The basics of cloth diapering and the choices we made

Many of you have written to me asking about cloth diapering: how to get started, what I do, where you should buy them, etc. I am excited to share our method of cloth diapering but it is important for you to know that there are so many different ways to approach it. I have written out the decisions we made below and added some of my favorite resources that helped me while I was learning about the process.

NEWBORN STASH

A lot of people skip cloth diapering during the newborn stage. And rightly so. Newborn cloth diapers require unique diapers and covers - both in size and style. Newborn diapers have a snap that holds the cloth diaper away from the umbilical cord area. In addition, they are the cutest little teeny tiny diapers you have ever seen (meaning they are SMALL). And if you decide to cloth diaper those first few weeks - you will have to buy these unique diapers and a lot of them (at least 24 diapers + 6 covers). Newborns need their cloth diapers changed about every hour or so! For these reasons, a lot of people make the decision to use disposable diapers until their babies grow into the next size up.

Our choices: I just couldn't keep myself away from these itty bitty adorable diapers! Plus, I knew I was going to have more than one baby so I chalked it up to an investment. In retrospect, I am glad we made this decision because Sunday fit into her newborn diapers for five months (about 12lbs)!

To be honest, during those first few weeks I really doubted that we were saving any money. What with the cost of the diapers themselves and then having to wash them SO frequently in the newborn stage (almost every day)... but after watching her fit into them for five months, I am grateful for the decision we made.

If you are hesitant to build a newborn stash yourself, perhaps you could add newborn disposable diapers to your gift registry. Then you will save a ton of money! :)

Here is what our newborn stash consisted of:

  • 8 Kissaluvs Cotton Fleece Fitted Newborn Diapers (fit her the longest)
  • 12 swaddlebees organic cotton fitted diapers (our favorites by far)
  • 6 organic caboose fitted diapers (grew out of first)
  • 12 gmd newborn prefolds (low cost and excellent to have on hand for the "we're out of diapers and haven't washed them yet" days, as well as burp cloths!)
  • 6 Real Nappies Newborn Diaper Covers
  • 2 kissa’s wool lover diaper cover (never used)

AFTER NEWBORN-STASH

This is where things get a little confusing for the new-to-cloth-diapering-folks. There are SO many styles of diapers (prefolds, fitteds, all-in-ones, all-in-twos) and covers (velcro, snaps, one-size) out there. As much as I tried to make all the right choices - it really did become a trial and error situation for us. The good thing was that cloth diapers hold their value very well, so I knew if something wasn't working for us that I could easily sell the diapers and buy replacements.

Our choices: I decided to go the fitted, one-size route with velcro covers. What this meant was that I was going to buy fitted diapers (they look like a cloth version of disposable diapers) that grew with the baby. If I was going to cloth diaper to save money, I wanted to do my best to save money. Buying diapers that grew with the baby only made sense.

We DID have some trial and error (read: diaper rash!) with Sunday when she was around 4-6 months old (as we transitioned from newborn to one sized diapers). In the end I discovered that one type of diaper we were using was not nearly as absorbent as the other and it was leaving her skin irritated. I ended up selling that brand and replacing it with more of the brand that was working for us.

I also chose velcro covers mostly because I wanted a quick way to put a cover on as snug as possible. Over time I have picked up a few snap covers from yard sales and friends to have on hand when Sunday learns how to use velcro herself. :) Tommy really likes the snaps, too, so I am glad to have them for him.

Here is what our current stash looks like:

  • 18 Pooters Organic Bamboo Diapers
  • 6 Kissaluvs One Size Contour Diapers (used only when all of the pooters are dirty!)
  • 6 Bummis Super Brite Diaper Covers (Small)
  • 4 Bummis Super Brite Diaper Covers (Medium)
  • 2 One-Size snap covers

Here are other essentials for cloth diapering:

  • Wet bags (2 trash can size & 2 travel size)
  • Diaper pail (a trash can does the job here, just line it with a wet bag!)
  • Cloth diaper safe detergent (we started with Country Save now use Rockin' Green)
  • Cloth diaper safe rash cream (after trial and error with a number of products, we now use Coconut Oil)

My favorite resources I discovered during my cloth diapering escapade:

  • Why Cloth Diaper? You can easily google this question and come up with a ton of resources. This is just one of my favorites - an easy little read from a KG mama.
  • An easy explanation for the different types of cloth diapers
  • Know the language (acronyms and definitions)
  • Learn a diaper washing routine
  • Choose a detergent
  • Buy used diapers (I bought all of our newborn kissaluvs used!)
  • And finally, a fantastic (but slightly biased since it's from a diaper company) How-To Guide for all things cloth diapering (tutorial videos and lists galore!)

Stay tuned, I will be writing more about how our cloth diapering journey has evolved since Sunday was born.

In the meantime, I really want to know from those of you who made the decision either TO cloth diaper or NOT to, and why? I love to hear other points of views!

