Complete guide to cloth diapers for the lazy moms!
Lazy moms and cloth diapers.
Those two things can’t possibly go together. Can they?
I’ll admit cloth diapering is a little more work than disposable diapering. But there are so many ways to make it less hard.
Here’s my guide to cloth diapers for the busy moms out there!
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Why Choose Cloth Diapers?
So, why even bother with cloth diapers? Is it worth it?
Yes. Yes, it is.
Here’s some reasons *I* choose to cloth diaper:
- better for the environment – I hate thinking of all those dirty disposable diapers sitting festering in landfill… for the next few hundred years!
- works out cheaper – while the up front investment is a fair bit, you definitely save money over time compared to buying disposables. Especially if you plan to reuse your diapers for one or more siblings.
- avoids exposure to any weird chemicals used in disposables that may be irritating to some babies
I also thought that if my mom could do cloth, well then so could I!
I also thought that if my mom could do cloth (while washing by hand), well then so could I!
Here’s what you need to start cloth diapering successfully.
- Cloth Diapers – this one is a great brand.
- Diaper Liners – pop these on top of your cloth diaper, between it and your baby’s skin so it’ll catch the poop. You can then dispose of the poop into the toilet and the liner into the bin and have minimal diaper clean up to do! Win win!
- Extra inserts – it’s always good to have extra inserts on hand in case of a bad laundry day or for doubling up for night time cloth diapering.
- Cloth Wipes – if you’re using cloth diapers, you might as well use cloth wipes too. Disposable wet wipes can be harsh on baby’s bottom.
- Diaper Pail + wet bag or liner – to store your dirty diapers for wash day (which should be every 1-2 days)
- Diaper Sprayer + spray shield – highly recommend as the easiest way to get annoying poop bits that escaped your liner.
- Small wetbag (for cloth diapering on the go)
- Cloth-friendly diaper creams – in case of diaper rash. It can strike at any time and you don’t want to be caught out.
- Swim Diaper – once you’re ready to take baby swimming, using a cloth swim diaper is the most natural thing in the world (and will save you a pretty penny!)
What Type of Diapers Are Easiest?
There’re a lot of different types of cloth diapers ranging from the totally old school ones you have to fold and pin to the new modern cloth diapers that are basically cloth versions of disposables (only much prettier).
Velcro closures are the bomb – way easier to get a good fit and secure on your baby.
Diapers with snaps
Snaps can be really confusing. Some diapers are one-size-fits-most (OSFM), while others are fitted and come in sizes from S to XL.
OSFM diapers can be intimidating. There are just so many snaps!
Here’s an example of the ALVABABY OSFM diapers:
Check out the ALVABABY diapers on Amazon – there’s a handy diagram of what the snaps do!
And here’s a quick video from Youtube about how to adapt a OSFM for a newborn:
Diapers with Velcro
This is my kind of diaper. Velcro diapers are so easy to manage and it’s easy to get a good fit.
Here’s an example of a diaper with a Velcro closure
Check out the These are one-size-fits-most diapers so you still need to do a bit of origami with the snaps to get the correct sizing for your baby.
All-in-ones are the easiest type of cloth diaper to use. All – in – one (kinda says it all right there), you don’t need to worry about inserts, covers, or anything else. Simply put it on and use it.
- A cinch to use
- Just like disposables
- Thick layers can be hard to dry, especially in winter
- Using a clothes drier can be hard on elastics and Velcro
Pocket diapers are another easy option. Even though they come in two parts, that actually makes the laundering process much easier.
Pocket diapers are made up of a waterproof cover with a pocket and an absorbent insert that you stuff into the pocket before use.
- Easily separate the cover from the inserts
- Can put the inserts through the drier (it makes them soft and fluffy)
- Covers dry fast on the line or rack
- Pocket needs to be stuffed with insert/s before use
If using pocket diapers, you can either spend quiet time stuffing the pockets or simply keep a stack of inserts and a stack of shells beside each other on the change table shelf (that’s what I ended up doing).
How Many Cloth Diapers Do You Need?
The number of cloth diapers you need depends on how often you wash. If you factor in that you’ll be washing every second day or so, you’ll probably need anywhere from 24-30 cloth diapers per baby.
Want to read more? Check out our post: How Many Cloth Diapers Do I Need?
What About Cloth Wipes?
I found cloth wipes much easier to deal with than disposable wipes. It’s so hard to get just the number of wipes you want out of a disposable packet, without taking them all.
With cloth wipes, I just moistened one or two with a bit of water before a diaper change. It worked out well.
Other options including pre-moistening wipes with a cloth wipe solution or using dry wipes and spraying baby’s bottom with wipe solution.
I found it easier to use cloth wipes because all my diapering stuff was going into the dry pail. I didn’t have to worry that sleep deprivation was going to make me toss a cloth diaper into the trash and dry pail a disposable wipe.
What Makes a Good Diaper Pail?
Diaper pails get smelly. It’s an occupational hazard.
However, you don’t want to smell your diaper pail from across the room. Yuck.
You need to use a dry pail rather than a wet pail for cloth diapers.
A good diaper pail will keep the smell contained and be large enough to hold your dirty diapers until wash day. A diaper liner is also good to keep the moisture contained so mould doesn’t start to grow in your pail.
You don’t need to get a specialty pail. You could use a large wetbag instead, or put your wetbag inside a kitchen bin.
Get a Diaper Sprayer
I didn’t want to wash my diapers with lots of poop on them. A diaper sprayer makes it easy to spray off the poop. And you don’t have to get your hands dirty either.
This diaper sprayer attached to the toilet. Now all you need to do is spray the cloth diaper over the toilet until the poop has gone and then dry pail.
Cloth Diapering on the Go?
It took a while for me to trust that my cloth diapers would hold up to visits and outings. But, they can and do!
Carrying around the necessary supplies is a little more bulky than for disposables, but the most important thing to have with you is a wet bag for holding soiled diapers.
A small wetbag keeps your wet or dirty diapers from wicking onto whatever else you have in your diaper bag and also keeps the smells contained. It’s totally essential if you’re cloth diapering on the go!
Do you need extra inserts?
If you’re using pocket diapers, I simply cannibalized my other diapers when I needed extra inserts (I had plenty to choose from).
I also had great success using IKEA handtowels for overnight diapering. Bulky, but very absorbent! So, don’t feel like you absolutely must use branded cloth diaper inserts. At the end of the day, they’re simply baby-safe, absorbent cloth sewn to shape.
What about diaper creams?
You can’t use conventional diaper creams with cloth diapers because it can stay in the diaper and cause it to repel rather than absorb.
There are some cloth-diaper-safe creams you can use instead (like this one). You may find you aren’t reaching for the diaper cream as often as you were when using disposables as cloth diapering can be kinder to the skin.
My Diaper Washing Process
Here’s how I managed my cloth diapers:
- Diaper change – use cloth wipes moistened with water.
- Rinse poopy diaper with water (a sprayer attached to the toilet makes this easy!)
- Put diaper and wipes in dry pail.
- Every second day, put dry pail contents into the washing machine for a pre-wash (short wash on cold.)
- Run a warm, heavy-duty wash.
- Hang covers on drying rack on the balcony.
- Put inserts through the drier.
- Stack covers and inserts side-by-side on the change table shelf.
Over to You
Are you considering cloth diapering? Or looking for ways to make it easier? My best tips are to get diapers that are easy for you to put on (like Velcro closures) and get a diaper sprayer.
Cloth diapering takes work (and extra laundry) but it’s also rewarding. And it’s fun to see your little one in such cute colors and patterns!