I had a request for a cloth and disposable diaper post by a few people. I was (and I guess still am) hesitant because I am no expert and we just did some trial and error with our cloth and disposable diaper journey with Ottava. I am going to share with you my story, give you resources, and links to things I found very helpful.
I guess I posted enough about cloth diapers for you to ask me many questions about it. Here we go, and here’s our diapering journey so far (we are still using diapers now).
When I was pregnant I always wanted to cloth diaper. They are so cute, #1, and they are a lot cheaper in the long run. I didn’t know a lot about them, but thought they can’t be too hard to use and love, right? I knew that overnight was a whole different animal. And I was ok using disposable when we were somewhere else overnight.
We went with a good balance of cloth and disposable. Ottava has slept in disposable diapers every night. I didn’t want to research and figure out the cloth diapers at night. She was sleeping awesome in the night and I didn’t want to mess that up with a leaky or too wet cloth diaper. We used cloth diapers when we were out and about, but if we went overnight to my parents house we would sometimes bring the cloth diapers, and sometimes just keep her in disposable.
We decided to go with the “cheater” cloth diapers. Let me explain. We did the pockets diapers, all in one’s, and inserts. We didn’t go for the pre-folds, snaps, and covers. I didn’t want to go that route because it’s a little more time consuming and I didn’t want to learn. Go ahead if you want to do that, we didn’t.
When we were searching Amazon on cloth diapers we realized very quick there were hundreds and hundreds of options and so many different brands and ways to diaper. We found this Baby Gear Lab article where they rated the top 15 cloth diapers and why they rated them. This was so helpful for us.
We decided to order the top 3 diapers and see how we liked them. We also got some Thirsties All-in-One diapers for Christmas and they, unfortunately, were our least favorite. I’ll get into why later.
These are the cloth diapers we own and used
Let’s talk about each cloth diaper details
Rumparooz Diaper: These are a pocket diaper. There is a liner that goes in a pocket in the diaper. Depending on the age of your kid, they have smaller inserts, larger inserts, and ones you can double up as your kid gets older. These are our FAVORITE cloth diapers. They are probably the most expensive, but we loved them. They were wonderful. They are double gusseted, so leaks pretty much didn’t happen.
Flip Diaper and Insert: These are so easy to use. You put and insert in a liner (you have to buy both) and you can re-use the cover unless there’s poop on them. They fit well, and I like how they snapped. The downsides is that the liners slide around easier, and if there’s a really wet or poopy liner you have to touch the liner with your hand and then replace it with a new liner. It takes longer. You also have to air dry the covers, which takes separating the laundry. I love washing cloth diapers and just throwing them into the washer and dryer without much thought.
GroVia: We didn’t end up loving this diaper. The cover was nice, but not the insert. It was bulky. WE only bought one and always tried to avoid using it. You will also need the snap in inserts for this diaper.
Thirsties All-in-One: We actually loved the way these fit and snapped but they leaked after 1.5-2 hours in the front of her legs and got many, many onesies wet. I wouldn’t buy them again, because you don’t want diapers to leak. It’s a bummer, because the fit was the best when she was really little. They leaked regardless of her size.
Pro’s of Cloth Diapers
- We didn’t get any blow-outs with cloth diapers
- Cost Effective
- Doesn’t matter how many diapers you change in a day, it all gets washed
- They are great for errands because you don’t need to find a garbage for a stinky diaper. Just throw it in your wet bag
- They became very easy and routined to use
- Cloth diaper butt. What’s cuter than a huge cloth diaper butt on a baby??
Con’s of Cloth Diapers
- You have to change the diapers more often because they get wet quicker. I think it’s also a pro, because your baby stays dryer longer
- We didn’t travel with them, way too hard
- Have you wash them, although it is very easy. It does add more work
- Can be bulky, especially on skinny babies
- Because of the bulk, they have the potential to inhibit their sitting, crawling, or walking. Below I’ll tell you why we switched out of cloth at a year because of Ottava’s walking.
How did we use cloth diapers
I feel like this section is where you want to read and what you came to the article for. I wanted to slap a cloth diaper on Ottava as soon as I could. Yes, I believe I even thought about bringing them to the hospital with us (and if you know our homebirth to hospital story, that wouldn’t have happened).
I put a cloth diaper on her when she was 2 weeks old and I struggled with it (it was also the prefolds with a cover). In 30 minutes she was super wet and I felt bad she was in a wet diaper and my head was spinning about how in the world I was going to feed her, change her every 30 minutes, bathe her, sleep her, oh yeah… and take care of eating and sleeping for myself too.
I realized that cloth diapers needed to wait. Guess what? It’s ok to wait until the newborn season is over and you are in more of a groove and you are getting a bit more sleep. We started cloth diapering during the days at about 8 weeks old. I was ready, she was ready, and it went so much better!
I changed her every 2-3 hours. Any longer is way too wet. Unlike disposable you have to change more often. And I’d get into a good groove in the days to changing her. And washing was breeze. Breastfed baby poop doesn’t need to be rinsed out. All you have to do is throw it in the wet bag and it is water soluble and washes off.
We didn’t love our cloth diapers quite so much from 8-12 months when we were dealing with solid food poops. You can get a toilet sprayer or a spatula and figure out a way to get the poop off before washing.
We stopped cloth diapering around 13 months old. We were planning on going until she was potty trained, but opted to stop when I thought Ottava wasn’t walking yet because of the cloth diapers. And it also was affecting her confidence in taking steps and made her have a weird gait.
The chiropractor in me didn’t like that it was affecting her gait. I would put on a disposable diaper (when she started walking) and she would have a much better gait/ walk and she was also able to walk more confidently and without a waddle. I have a very cautious child and the bulky diaper made her nervous. A more adventurous kid probably wouldn’t have noticed, but my kiddo did.
I felt better going forward with disposable diapers instead of cloth so she could walk better and be more comfortable walking and moving long term.
Washing Cloth Diapers
I’m going to keep this short and sweet. There is definitely a learning curve when it comes to washing and drying cloth diapers. I’m no expert and it does depend on your water hardness, washing machine, and cloth diapers. Check out Fluff University and also their Online Facebook Group Fluff Love and CD Science. The Facebook group is where you can trouble shoot and start with a customized wash routine for you.
I haven’t done a lot of research on all of the different more natural diaper brands. We went with Honest Company, Earth’s Best, or Babyganics depending on sales and what is available. I have heard lots and lots of moms who love them, we didn’t love them as much.
All I say is to choose a brand that has a lot of the chemicals out of them. It’s on your baby’s booty all the time. I think it is worth spending more money on a good brand of disposable diapers.
If you are worried about the cost long term, purchase the cloth diapers. We used them for about 12 months and saved a lot of money and really loved the cloth diapers. We have them for our next kid (they aren’t too used to have to replace) and will continue to save money when we use them again.
If you only used cloth diapers for the first 6-7 months until they start eating solid foods, I believe they are still worth the investment and you will love them.
If you don’t like cloth diapering and want to go with disposables, that’s fine. Figure out what works best for your family. Don’t say no to cloth diapers because it’s overwhelming. If you want to use them, you can do the research and figure it out, and I hope this helps you feel like you can do it and love cloth diapering.
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