Our sweet Ellie is nearly 3 months old, so I thought it was about time to do a follow up post on cloth diapers. You can read the original post about cloth diapers here.
So, I’ll be honest, despite my hours and hours of research on the things, I was still a little nervous to actually implement the cloth diaper stash I assembled in preparation for her arrival. To sum up this entire post, though, they’re not hard to use, they work even better than I ever expected, they fit her so well, and I am absolutely in love with our fluff! You can pretty much stop reading now if that’s all you were after, but if you want more details, read on!
When did I start using them?
Ellie was a very large & in charge baby -she weighed 8lbs 15oz when she was born, so they fit her much earlier than I expected. I believe she was around 2 or 3 weeks old when I put the first FST on her, and I chose that over her pocket diapers because I had more control over the fit. The pockets would’ve been too bulky on her newborn frame, but the FSTs worked nicely.
What fold do I use for her FSTs?
I love the kite fold. When she was first born, the mini kite fold was my go-to and it worked beautifully. However, I wish I hadn’t folded every single FST into the mini kite fold because babies grow at the speed of light, and it was almost as if she outgrew that fold over night… then I had to refold them all.
Learn the fold here!
What brand of diapers do I prefer?
I own cloth diapers from Urban Baby Boutique as well as Alva (both pockets & covers) in addition to my FSTs and some prefolds I bought at a yard sale. As far as the AIOs/pockets, I honestly can’t tell a difference in the performance. The boutique diapers cost nearly double the price of the Alvas, and they work exactly the same. Prints are cute and all, but at the end of the day my kid is pooping in the things. I will likely not be investing in any more pricey diapers when I can get the same performance out of a cheaper brand.
HOWEVER! I will say, I have a friend who just started using cloth for her toddler and she has had a lot of issues with leakage. Honestly, I think it depends on the build of the baby. She loves Luvs disposables, my kids poops out the side of them nearly every time I put them on her. It’s trial & error, so when building your stash, buy a couple of several different types and brands ’til you find what works for you.
Note: If you buy Alvas, don’t buy ’em on Amazon. Go to their site and browse the US stock so that shipping doesn’t take as long -it’s cheaper!
Do they leak?
I’ve never had a blow out experience with a cloth diaper. Disposables, on the other hand…
Do I use cloth 24/7?
For the most part, yes. I work from home so it’s not a big deal for me, but sometimes I have to leave her with friends & family for meetings, and I usually put the disposables from our showers in her diaper bag. They’ve all used cloth once or twice with her and don’t seem to have any problems with it, but disposables are less of a hassle for the folks who are keeping my kid for $Free.99 so I don’t push it 🙂
Since I’m still working on building up a bigger stash, I don’t have a ton of extra inserts for her night time diapers, so we use disposables occasionally at night as well.
What’s my wash routine?
I have enough diapers that I don’t really have to wash for 3 days or so. However, I run out of covers for my prefolds and FSTs, plus it’s a giant wet bag full of human waste, so I tend to wash every 2-3 days. Ellie is exclusively breastfed, so I don’t rinse the diapers beforehand (this will change when she begins eating solids.) I just remove the inserts from her pocket diapers while I’m changing her to make it easier when I wash them. Typically, I have enough diaper laundry after 2 days that I don’t really have to add anything to the load so that it all agitates properly. I do my machine’s shortest wash cycle with laundry detergent up to line 1, peel the laundry off the walls of my washer once the first cycle is finished, and then I do the longest cycle with a cup full of detergent. I use All Free & Clear because it was bought for me, and since it’s a plant based detergent, I wash in hot water to make sure it’s doing the job. I dry everything (including covers) in my dryer on low heat. Done!
Is it a lot of work/more work than I expected?
Not at all! The most time consuming part is stuffing the pockets & folding the flour sack towels, but even that takes less time than a load of regular laundry. Considering the money we save and the fact that Ellie doesn’t get diaper rash in her cloth, I think the tiny bit of extra laundry is worth it. Using them is no different than a disposable, there are just snaps instead of velcro, and that’s just a personal preference. (Velcro is still available on cloth diapers, but I prefer the snaps.)
What do I do for night time cloth diapering?
I always use one of the pocket diapers rather than a prefold because of the material that lines the pockets (she doesn’t feel wet as quickly). I stuff the pocket with a charcoal bamboo insert in addition to a microfiber insert. She sleeps for about 12 hours a night (please don’t throat punch me, other mommas!) so the inserts are pretty much at capacity by morning, but we’ve not had any leaks! I imagine I’ll have to use two charcoal inserts once she gets older, though. The only issue I have with cloth diapers at night time is the bulk. This kid has a badonkadonk because of all the fluff at bedtime. She’s a pretty sweaty baby, so we usually just swaddle her in her Swaddle Me with just a diaper, but if she wore PJs like a normal baby, we’d be in trouble. I’m not sure that big ol’ fluffy butt would fit in any pajamas!
What about when you’re out with the baby?
We have a wet bag for our back pack and I pack pockets instead of the flour sack towels & covers because they’re faster on the go. There’s really no difference in changing her.
Is there anything I don’t like about cloth?
They can sometimes fit a little awkwardly underneath her clothes. If the onesie I put on her is a little snug to begin with, fastening it around the diaper tends to pull the neck down, and I have to put her in pants that are a size bigger than what she would normally wear. It’s also difficult to tell when she’s wet since they don’t have the magical color changing line like her Huggies have, but I check her every 2 hours or so if she hasn’t pooped. They can also take up more room in the diaper bag, but that’s about it!
Is there anything I wish I’d done differently?
Nope. I have a decent sized stash for starting out so we’ve saved a TON of money (although we do have several packages of disposables from the baby showers we had) and they work so well!
Have more questions or want more info about something specific? Comment below! Cloth is one of the best decisions we’ve ever made and I’m kinda obsessed with it 🙂