You have your last child potty training now and it’s time to get rid of those cloth diapers. Don’t just throw them out! That would defeat the purpose of those eco friendly diapers. Besides they can have so many other uses.
Pass Them On
If you know you are done having children and now all your children are potty trained perhaps it’s time to pass those diapers on to someone who will need them. Perhaps you know an expecting mother or someone who is being eaten alive trying to keep up with the cost of disposable diapers. Or perhaps you have noticed your little one has a friend with sensitive skin and could use cloth diapers. Whoever you choose to pass those clothies on to it will help save them a great deal of money.
That’s what our For Sale or Trade Forum is for! Sell your cloth diapers and other child rearing supplies. You’ll make some money and the buyer gets a great deal buying used. It’s a win-win for everyone involved!
Cloth diapers are addictive.
Many people, mostly people who don’t use cloth or don’t have kids, will stare at you blankly when those words come out of your mouth. For heaven’s sake, they are diapers! It’s easy to understand buying an entire clothing line of baby clothes you think are adorable, or several of the same cute blankie because you know a few will get lost as the years go by. But…diapers? They’re just diapers, right?
No. They are not just diapers. They are diapers made out of mind-controlling, obsessive magical fabric that spurn you to open your wallet the second your favorite cloth diaper company comes out with a new line of prints, sending you running to grab the mail a few days later, throwing the diapers in the wash and the packaging in the recycle bin before your spouse can come home so they don’t realize you’ve bought EVEN MORE DIAPERS. This crazy obsession with cloth diapers has led to people spending hundreds of dollars on a single hard-to-find, highly sought after print (these people make far more money than me, by the way).
If you’re on a budget, or are afraid of getting caught up in the obsessive side of the world of cloth diapers, then a “Plain Jane” stash might be for you. The definition of a plain cloth diaper stash is a little different depending on the person, but it is basically a simple stash without the hundred-dollar prints or dozens of different types of diapers. For many people, it is a stash of flats and prefolds with some white covers. For others, it might be a stash of 25 white all-in-ones. Still others might have 30 tie-dyed prefolds and a couple of wool covers. Plain stashes can cross over with minimalism, so if you don’t have a lot of space or you just hate having “extra” things lying around (no 100-diaper stashes for you!), this might be something to consider.
How do I know we have it? I don’t. It’s what people tell me when I say the dishwasher leaves spots all over my dishes. But now I know the great evil that is hard water because my daughter has a diaper rash. WHAT? How could a cloth diapered, adorable baby have a diaper rash that won’t go away with all-natural creams, healthy diet changes, and teething remedies? Hard water. That’s how.
For all I know, I grew up with hard water. I couldn’t tell you the difference. But I do know that the house we just moved from and the house we now live in have very different water.
As any cloth diaperer discovers, every-so-often the diapers need to be stripped or deep cleaned to get out residues left from detergents, oils, and the ammonia smell that can occur. In our last home, we did it every couple of months with Blue Dawn Original detergent and an Oxyclean soak to knock out that ammonia. It’s always been successful. We use a detergent for everyday use that is made out of equal parts Oxyclean, washing powder, and baking soda that hasn’t given us any trouble. We were careful not to use too much to avoid build up and I was quite proud of our routine. Then we moved.
When I was pregnant with my first daughter, I asked myself all the questions a new parent asks, from what crib to breastfeeding to parenting styles. Among these questions was, “What kind of diapers should I use?”
I’m a traditionalist and I liked the idea of cloth diapering, but when I asked around, I was met with a lot of negative information.
It’s so dirty!
You use so much water!
It’s so complicated! All those pins and folding.
Many older moms, like mine, had tried cloth diapering with their first born. My own mother recalls that she came to America with her only suitcase stuffed with my brother’s cloth diapers. But when she discovered the miracle that was disposable, she said she threw out cloth and never looked back.
My dreams of cloth diapering were shattered and I went with disposable. Sure, they worked, but we were constantly running out at awkward times, often in the middle of the night. Our daughter grew out of the infant ones immediately, and it wasn’t long before she grew out of the next size up, leaving us with half a pack of newborn and a quarter pack of ones. Save them for the next child was the general advice, but with us living in a one bedroom apartment, storage was sacred. It was frustrating to have precious space taken up by out grown diapers.
When we were pregnant with our second daughter, my husband got out of the military and we were suddenly unemployed. I tried to potty train my daughter, but she stubbornly refused to do it, even though she had proved capable of it when she was in the mood for a treat. We reevaluated our finances and wondered if cloth was still a way to go.
When searching for “the best” all-in-one type diaper, you will probably come across an alphabet soup of: OBGE. As much as I’d love a diaper pronounced “Aw-buh-guh,” because that’s pretty much the sound that constantly comes out of my kids’ butts, “OBGE” stands for Original BumGenius Elemental. Really, it should probably be “obGE” as the official name of the diaper is the original “bumGenius Elemental,” but let’s not get too picky here.
