Even if you don’t want to cloth diaper full time, you can still save a bunch of money by using 4 each day. One of the most affordable systems for cloth diapering is called Econobum. I haven’t used these, but I have used a similar product so I feel confident recommending them. Right now, you can purchase 2 and get 2 free, paying just under $20 total! Use the Kelly’s Closet Link below and search for each of the bold brand names to get exactly what you need for an easy start. This would make an AWESOME baby shower gift with a copy of Changing Diapers: The Hip Mom’s Guide to Cloth Diapers.
Don’t have a clue how to get started? I’ll break it down for you:
What to Order
2 Buy one Get one Econobum Individual Packs (4 total)
1 Medium or Large Planetwise Wetbag
When you receive the diapers, they won’t be ready to use right away. To achieve maximum absorbency wash the prefolds 3-5 times on hot with 1/2 shot glass of Tide Free and Gentle powder detergent. You can also wash the covers once or twice separately. Hang dry the covers, but the prefolds can go in the dryer. Use a low heat setting and NO fabric softener!
Once they are prepped, I recommend practicing on a teddy bear or doll first. There are many different ways to fold the diaper. You’ll probably want to experiment depending on baby’s size. The key is that the cover must go over the entire prefold. If any part sticks out, you could experience a leak. Here’s a great tutorial video for the first step: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c9UId1SKn1c
Start a Wash Routine
It will take some time to clean these diapers, and with only 4 you’d have to wash them daily. Figure out a time of day that works best for you. For me, I start the wash first thing in the morning, but I’ve done evening washes with success as well. Since most babies start having regular poos around 4 months, you may be able to avoid having any soiled cloth diapers. If not, just plop in the toilet or consider installing a diaper sprayer to help with the process. These cost around $50 and can be used to spray out trainer potties or for post natal care. I just found out recently that, ethically, you’re even supposed to clean out soiled disposable diapers before tossing them, so this nifty gadget will not go to waste.
Step 1: Run a cool, heavy soil wash with extra water for the load size.
Step 2: Add 1/2 shot glass of Tide Free&Gentle powder. If you want to wash your wet bag, add it now.
Step 3: Run a hot, heavy soil wash with average water for the load size.
Step 4: Hang covers. You can hang stained prefolds in the sun to bleach them back to white. This also works through windows.
Step 5: Tumble dry prefolds (and wet bag) on low.
Why it’s Worth it
Using cloth prevents landfill waste and avoids the wasteful process of producing and transporting disposable diapers. In just one month, you will save 120 disposable diapers- that’s $30 to $50 dollars! Go out for an extra date night each month, pay down debt, or stash the savings in your baby’s college fund. However you decide to spend your money is better than throwing it away.
Two times you may especially consider using cloth diapers are during a diaper rash incident or potty training. It’s easier for baby to feel the sensation of wetness so she will let you know as soon as she needs to be changed. Start thinking of your dry, happy baby in comfy cotton and you may want to switch from chemical disposables to cloth full time!
*You can’t use diaper rash creams with most cloth diapers, but there are some special ones that work with prefolds. Generally your baby isn’t wet and the cotton is breathable so it should clear up relatively quickly. Cloth rarely causes diaper rash.
Love it? Want to go full time?
Choosing cloth diapers is just as fun as shopping because they are adorable. Have fun with it! There are so many great resources online, specifically the diaper whisperer blog. Befriend Diapershops on Facebook and they will answer all your questions within minutes. The community of Moms who cloth diaper online are friendly and smart. If you can’t figure something out, chances are someone else has a great solution and you will find it in no time!
You’ll be saving a lot, so it’s tempting to splurge. However, if you need to keep costs down, simply order 10-20 more prefolds and you’ll have everything you need. You can reuse the covers a few times before washing them, so 4 will easily get you through a full day.