When I first told my husband that I wanted to use cloth diapers with our daughter, it would be putting it mildly to say he was skeptical. “It’s going to be expensive”, he says. “It’s going to be a lot of work”, he says. Most of all, he says, “It’s going to be GROSS!”.
Well to give the ending away at the start of my story, yes, we are using cloth, and no, it is neither expensive, nor gross, nor a lot of work. But let’s begin at the beginning, shall we?
At the Hospital
I had lots of grand ideas about what my hospital stay was going to be like. I was going to march in there, have completely unmedicated childbirth, and leave in as little time as I could get away with. Instead, I ended up with a labor over 24 hours long, an emergency caesarean, and a whopping 5 day hospital stay. Needless to say, there was little chance I or my husband was going to figure out how to get a cloth diaper on our daughter while all that was going on, not to mention letting soiled diapers pile up in the hospital for 5 days. So while there, we used the disposables they provided us.
If you’ve never had a child before, here’s something that you should know. Everything in your room, save for the furniture and the linens, is yours to take home. That includes the diapers, wipes, baby clothes – even the pillows (but not the pillow cases). So we took home our already opened pack of diapers and used them the first night at home. The next day, I said to my husband, “All right, it’s time to figure out this diaper thing…”. So we pulled out the fancy hemp-cotton fleece prefolds, a Snappi, and my hand-knitted wool covers and…
THEY. WERE. HUGE.
I mean, seriously, you guys. Her little legs stuck straight out to the sides, no matter how much I folded them. And the leg openings were so loose, I just knew they were going to leak. I was dismayed. What was I going to do now? How long would I have to put plastic diapers in the landfill before they would fit?
We used disposable diapers for a few more days before it hit me. We had registered for (and received) a set of gDiapers, which are little pants and liners that come with biodegradable plastic-free inserts. Since the inserts are more expensive than regular diapers, we were only going to use them for travel. I learned after browsing the internet that gDiapers can also be used with washable cotton inserts. I thought to myself, “Hey, I sure do have a lot of prefolds just lying around…”, so I made some of these:
My prefolds cut into thirds horizontally were the perfect size to fit in the small gDiaper liner. I found we have to use two to get good absorbency, but it works like a charm. They are easy to use, and easy to wash. Just a cold rinse with baking soda, then a hot wash with more baking soda and detergent, and I’ve never had a stain. The liners get soiled often, and the pants every now and then. I just wash them with the inserts. To completely close up the cycle of waste, I took some cotton flannel receiving blankets that were too small and made these:
My wipe solution is 2 cups of water, 2 tbs olive oil, 2 tbs baby wash, and 2 drops of tea tree oil. I think the cloth wipes are softer and clean up better than the disposables, so I couldn’t be happier. I just throw them in the wash with the diapers as well.
This method seams to be far easier than prefolds, and I love that I’m not creating any landfill waste. Has anyone else tried a cloth diaper solution? How do you like it? Please let me know in the comments section!