Your Guide: Get started with reusable diapers!
The simple beginners guide to cloth diapering.
You asked so here it is but the one thing I promise you is that getting started with reusable diapers is a lot easier than you think. I personally put ever trying cloth diapers in the ‘too hard basket‘. Yes, I do care about the environment and I care about what is on my babies skin but I also care about doing what is going to be ‘easiest and simple’ for a new mum who is already facing many other overwhelming changes in her life and originally this is why I used disposable diapers and was happy with them!
Fast forward to life with a 17 month old toddler and another baby on the way; I suddenly began to realise that reuseable diapers might actually be a smart decision for us budget wise if we are facing life with two in diapers. If I was wanting to nail this – I knew it would be easier to do so now; before the next baby arrives.
What do you need?
I want to be clear firstly that the cost of cloth diapers isn’t actually expensive; if you don’t let it be.
The average amount of diapers used in the first year is 2800 times that by 0.48c per diaper is $1,344 and that is for just one year and just an estimate. Some families spend upwards of $2500 on diapers per year and if you have more than one in them then that is a yearly holiday!
You will need about 25 cloth diapers for one child in reusable diapers full time. I purchase a brand that is on the cheaper side.
Cloth diapers range anywhere from $8.00 to $35.00 but as a beginner I specifically chose to go with the cheaper brand and personally I haven’t found any issues. I have spent just over $300 acquiring 25 brand new diapers and the best part? I don’t need to spend this consistently! Once you have built your stock pile you are set for the years ahead.
I get my cloth diapers here and you can use discount code MIKHAILLA to save a bit more money!
In the cloth diaper sets I purchase you get:
- the shell (which is the waterproof cover that is usually of a pretty print)
- the inserts (which absorb the wee – so purchasing an extra one or two is good for heavy wetters)
What else to buy:
- Microfleece fabric – 1 metre (cut this up to fit in your diaper to act as a ‘liner’ that you reuse and wash too as it will protect it more for longevity and make cleaning up even easier! You can find this at spotlight or premade ones online)
- A poop scrubber (sounds unattractive but I bought this rubber tip brush for $2.00 from kmart which easily removes any poo from the fabric as you wash off any remaining stains down the sink)
- A wet bag – these are sold at the same cloth diaper store here and is where you put soiled diapers when out and about. I actually have a few and use them to strap to the pram and put other things in them if I don’t have a soiled diaper.
- A dry pail basket – This is simply a basket with holes that you can pop your diapers in to ‘breathe’ until ready to be washed together at the end of the day or until you have a few ready to wash on day 3 or even day 5. We keep ours in the laundry and I usually keep the laundry door open to ensure a consistent breeze flows through. You can buy specific cloth diaper dry pail bins if you prefer to keep them enclosed – check out this one I recommend here.
What do I think about Cloth Diapers?
Apart from them saving you a lot of money and the effort of trying to ‘never run out of disposable diapers’ I genuinely love them! They are the perfect day time nappy for us and I say day time because I am very clear we do not currently use them at night time.
The reason I don’t use cloth at night:
- It involves a different method – other nappies that are a bit more costly to provide a level of overnight absorbency that won’t spike a leak and leaks are something I am not willing to risk at the moment. To avoid this you have specific ‘cloth diaper night nappies‘ and these can be around $60.00 for the shell, cover, inserts that you need so at the moment I am happy to buy disposables for night as I usually wait for a sale and buy in bulk and as they aren’t utilised frequently it means they can last a good few months. I also like to keep disposables on hand for anyone who babysits or if my husband wants to choose to use that.
Are they hard to clean?
I know you have been dying to know if they are actually hard to clean? This is coming from someone who honestly hates washing. I love to not wash in fact. I love to leave it for my husband or my mum if she is visiting. Is that bad? Haha. I never even looked into cloth diapers prior to baby because I put it straight into the too hard basket and that basket was something I was not willing to learn about until I actually tried it.
- How do you remove poo from a cloth diaper?
If you have a newborn that is fully breastfed you can actually rinse it straight down the sink. As newborns tend to have poop that is not fully formed washing it down the sink is easiest and completely allowed if fully breastfed. If formula fed, eating solids or mixed fed it is best to rinse it in the toilet. Toddlers who have fully formed poop it is easy enough to just roll off into the toilet and take to the laundry – utilise your ‘poo scrub brush’ and rinse with water and give a little scrub
- Will I be doing a lot of extra washing?
Once you have ‘stocked up’ on diapers you won’t actually be doing a lot of extra diapers. You will only need to wash every 3-5 days depending on your stock supply. I wash at the end of the night and weirdly enjoy it – maybe because I am washing cute prints? The cute prints definitely help!
Why I won’t share my detailed wash routine!
I choose not to share the details of ‘how to wash’ them because it will differ for everyone based on the type of washing machine you have and it is best to do this research yourself and find what works for you. I recommend watching a few youtube cloth nappy wash routine tutorials and reading this basic wash routine here and visiting the other resources on that page for more detailed information but just be assured – it is equally not scary and actually simple!
If you are just about to begin your cloth diaper journey then do not be scared – just try it and I highly recommend the diapers here that we use and love! You can use my code MIKHAILLA to save additional money and let me know below how your cloth diaper journey is going?