If you’re a momma or a mom-to-be, you’ve probably given some thought to whether or not you want to give cloth diapers a try. Adopting reusable diapers is an environmentally friendly and cost-efficient alternative to disposable diapers.
While this method of changing your baby may seem a bit old-fashioned at first, cloth diapers have come a long way since they first made their debut. Dare we say that cloth diapering is even…trendy? There’s so much to learn when it comes to reusable diapers – and we’re here to help you on your journey.
Reusable Diapers vs. Disposable Diapers
While most moms commonly use disposable diapers, those who opt for reusable diapers seem never to look back. Here are just a few benefits of choosing cloth diapers over single-use diapers:
- Cost: It’s no secret that babies are expensive! One of the major expenses that parents are faced with is the cost of diapers. Disposable diapers can cost upwards of $2,000-$3,000 annually. In contrast, reusable diapers are an initial investment up-front, but typically cost between $800-$1000 per year to use.
- Eco-Friendly: The average baby goes through around 7,000 disposable diapers in a lifetime. That’s a whole lot of trash! It goes without saying that reusable diapers are much better for the environment because less dirty diapers = less waste causing damage to the Earth.
How To Use Cloth Diapers
Using reusable diapers really is a lot easier than you think! Changing your baby’s cloth diaper is quite similar to changing a disposable diaper. The only major difference is that you clean out the contents of the diaper and store it in a laundry bag rather than throwing it in the trash.
Once you remove the soiled diaper and wipe your baby, you can place a clean cloth diaper on them and fasten it with buttons or pins, depending on which style you choose. Then place the diaper cover over the diaper liner and voila! The baby is clean and ready to go.
Once the diaper is on securely, and your baby is somewhere safe, you can start the initial cleaning process of your cloth diaper. Dispose of poop in the toilet and rinse off the diaper liner using a diaper sprayer (which is basically a mini hose that attaches to the toilet). When all poop and waste is cleaned off, put the cloth diaper in the laundry until it’s ready to be washed.
How Many Cloth Diapers Should I Buy?
Before you start stocking up on cloth diapers, it’s essential to know how many you’ll likely need. Of course, there are many different variables to take into consideration before finding your answer.
For starters, newborns need their diaper changed a whole lot during the first three months of life. On average, newborns will require between 8-10 diaper changes per day (and let’s be honest: it’ll likely be more than that).
Another factor to take into consideration is how often you plan on doing laundry. The number of times you clean your stash of cloth diapers will have a direct impact on how many you need (and trust me, nobody wants to find themselves without an extra diaper when their baby really needs one!).
Most people wash their reusable diapers every 2-3 days, but daily washes are recommended if you’re feeling extra ambitious.
Depending on the baby’s age and how often reusable diapers are cleaned, somewhere between 24-30 diapers would be a good place to start when it comes to buying diapers for the newborn phase. The good news is that as your baby gets older, they will need less frequent diaper changes, so anywhere from 15-24 diapers will work for infants and toddlers.
How To Clean Reusable Diapers
Let’s get right down to the nitty-gritty when it comes to cleaning, shall we? It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out how to do a load of laundry, but there are some simple tips about cleaning cloth diapers that will surely come in handy.
After removing the dirty diaper from your baby, be sure to dispose of all waste and rinse out any leftover remnants using cold water. Store your dirty diapers in a wet bag specifically designated for reusable diapers.
Place the diapers in the washing machine and run them through a cold cycle first. When that’s done, add detergent and run a cycle on warm or hot. Also, a little extra rinse cycle never hurt anyone when it comes to cleaning cloth diapers.
When it comes to drying, the most important bit of advice we can give you is to hang your cloth diapers out to dry instead of throwing them in the dryer. Many reusable diapers will come with instructions to air-dry after washing, but they will last much longer if hung out to dry.
Best Cloth Diapers For Newborns
These days there are several different styles of cloth diapers with various functions. So many options might seem overwhelming at first, but finding the right match for you and your baby is key.
We all want the best for our newborns, especially when it comes to diapers. Below are the 4 most popular kinds of cloth diapers recommendations for each type.
Pre-fold: These rectangular shaped diapers are most like the traditional kind of cloth diapers but still have evolved over the years. They are divided into three sections fastened by Velcro or snaps and usually have an absorbent pad already sewn in.
Try: OsoCozy Pre-fold Unbleached cloth diapers are all-natural and perfectly soft for your newborn baby.
Pocket: These diapers have a waterproof outer layer and inner pockets that contain absorbent inserts.
Try: Mama Koala Reusable Pocket cloth diapers are ultra-absorbent and are a fan favorite among moms.
Fitted: These most resemble disposable diapers and are made from absorbent fabric. They need a waterproof diaper cover to go over them.
Try: Osocozy Unbleached Fitted Diaper is made from 100% cotton and is an Amazon Top Choice pick.
All-in-one: Must like the name says, these reusable diapers have it all. They come already equipped with a waterproof cover and an absorbent inner cloth liner, and they’re the most functional of all the cloth diapers.
Try: Alvababy All-in-one cloth diapers are one-size-fits-all, adjustable with snap enclosures, and they come with 12 inserts. And did we mention they come in a wide variety of adorable patterns?
When it comes to diapering your baby, it’s good to know what your options are. Cloth diapers are reasonably priced, eco-friendly and comfortable for your baby to wear. They’re easy to use and cleanup isn’t as confusing as you might think. Of course, there’s a wide range of cloth diapers to choose from and only you will know which kind is best for your little one.
When it comes to how many cloth diapers you’ll need, we suggest starting out with a decent-sized stockpile and then add more to the mix if needed. A minimum of 24 diapers is perfect for a newborn and gradually less will be needed as your baby grows. All in all, cloth diapering is a great alternative to disposable diapers and it’s steadily gaining in popularity among moms.
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