet bag that we keep in the bathroom. When it’s full, the bag and all the diapers go into the wash. Piece of cake!
We have several wet bags and one wet/dry bag (pictured above) so that I can always have a clean one. They’re also helpful when we travel, especially the wet/dry bag. It allows me to keep a day or two worth of diapers in the same bag. They start in the dry pocket and, as they’re worn, move to the wet pocket. All of the bags are designed to keep moisture inside (they’re lined with the same type of material as a cloth diaper), so it’s not like the outside of the bag is wet or stinky.
Here are a couple pictures of the boys where you can see their diapers. Look at those cute fluffy booties!
This picture shows some of my favorite cloth diapers that we have. (A lot of people get addicted to collecting cloth diapers. I don’t think I’m addicted, but I do love to have fun ones!) Except for the black and white BG freetimes named Albert (after Albert Einstein), these are all WAHM diapers. WAHM = Work At Home Mom, and I’ve purchased them from Etsy shop owners. I like supporting those women, and it’s also fun to get special diapers.
I am SO happy with our decision to cloth diaper! It has already saved us money, and it is truly not as inconvenient as others think! When people are totally grossed out by the idea of spraying poop off of a diaper, I ask them what happens when their child has a poop explosion that leaks out of his/her diaper and onto his/her outfit. I’ve never had someone tell me they just throw the poopy clothes away! This often helps them to understand how easy it really is to clean CDs, too.
The boys have not had a single diaper rash, and we NEVER run out of diapers and have to run to the store to buy more 🙂 Also, it does not use as much water as many people think it does.
Especially in our home, where we re-use our towels (don’t get a clean one every time you shower! All it did was dry clean water off your clean body!) and re-wear jeans if they didn’t get dirty, we’re not even doing any more loads of laundry than most people. Granted, with twins we go through more diapers each day, so I do laundry more often than many CD moms probably. However, I still only wash diapers every second or third day.
There is SO MUCH information on the internet if you’re interested in cloth diapering! I encourage you to do your research first, and decide which types & brands of diapers best suit your needs and budget. Watch for sales or buy used if you think CDs are out of your budget, because you will save SO MUCH money in the long run!
Happy cloth diapering!