This week, I'm talking about my experience cloth diapering my daughter from birth.
As I mentioned in my previous post, I made the decision when I was pregnant to start off my cloth-diapering journey using prefolds and diaper covers. This is the most economical way to cloth diaper because you can buy high-quality prefolds at less than $2 a pre-fold and you only need a couple of diaper covers, which cost about $13 a piece. (For me, I ended up not having to pay anything out of pocket for almost all of this entire cloth-diaper arsenal, which you can read more about in my post: How I Got My Cloth Diapers for Free.)
These are the items that I've been using and that have made the process easier on me. So far (after nine months of off-and-on cloth diapering), I'm happy with all these purchases!
Cloth Wipes: If you remember, I shared about these before Claire was born and was impressed even then at how soft they were. Now that I've had the chance to use them (over and over again), they are one of my favorite diaper essentials, whether I'm cloth diapering or not. I keep a spray bottle of water at hand and will spritz Claire or the wipe to moisten, and it typically only takes one wipe usually to clean her off. I like that there are no chemicals, which is especially important when we're fighting diaper rashes!
Prefold Diapers: I purchased 24 of these prefolds, but now think that I could have gotten away with 18 because I don’t like letting Claire sit in a dirty diaper for long and I have always used disposables overnight. Depending on how often you’re willing to do laundry, I bet even 12 would suffice. One of my favorite things about using prefolds is that they can withstand so much abuse. With the other kinds of cloth diapers, you have to be careful about using bleach and diaper creams because they can corrupt the diaper’s waterproof liner. But these provide a thick barrier (and I only used bleach when I was doing a load of just prefolds) to protect against that. I also rarely had a leak. Now that Claire is getting bigger, I don't have to always pin them against her, but can just fold them into thirds and lay them in her diaper. Soon, I will need to buy some of the next size up, though. I'm saving up my Swagbucks for then!
Diaper Covers: You layer these over prefolds, and they provide a waterproof barrier. The great part about these is that you only really need to wash them once they’ve gotten dirty. Because my prefolds were so thick, that rarely happened, so I could use a single cover all day (longer, even, if I got lucky) before it got soiled. You simply wipe it down after each cleaning and put it on over the prefold. You can also select different closures, and while the Velcro aplix was easier to position, I did find that it started to give away after just a few uses. The snaps are now my preferred closure. These diaper covers come in two sizes; one that should last baby's first year, and the second for when she's bigger. While this makes getting a tight fit easier, it still can be elusive and take some trial and error to get the fit just right.
Snappi Cloth Diaper Fasteners: These are the easiest way to fasten prefolds. I've never had to use a diaper pin, thanks to these! (They have teeth that help them hold on to the prefold, kind of like an ace bandage. While they might mess up lower quailty prefolds, they haven't done any harm to mine.)
Wet Bag: You have to have somewhere to put the dirty diapers until you wash them, and that's where the wet bag comes in. It's waterproof, so you can put the soiled diapers in and not worry about them dripping anywhere. I like this one because I just hang it on the side of her changing table and when it's time to launder, just unsnap it and dump the contents directly into the washer.
Cloth-Diaper Friendly Laundry Detergent: It's important when you're cloth diapering that you choose your detergent wisely, because it can void your diapers' warranty. This was recommended by the brand I chose (Thirsties) as well as on an independent cloth-diaper site that ranks nearly every kind of detergent. I only use it when I wash her diaper covers so it has lasted a long time. (For her prefolds, I just use some regular homemade laundry detergent, another reason I love prefolds!)