The original aw-buh-guh diaper is beloved by many, many parents. The colors are fun and bright and it’s very absorbent. However, the inner lining is made of organic cotton, and then to boost the absorbency there is a strip of folded over cotton going down the center of the diaper. This isn’t the only all-in-one diaper constructed this way, but it’s the most well-known, which is why I am using it as my example. The issue is that the inner strip of cotton is attached to the diaper at both ends. When the diaper is fully unsnapped, this isn’t a problem. But since the Elemental is a one-size diaper with snaps to adjust the fit, when you snap the diaper down to a small size, that inner cotton strip often bunches up. You can kind of fold it down to lay a bit flat, but sometimes your child wiggles around and then it looks like he or she has a lumpy butt under his or her clothing. And it’s probably not too comfortable for the kid to be sitting on, either. What’s the solution to diapers like these?
Cloth diaper manufacturers are super creative and have figured out many, many ways to have a partially detached soaker on an all-in-one diaper.
When talking about diaper fabrics, you probably hear the same names over and over again. Bamboo, hemp, birdseye, cotton twill (commonly known as “prefold fabric”); less commonly you may hear about minky, fleece, and velor. These fabrics all have their pros and cons when it comes to diapers in terms of absorbency and softness. However, there is one fabric occasionally used in cloth diapers that I don’t hear about often and I think it deserves some recognition: cotton sherpa.
“Sherpa” is kind of a catch-all phrase for man made fabric made to resemble sheep’s wool (as opposed to coming from the sheep itself). “Man made” doesn’t mean it’s made from synthetic material, though; it’s often made from cotton, although there are some synthetic varieties out there. Of course the common use of the word “sherpa” is to refer to the Himalayan men who are expert mountaineers; how this word came to be used to refer to fabric I have no idea (but if you do, let me know! I’m always up for learning new things).
A tiny portion of my sherpa-related cloth diapering items: one minky/sherpa wipe and two sherpa inserts.
So you’ve decided to cloth diaper, and you have a baby on the way. You’ve decided on the style and brand of diapers to buy, and now you just need to decide how many to buy. As tempting as it is to get all of the styles and colors possible, you will discover that buying cloth diapers upfront can absolutely bankrupt you if you go a little crazy. Many people know this from experience. I, uh, may or may not be one of those people. So, before you drain your bank account, let’s explore the question: how many do you really need?
There are many, many newborn diapers to choose from!
Okay. You’ve chosen between using hook-and-loop or snap closures on your diapers, or even a mixture of both. No more closure issues to deal with, right? Well, guess what—not all snap closures are the same, and different snap configurations can be the difference between you being able to use a diaper on your child or not!
I don’t mean to depress you, or send cloth diaper newbies away screaming at all the choices they have to make. But more than once, I have heard stories about parents buying a big-brand diaper that others rave about, only to discover that the snaps are too low or too far apart to get a good fit on their child, and they sadly return the diaper. Unfortunately, you won’t know what snap styles will fit your child until you are actually putting the diaper on him or her. Luckily, you can make most diapers work, but it can be frustrating when one just won’t fit properly and you know it’s because of snap placements. Let’s look at some snap styles below.
A colorful collection of snap diapers. I even use some of them.
I made the decision to cloth diaper long before my son was born in 2010. Okay, maybe not long before. In truth, I belonged to a due date group, and a couple of the women started talking about how to find inexpensive cloth diapers. Of course, they brought up DiaperSwappers. In curiosity, I hopped over here, and lurked for a while before signing up.
We all know there are many benefits to cloth diapering. It’s gentler on baby’s bottom. It’s greener. It saves money. But what got me were the colors. There are so many pretty colors and prints!!! I’m a now-recovering shop-a-holic, and so I started to look into it. My husband thought I was crazy. My mother thought I was crazier. But I started buying them.
My first purchase were Kawaiis. The thrifty shop-a-holic came out in me, and these were pretty colors, one-size, cheap, and they looked just like the big expensive brands! When they came, I was so disappointed – they looked ginormous! No way would these fit a newborn (little did I know my newborn would be born into 0-3 month clothes and skip right over newborn!). For some reason, I was expecting teeny tiny newborn diapers. So I bought a few newborn diapers that were handmade and embroidered just for me off Etsy. Then I bought some Mutts, and of course I needed covers to go with that. I bought some mother ease, then I bought a few good mamas, some bum genius, and many other brands. Pretty soon I had 72 diapers and a baby in my belly.
My husband was finally used to changing a disposable diaper. He could roll it up and dispose of it. He knew which side was the front and how to unfold the diaper. Then we switched to cloth diapers and daddy had to beat the learning curve of diapers all over again.
I’m a stay at home mom and the main diaper changer in the home, but on the weekends I let my husband take over a little bit in that department. It didn’t take long to notice that he wasn’t comfortable with cloth diapers at all.
Don’t Expect Him To Know
I needed to sit down with him over a loaded diaper and teach him how we change diapers all over again. For example, we didn’t just roll them up and toss them away anymore. If they have solid waste it needs to be disposed of in the toilet as much as possible after the changing. We use inserts. It was important to know how to place them and which side of the diaper was the front and which snaps wrapped around.
What was even more important than all the diapering logistics was not making my husband feel like an idiot for not knowing how these new diapers worked. I asked questions and demonstrated. The next opportunity came to him.