Questions About Cloth Diapering for First Time. Please Help!

Updated on April 18, 2007
C.M. asks from Mason, OH
14 answers

I am pregnant with my 4th girl due in June and I am considering cloth diapering this time. I have never tried it before, but I would like to this time. I am at home now and have the time to launder and will not have to worry about a sitter have to mess with the cloth diapers. Plus, I am wondering if cloth diapering will help save money? Anyway, my questions are: What do I need? Will this save money? Is it worth it? Any experiences or help you could offer me would be wonderful!!! Thanks so much!

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M.H.

answers from Canton on

I've been using cloth diapers on my daughter since she was around 2 months old. There is actually a diaper service in Canton called Diaper-Eze. Here is their contact infomation.
Joyce Weyand
1131 Wertz Ave NW
Canton, Oh 44708
United States
Phone Number ###-###-####
[email protected]____.com
I bought 2 dozen diapers and some wraps from them and they dropped them off at my house for $60. I'm still using the same diapers and my daughter is 23 months. I've had to buy bigger wraps. I also found as my daughter got bigger that pins and nylon pants were easier to use on her than the wraps. The pro rap cover that the diaper service sells is the best I've used as are the feather-lite nylon pants they sell. As mentioned previously, you do not want to buy the cloth diapers that are sold in the stores because they are too thin. I think it's a wonderful choice over disposable diapers! Please e-mail me if you have any more questions!

M.
[email protected]____.com

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W.S.

answers from Cleveland on

GOOD FOR YOU!!!!!!!!!

It's been a couple years but I did use cloth diapers, and found they are not really as you'd think, you just may have to change them more often than you're used to (although the thought of leaving a wet and chemicals diaper on a baby for a couple hours makes me cringe anyway, but I know it's easy to do with disposable)...the one thing I'd like to emphasize is that the diapers at WalMart or BabiesRUs will NOT do the trick! They are very thin, and many people give up cloth diapering because of them. You need "Chinese prefolds." Someone mentioned Jardine, that's where I got a lot of my stuff also. I think you can ONLY get them online, so order them ahead of time.
We ended up using disposable just for a couple weeks while I was overwhelmed, trying a cloth here and there to practice, and then I got tired of buying diapers!
I tried several different wraps (the velcro ones so you don't need pins, you just fold the diaper up in the wrap and basically put it on like a disposable), and I would suggest you do the same because the baby's size, shape, elimination habits, etc. will all affect what works for you. I did NOT like the Fuzzibunz, for ex, that everyone raves about!
The rest is long, so only read if you want to use cloth diapers : ) Please don't get overwhelmed, I am trying to emphasize that it really is easy and simple but there are a few tricks to make it easier...
A couple tips:
--you must use Chinese prefolds. As a newborn you might want the smallest size because some people will see them as being so bulky as it is, and the larger sizes will be even bulkier
--don't worry about the bulkiness, you just adjust the clothing size accordingly...and it will NOT harm the baby's legs to have that extra bulk
--wash SEVERAL times in HOT water when you first get them and they will soften up considerably
--try different wraps! also there is a special fastener, if you want extra security, instead of pins (WAYYYYY easier). I forget what it is called but it looks like a "T" with "claws" on the ends, and it stretches. The "claws" grip the diaper cloth and hold it all on even without a wrap. You can use these will pull up pants instead of the velcro wraps.
--I took the simplest route for washing and it was fine for me. Basically, 2 pails--one for poops, one for wets. I did not soak the poops or anything, just dumped any chunks in the toilet.
To wash, first rinse the poops with a teeny bit of detergent (I mean TEENY) in COLD water, then add the wets with a LITTLE more detergent and wash in HOT with lots of extra water. You can do vinegar in the rinse water but NO SOFTENERS. An extra rinse may help if you're having odors. That's it!
--You need a couple dozen diapers in order to wash every couple days. I never had a problem with odors until my daughter was quite a bit older and I wasn't washing as often. Even then, it was only an issue when I uncovered the diaper pail. I used a huge garbage can-like pail with a tight lid, and lined it with the reusable bag (I had 2 to rotate). Again, I forget the names but they were all online.
--To wash the wraps I'd do a load with my diaper pail liners (reusable drawstring bags) in cold and air dry.
To get fewer wraps, you don't have to wash every time you change a diaper--just rinse and let it dry out and rotate them, until it gets poop on it or it has an odor, and then wash.
--at night, when she was older I would "double diaper"--basically, I would put a newborn diaper inside a larger one and fold them together
--there are also liners to keep the wetness feeling off the baby--I just made my own by cutting fleece into a hourglass shape, no sewing! I would put one inside the nighttime diaper so it wicked the wetness away from the baby's skin.
--I also used cloth wipes, basically a mixture of the baby washcloths and the "wipes" you buy off a diapering website, and just kept a few in a wipes container with water only. There are recipes for soap etc but I found it unnecessary. Wash with diapers.
Good luck and feel free to ask me questions! I did find it hard that I had no one to talk to who had used cloth, so that's why I tried to put as much in the message as possible...
Lynn

