In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. ~ Proverbs 3:6

Monday, May 18, 2015

Cloth Diapering for Beginners - A Mom of Twins' Experience about Cloth Diapering for the First Time

Cloth diapering has definitely become a trend in recent years.  As my Mama says, cloth diapering is not like it used to be!  No more safety pins and prefolds!  Well I guess, those still exist, but all of my cloth diapering friends are keeping up with times by keeping things easy, modern and fashionable!

There are a few reasons why parents choose cloth diapers.  Some choose cloth over disposable in an effort to be more green and environmentally friendly.  Others choose cloth to save money.  Some think that the cloth diapers you can buy these days are just so darn cute!  As for this mom of twins, I wanted to save money.  Saving the planet one diaper at a time was just a bonus.  

I don't know about you, but when I first started looking into cloth diapering, I was overwhelmed.  There were so many different kinds of diapers out there, and everyone had a different opinion about them. 

Would I want pocket diapers? 

What about snap verses velcro? 

What kind of liners are the most absorbent

Where is the best place to buy cloth diapers? 

How many do I need to buy for twins? 

What about the laundry....can I even keep up with it? 

Hopefully this post will help answer some of those questions for you.

To start, let me just say that I did not use cloth diapers right away.  Because I was a first time mom, and particularly a first time mom of twins, I chose not to use cloth diapers until my twins turned six months old.  

I waited until six months, because I knew I was going to be overwhelmed just trying to keep two kids alive those first few months!  Can I tell you a secret.....twins get easier right around the six month mark.  Other moms of twins shared this secret with me when I was pregnant, and it is so true!  I'm not saying twins are easy at six months....I'm just saying it's a little easier.  They start sleeping better....well, sort of.  They start sitting up and entertaining themselves.  A solid routine is usually set into place.  Breastfeeding is finished or winding down....or at least it was for me.  

So for me personally, I wanted to wait for things to get a little easier before I made the transition to cloth diapers.  I also wanted to wait, because I selfishly knew that baby poo would be a little easier to clean once we started introducing solids.  And I didn't want to have to buy the newborn cloth diapers AND the one size diapers.  I only wanted to buy one set of  diapers, and I figured the boys would be big enough for the one size diapers by six months, and then continue to wear them until it was time to start potty training.

I wasn't worried too much about our disposable diaper expenses those first few months.  I knew we'd have plenty of disposables to get by the first six months, because we had our diaper stash!  My last post shared tips for stockpiling diapers during pregnancy.  And even though we were switching to cloth, we would still need disposable.  While you technically can invest in wet bags and use cloth all the time, I choose to not mess with the cloth when we are out in public.  I keep the disposable in my diaper bag, and put the boys in disposables any time we leave the house.  We also use disposables on our boys at night, as most cloth diapering moms that I know do.  Cloth diapers tend to leak overnight.

Now to the actual cloth diapers!  I chose to buy the Alva pocket diapers for one reason.....the cost!  Let's get real here, one cloth diaper alone can cost upwards of $20! Cloth diapering is a huge initial investment.  Yes it pays for for itself, but I really did not want to pay $20 a diaper, especially since I wasn't 100% sure cloth diapers were going to work for us until we actually tried them.  Yes, you can find diapers used from consignment sales, and there are even cloth diapering Facebook pages you can join.  In my research, the most affordable place to buy them was still from  And to be honest, they have the cutest patterns!  I stumbled on this website while researching cloth diapers one night and was thrilled to discover that I could buy diapers through a China wholesale website for only $6 a piece.  I admit I was skeptical at first, but after placing my first order, I was pleasantly surprised.

Ok, so a few things about the diapers I purchase.  Number one, I wouldn't normally promote buying products out of the country, but in this case these diapers have actually worked great for us, and they have adorable patterns!  Number two, I've seen mixed reviews from people who have bought from this site, but most have been pretty good.  Number three, we only ordered a few the first time to see if they worked.  Once I realized they were going to work for us, I ordered more.

They do take a few weeks to come in, but for the cost of the diapers, it is worth the wait.  I ordered 20 diapers total, as I knew my boys went through about 10 diapers a dayWe wash the diapers every day, because I do not want soiled diapers sitting in a pail for more than 24 hours.  I have never ran out of diapers using this method.  I also try to change my boys every two hours.  As soon as I realize they are wet, I change them.  I don't like them to sit in a wet diaper, so maybe that's why I haven't had any problems with leaks.  

