I've mentioned a few times on here that we are planning on using cloth dipes for our babe. I've had a few people comment and/or e-mail me asking me a few questions about our choice so I decided to write a little posty post about it.
Keep in mind that I don't have my baby yet and I haven't figured all of this out yet so there is only so much I can say. I have a plan as to how I'm going to tackle the task of cloth diapering, but I'm sure it will change a great deal as I sort out motherhood and figure things out.
First of all, let me start by discussing our decision to use cloth diapers. To be completely honest, my decision to use cloth diapers stems mainly from a cost perspective. Sure, I know there are definitely other benefits to cloth as they are better for the environment, gentle on baby's skin, and often help toddlers potty train sooner. But, to me, these are secondary benefits. I'd be lying if I did not say that my choice rests mainly on the fact that I am a cheapo. I'm not going to go into detail on the financial comparison of cloth to disposables but check out this link for a great breakdown, that even includes depreciation on your washing machine and water etc.
So, now that that's out of the way, let's move on to talking about how I chose what type of diapers to invest in.
I've known a lot of women who waited until after their baby's were born to try a number of types of cloth diapers in order to figure out which ones they liked the best and then they purchased them. That is a perfectly good way to go about it if you think it will work for you, but I felt like it would not work for me. I was pretty certain that if I gave birth to my baby, spent the first month or so using disposables and then tried to figure out how to get into the cloth diapering scene, I would say forget it. My thinking is that by purchasing all of my cloth diapering supplies before the baby arrives, and knowing that I invested a significant chunk of mula in them (remember, cheapo Lucy speaking), that I would not allow myself to throw in the towel.
So, after a great deal of reading, researching and discussing cloth diapers with other Mama's I know, I settled on Motherease One Size (MEOS). Because cost was a significant factor for me, I knew that a one size was best for us. This means that one set of diapers, with proper care and use, should get me through my baby's entire diapering career. And, in fact, they will be able to be used for multiple children as well.
I was attracted to the MEOS for a number of reasons. Primarily, from the research I have done, I have found that MEOS is one of the best one size diapers on the market because they increase and decrease in size using a series of snaps, rather than velcro or elastic. This means that while the diaper is growing with your baby, you are not actually stretching the diaper itself, so even after diapering a 25 lb baby, the same diaper can again be used to diaper an 8 lb baby in the future. The MEOS line also features snap in absorbent liners to be used for overnights and heavy wetters and waterproof covers that can be used 3-4 times before needing to be changed.
I also liked that the ME diapers are manufactured and sold locally. Although they are available online all over Canada and the USA (and internationally, I believe), I found it helpful to be able to actually visit the location where they are manufactured and discuss some of my questions with a representative.
I was so grateful to receive gift cards to Mother Ease as well as some money from groups of women at both of my showers so in the end, we were able to cover the cost of purchasing our package of diapers.
What we got includes:
36 MEOS diapers
18 absorbent liners
6 waterproof covers
Two mesh bags for the diaper pail
This should be all I need for cloth diapering, aside from needing to purchase some larger covers as the baby grows and replacement carbon filters for the diaper pail (which cut down on odors). And, of course, I will be investing in some super cute swim diapers for next summer.
As you may remember from my nursery reveal post, I mentioned that the plastic organizer drawers under the change table would be used for my cloth diapering supplies.
As it stands, I have the bottom two drawers filled with diapers, the second drawer filled with liners, and the top drawer filled with the covers and mesh bags, as well as wipes, creams and lotions.
My plan is to use disposables for the first 2-3 weeks until I get into a routine. Depending on the size of our baby, I may be able to start using cloth earlier or have to wait until later. The MEOS are made to start at 8 lbs but I have been told by a number of people that you can actually make them work for a baby as little as 6 lbs if you want.
As far as wipes go, I plan on using a combination of cloth wipes and disposables. I have a whole basket of cloth wipes on the changing table but also have a stash of disposables to be used when we're out and about and so on. I'm also planning on being flexible about using disposable diapers when we're out and about, on vacation, or when the baby is with a sitter. I do have a wet bag to carry in my diaper bag, so using cloth while we are out is definitely a possibility, so we'll see how it goes. I also have a few rolls of biodegradable liners that can be handy to use when we are out.
I am planning for the diaper pail to be stored in the laundry room and with the amount of diapers I have, I should be able to manage by washing diapers every 3 days. Sometimes I will likely need to wash more often and sometimes, perhaps, less often.
The wash and care of the diapers seems quite simple. You toss the diapers into the mesh bag in the diaper pail (rinsing in the toilet first if necessary) and when it's time to wash, you place the diapers, mesh bag and all, in the machine and let it go.
I am going to try to line dry as much as possible because the sun acts as a natural bleach which will minimize staining of the diapers. Through the winter this might be difficult, but we're going to see what we can rig up on our patio.
I feel like I've already covered a lot but of course, there is the one big question that everyone asks me that I definitely should touch on.
Don't you think it's gross?
Well, no, I don't. It's my baby. It's my baby's poop. And I'm going to clean it up. Sure, it might mean that there are times where I need to wear a nose plug into the washroom while I rinse the diaper in the toilet, but I feel like that's okay and it's something I'm willing to do. We'll see how I feel about that 8 months down the road, but for now, that's my thought.
If you have any more questions about our choice to cloth, please ask! And if you are a Mama who has/does use cloth - please leave any advice you may have for me! I am obviously new at this and, like I said, everything is theoretical right now since I haven't actually had a chance to do this whole cloth diapering thing yet.
I am sure I will write a number of posts about cloth diapering when baby arrives and we get settled and learn just how cloth diapering really works. But, until then, I hope this post answered some of your questions!