Sunday, April 14, 2013

Cloth Diaper Shopping for Beginners

For those of you who weren't aware, we have cloth diapered both of the kids. Living where we live, it isn't something that is talked about and honestly, I had no idea cloth diapering existed I the glory it does today until Lara was 3 months old. I "stumbled upon it" on the internet and my life hasn't been the same since...haha.

Seriously though, we love cloth diapering. It is easy, less messy or "house smelly" than disposables, cute, and cost effective.

I am asked fairly frequently about cloth diapers so I thought I would write a few posts to the blog about it so I can just direct folks here instead of having to write the same things over and over.

I am going to start with a "basic recommendation for cloth diapering". The tricky thing about cloth diapering lies not in the poop, but in the fact that no two people's experience will be exactly the same. What works for me and mine may not work for you and yours. There are also tons of factors to consider before you begin to "build your stash" of diapers. What kind of support do you have from your spouse? What is the most important factor for you in regards to cloth diapering (i.e. cost, ease of use, cuteness, etc.)? Will you be cloth diapering full time and/or at daycare? However, the list I am going to put below is "what I would recommend assuming you don't want to do any research or trial and error and just want to buy what you need and be done".

I live in North Dakota. We have hard water here. I only note that because it affects my diaper detergent recommendation. Everything I list here I have/do personally use for my kids. So without further ado I give you:

Your Basic Cloth Diaper Shopping List:

1. 24 bumGenius 4.0 pocket diapers
Great brand. Solid diaper. Cute colors, fun prints. Cost effective for the convenience. They also run promos fairly often like the current Buy 5 get 1 free offer. I have used both snaps and Velcro (aplix) versions and prefer the snaps. This brands aplix doesn't hold up well long term but Cotton Babies has great customer service and will send out replacement Velcro if you are sewing savvy.

2. 30 Cloth Wipes
Sounds overwhelming, but let me say, after 3 years of non stop cloth diapering, it is much more convenient to rinse a cloth wipe and throw it right along with your diaper into the diaper pail, than it is to use disposable wipes and have a separate containment system for those. I just use Circo washcloths from Target. I have tried other "fancier, official cloth wipes", but the cheapy baby washcloths are just the best IMO. I use them in an old disposable wipes container, folded so they pop up just like disposable wipes. You can wet them with just water or use a cloth wipes solution. I like Ruby Moon wipes bits.

3. Diaper Pail
I.E. a push top $15 garbage can from Target. The one pictured is the one we have used for both kids. You can also look into a hanging wet bag if space is an issue for you, but I have heard people having more smell problems with them because they don't allow air circulation.

4. 2 Pail Liners
Like garbage bags for your garbage can, only way cuter, washable, and waterproof. I have only ever used the PlanetWise brand. Love them. Plus they come in a ton of cute colors. You want two because when you are doing a load of diapers, you just dump the diapers in the washing machine and toss the pail liner in with it. You need an extra to keep a liner in your pail during washing.

5. 2 Wet Bags
These are for when you are out and about. They keep the inside of your diaper bag nice and dry in case you have to change on the go. They also work great later in life for swimwear. I have tried several brands of these. They are all awesome. They come in various sizes, so choose according to your needs. If you will need to bring diapers back and forth to daycare, I would recommend a PlanetWise Wet/Dry bag which can be found here.

6. Cloth Diaper Safe Laundry Detergent
I have tried what feels like 30 detergents. The detergent you use matters because if you choose the wrong one it can cause buildup in your diapers and makes them smelly when wet or can cause them to repel and leak. We also have hard water up here in most of ND. Don't get caught up in special cloth diaper detergents...especially right away. We use Tide Original Powder. It works the best with our hard water at getting the diapers clean. You can also to with All Free & Clear. This will probably be an area of "troubleshooting" but either of the detergents I mentioned are a good starting point. You can find a whole list of other options here.

And there you have it. Those are the things you NEED to start cloth diapering. There are other "bonus" items like disposable liners, diaper sprayers, etc...but those really aren't necessary. There are also 100 different brands and styles of cloth diapers. I will talk about some more issues (like cloth diapers at night, different styles, troubleshooting, etc) in some different posts if people feel like knowing. :) Get ahold of me on facebook if you have more questions or if there is something else more specific you want me to talk about.

-Williams Out

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