Now that we’re expecting baby #2 (and I’ve given myself permission to blog more about personal, creative, and mommy-type subjects) I have a backlog of posts just waiting to be finished. One such post is about our experience with cloth diapers.
When I was pregnant with Monica, I had all the best intentions to cloth diaper. They can save money, are better for the environment, can be better for diaper rashes, can be used with multiple kids, and certain brands have good resale value. I read lots of blog posts about the topic, including ones from Young House Love [1, 2, 3], Daily Garnish [1, 2], My Life in Transition, and random ones found on Pinterest as well as talked with some friends who used cloth. Allison also shared her experience with cloth diapers (including with a toddler) shortly after Monica was born.
Looking back, my research may have been a little one-sided since all of the sources were very pro-cloth diaper. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but many of the bloggers’ lifestyles are a bit different from ours, so I didn’t get the most realistic view of cloth diapering. And let’s be honest, I was wooed by the sweet siren song of savings.
To cut to the chase: Should you buy cloth diapers?
Without looking at the economics (we’ll crunch numbers later), I think cloth diapers are a really good choice when you are home with your kids full- or part-time, work from home, or if your childcare (like a grandparent, home daycare, or nanny) is willing to use cloth diapers. Even if these don’t totally apply to you, cloth diapering can make a dent in the diaper budget over time if you plan on using them with multiple children.
Right after Monica was born (and we were getting using to life with a newborn) we just used disposables. It didn’t really cost us anything since we received some disposables at baby showers. We tried cloth when she was a few weeks old, but none of us were really ready for them. We transitioned to cloth full time (except for when we left the house) when Monica was a little over 1 month old. Yes, you can use cloth on-the-go and store the dirties in a wet bag, but we never got into it.
Newborns go through approximately 10 diapers per day, and we have 20 cloth diapers, so that meant I was washing diapers about every other day. Things weren’t too smelly or messy during the first 6 months since Monica nursed exclusively. Breastfeeding poop rinses and washes off pretty easily.
Once my 12 weeks of maternity leave ended, we could only use cloth during nights and weekends since Monica’s daycare only uses disposables. It still made sense to use cloth when she was a little baby and needed her diaper changed more often.