2 moms found this helpful
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A.L.

answers from Cleveland on

Ok, it is waaay easy and worth it! I started out with a diaper service with my first (Diaper-Eze) and went to washing my own with my second to save money. I was intimitated by washing my own initially but it is really easy!
I have about 2 dozen chinese prefold diapers...make sure you check sizes when you order.. there are several to choose from. I also buy the diaper wraps (NO pins!!). There are lot's to choose from but I go simple, such as Bumpkins and Kushies. I think I spent about $100 in diapers and some wraps when I first started out.. a HUGE savings over disposables! I ordered mine online at Jardine's but there are tons of online stores now. There are also forums you can visit to post questions, etc. I like Cloth Diapering Addicts on delphiforums.com
I have been cloth diapering for 5 years and will be with my next baby due in June.
Congrats and thank you for going cloth! I know you'll find it super easy once you get started and I think you'll find your baby is potty trained a lot sooner too! That has been the case in my house- added bonus! :) Good luck and let me know if you need anymore info.:)

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A.K.

answers from Dayton on

C.,
I sent my sister your question because she is a great stay at home mom that has tried about everything. This was her response...

I have a 5-month old, which is my third baby and I am also decided to try cloth diapering for this latest baby. I looked into several different types of CDs and couldn't afford the Fuzzi Bunz. I decided on Kushies. They're not too pricey but had good things that were said about the products. I looked on ebay, where I bought my first few. They were new. I purchased the rest from Thanks Mama. That site carries several types of CDs. I've been relatively happy with CDs. They take some adjustment from disposable but I like knowing that everytime my little one "goes" in them, I'm not spending money. Especially in the beginning, it wasn't unusual to go through three diapers at one diaper change. But I'm sure you know about that. I have twenty diapers size 10-22 lbs. I didn't start before that because they grow out of the first size so quick and need frequent changes anyhow, so I thought that would be a little too much work in the beginning. The 20 diapers last for a couple of days. I put my baby in disposables at night, now that she is sleeping a little longer because the CDs just didn't hold very well through the night. A couple middle of the night clothing changes persuaded me to do this. I purchased a lot of washable liners for the diapers but don't use them most of the time. I do use the disposable liners as they help with the mess of dirty diapers. Cleaning them doesn't require much. Once soiled, you put them in a trash can (I have a small one with a lid) half full of water and add 1/3 cup baking soda and I also use 1/3 cup Borax. Spin the diapers out in the wash when you're ready to clean them. Use a typical detergent (I use Purex) and put them on normal wash. Double rinse. You can either dry them in the dryer or on a clothes line. The sun is a whitener, so it helps get out any stains.
Good luck!

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S.

answers from Cleveland on

I used cloth diapers on my boys when they were little. You could have disposable for when you go away. I didn't mind them at all and save money? The cost of diapers, I would think you'd save. You should probably have a diaper pail, rubber pants, and the cloth diapers. I would think it would cost that much for a bag, maybe two of disposable diapers. That's a personal choice I guess. You can try them and always switch if you don't like it. You are going to have your hands full with a one, three and newborn. Whew! I have 4 boys, now 9,13,18 and 21. You can see mine are spaced a bit more but if I had to do it again, I'd have them closer. Congratulations. At least I don't have to pay for weddings:) Good luck~

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E.J.

answers from Cincinnati on

Doing cloth diapers will save PLENTY of money. they are nice and thick and last for some time. You obviously need the diapers, the safety pins, and the plastic covers. They are also wonderful and cause less skin rashes and breakdown. Good Luck!

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B.M.

answers from Columbus on

Personally i like the thought of cloth diapers and i enjoyed cloth diapering my son. But I have found it's not much more expensive and it's convenient and easier on my schedule for me to diaper my son and daughter in plastic diapers.
I used less espensive kushie cloth diapers and babys r us gerber prefolds and that was fine, it worked. But i chose to go the Fuzzi bunz route and bought a package new online and then bought two different size sets there after on ebay.
I'm not good at laundry. It's not my thang and i'm not very organized with it, never have been. It was a struggle for a while to keep up the laundering of my sons cloth diapers but i did it. When i had my daughter 16 months after my son i found it too difficult to cloth diaper both of them and then deal with the laundry. Lugging around cloth diaper stuff when i'm out was too much for me and then all the cloth diaper laundry on top of the other laundry was again too much for me.
I spend $13 for target brand diapers every two weeks and about $16 a month on wipes. ( when i did cloth i used baby washcloths for wipes.) My daughter works well in the same sized diaper my son is in b/c she's pees a lot. I sometimes buy sams club diapers which end up costing about the same as the target brand. I have used luve and pampers and those cost more but the generic version works for me and my kids.

