We are nearing the one-year mark around here. Yup – that’s right – we’ve been parents almost an entire year. This time last year we were trying to enjoy our last weeks of being a family of two. It’s crazy how fast time goes by.
With the exception of about 10 days of her very early life, our precious baby girl has been in cloth diapers her entire life. We haven’t bought one pack of disposable diapers at the store. The ones we did use in her early days (until her umbilical cord fell off) were ones that were given to us or ones we took from the hospital. And if there’s one parenting decision we are most pleased with … it’s the one we made to use cloth diapers.
We absolutely love them. So much that it’s one of D’s favorite topics with new parents or parents-to-be.
Recently, my sister asked me for a list of “must-haves” for cloth diapering. Don’t you have a blog post about this somewhere? I replied, No, I haven’t posted about it. But I should! You’ll be my inspiration! So here you go … if you’re considering cloth diapering (and if you’re going to have a baby, you should at least consider it) … here’s my two cents about what you need … and when you need it.
We wash diapers every other day (most times). I just counted our last load and it was 17 diapers plus two nighttime diapers (more about nighttime in a minute).
Note – in our newborn days, we easily went through 15-17 diapers A DAY. We washed every single day until she was in the one-size diapers – and then we washed every single day until we built up our stash to about 30-35 diapers. I didn’t like only having a few ready to be used.
In the nursery, we use a trash can and put a liner in it. We have two liners so that when we’re washing diapers (and the liner) we can put the other one in.
We use small and medium wetbags in our diaper bag and we have a large wetbag for when we travel overnight. We do have a couple of other brand of wetbags that have been given to us, but we like the Planet Wise wetbags/liners the best … hands down.
Some people say this is a “nice to have” but we disagree. We think it’s a must. BUT – you don’t need it to get started – especially if you breastfeed exclusively. Exclusive breastfed poop dissolves in water, so there’s no need to rinse them until baby starts on formula or solid food.
Once our little pumpkin got bigger, she was wetting out of pocket diapers at night. We don’t like to do diaper changes at night unless she poops. So we wanted diapers to last us a good 12 hours. After lots and lots of fails, we discovered Thirsties Duo fitted diapers – and they work like a charm. We stick a hemp insert inside them and they are awesome. She still has a few really heavy wetter nights – but you can put two inserts in them and they still fit well. We’ve found velcro diapers work best at night.
Anytime you use fitted diapers or prefolds, you need a cover. We use these – mostly at night, but also when we go places overnight. It makes things super easy and they are easily rinse-able in case they get dirty. She has figured out how to undo the velcro, so we use snap covers (with the velcro diaper inside).
Wipes of some sort.
We use disposable wipes when we go out, because they are just easier. The trick is throwing them out before you do your laundry.
We made cloth wipes for use at home. I got old receiving blankets from Goodwill, cut them into squares, and zigzagged the edges so they don’t fray. We probably cut up about 5 blankets. A year’s worth of use and they are getting old and raggedy, so I have some more to do the same thing with whenever I get a free moment – ha!
The Super Nice-To-Haves:
Clothesline and pins
We use a drying rack from Ikea and love it. We haves it hooked on the wall so we can take it down or just use it while it’s hanging. So much easier than the clothesline we originally had hanging in our bathroom.
Portable changing pad
For your diaper bag. Those changing tables are gross. Most diaper bags come with one of these.
We only recently started using these. She’s a pretty regular baby – and almost always poops in her carseat as soon as we put her in it. Now that she’s on solid food, we’ve discovered a flushable liner makes for easier cleanup when we’re out. So we put one in before the leave the house and press our luck.
To keep water in to use on your cloth wipes. We just get them really wet before diaper changes. I used to make a solution, but I don’t think it does much difference than plain water … so now we just use plain water.
We got these as a gift pre-baby and weren’t sure if we would ever use them. We mostly use them at nighttime when we use hemp or cotton diapers (when all our Thirsties are dirty or drying). They help baby sleep longer because she doesn’t feel wet as early. Anything that allows more sleep is a plus in my book!
I *think* that’s everything. It seems like a lot at first, but once you get in the groove it’s actually really simple.
Please keep in mind that you can cloth diaper your baby for as little as $50, but I don’t think if I cloth diapered like that I would love it so much. We invested in cloth diapers that we would love so they would get us through all our babies and we would have no regrets about cloth diapering. Ever.