How We Fluff :: A Part-Time Cloth Diapering Mama

Last night I was on the phone with my brother and and he totally called me out. "Do you put him in those cloth diapers just for pictures on Instagram?" LOL! For a long time I was doing zero cloth diapering, or maybe one cloth diaper a week. Now I'm a part-time cloth mama.

When I was pregnant and reading about cloth diapering I was like, "YES! I am so doing this!" But I didn't. Not that I couldn't, because it's not hard, but life with a newborn just went in a different direction. It wasn't something I chose to prioritize in the beginning, and I got used to using disposables.

My stash is mostly Alvas. I know, I know, "China Cheapies" and all that. Not super crunchy. Whatev. They were cheap and my mom was willing to buy them for me. We made one purchase and they ended up costing around $5.50 each I believe. I have a handful of Diaper Safari brand, and a couple of other things. I use pocket diapers. (No idea what a pocket is? See the image below.)
Not sure where this pic originated, sorry!
When I went into labor I called my husband who happened to be out shopping during his lunch time. Something in my mama mind told him to pick up diapers. (We bought Seventh Generation disposable diapers.) Thank goodness! Everett was born with some skinny legs, and I had opted not to get newborn diapersCloth diapers are pretty much one size fits all, with the exception of newborn diapers. Some can snap a certain way to size down for a newborn, and some are just meant for skinnier kids, but I had exactly ONE diaper in my stash that fit this kid. (It looks like Alva does sell newborn sizes.)
So we started out with disposables. 

I tried cloth on him every so often, but the leg holes were just too big. I tried a special cross snap trick, but it didn't make them small enough. If we had been using a different type of cloth (covers, see above chart) then this probably would not have been an issue. I mentioned this to a friend who lent me her newborn stash, but by that time the newborn sizes were too small! *sigh* Too small for newborns, but not quite filling out our Alvas yet.

After that I was basically just used to using disposable and kind of like to hell with washing diapers. It's not a LOT of work, but it is more work than a disposable. That's why sposies cost so much! I would use a cloth diaper here and there, but never really got into it. The most use I really got from them was as swim diapers!!! Yes! You can use these as swim diapers! They are made from the same materials. I just don't stuff them so they don't bulk when wet. (Swim diapers do NOT contain pee, no matter what anyone tells you. They contain poop only. Even the disposable kind.)
A photo posted by Kayleigh (@kayleigh.tx) on
Flash forward, my almost 14 month old learns to take off his disposable diapers. Eeek! He doesn't seem to know how to unsnap his cloth diapers, so we do a little more of that.

We have problems with the tabs on disposable diapers rubbing raw spots on his belly while he's running around playing. (Yes, we tried multiple brands.) Cloth doesn't rub, so we start doing more and more of those.

We start toilet learning. I read that cloth diapering promotes early toilet learning because the child is more aware of when they have urinated, so we do a little more cloth diapering.

The more I cloth, the easier it gets. I got into a rhythm. I have a system now. I'm no longer afraid of poopy cloth diapers! 
A photo posted by Kayleigh (@kayleigh.tx) on
We only cloth at home, and not when he's sleeping. If I can tell he's winding down for a nap or bedtime, I immediately put him in a disposable. I don't have a wet bag, and frankly I don't love the idea of having a bag of dirty diapers in car on a hot day in the Houston heat, so we don't cloth when we go out. It's harder to tell when he needs a change because cloth don't bulk up like disposables do, and that adds to my discomfort about clothing while away from home.

I have a diaper pail (LOVE this pail!!!!!!!!) for disposables in his bathroom and a little plastic bin in the laundry room for cloth. I wash my cloth diapers every 3-4 days. Some say to do it more often, but I haven't had a problem and it takes that long for me to get a full load's worth of diapers.
Okay, so the big question is.... what about those poopy diapers?!???!!!??

Well, they are really no trouble at all. Since we starting clothing long after starting solid foods, his bowel movements are usually solid. If I use cloth wipes I drop them into the pail with the cloth diapers. If I use disposable wipes (Costco!!) I drop them into my Ubbi pail which is right next to the toilet. If you're interested in part-time cloth diapering then you probably are going to just use disposable wipes. This is what is looks like:
  1. Change diaper, put wipes in diaper just like normal.
  2. Take to bathroom.
  3. Open diaper, toss wipes in trash/disposable diaper pail.
  4. Open toilet, turn diaper upside down and let poop fall right in the toilet.
  5. Flush. Remove insert (if you use pocket diapers) and put both pieces in dirty cloth diaper bin.
  6. Have glass of wine, let baby run naked, and celebrate that it's not laundry day!
I pay roughly $0.26 per disposable diaper (I now use the Costco house brand). I use 4-6 cloth diapers a day, sometimes more. On a weekend day when we are out all day I use less. Let's pretend I use two every day. That saves me about fifty cents a day, $3.64 a week. (That's a trip to Starbucks!) Multiply by 52 weeks in a year and I've saved $189.28. My entire stash cost around $100, but if you factor in a second diaper bin and the extra water usage (for laundry) it evens out.
Basically, even though I'm a cloth diaper fail, my stash of fluff has paid for itself. Those disposable swim diapers are not cheap so if you cost it out for just swim use you're probably in the clear there, too. 

Are you interested in cloth diapering? The best way to learn about it is by reading the feed on cloth diapering chat groups on Facebook. Those ladies know it all.

Fingers crossed that my almonst 17 month old never learns to unsnap those cloth diapers!

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Be kind. I'm just a mom behind a computer wearing yoga pants with unwashed hair. -k