FINALLY: a semi-concise summary of cloth diapering basics

Cloth diapering IS expensive, but so is eating, living, and having a baby; in the grand scheme of things, with proper research, budgeting, and sale shopping, cloth diapering can be the cheapest portion of child rearing! Other than breastfeeding, since hooking your baby up to a boob is

It is much cheaper to start cloth diapering as opposed to switching later on if and when you decide that disposable diapers are not working out. Either way, do what best aligns with your belief system and wallet!

I had several reasons for switch my daughter to cloth diapers and a couple are as follows: I originally wanted to cloth diaper anyway, but didn’t have the support, my daughter had chronic diaper rashes treated only with continuous usage of a prescription due to the usage of disposables, and I want to fully cloth diaper our next baby whenever it makes it debut, so I figured I might as well start my research now! Haha.

You can spend as little as 300-500 to get a good working stockpile for a child and while that is a lot, that’s ALL you will spend on diapers through potty training. Compared for buying a million boxes of disposable diapers like I did until recently! Also, some of these training pants are thin enough to be used as undies, so that’s my plan too until she outgrows them.

Here’s a brief summary in bullet point form of all that I’ve learned on this transition to cloth diapering:

  • Do your research BEFORE you start shopping:
  • I will put my preferences and opinions in bold!!
    • This may sound like common sense, but it’s very easy to think you’ve got all the basics and start shopping and end up spending lots of money on diapers and products that you don’t absolutely love.
    • Some research topics should be as follows:
      • How many diapers you NEED of each style?
        • You want to have enough of each type so that your diapers aren’t getting overworked and last longer
        • You also want to make sure that you have enough to not run out in between washing.
        • 24-36 newborn and 24-36 of One Size/Pocket diapers/AIO etch (everything else)
        • For training pants, 12-24 is the minimum to get through with less wear and tear.
      • Diaper style
        • Pocket diapers- you put in inserts to achieve desired amount of absorbency
        • AIO- all in one diapers- the inserts are sewn or snapped into the diaper
        • AI2- All in 2 diapers-the inserts are sewn or snapped in, but there is also a pocket for putting in more inserts if necessary
        • My favorite is AIOs, but that also depends on your brand, because some are super hard to get dry and clean!
      • Training Pants style
        • Most of these are designed the same way essentially, so mostly it’s a matter of brand and material preference.
      • Desired material for the diaper and inserts
        • PUL- polyurethane laminated material for leak proofing
        • Mink
        • Suede
        • Organic cotton
        • Birdseye cotton
        • Hemp
        • Bamboo
        • Microfleece
        • There’s probably more
        • I have all of these. I like a variety, but the majority of my diapers are PUL for the outside and cotton on the inside. Bamboo/hemp are my favs for inserts
      • Cloth diaper friendly detergent and washing routines
        • Not all detergents are cloth diaper safe! Every website and person will have a differing opinion, but you should look into the options and decide for yourself
        • We use ALL free and clear to wash. And sometimes time original
        • Do you want to use cloth diaper liners?
          • There are reusable and disposable
          • We don’t use these. More money. We just scrape out the poop
        • How do you plan on cleaning poop?
          • Diaper sprayer? ~$30
          • Yes!!
        • Where are you going to store your dirty diapers?
          • Wet or dry diaper pail?
            • Diaper pail liners
          • We use a dry pail
        • How often are you going to wash?
          • Every 2-3 days
        • What’s your washing/ drying routine?
          • Getting all of the urine and ammonia out of these diapers can be difficult sometimes if you’re not washing often enough or if you have a heavy wetter!
          • Also getting these dry and keeping them in tip top shape can be difficult if you don’t think about this ahead of time!
          • Some diapers should NOT be dried in a dryer, but for most its fine.
          • READ THE INSTRUCTIONS on each individual diaper before making routine decisions.
          • Pre-soak with HOT water, Pre-wash with normal amount of detergent, regular wash with regular detergent, extra rinse, tumble dry on low and hang on drying rack
        • Diaper rash cremes
          • You really just have to try these out until you find out what works best for your baby. Be sure to read the labels and ingredients to ensure that they are cloth diaper safe!
          • We’re still testing out diaper rash crème/rub brands. TBD
        • Which style/brand of diapers are good for what?
          • Overnight
            • Grovia ONE
          • Traveling
            • Grovia ONE
          • Quick trips
            • Any
          • Newborn
            • I’ll tell y’all after I have a second baby.. in like 5 years hopefully. Haha
          • Looks great under leggings. Haha
          • Everything!
        • What’s your stance on where the diapers are made?
          • It may sound stupid, but it’s a huge, controversial topic in the cloth diapering world!
        • Which stores, boutiques, and co-ops have the best prices?
          • If you’re REALLY interested, comment and I’ll tell you where to shop!
        • Are you planning on using these for multiple children?
          • Gender neutral prints, if you care THAT much
          • This is where the REAL money saving comes into play! Using these same diapers on multiple children versus continually buying disposables.

Now that you’ve done some research, you can shop much more efficiently! I feel like I could’ve saved so much more money had I done my research THIS in depth, BUT all is well, because now I know and you do too!

Please feel free to comment with any questions or just comments. As my fellow veterinary student friends have learned, I LOVE talking about baby stuff, but especially cloth diapers.  ?

Just for fun, here’s a picture of the majority of my stash

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2 responses to “FINALLY: a semi-concise summary of cloth diapering basics”

  1. Lakenzie Avatar

    I would say that travel is much more difficult with boys or heavy wetters. Compression leaks are hard to combat in a car seat. We could only use fitteds and covers, GroVia hybrid covers, or gDiapers.

    1. lariajenae Avatar

      Oh darn, you reminded me that I didn’t include the hybrid diapers. We usually use Grovia AIOs for travel. I’m sure we could make our entire Knoxville to Memphis trip in one of them if we HAD to, but we always change her in Nashville of course.

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