First Week of Cloth Diapering
It's been almost a year since my last blog post and SO much has changed in my life. The biggest (and best) change has been the addition to our family, Miss Avery! Born on October 4th, 2022 at 2:44pm, weighing 7lb 7oz and 21" long, she has absolutely impacted our lives in the best way possible!
From the start of my pregnancy, I knew I wanted to cloth diaper. I did hours of research and watched countless videos on types of diapers and how to take care of them. My biggest reason for wanting to cloth diaper was the fact that they're reusable—from birth all the way until potty training. Disposables felt overwhelmingly wasteful to me (not to mention, costly!)
I used disposables at first, since fresh newborns go through 10-15 diapers a day. Also, meconium is SO hard to get out of fabric (I speak from first hand nurse experience). I decided to wait until her diaper-changing routine was a little more established and I was more comfortable with the whole being-another-human's-mom thing.
I ended up purchasing the majority of my diapers from Nora's Nursery. They seemed to be pretty medium-priced between several brands I looked at, and I'd seen several moms on Instagram use this brand. I got an array of designs, from floral to prints to plain colors. The diapers consist of the outer cloth diaper (with pocket) and a microfiber insert. I also got a small wet-bag with each set. These diapers are one-size and start fitting Baby around 10lb.
The rest of my diapers are a variety of brands and sizes. I joined a cloth diaper buy/sell/trade Facebook page and bought several newborn sized diapers from there. Some are pocket style and some are all-in-one (all layers of fabric sewn together). My regret here is that I didn't buy any of these diapers while I was pregnant—I honestly thought Avery would grow a little faster than she did. Silly me.
So for now, the newborn's fit her great! And once all 8 of those are dirty, I move on to the one-size diapers and we just make do. I've been doing laundry every two/three days and it's been very manageable.
Overall, the first week of cloth diapering has been WONDERFUL! There's definitely a huge learning curve when it comes to fitting the diapers correctly, but once we figured out which buttons to use, we got the hang of it.
Our biggest issue so far has been leaking. All our newborn diapers are different brands, so figuring out which snaps to use on each diaper has been difficult. As for the one-size diapers, there tends to be a gap around her thighs and leaks happen that way. This has definitely been the biggest learning curve to using cloth diapers, however it hasn't been TOO discouraging since I was also having leg leaks with my Pampers disposables.
I learned better ways to fasten the diapers for a better fit, as well as different "hacks" for making the legs of the one-size diapers smaller. I also bought flour sack towels as an added layer of absorbency and that has been the biggest game changer!
Cleaning the diapers was one of my biggest concerns. I wasn't sure how difficult it would be to get the diapers cleaned, how often they'd need to be washed, and what settings to use on the washing machine. It seems like everyone has their own method, so I tried to go off what I saw people do the most.
Since Avery is exclusively breastfed, there's no need to rinse any poopy diapers. Everything gets thrown straight into the wash! I do pull out any inserts inside the pocket diapers. The all-in-one's are the easiest to use, since they go straight on baby then straight in the washer.
The first wash cycle is a cold rinse and spin. This gets off ALL the poop...surprisingly.
The second wash is a heavy soiled, hot water cycle, with an extra rinse at the end. I also use the full-water setting instead of the auto-sensor, and this is the cycle that I add Free & Clear powder detergent.
Then they get thrown in the dryer on low heat. And that's it. After drying, I reassemble inserts into pocket diapers and they all go back in the drawer to use again!
The start of our cloth diapering journey has so far been a fantastic (although educational) experience. There's still a lot of trial and error we are working through, but using cloth diapers reminds me of the way my mom was cared for as an infant and I love that I can care for Avery in the same way.
What questions do you have about cloth diapering in the 21st century?