Cloth Diapers: For the Practical Mom

I started cloth diapering because I live in the Northwest with a lot of envirom tally conscious friends. I have many friends who use cloth diapers out here. When I first told my family I was planning on cloth diapering I got some funny faces from my Midwest people.
I’m pretty amazed by myself when it comes to diapers. I think I shock my husband every day. I do not like to be dirty. I really don’t like to get my hands dirty, so when I told him we should cloth diaper I think he almost passed out. However, I do not recommend cloth diapering to everyone.


I read a blog post once that there are different types of cloth diapering mommas. There are the ones that have to have every diaper out there and are constantly buying new, there are those that want to keep disposable diapers out of landfills, there are also the mothers that are die hard diapering ladies. Once those babies are out of the womb a disposable will never touch their little bum and then there are those that just want to save a dime. I’m the last group. The math can be tricky (and it’s really close) but because of our current living situation it is still more cost effective to cloth diaper than to buy disposables.
I was extremely fortunate to have a wonderful friend who gave me 75% of my diapers. I’m also extremely fortunate to have several friends who cloth diaper. I picked their brains like crazy before I started.

How to use cloth diapers to achieve your debt Free goals!

Here is my advice: every situation is different and every parent is different. What works for me may or may not work for you. What you prefer may be something completely different than what I prefer. That is the tricky part of cloth diapering. There are a lot of options and you can’t know which one you prefer until you try. For this reason I recommend purchasing different kinds of diapers (or buying them second hand). I have 8 pocket diapers and 15 prefolds with 4 covers and 2 newborn covers. And now, after my second child I exclusively use prefolds and covers.
I have two little one’s which means we stay home a lot. I only use cloth at home. My diaper bag has disposables and I don’t care to mess with poop outside our home. I could handle it if my babies could guarantee no poopy diapers but that obviously doesn’t happen. All this to say, I have a system that works for me. This is one of those situations where you can be as hardcore as you want to be. I’m not that hardcore. I love my prefolds and covers, but once I leave the house I switch to my disposables (purchased with coupons, of course).

My system:

I plan to do laundry every 3 days. With staying at home this isn’t a problem. If we go away from our home for the weekend or on vacation we switch to disposables. Mainly that’s because I want a break. It’s my vacation too (if there is such a thing as a vacation from being a mommy).
We have an HE front loader and I can tell you that it has been a battle trying to find a good wash routine with this machine. High Efficiency washing machines use less water and that makes it difficult to get something that is really stained (aka diapers) clean.

It’s all about that wash routine:

Step 1: Rinse/spin- my machine only uses cold water for this setting.

Step 2: Hot wash with Heavy Soil. It took me a while to realize setting this machine to “”heavy soil” means more water. I definitely need more water when washing diapers. Add my detergent and a splash of bleach into the same compartment in my drawer.

Step 3: Tumble dry low for 1 hour. It’s true, my covers don’t last from kid to kid. I’m pretty crafty so replacing elastic isn’t a big deal to me. And I love shopping for deals on new covers.

And that’s it! I’ve found that pockets don’t work in my household because my washing machine can’t get them clean. They end up with build up and my kids start to stink. But I do love their convenience. I prefer my prefolds and covers with my homemade mocrofleece liners. Cloth diapers take a little trial and error. Ask your friends what they do, or send me a message! I’d be happy to answer questions!

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3 Comments

  1. What an awesome post! I have always used a top loading washer and have always been afraid that a front loader would not get the diapers clean so I have avoided buying one. Thanks for explaining how you make it work.

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