Cloth diapers are no longer about pins and plastic pants. No siree, they are now an entire subculture in the parenting world. You have pockets, all-in-ones (AOI's), and covers to just name a few styles.
I chose to cloth diaper for the silly reason of they are just adorable. It wasn't until I began researching them did I discover all of the benefits. Did you know disposable diapers make up 30% of non-biodigradeble waste in landfills? The average child will use between 6,500-10,000 diapers by the time they potty train. That's a lot of diapers! The same cloth diaper can be used from birth to potty training. With an up front investment in 25 diapers you could be done buying diapers for the rest of your child's life. Some other reasons families choose to cloth diaper are chemicals, skin sensitivities, and, of course, cost efficiency due to resale value.
Once I decided I wanted to use cloth diapers I figured I would buy a few diapers and be done. What I found was there were different styles of diapers. It was no longer just pre-folds, pins, and plastic pants. Most mommas like one size pockets. The pocket system allows you customize the absorbency to fit your child's needs. I started with pockets, loved them, still use them but my go-to diaper is an all-in-one. All-in-ones are just like their name sounds. The diaper is the complete package. There is no stuffing, no extra parts, just put it on the baby and go. The only downside with AOI's they tend to take a longer amount of time to dry. Pre-folds and covers are still options but are not your only option. Many moms use this system with newborns because of the ability to reuse the shell. I plan to use prefolds and covers whenever I have my next child.
I think the question I hear the most is "what do you do with the poop?" The answer...the same thing you do with your poop. You put it in the potty. If a child is exclusively breastfed you don't have to rinse the diapers. Breastmilk is water soluble and will wash away nice and clean. Formula and solid food needs to be rinsed out of the diapers. There are multiple ways you could go about this. Me personally, I like to use the diaper sprayer. It is a kitchen sink sprayer attached to the toilet. Spray the poo into the potty and toss the diaper into your pail. Some people use the dunk and swish method. Dunk the diaper into the water and swish it all around. Whatever way you choose to get the poo off is your decision. Washing cloth diapers is not a difficult process once you figure out your routine. The main things you want to remember are NO fabric softeners and rinse, rinse, rinse. Excess detergent left on your diapers can cause a rash. A wonderful resource for help and troubleshooting is Facebook. Search for cloth diaper groups and lots will pop up. Add your city to the search and you might just be lucky enough to find a local group of gals that you could meet with. I am lucky enough to have a local cloth diaper group that meets twice a month. They are an awesome group of mommas that have truly become some of my closest friends. When one of us is having an issue we bounce suggestions around and even lend our diapers to one another to "try before you buy". I don't know what I would do without them.
Last but certainly not least lets talk about the cuteness factor of these fluffy butts. There is nothing cuter than a big, fluffy heiney toddling around the room. The diapers come in every print imaginable. You can have them customized for holidays and other special occasions. One of my personal favorites is my Dr. Seuss diaper I had made by a local WAHM at Timbutt2oos. Lots of my friends have had diapers made to match the theme of their child's birthday. It is so special knowing your child has a one of a kind birthday outfit. I'm one of those crazy moms that match my sons diaper to what he is wearing. In the winter it doesn't matter so much because he has pants on but spring and summer is a free for all. A shirt and diaper is all he needs. Keeps him cool and cute all at once.
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