If you don't know what it is, just take a look at the right side of this window right now....do you see it?.....yep, we are hosting the Great Cloth Diaper Change again this year! More on that later, though.
For today, let's talk cloth diapers in general and a few different things you'll need to think about.
So you've decided to cloth diaper your babe - Congratulations! You have made a good decision that will help you save money in the long run, will help reduce the amount of stinky diapers in our landfills, will help your sweet baby's skin stay healthy (no chemicals in cloth!), and of course, will make your baby the most stylish on the block - who can resist a fluffy butt?! ;)
The first thing you'll need to do is decide what kind(s) of cloth diapers to use. But how do you know?
Well, a really good first step is to just research all of the different options. They truly run the gamut on functionality, ease of use, and price. So, take a look at your options. It may work best for you to use a combination of different kinds, too. There are pros and cons to all of the different kinds, so just educate yourself or find a class that can help (like Educated Mommy's Cloth Diaper 101 that's offered the first Saturday of each month - yep - that's TOMORROW for this month!).
You'll also obviously need to take into consideration your budget. You can cloth diaper for incredibly cheap, or for a whole lot of money. It completely depends on you and what you want. Here is a chart that I put together last year of a well stocked cloth diaper stash with lots of variety, and an estimation of cost:
After you decide which kinds to get based on your budget, you'll need to decide where to get them. The market is pretty saturated with different manufacturers who make diapers. There are many retail stores that carry them. There are a ton of Work At Home Moms that make them. You need to purchase them from where you feel comfortable spending your money. The one thing I would suggest is to really think about where your money is going. I would like to encourage you to buy local and buy small (from a small business or WAHM)! ;)
You will also need to consider what type of laundry detergent to use. There are many out there that are cloth diaper safe. Just make sure that whatever detergent you are using is, in fact, safe for your dipes. Many main-stream detergents will build up on your diapers and make them less absorbent, and can actually ruin them. When I was cloth diapering, this was a bit of a trial and error. I tried several different kinds, and there was at least one (maybe two - I can't remember for sure) that reacted pretty severely with my little-one's sensitive skin (it actually gave him blisters - I felt so bad!). Even though it was completely and 100% natural. Once I found one that I liked I just stuck with it.
Of course, then there are also a bunch of different accessories to think about and decide if you want them. Things like diaper sprayers, extra wet bags, cloth wipes, extra soakers, etc, etc. Most of these I didn't use with our little one, but if there are more babies in our future, I will likely get all of them eventually. My first investment? *Definitely* a sprayer.
So, that's about it for a cloth diaper overview. If you are interested in learning more about cloth diapers, or have some specific questions for our experts, make sure to register for and come to our class tomorrow morning! You won't regret it! :)