Molly wrote to us because she is finding lots of conflicting information about cloth diapers online and she is confused! We tried to ease her concerns and let her know that cloth diapering doesn’t have to be complicated.
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I have been reading a lot of forums on cloth diapers and I WAS really excited about switching to them but now I’m not so sure. I don’t want my kids to get sores or rashes from them and that seems to be a common occurrence with them. People also complain about them stinking and not being able to get them clean enough.
I guess I am wondering what the benefits of them are and if the benefits outweigh the problems.
I have a 18 month old and a 2 month old. I wanted to get diapers that i could use for the both of them (one size diapers). If I got cloth diapers, what kind should I get? I do not have an HE washer, its just a standard one. Thank you if you can help with any of these questions! Molly
We take a very simple approach to them and I hope that will help ease your fears.
First let me talk about diaper sizes because that will be very important in your situation. One size diapers are very popular and they are a good way to go, but with two kids in cloth you may have some issues. First, one-size diapers still have to be “sized” or adjusted to fit the baby. Most families with two in cloth do not want to do this at every diaper change, so they will have different diapers for the baby vs. the toddler. Also the diaper that fits your toddler well will be very bulky on your two month old, and that can be very off-putting to a family that is new to cloth diapers. Imagine if you tried to put your toddler’s clothes on your 2 month old!
The good news, however, is that whatever you choose for your 18 month old you will be able to use for your younger child when the time comes! So right away you are getting a good value on those diapers because they will be used for two children at least. Your 18 month old also will use a lot less diapers than your 2 month old. You probably need 18 diaper changes for your toddler (to do cloth full time), but more like 24 or 30 diaper changes for your 2 month old. If you still decide you want to use one-size diapers on both of them, we recommend you add about 6 diapers to the mix to account for the extra use one-size diapers receive. We wouldn’t recommend that you only have 24 diapers on hand and use them on both children because they will get washed so often that they may not be usable when your youngest is 18 months old. And you would probably feel like you are washing diapers all the time!
Now, about the issues you have read about cloth diapering. Most of those are going to stem from improper washing routines. Everyone has their own opinion on how best to wash cloth diapers, and everyone is going to have a different favorite cloth diaper detergent which they are going to tell you is the best and only detergent to use. The problem is that detergent and washing is chemistry– the detergent mixes with your water, is activated by the heat of the water, it binds to the dirt on the fabric and then rinses out (or doesn’t rinse out as the case may be!) When you are talking about this chemistry formula, everyone has different ingredients, which means everyone needs to do things differently and no one can tell you the best way for you. We take a very simple approach with this as well and ask that our customers DO NOT add a lot of steps or ingredients to their washing, we can help you find a simple formula that works for you, and should you have problems we can easily identify those and help you make changes.
I highly recommend that you attend one of our cloth diapering classes. It will help you get a handle on what cloth diapering really entails. We offer them two or three times a month, usually the first Thursday at 6pm, the second Sunday at 2pm or the third Saturday at 10:30am