Friday, August 3, 2012

Cloth Diapering: Our Setup


If you read my last post you know that I was pregnant with my first child. Tres was born June 22 at 8:55pm. He weighed 7 lbs 14 oz and was 20 inches long.

He has been a great addition to our lives. I thought I would take some time to write out my experience with cloth diapering. Long before I ever got pregnant I decided that when I had children they would be cloth diapered, my husband wasn't sold on the cloth diapering at first but he has come around.

Making the decision to cloth diaper isn't a simple one, it is definitely more than just saying "I'm going to cloth diaper". That is a great start but you have to decide things such as :what kind of cloth diapers you are going to use, whether to use a diaper service or not, what kind of detergent to use, how many diapers to buy, etc. When it comes to cloth diapering execution is very individualized, what works well for me might not work well for you and that's ok. I'm hoping by explaining our setup and how we decided upon this setup we will be able to help someone decide to cloth diaper their children. Remember: Cloth diapering is best for your baby and the environment.

Our Setup
Our current cloth diapering setup consists of 36 prefolds, 8 covers and 26 cloth wipes.

When I was deciding which cloth diapers I was going to be using I considered 4 things

  • Cost
  • Ease of use
  • Construction materials
  • Laundry options
As far as cost is concerned, to me one of the many advantages to cloth diapering is saving money. The price of cloth diapers can vary greatly, it just depends on what you choose. I chose unbleached prefolds from Green Mountain Diapers, based on my research these are the best prefolds on the market. Green Mountain prefolds come in sizes, we decided to skip the newborn size and go directly to small. The small size is suppose to fit babies 10-15 lbs. I had a feeling that Tres would be about 8 lbs at birth and I was fine with the prefolds being a little  big for a couple of weeks. The small prefolds from Green Mountain Diapers are $28/dozen.

Prefolds require some sort of diaper cover, there is no getting around that. I knew that I didn't want to have to have four or five sets of diaper covers, so I was looking for covers that could be grow with my baby. I ended up deciding on Thirsties Duo Wrap. These covers come in two sizes, size 1 is for babies 6-18lbs and size 2 is 18-40 lbs. The covers come in great patterns and colors but even better they are only $12.75 each and are available for free 2 day shipping if you have an Amazon Prime account (which everyone should have, it's awesome). The duo wrap comes in snaps or velcro, I chose snaps because while researching I found that babies learn to open the velcro and take the diapers off. That's not something that I ever want to experience. 

I made my own cloth wipes. My wipes are 10x10 squares made from two pieces of flannel. I bought 4 yards of flannel to make the wipes from Joann's, with a 50% off coupon the fabric only cost me $13. I have found that 26 wipes are not enough. I'm going to make a tutorial on making the cloth wipes once we get moved and unpacked.

Lastly would be laundry options. I knew that I didn't want to use a diaper service because I am very particular about how my laundry is done and what products are used. I found that the type of detergent used on cloth diapers is very important because it is possible for the diapers to loose their absorbency if the wrong detergent is used. I'm lucky enough to have a cloth diaper store close to me and they have a great website. One of the sections in the information section which includes detergents they recommend and washing instructions. I chose to use Tiny Bubbles detergent because it is not scented. (I hate the artificial scents that are used in cleaning products. If you're a person that like scents I believe Rockin' Green has a lot of options to choose from) I will admit that Tiny Bubbles is a little pricey but I was able to buy the 6 pack from Amazon which saved me almost $30.

We also have two diaper pail liners, 3 snappis and a diaper pail. To date we've spent just under $300. In the future we will have to purchase bigger prefolds and covers. As of right now I believe I am going to 3 dozen medium and 3 dozen x-large prefolds as well as 8 size two covers, so I anticipate spending another $300. I don't think that $600 is bad. 

Laundry is extremely simple. We received diaper sprayer as a gift. Sometimes we use it..........sometimes we don't. The poop of breastfed babies is water soluble so it is not a big deal that we don't spray the poop off in advance. We literally just throw all the diapers, wipes and the pail liner in the washer together with hot water and everything but the covers go in the dryer. That's it! Easy peasy. 

Here's a recent picture of Tres in one of his diapers:

Until next time,


  1. I just found your blog when someone pinned your lush body bar tutorial and I LOVE this! I have a 22 month old and another on the way due 12/13. We cloth diapered the toddler until she outgrew her covers at almost one and we just couldn't afford the upfront cost of replacing them, unfortunately. We may be able to switch back soon if she's not potty trained by the time new baby comes!
    I also wanted to share that for our cloth wipes, we just used the cheap washcloths that we got a ton of as gifts. They are SO effective on poop! Honestly, you can just buy a pack of the cheapy washcloths for about $.50 each at babies r us and mix them in your cloth wipe collection and save them for the poopy diapers.
    I'd love to hear your wipe solution method! Do you use a spray bottle of water, put them in a container with water, use a solution of some kind?
    Last thing I wanted to share (since this is the longest comment ever) is that home-made laundry detergent is cloth diaper safe! I just made about a year's worth of it, and it cost me $10! And that was only because the only natural store here in town wants way too much for Dr. Bronner's castille soap.

  2. Oh! And congratulations on your beautiful baby! He's adorable and makes me so excited to have a newborn again!