As you might have guessed, we are a cloth diapering family.
From day one, our baby has had a fluffy bottom and she’s still going strong at 13 weeks.
For me, the primary reason to cloth diaper is environmental. There is a huge amount of waste associated with disposable diapers both in terms of their production (the water, raw materials, energy, etc. that go in to making them) and where they end up.
That’s a lot of diapers. And these diapers will all sit there for well over 500 years without decomposing at all.
If that’s not enough to make someone consider cloth diapers, disposable diapers also contain chemicals that may be harmful to baby, they can increase the time it takes to potty train, they cost a lot more ($2000 on average), and they’re not that much easier.
The hardest thing with cloth is a few extra loads of laundry. They aren’t more difficult to put on, there are no longer pins to poke anyone, and yes, even husbands can figure them out! (Plus, let’s be honest, they’re pretty darn cute.)
And if laundry really is a big concern, we have found several reasonably priced diaper services in our area. They provide the diapers and do the laundry. Nice!
For a more comprehensive overview of why cloth diapers are amazing, I encourage you to check out Small Footprint Family’s review of the subject.
I’d like to share with you one other tip to reduce waste and chemicals associated with diapering: an easy to make diaper wipe spray. It’s really beyond easy!
- a spray bottle
- an anti-bacterial essential oil
- liquid Castile soap
There isn’t an exact science to this, but what you’ll want to keep in mind is that water is the best thing to clear away diaper messes (some cloth diapering families only use water in their spray).
Our spray bottle probably holds a little less than a quart of water and to this we add about 1 teaspoon of liquid Castile soap and 5-10 drops of essential oil. Eucalyptus, tea tree, and lavender are excellent choices.
How easy is that?! I add the soap and essential oils before the water so that everything mixes together better. It also helps to swirl the mixture around every so often to keep it blended.
Now, to be honest, we do use gentle, more-natural wipes when we’re on the go, but our spray and wipe system has worked very well at home.
Here’s our full diapering set-up:
We have pictures on the wall that are high contrast to help baby LF’s vision develop. She’s often staring at them while we do changes.
To the right of her we keep the diaper wipe spray, a bottle of olive oil which we turn to first for any sign of irritation and to help keep her bottom soft, and I have a jar of plantain salve if things start to chafe or redden more than we’d like (this has been very infrequent because of the cloth diapering). However, it’s very gentle and I don’t hesitate to apply if need be.
Also, in terms of the actual cloth that we use for wipes, we have been primarily using another super simple DIY project: squares cut out from old T-shirts. I used pinking shears for the edges and it was a great way use up the backs of t-shirts that I’d saved after making t-shirt quilts! However, any old t-shirts would work just fine and it’s a great way to re-purpose them.
What is your cloth diaper routine like? Do you make your own diaper spray? Share your new ideas in the comments! Or feel free to ask any questions!
I used cloth diapers with both my girls and make a wipe solution and diaper cream. Both are made with calendula infused oil which I think is just magic for their skin. We actually mix the wipe solution with water and wet a stack of wipes to be stored in a warmer. It lasts a day or two before I have to wet another batch and I have wondered if using a spray on dry wipes would be as effective. It would probably take less time. When you are on the go, you can pop a few wet wipes in a baggie instead of using disposable. We do both, but with the cloth, you don’t have to fish the wipe out before dumping the diaper in the pail when you get home.
Calendula oils would be great for baby bottoms! I think this spray method would definitely save you a little time, but if your lady is used to a really moist warm wipe, these might not compare to that! That sounds like a nice diaper-change treat!
Boy, I’m going to bring lots of old t-shirt squares for you in April!
I’m so excited to do this! And using old tshirts is such a great idea. I just started using cloth diapers a few days ago. Do you have any advice about washing them? I’m also wondering about when he starts sleeping longer if the diapers will be able to keep him dry.
Awesome! So far, washing with just the breastfed mustardy poops has been pretty easy. I do one rinse cycle and then a normal wash with hot water. It has seemed to work pretty well! I think some people do one extra rinse to make sure everything is cleared away, but I haven’t found that to be necessary (at least not yet!). There has been a little yellow staining on some of the diapers (but they’re clean) and I think this will come out once the summer comes and they can be bleached by the sun. I’m not sure what type of diaper you got, but we double up on our inserts at nighttime and that seems to have prevented (most) leaks. Even if we use one of our all-in-one diapers, I often add an extra liner to that for extra absorbancy at night! I hope that helps! I’m sure we’ll chat more about this soon. 🙂