Adopt a Habit: Cloth Diapers
A new mama researches alternatives to disposable diapers. She shares her research, experience and thoughts with us about using cloth diapers for her new baby. If you're considering a change, read on for an in-depth review!
5 REASONS WHY CHOSE CLOTH DIAPERS:
- BABY'S HEALTH - There are a lot of chemicals in disposable diapers, which can cause diaper rash. This idea is two-fold; disposable diapers are designed to hang off the baby’s body and it keeps them “dry.” They are also more absorbent, so you don’t have to change the diaper as often, but the baby is sitting in pee longer. On the other hand, cloth diapers are pretty absorbent, but you have to change them more often because baby does not like to sit in the wet cloth diaper since it is pretty close to their bodies. In this case, they are not sitting in pee as long as they would in disposable diapers, and have a less chance at experiencing a diaper rash.
- SAVE$ MONEY - In some blogs I read it can save you a few thousand. You’re not buying boxes of diapers every month, and the money you spend doing laundry is way cheaper. Your initial investment will seem like a lot, but it pays for itself overtime. Overall, I think I have spent $700 on all of her diapering needs. Blogs say parents can easily spend over $1000 on disposable diapers in the first year alone. (Since this review in 2016, Jaime is having her second baby and she is going to reuse the same cloth diapers which helps her save money and she won't be contributing diaper waste to the environment!)
- ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS – Millions of diapers fill up the landfills every year and they take over 100 years to decompose. Even the diapers that are supposedly eco-friendly and “biodegradable,” they are only like 30% or less biodegradable. In addition, in order to decompose, the waste needs oxygen and this isn’t the case in landfills – they are so compact and full of waste that none of it even gets a chance to decompose anyway.
- BACK TO BASICS – It has only been in our and our parents’ generation that we started to use disposable diapers. Prior to that, cloth diapering was it. In other countries, they still use cloth diapers. So I thought it was definitely do-able and worth a try.
- OTHER PRO'S –
Apparently babies who are cloth diapered learn to potty train faster since they do not like to sit in the wet diaper. From what I read, it said that they learn maybe a year earlier than babies who are on disposable diapers (that’s one extra year of spending $ on diapers!!).
You can use them for the next baby.
ON CHOOSING BRANDS:
We decided on gDiapers. It is a hybrid diaper – there is a lot of terminology with cloth diapering. There are several different kinds; "All in one" – pretty much you just put the diaper on the baby and put the whole thing in the wash. "Hybrid" – you have a diaper cover and an insert (you have to wash both, but wash the cover less). "Traditional" - it’s literally a cloth and you fasten it with snappies or pins. They also have covers for that as well.
With the gDiaper, there are 3 components, the gPant (cover), the liner (plastic thing that snaps onto the cover), and the insert (the part that gets soiled). This is very convenient for us because if we are out, we will sometimes use disposable inserts. I prefer to just use the cloth ones though because the disposable inserts aren’t cheap, but the good thing is they make less waste than disposable diapers and are more eco-friendly. I keep a wet bag in her diaper bag for the soiled inserts.
Also for those babysitting, instead of subjecting them to the soiled cloth insert, I offer the disposable insert instead.
HOW MANY DIAPERS DO YOU NEED?
As the baby grows, you’ll have to invest in bigger sizes. You’ll know when they need it because it’s obviously too small, but it also may leak.
Newborn size – I think 6 is enough, but I would have liked to have more. These are all in one diapers. Really easy, just throw them in the wash.
Small size (8-14 lbs) – I bought 10 pants (didn’t really need this many, but it was nice to have). I recommend getting 10 in case you can’t get to doing laundry. I bought extra liners since you go through those more. I had about 16 inserts.
Medium – SKIPPED. I didn’t want to bother buying medium size.
Large – I have 9 large pants, 15 liners, and like 20 inserts. The large ones still look big on her, but every time you buy new ones you’re going to spend like $150-$200.
I also suggest buying cloth inserts, but not the gdiaper brand for m/l/xl because they aren’t as absorbent. This one is great, very soft, and is for medium and large sizes.
DEALING WITH POO - I recommend these liners for when the baby is still only on liquids. You can just dump the poopy insert in the wash without rinsing it because this watery poop is water soluble. When they start eating solids, you’ll have to scrape the poop or wash it off before putting it in the wash.
When we are out and about, we use disposable inserts. We also offer disposable inserts for our baby sitters too.
FREQUENCY – My baby is pretty much is changed every 2-3 hours or so. If we are using disposable diapers on occasion I find that I change her more often because I’m used to the frequency. In one day, she might use 1-3 diaper gPants, 1-4 liners, and maybe like 8 inserts. (Sometimes you can reuse the pant and just change the liner. I suggest alternating the pants between changes and having them “loaded” up and ready to go for the next change.)
LAUNDRY – I wash her diapers about every two to three days, or sooner if she runs low on diapers. The gPants you do not have to wash as often, unless it gets soiled, but sometimes gets damp from sweat. Since I alternate her diapers at changes, the pants will dry and can keep using them as long as they aren’t soiled. I usually only use them 2 days max and then wash them. Process: I hang a wet bag in the room, it has a zipper to close the smell. When I do the laundry, I separate all parts of the diaper, and Velcro the pants or else they end up sticking to each other. I put the gPants in a separate garment bag. I hang dry the plastic liners and the pants to reduce the wear since you wash them very often. I put the inserts in the dryer since I need these sooner. I wash it on cold/cold to preserve the diaper. I used to do hot/cold, but it made it look old so fast and washing on hot is not necessary.