I'd say if you want to do cloth it is expensive up front and it does require you to be disciplined with laundry. So if laundry is not something you mind and you have a chunk of money up front to dish out for the cloth go for it. that is of course if you do the more expensive cloth diapers (fuzzi bunz etc.)
I'm not touching the environmental issues discussion! :)

Good luck!
and take care.

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L.J.

answers from Cleveland on

I used cloth diaper with my kids. I have tried them all all, the prefolds, the all in ones, and the flat diapers. I have found the flat diapers to work the best and that is what i am currently using with my 13 month old. If you are a crafty person you can make your own. My mom bought diaper flannel at walmart in the fabric section. She spent like $18 and i got about 3 dozen diapers. The diapers measure 21 X 30 and With the two boys being different sizes I can fold them to fit each one of them and not have to have different size diapers. Depending on how often you plan to wash them for how many you need. I found the rubber pants at walmart with the onesies, and they are 5 bucks for 6 pairs and they also have the pins too. For my diaper bucket I went to Lowes and got a plain 5 gallon bucket with a lid for under 5 bucks and it is plenty big enough to hold a weeks worth of diapers. I was told not to used laundry detergent or bleach to wash the diapers so that they last longer and absorb better. How i wash them is: I fill the bucket about 1/3 full with hot water, dump in 1 cup borax, 1 cup washing soda ( not baking soda ) ( both are in the isle witht eh laundry stuff) and 1 cup vinegar. and that is what i let the diapers soak in ( if you are gonna wash them every day or so, then, you can just put water in the bucket. When I wash them I first run them through a rinse, then i add 1 cup borax and 1 cup washing soda to the water, hot works best, and then I use 1/4 cup white vinegar in place of the fabric softner and it also helps to whiten the diapers. Then i dry them as i would anything else. I had found some diaper liners online lastyear, and they help out alot and are flushable so you can remove poop easier, and that will help with the smell also. If you have any other questions feel free to ask. yahoo messenger is whammby

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M.B.

answers from Dayton on

I used cloth diapers with my son. They will help with diaper rash, seeing your due in June. They can save a little money. A bag of diapers cost $20+ and you have to buy them every week and washing liquid only cost $7 and may only buy it once to twice a month. Buy the big thing!! $18 is worth not going to store so many times. But make sure if you are going some place you put the baby in the regular diapers, it will save you on having to change your cloths. The things you'll need: Nice soft cloth diapers, washed before you put them on the baby. Large diaper pins; you can find them in the baby section. AND don't forget the rubber undies; keeps you sofa dry....lol. Have fun!

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J.B.

answers from Cleveland on

Hi C.:
I looked into cloth diapering when I was pregnant (I had great intentions, but it just didn't work out!) and read great things about Fuzzi Bunz. Maybe some moms here have tried them and can tell you more...but they got great reviews on a number of sites, especially for overnight use. You need to make an upfront investment to purchase a starter package, but they claim to save you money over time. Good luck!

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J.R.

answers from Dayton on

We cloth diaper. I have my 19 month old neice in them and my 5month old nephew as well. It's not at all hard and cloth diapers have come a long way from prefolds and pins!

There are just so many options out there for cloth that your sure to find something that works for you.

Keep in mind that you will save a lot of money, help the enviornment by not leaving rotting sposies, and also the great health benefits since disposables have chemicals and aren't very good for babies.

Either way it's great your looking into it! I am in the process of getting my cloth diaper business up and going but if you need any help let me know!

Good luck!

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J.N.

answers from Dayton on

Dayton Attach parenting yahoo group is awesome group they know alot about cloth diapering.
jo

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M.W.

answers from Cincinnati on

You might want to also consider doing EC (elimination communication). I have done it with all three of my daughters and they all potty trained soon after they could walk. Search infant potty training or elimination communication on the web to read more about it.

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S.S.

answers from Cincinnati on

I did not use cloth diapers with my daughter but I am considering it this next time around too. Just looking real quick on walmart.com I found a 12 pack of prefolded cloth diapers for $12 I would buy at least 4 of them just to be on the safe side so lets just say about $60 for 48 cloth diapers.
Now if you get 160 disposable diapers for $38 (I priced pampers as those were all I would use with my daughter) they normally last about 3 weeks. So just guessing here if all you do is buy diapers and not a diaper service or something like that I would guess you would break even with the cost after about two months.

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