Here is a closeup of one of the diapers.  The alva diaper is a pocket diaper.  They come with liners that can be inserted into the diaper.  The liner never touches the baby's skin.  These are also snap diapers, not velcro, which I love.  The snaps can be adjusted to fit any baby's size.  These diapers are also really easy to clean.  Poo comes off of these diapers with ease.  After eight months of use, I do not have one stain on any of my diapers!

I think my favorite thing about the alva diapers are the adorable patterns!  They have gender specific patterns, but I tried to only order gender neutral patterns, just in case we have a little girl in our future.

There are few things you will need other than diapers, if you plan on trying cloth.  You will definitely want some sort of diaper pail.  I was actually surprised to find that cloth diapering was not as stinky as I expected it to be, but I would still recommend a pail with a lid.

I went with a Dekor diaper pail, which can be used for disposable or cloth, but I only use it for cloth.  I found my diaper pail through a local Facebook garage sale/resale page. I think they retail for around $40, but I paid $10 for this one.

Another item you might want to invest in if you are planning on using cloth diapers is a reusable diaper pail liner.  We didn't invest in this right away.  After going through a trash bag every night, we finally decided it was worth the investment a few weeks into our cloth diapering experience.  I bought mine from Amazon for $13.  I got it on sale, and it appears as though it is no longer in stock.  Here is a similar one in stock with a different pattern than what I bought.

I would recommend this liner to someone trying cloth as long as it fit their diaper pail.  This liner fits my pail really well.  The elastic top is easy to take on and off of the diaper pail, and I haven't had any problems washing the liner with the diapers.

I would also recommend the dekor diaper pail.  The diapers go in the pail with ease, by simply pressing my foot on the step to lift the lid.  The pail keeps the diaper smell contained.  It is also easy to take out and reload the liner, due to the door in the front of the pail.

Another item you definitely want to put on your "to buy" list if you plan on using cloth is a diaper sprayer or a handheld bidet!  Seriously, I don't think I would use cloth without it.  The purpose of the sprayer is to clean off those poopy diapers!  Now that the boys are bigger, I actually don't even have to use the sprayer for every BM, but once in a while I am still BEYOND GRATEFUL I invested in this sprayer.  It makes cleaning diapers really easy.  Just spray the poo right into the toilet, and you're done!

We purchased this sprayer through Amazon.  We got it on sale for $35.  Matt said it was easy to install.  Once you figure out the right water pressure, which I recommend doing before you clean a diaper, it is really easy to use.  I also like that it came with a device to hang on the wall.

The last item you will want for cloth diapering is a drying rack.  We do a load of diapers every night after we put the boys to bed.  It has just become a part of our nightly routine.  After the boys go down, I pick up the living room and Matt starts a load of diapers (always making sure the setting is on small load so it gets done faster).  As far as detergent goes, you can't use most detergent on cloth diaper liners, nor can you use any fabric softener, as it can mess with the absorbency of the liners over time.  I use a combination of borax and washing soda with a few drops of essential oils.  I have not had any problems with stains AT ALL, nor have I had any problems with odors AT ALL!  Once the wash is finished, I go down and hang the diapers on the drying rack and put the liners in the dryer, usually on a timed 40 minute setting to make sure they get all the way dry.

The following morning, I throw all of the liners and diapers in the diaper pail liner that was washed with the diapers and carry everything upstairs to be folded and put away.

Part of my morning routine is going downstairs first thing in the morning to get a cup of coffee and to grab the diapers from the laundry room.  While the boys are eating breakfast, I usually put the liners in the diapers and stack the diapers in the cloth diaper basket, so we are ready to go for another day! I think a routine is important, especially for a mom of twins.  If you plan on keeping up with cloth diapering, having a routine to keep the diapers washed and ready to be used is very helpful.

Overall, I have grown to love cloth diapers!  I'm going on eight months of consistently using cloth diapers when when we are home during the day, and I have to say that I HEART CLOTH DIAPERING!!!  I'm so glad I decided to make the investment and switch to cloth when the twins turned six months old.  

Our initial investment was a couple hundred bucks, which is what we would be spending each month for disposables, so I'd say cloth diapering has been worth the investment!  I would definitely recommend cloth diapering to any mom who stays home with their little ones and wants to save money in the long run!

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