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I still remember the day I started thinking about using cloth diapers. I had no idea that people still used them until I stumbled upon some forum post somewhere that offered it as a green and economical solution for the tons of diapers that babies go through.
There was just one question on my mind while I tried to comprehend this.
This “how” would come up again and again. How do I use them? What about washing them? Where do I buy them? How do I choose a brand?
If you are wondering all about the “hows” of cloth diapering, this post is for you.
How To Know If Cloth Diapers Are Right For My Family
We have absolutely loved using cloth diapers the past five and a half years. My appreciation and commitment to them have grown over time. We have used cloth diapers while being two full-time working parents, when I worked part-time, and when I was mostly at home. It was completely doable during all of the family schedule transitions.
However, I recognize some people struggle with cloth. I feel bad that they do because I want everyone to have a great experience as we did. But I understand that is not the world we live in, and I’m thankful that we do have options in this modern parenting time.
What Is Your Why?
My biggest piece of advice when deciding whether or not to use cloth is to:
1) Figure out your why
2) Decide how important that why is to you
If you want to use cloth just because you decided you wanted to be a “crunchy” parent and that seems to fit the persona you’d like to create for yourself, I do think you’re setting yourself up to quit if things don’t go perfectly at first.
You may get cloth figured out right away, or maybe you need to do some trial and error. If your only reason you want to do cloth is to feel crunchy, you may have a really hard time wanting to stick it out through a problem, especially when you’re dealing with all of the other struggles of the post-partum period and new motherhood.
However, if your why goes deeper than that, you will be much more motivated to do what you need to do to make it work for your family. Figure out your why, and then assess your commitment to that value. Cloth diapers are right for you if you feel committed to them.
If you would like to learn more about some great reasons to choose cloth diapers, check out: The Pros of Cloth Diapers
How To Choose A Style & Brand
Once you have decided you’re interested in cloth enough to keep researching, you need to figure out what styles would make the most sense for your family! Check out this post for more info on the most popular styles of cloth diapers: Cloth Diaper Types – Styles of Diapers to Consider
After you have a general understanding of the styles available to you, try out this quiz to see which type is best for your lifestyle!
Now that you have an idea of which types of styles you would prefer, you can begin to look into brands. If you would like a starting point, here are my top recommendations of brands for each common style of diaper (note: this is not my only/final recommendation. These are just some quality brands I’m really digging lately. Be sure to check out my cloth diaper reviews category for more reviews and suggestions):
Fitteds: My Top 5 Fitted Recommendations
Prefolds: Osocozy Prefolds
Covers: Flip Covers
How To Buy Cloth Diapers
Unfortunately, cloth diapers are hard to find in stores. Target carries some online, Walmart started carrying an Elemental Joy cloth diaper kit made by Cotton Babies, and stores like Buy Buy Baby carry a few styles, too.
However, there is a whole world of cloth diapers outside of what these big box stores carry. Online is the easiest place to find them. Some metropolitan areas have baby stores that may carry a few different varieties, too.
In general, my favorite website to purchase cloth diapers from is Nicki’s Diapers. They carry a wide variety of brands, have great prices, and offer 10% off first orders. Their customer service is also excellent. It’s a great one-stop-shop.
However, where you want to buy your diapers will depend on what kind of diapers you want to buy. Sometimes retailers like Grovia have great promotions on their diapers, too. The only downside of buying directly from a retailer is that if you wanted to buy a few different brands, you will have to go to a few different places. But that isn’t a huge deal.
Amazon carries some cloth diapers, too. It’s harder to find some of the bigger cloth diaper names on Amazon, but smaller brands like Mama Koala or “cheap” brands like Alva Baby are easy to get on Amazon.
There are also a ton of small business cloth diaper sites, like the Fluffy Penguin and Happy Beehinds. These small companies are also wonderful places to buy diapers from.
How To Use Cloth Diapers
How to use cloth diapers depends on the style you get. Some styles require you change the entire diaper at each diaper change like you would a disposable diaper (all-in-ones, pockets), and others only require you to swap out the inner absorbent part of the diaper and allow you to reuse the cover through multiple changes (prefolds, flats, fitteds, all-in-twos, hybrids).
In general, you put the diaper on however the style requires, and change the baby when the diaper needs to be changed. Cloth diapers usually get changed every 2 hours or so, maybe going 3+ hours between changes for older babies and toddlers.
How To Wash Cloth Diapers
Every cloth diapering family develops its own wash routine. The truth is that for MOST households, it isn’t as hard as it seems like it might be. You just need to jump in and try! But it is also true that each washing machine is different, some detergents are better than others, and some people have issues with their water hardness.
Here are some tips for washing your cloth diapers. For a helpful wash routine starting guide, sign up for my mailing list and get it sent right to your email!
You will also want to check out the following helpful post about washing your diapers:
Getting Started With Cloth Is Easier Than It Looks!
I know there is so much to be intimidated by when you are first getting started with cloth. You will figure out what you need to do with all of your diapers in no time. And if you are having trouble, feel free to reach out to me (firstname.lastname@example.org).
What is one “How To” You are wondering about regarding cloth diapers? Let me know in the comments!