FAQs About My Pregnancy

Yes, I have an unlimited supply of pregnancy photos taken at 24 weeks. ;) (Thanks to Samantha!)

I have been pretty intentional about not being a crazy pregnant lady on Facebook. I didn't really think 1,000 people were interested in how far along I was or what symptoms I've been having. But apparently some inquiring minds want to know a few things. :) So I thought I'd throw together a blog post answering the most common questions I am asked for those of you who are interested.

So here we go... FAQs About My Pregnancy:

How far along are you? 33 weeks and 3 days

When are you due? November 15th. But I like to say the whole month of November since that last month is totally up in the air.

Are you taking a maternity leave from photography? I am. I have one wedding scheduled shortly after the baby is due... but after that wedding I will be on official maternity leave through April 2012. When I return to work, I will be working only part time (exactly half of the jobs I worked this year).

What made you decide to not find out the sex of the baby? A lot of things... some of the big things were: I'm not a huge fan of pink or baby blue... so I wanted to avoid the influx of the colors as long as possible. ;) I also thought it would be wise to go with mostly gender-neutral items in the beginning so that we can use them for another baby in the future, regardless of the sex. There are some other private reasons that you can ask me through email if you feel so inclined!

Do you have mommy-intuition about the sex of the baby? I do not. I keep having dreams that it's a baby girl... and I keep imagining the name of the baby as a girl... but I keep also imagining dressing the baby in boy clothes and little boy hair cuts. So... I'm totally in the middle as far as what sex I think it may be. Our whole family is rooting for a boy so I do feel a little responsible for being ready to welcome a girl... since no one else seems to be. ;)

What are you craving? Ice cubes. Hah. (And before you mention it, I've had my iron checked and I am good to go.That and cereal, pasta, other high-carb sweets. The stuff that's good for me (not).

Do you have names picked out? We do have a few names picked out but we've decided that we want to meet this little person first before deciding on a final girl and boy name.

How are you feeling? Ahhh... I can't complain. Yes, it's uncomfortable... in ways I never thought possible. But I'm healthy and am having a healthy, normal pregnancy and the baby is healthy... so all in all, I am feeling good. I am also feeling swollen, and cranky, and pretty tired. And HOT. (I cannot cool off.) But... seriously. It's pregnancy... and this is what it all entails. And it's worth it. :)

Are you going to get an epidural or go all natural? At this point... I am planning to have a natural birth with the help and encouragement of my husband and our doula. I do not plan on having an epidural (or any medication) but I am open to whatever type of birth the Lord has in store for us... and you know, if that means a c-section, then that means an epi. :)

What made you decide to cloth diaper? First, the money we will save. Second, how stinkin cute the little diapers are! And third, because my husband is all about going against the norm. Tommy was surprisingly supportive of the idea and that was all I needed to make the final decision to just go for it! It'll be an adventure I am sure... and I'll be sure to report all my findings here on the blog.

I plan on writing about our birth experience and of course more about parenthood and the lessons we will be learning in the years to come. I'm kind of an open book (in case you haven't noticed)... so if you have any questions shoot me an email or leave a comment here and I'll respond!

hello, my name is liz and I am a cloth diapering addict

Oh yes... I am a proud cloth diapering mama-to-be! I had read that it was easy to get addicted to the world of cloth diapers... but I honestly didn't think it would happen before the baby was even here!

Well, lo and behold... I already have my newborn cloth diapering stash ready to go. With the exception of some accessories (wipes, diaper rash cream, etc) I am set to begin our cloth diapering adventure. Unfortunately, this also means that I should need to stop buying diapers. So sad. I have had a lot of fun shopping for good deals and unboxing the sweetest little diapers as they come in the mail!

So here is what I've got so far:

THE NEWBORN STASH 8 kissaluvs size 0 fitted diapers 12 swaddlebees organic cotton fitted diapers 6 organic caboose fitted diapers 12 GMD newborn prefolds 6 nappies newborn covers 2 kissa's wool lover diaper cover (soon to come)

AFTER NEWBORN STASH 12 kissaluvs size 1 fitted diapers 6 pooters bamboo one-size fitted diapers

I am leaving plenty of room to grow the after-newborn-stash until after the baby is here and I can buy some fun gender appropriate diapers. It's hard to know at this time what diapers will be my favorites (depending on how they fit the baby), but I can tell you right now that my favorites so far are the Swaddlebees. They are fluffy, and soft, and look super absorbent! And clearly I have a place in my heart for the fitted diapers... I just love that they look like disposables but we can reuse them and not toss our money in the trash day after day. Makes me feel good. :)

So there's a quick peek into our not-so-mainstream plans of parenting. (Although cloth diapering is gaining in popularity by leaps and bounds!) I plan on writing a little more in depth about cloth diapering once we get a routine going and I have actually started the experience. So stay tuned!