Expensive, Blowouts, and diaper rash OH MY!
Yes. yes, our house was pretty much royalty. Well kings of blowing out their diapers that is, until we switched to reusable diapers.
Some days I can't believe I convinced my husband but we both love them. Tyler for some odd reason feels the need to diaper changing commentary. When changing Clifford it is not uncommon to hear "oh man, good thing we have cloth diapers that'd be EVERYWHERE other wise" . I'm unsure what it is about my boys, but ooofta.
I procrastinated and procrastinated some more on my first purchase of cloth diapers. If I was doing this, I was going ALL IN. I did my research, searching for a brand that was sustainable, organic, and easy to use.
I completed their quiz to help me determine how many diapers I would need. I purchased 20 inners (the absorbing layer) and 6 outters (the waterproof layer). I have added an additional 7 inners to my collection. My reasoning behind this is I'm still changing my babe 8-11 times a day. This would require me to be washing diapers every other day, in the PM. If I forgot and didn't put them in the until the morning on the third day, I would run out of inners, based on the time of the wash cycle and the drying time. So a few extras gave me a little more flexibility, which is so needed, because well. Motherhood.
I was able to purchase mine on sale and broke even by my sons 1st birthday. Imagine if you used cloth diapers from the start! I figure we won't start Potty Training until two again, roughly. That means in the next year there is a potential savings (or earnings) of $600-$1200. Assuming you would need one to two boxes of diapers a month. I'll personally be on the higher end because my boys go to the bathroom ALOT. I'm learning. Haha.
There are a few things you should know prior to starting your cloth diapering journey.
There are specific diaper rash creams you can, and cannot use. You want to avoid any cream that has petroleum byproducts. This will create a barrier on your inner and decrease the absorbency, shortening the lifespan of your diapers.
GET. THE. AGITATORS. I've never used anything like this before, granted I also have no other laundering that would require these. These bumpy, spiky, little balls bounce around in the wash insuring that the all the poop gets off the diapers, and that they open up. This way they don't get all wadded up and not thoroughly cleaned.
The detergent you use matters! You're looking for something clean. Well come on Hayley what does that mean? When choosing your laundry detergent you want to avoid, fragrance, optical brighteners, and softeners. These products are designed to sit on the surface and create the illusion of softer brighter, cleaner smelling clothes. BUT because it would be sitting on the surface you are adding another barrier to your diaper - decreasing the absorbency and shortening the lifespan of your diapers.
DO NOT SOAK, this sounds like and odd response to a really poopy diaper that you're 100% that is not going to be clean without. Don't do it. I promise it will come clean. Soaking weakens the fibers, and you want those fibers as strong as possible. What I do is use two scoops of Branch Basics Oxygen Boost in my first quick cycle. I put another two scoops in for the heavy duty cycle. If you notice a few little stains no big deal. Hows it smell? Does it smell clean? Or does it smell like poopy diaper and ammonia still? If it smells clean, your diaper is truly cleaned, just a little stain. Drying it on a clothes line or setting your drying rack out in the sun will help lighten the stain.
Yah still with me? Great! Now everyones biggest concern what am I going to do with the poop. Honestly, this was probably less of a transition for me than for most because not using reusable cloth diapers with my oldest I cleaned up ALOT of blowouts. Like every time he pooped, was a blowout. Every brand of diaper, he would blowout. Ooofta. I've cleaned ALOT of bedding in my day. So for me personally I cleaning poop off of a diaper is 10,000x easier than; needing to wash bedding, change clothes, reassure my babe he did nothing wrong and that you're suppose to poop or your belly will hurt. BUT I do recommend getting a bidet attachment for your toilet. Baby baby poop is easy that washes right out! Once they start solids there will be more mass to your baby's poop and the bidet is the cleanest way I've found to the the solid poop off prior to washing. I promise you, it's not that bad!
Okay, if you say so. So what do I need? How many inners, outer layers, nighttime pads? FILL ME IN!
Yay! Now, if you're able to track how many diapers you go through daily now that will give you, your most accurate need. Maybe your baby isn't here yet, and you'd like to start using cloth from the start - you're smart! The average baby goes through 10-12 diaper changes a day for the first few weeks. The first six months most babies are going through 6-9 diapers a day. If you're starting diapering when your child is a little older tracking the amount of diaper they go through is the best way to get an accurate number but the average number a 6-12 month goes through a day is 6-8 diapers. I would recommend getting three full days worth. This allows you to do laundry on the third day and not be stressed that you're going to run out of diapers while you're washing.
The nice thing about Esembly is they have two sizes, and the diapers are adjustable within each size. Size one fits babes 7-17lbs and size two accommodates weights 18-35lbs.
Inner Quantity Recommendations - for washing on the third day.
Outer Quantity Recommendations
Depending on how much variety you'd like in the prints and colors you would be able to get by with 3-6 Outer layers. I change the outer layer daily or when it become soiled.
Alrighty, this sounds great. But so many pieces really???
Additional items you'll find helpful!
A drawstring bag that is waterproof. A reusable trash bag would also work well. This is where you are going to be putting your soiled diapers prior to your wash day. I keep a few of these in the house. One in Clifford's bedroom, one in our guest bedroom / my changing room down on our main level, and on in our laundry room.
The Agitators. Guys' I hate to push something as a you NEED it item, but after months of washing diapers with these guys, I'm not sure how'd you'd clean without them. I've forgotten to put them in occasionally, and there is a difference.
You need a clean laundry detergent - no fragrance, no optical brighteners, no fabric softener. I personally LOVE Branch Basics.
A wet bag, you need a wet bag of some sort. This is where you're going to be putting your dirty diapers on the go. Right away, I thought I could get by using my half gallon stashed bag, because why not?!? However, I really could only fit a diaper or two in there, and it wasn't great for day outings so I opted for a traditional wet bag.
Once you begin your reusable diaper journey, the only thing you're going to wonder is why you didn't start it sooner. No seriously, I am WAY more on top of washing and folding diapers than I am any other piece of laundry in my house!
You'll also save thousands of diapers from the landfill. In their first two years of babies on average go through 6000 diapers. Each of these then take 500 years to break down.... NASTY, and can you imagine the literal piles of Sh*T!?! Ooofta. Diapers have become a 70 billion a year plus industry, and 1 in 3 parents choose diapers over other basic household necessities. Yah, bonkers right.
Either way you'll soon find a rhythm that works best for you and your babe. Like I prefer to start laundry in the afternoon on the 3rd day so that it is wash and dried by morning. This also makes me feel much more organized since I'm not washing diapers EVERY DAY. You'll quickly fall in love with how cute your babe's booty looks in those diapers and more likely than not gather a collection of outers to spice up the daily.
I'd love to hear your journey with cloth diapering, and as always feel free to let me know if you have any other questions. I promise this is 10,000X easier and way less intimidating than it may seem when the idea first comes to you!