And How

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

On cloth diapering...

I've almost hit the 30-week mark in this pregnancy and I'm starting to try to wrap my head around all the practical preparations that I'll need to make before little Anna makes her arrival.  The nursery is baby-ready and we've gotten a sweet little Moses Basket all ready for her to lay her sweet little head in.  I've gotten a lot wiser by this third go-round.  I'm not so focused on making sure I've got a baby bath (which I never used with Penn or Jude anyway), or a high chair (which we won't be needing for quite some time), or things like that.  But, what I am realizing that I don't have, but will need is diapers...and a lot of them!

Penn and Jude were both diapered in the modern-traditional way...disposables...and aside from cringing from the amount of money we spent buying pack after pack, I didn't really consider anything else.  Then, when Jude was 17 months old (or so...I can't exactly remember), I made the switch to cloth diapering 24-7.  We used gDiapers (not the most economical choice for cloth diapering, but I was able to score all of my diapers used  on Craigslist and only spent less than $200 for all of my supplies (covers, liners, cloth inserts, and detergent) to last me until he was potty trained (which, as it turns out happened about three months later)...AND they are still in great shape to use again when Anna is big enough!  We were really happy with the choice and I was shocked at how simple cloth diapering really was and how nice it was to not have to worry about ever running out of diapers.  I was so excited about them, I even wrote a review here on the blog! 

So anyway...Baby #3 is on the way and I haven't considered that I would do anything else besides cloth diaper this little girl.  But since I've never cloth diapered a newborn before, I need a little advice from some veterans...

  • Do I need to buy "newborn" cloth diapers or will "smalls" be sufficient assuming I have another 8lb baby?
  • How many diapers will I need to have on hand?
  • Are there any "issues" with cloth diapering a newborn that I should be prepared for?
  • Considering that I'll probably have some disposables that I received as gifts, would it be too rough on a newborn's skin to switch back and forth (I only ask because I had problems with Jude's little hiney breaking out whenever I switched back and forth)?
  • Finally, since one of the huge factors in me cloth diapering is the "frugal" quality, what are your best tips for scoring great deals on cloth diapers?  I've had good luck on Craigslist for gDiapers, but I'd be interested in some other sources as well.  They don't have to be super cute or girly...but I do want them work well.
  • Is there anything I'm missing???


  1. My advice is to just use disposables for the first month. My 8lb babies didn't fit into smalls until they were 3wks - 1 month old. Aaaaand, I wasted almost $250 on newborn cloth diapers. Unless you're just REALLY anti-disposables, it's not worth the very large investment for diapers that they can wear a month, max. You won't spend near that much on disposables for a month, so my advice is just to save yourself the hassle for the first months and stock up on newborn and maybe some size 1 disposables. I sold all my newborn diapers after Addie and I'm just using disposables this go 'round.

    They say you need at least 24 cloth diapers during the newborn phase because they go so often and need to be changed so often. That's why financially, it just doesn't make sense IMO.

    Neither of my children ever had problems switching back and forth. I use disposables at night and cloth during the day and it's never been an issue for us personally.

    I think 18-20 diapers are just fine once they're past that stage, and you could probably get away with less if you wanted to do more laundry, but I don't like to do laundry more than once every other day at MOST.

    Diaperswappers is a GREAT place to get cheap(er) used cloth diapers. Give them a bleaching and maybe leave them in the sun for a day and they'll be totally fine to reuse. Most of our diapers we've bought used. I highly recommend Bum Genius, Rump-a-Rooz and Fuzzi Bunz. They're my favorite! I used to really like my gDiapers, but Addie has really chunky thighs unlike Ben and they leave these horrible red marks on her legs, so I won't use them on her at all, where Ben was mostly in gDiapers. The great thing about DS is that you can buy and sell to "try out" different diapers and see what you like. I've probably tried 18 different brands of cloth diapers over the years and found my definite favorites, but everyone is different (and every baby!) so I don't think it's a bad idea to try out some different brands by buying cheaper used ones on Diaperswappers. It's a forum and you have to sign up.

    Good luck!

  2. I figured that I would probably get some disposables as gifts and I would probably just make sure I have plenty of size ones (we never used newborn diapers anyway), but that way I'll get a little extra time to stock up on some small diapers. I did diapers about every other day with Jude, so I will probably try to keep the stash around 20 and just buy more if I see I can't keep up. I'm sure I'll be doing laundry every day anyway just in general!

    Thanks for the tip on diaperswappers! I couldn't remember that name (pregnancy brain). It sounds like exactly what I'm looking for. I certainly don't mind using used diapers (most of Jude's were used anyway...I just bought new inserts since no one was selling those used anyway. I appreciate your input!

  3. One option for newborn diapers (to avoid the expense of actually buying your chosen type in newborn size) is to get some prefolds and a few newborn covers. That seems like the cheapest route for getting you through the first few weeks. Jack was 8, 10 when he was born and we had actually found brand new FuzziBunz newborn size at goodwill, so we used those for the first 4 weeks. Then he was about 10 lbs and the Bum Genius one size fits all fit him great from that point on (till now at 23 mos and he's still in them). For baby #2, my plan is to switch to Bum Genius All in One organics (not the cheapest option) bc I found that using diapers for the long haul (a full 2 yrs or more) that the pocket diapers aren't best bc after a while it is REALLY HARD to get the microfiber inserts (that come with them) clean. Switching to hemp or organic cotton inserts would be a way to still use pocket diapers, but I'm going to go with the all-in-ones bc then it's all already the way I want it. I'm not sure if there are any diaper stores in your area, but the one here sells used diapers at discounted rates and also has various diaper deals where you can buy, try, and then return with a refund.

    Good luck!