We cloth diaper E when we are at home and use disposables at night and when we go out. This saves us about 6 diapers a day. E is currently 20+ weeks old and we started using cloth diapers when she was about 12 weeks old.
Cloth diapering nowadays is a lot easier than when I was a kid (think almost 30 years ago). There are many different types of cloth diapers but we opted for pocket diapers as a friend had given us a bunch of 2nd hand diapers. We just bought new diaper covers and use the inserts given. We use Kawaii Baby brand cloth diapers. They are a good and cheaper alternative than gDiapers, Grovia etc. Though if I had a choice, I might have gone for Grovia diapers as I like their system better. That being said, we are very happy with our Kawaii Baby cloth diapers.
Since E is likely to be our one and only kid, we don’t save as much money. The savings for cloth diapering really kicks in when you have a second kid (and more).
To calculate savings, the hubs and I considered the following:
- Number of diapers used per day (6 diapers, we use one disposable at night)
- Cost of one disposable diaper (~$0.25, for Pampers Swaddlers on sale)
- Cost of wash cycle/s plus detergent used (~$1, we wash twice so $2)
- Cost of drying diapers (free if we sun diapers; ~$1 if we use the dryer)
- Cost of cloth diapers (diaper covers cost us about $84, inserts were given)
How much you save really depends on the factors listed above. To reiterate, the savings truly kick in when you have another child as that child essentially diapers “for free”. This is a helpful online calculator that helps you calculate the cost of washing/drying.
Notes about my stash: I have 24 diaper covers and 30+ inserts. We do not double stuff our diapers.
A shot of the Kawaii Brand pocket diapers + insert. We bought the Pure & Natural 0-15 months diaper covers as they have a trimmer fit. E is a long and relatively slim baby (at the waist). These diaper covers fit her a lot better. We probably can’t use them through toddlerhood though, so we will have to try and toilet train her ASAP.
Diaper cover (opened up) and insert.
How I wash my Kawaii Baby Cloth Diapers:
This system was developed after lots of online research, trial and error, and consulting with other moms who cloth diaper. What works for me might not work for you (but it’s worth trying!).
1. Soiled diapers are kept in a bucket with a lid.
We got ours from The Home Depot. We do not soak our diapers in anything before washing. For poo diapers, we rinse off the poo using a diaper sprayer. The SprayPal is useful in helping to prevent the poo and water from spraying all around the bathroom.
Bucket with lid from Home Depot. Keeps the stinky smell in pretty well. The bucket is kept in the bathroom.
Spray Pal. Helps keep our bathroom floor dry.
2. I wash my diapers twice a week. I have a top-loading washing machine. Ensure that you use enough water to wash the diapers.
For the first cycle, I use the normal setting with hot water and put in Nellie’s Laundry Detergent (cloth diaper safe) and ¼ cup of baking soda.
This is for a full load of diapers (about 20-24 diapers plus inserts). For smaller loads, I adjust the detergent and baking soda amount accordingly. Do note, it is advised that you use half the normal amount of detergent you would use to wash your cloth diapers. For example, for a full load of clothes, I would use 1 tablespoon of Nellie’s, but for a full load of cloth diapers, I would only use ½ tablespoon. For a helpful list of cloth diaper safe detergent, click here.
For the second cycle, I use the normal setting with hot water and add in about ¼ cup of white vinegar (for a full load).
After the diapers are washed, I sun them to dry. This also helps remove the poo stains, if any. I can also put them in the dryer on low heat if the weather is too
Sunning the inserts.
Hanging the diaper covers to dry.
Links to products I use:
Nellie’s Laundry Detergent – cloth diaper safe detergent. It is important you use a detergent that is cloth diaper safe to prolong the life of your cloth diapers.