6 eye-opening reasons to get excited about cloth diapers now!
Cloth diapers are better for the environment and save you money, you’ll never run out of diapers and they come in the cutest designs! Not convinced? Well, it’s not an all or nothing story: we use reusable diapers part-time. I'm so excited to share our experiences with you, here is my honest opinion on cloth diapering: the upsides but the downsides too.
1. Cloth diapers will grow with your baby from birth to potty-training
Cloth diapers are a one-size. With adjustable buttons up and down the diaper and a velcro fastening around the waist, it's easy to change the size of the diaper to make it a perfect fit for your little one. I have to admit though that I found our diapers a bit too bulky to use from day one, but in theory you could. I started using them after about eight weeks. It was remarkable how much better the cloth diapers dealt with breastfeeding poop; because of the bigger fit and higher back, we had fewer poop explosion dramas. Also Elliot was potty-trained with no effort at all day and night by the age of two and I like to think this was partly because of the cloth diapers.
2. Cloth diapers also come in one piece
We use Bambino Mio Solo all-in-one diapers. They are just as easy to use as disposable diapers. They have a very soft core and a waterproof outer fabric that are attached. There are tons of other systems and you can decide on the one you find easiest to work with.
3. We use cloth diapers part time
I find it a bit of a hassle to have to take along a soiled diaper in the diaper bag for the rest of an outing. Also I didn’t want to ask my parents and day care to make the same investment we did. But before I went back to work and now that I’m working part time, I use cloth diapers whenever I’m around the house or close to home. That means that we save at least12 or so diapers a week. (compared to 35 diapers a week - Depending on the age of your little one of course) It may seem like that's not worth it but we save almost 50 diapers a month like this!
4. Wait, what happens if they poop?
No problem at all! There’s a very thin biodegradable insert you place in the diaper and when your baby does a number two, you take the diaper to the toilet and topple the liner in the toilet. The rest of the diaper is almost never dirty. It can sit in the laundry bag in the special diaper bucket until you’ve collected a enough to run a washing cycle. Pop them in the washing machine within three days.
5. How do you wash them?
We have a Miosolo diaper bucket. You can collect dirty diapers in the laundry bag inside the bucket, just make sure you fasten the velcros so they don’t stick to the other diapers in the washing machine. I like to add some drops of tea tree oil to prevent them from becoming smelly and the lid shuts tight so you shouldn’t have any problems there. Within three days you take out the whole laundry bag and throw it in the washing machine. You do not have to touch the dirty diapers. They unfold in the washing machine. You can wash them up to 60°C. We always add some Miosolo anti-bacterial washing detergent to make it kill all the bacteria like a 90°C wash would do. They come out beautifully clean every time and smell fresh. To keep them nice and white, let them dry in the sun if the weather permits it. Every two weeks or so I like to run a very hot cycle with some cleaning rags or towels, for example, to give our washing machine an extra clean - although I've been assured that this really isn't necessary.
6. The upsides outweigh the downsides
For me personally the downsides outweigh the upsides. But there are some less interesting sides to using cloth diapers and I want to be perfectly honest with you so these are some things to consider in my opinion:
You will add more washing to the mound of laundry you’re already doing (one machine a week - part time). That is something to take into account although it's not a very time consuming washing load. (airdry and no extensive folding)
When our babies grew bigger and our diapers didn't seem to hold the bigger number ones anymore, I was just about to give up on the reusables completely when a friend gave me the advice to buy some "boosters". This extra inner layer did the trick! However, we've always preferred to use disposables at night time because we’ve had our share of leaks with cloth diapers at night.
When our kids were learning something new like rolling around or sitting up, I found that the cloth diapers were so bulcky that they seemed to get in the way of our little explorers. Once they had the hang of their new motor skill, they didn't mind the diaper anymore and I'd go back to using them.
And finally, I dress my kids differently when they’re wearing a cloth diaper. These diapers are thicker and to keep our babies comfortable I prefer to dress them in onesies or other comfy wear. Pants tend to fit too tightly around their bellies.
I hope this post has inspired you to try cloth diapers, because despite the downsides we really have become quite the ambassadors in our circle of friends! It just gives me such a good feeling that we're not adding too much waste to that huge diaper sinkhole!
Are you a Belgian mommy and interested? Don't hesitate to contact me to find out how we got our diapers FOR FREE! (Thanks to our health insurance).