Cloth Diapering 101:: A Beginner’s Guide

When we were expecting our first child, I cautiously approached my husband with the idea of using cloth diapers. I had no idea what he might say. To my surprise, he told me that he had been thinking about using them, too! We sat down that night to do some research and added some diapers to our online registry.

At the time we lived in a small town in Connecticut with no local places where we could examine diapers in person, no one to ask questions of, and we didn’t know anyone else with a baby. We floundered a lot in the first few months until moving home to Wichita and finding a great local store and online community. I made some mistakes and learned a lot. Here are the basics:

  1. Why cloth diaper? Everyone will have their own “main” reason. For us, it was primarily cost savings. We have used our diapers for three kids now and I have estimated our savings at upwards of $5,000.00 in the last five years. After the initial expense, we rarely needed to buy more, and often would maximize our savings through local buy/sell/trade and consignment. We also are a little bit crunchy granola, and I like the idea of natural fibers next to my baby’s skin. The amount of trash generated from using disposables diapers for one child is enormous and keeping trash out of landfills was a no-brainer for us.
  2. You’re gonna need a wash routine that works for YOU. Wichita has hard water, so there are special considerations there. For us a warm rinse, hot wash with cloth diaper safe detergent (I am a huge fan of eco sprout) then cold rinse always kept our diapers squeaky clean. We line dry during the summer, which has the added bonus of keeping the diapers stain free.cloth diapering
  3. Diapers are like jeans. Some of us like a skinny jean, some prefer boot cut, some like to mix it up. There are SO many different kinds of diapers, styles, brands, etc. The best thing I have found is to try a variety on your child before committing to a certain brand or style. We use prefolds and covers almost exclusively, as it is the most economical. Pockets are incredibly convenient, and we like to keep those in the diaper bags for on-the-go changes. Cloth diapers can be a fashion statement too, as they come in many prints and colors, which makes matching them with outfits much more fun than disposables.

If you have been thinking about it, you can join a Facebook group to learn more (the ladies at the Kansas Cloth Diaper Group are very friendly and helpful to new-to-cloth moms), or visit a local store to see and touch different types. My favorite local-to-Wichita place is Sweet Cheeks.

Once you go cloth, you’ll never go back!

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