So I know that in the last week I've given you guys some good, basic information on cloth diapering. I don't really think that I need to repeat most of that (if you're stopping by from the blog hop, and didn't see my cloth diapering 101 posts, just scroll on down! =) Hopefully it will help you figure things out!) so I am going to focus on cloth diapering from the moment your little bundle of joy is born.
Now let me be honest. I didn't cloth diaper my daughter until about 5 weeks. Somehow I had convinced myself that cloth would be more work than it actually is, and decided to do disposables until she was able to fit into her one-sized diapers. I'm not sure what all I thought would really be involved, but it seemed daunting to me. I was going to be a first time mom. I didn't know what I was going to feel like, or how long it would take me to recover from her birth, etc etc. Now I know that everyone's experience is different (don't believe me? Go back a few pages and read my daughter's birth story. I was in labor for 5 days. Everyone is different!), but I want you to know that cloth diapering is totally doable right from the start. I wish that I'd done cloth right away! I would have saved my daughter some nasty diaper rashes, and saved myself a whole lot of money since I would have used those same diapers on my future babies!
(I will say this though, you will probably want to either purchase a really small pack of newborn disposables, or cut up some cheap fleece to line your baby's very first diapers with, because those meconium poops are gross. Like black tar. And they aren't going to wash out easily, so you don't want to stain your cute tiny new diapers on the very first use. Wait to use your new diapers without any lining or anything until your babe's poop turns that mustard-y yellow color that you will come to know so very intimately.)
Ok. So you are thinking to yourself "my baby won't wear these diapers for very long. It seems like a waste of money!" I know you're thinking this because I thought that too. Here are my thoughts. If you know you are going to have another baby or two, buying some newborn cloth probably makes sense financially. There are really cheap ways to diaper your newborn, and in the first month of life, you are going to spend about $75 on disposables any way. Heck, sometimes you are going to put a diaper on, and your baby is going to immediately poop in it. Ok. That's going to happen all the time. You're going to go through a lot of disposables. After about a week I thought "I might as well wipe her butt with money and throw it away, because that's basically what I'm doing anyway with these disposables." Yeesh!
Now if you decide to do pre-folds and covers while your babe is tiny and new, you will probably only spend around $100. And you can use these for as many babies as you feel like having, then re-sell them later if you want! For instance if you go to DiaperJunction.com and look at their house brand of prefolds, Diaper Rite, you can get an entire pre-fold kit for your newborn for only $86! So you'd get 24 pre-folds and 4 covers, which would easily let you do laundry only every two or three days! Not bad! You can get pre-folds just about anywhere, and you can find covers at any local cloth shop, or online retailer. They can be as simple, or as elaborately patterned as you want! You have a ton of options! Just make sure to prep your new pre-folds before you use them! You want them to be absorbent! Wash them on hot 4 to 6 times, and dry them on high at least once.
Now I know that pre-folds sound scary, but they are actually super easy to use! There are a few ways that you can use your pre-folds. You can use a diaper folding technique like the "angel wings" fold, or you can just fold it into thirds and lay it right in your cover, velcro or snap it, and you're good to go! When the baby soils their pre-fold, just take it out of your cover, put it in your wet-bag or diaper pail, give your cover a quick wipe down (unless it's covered in poop. Then you may want to grab a clean cover) and pop in a new pre-fold. Simple! And the great thing about newborn poop is how easy it is to wash! There's no spraying, dunking, or pre-soaking involved! Just throw it in the washer, run a cold pre-wash cycle, with a little detergent if you feel like your diapers are super gross and messy, otherwise it should be fine to run it without. This will get rid of your poop. Then add your detergent, and run a hot wash cycle with an extra rinse cycle. The first time you do your wash, you may want to open your washing machine in the middle of your extra rinse cycle. If you have bubbles, you need to do another rinse, and you may have used a little too much detergent. If you don't have bubbles, you are good to go! Once your wash is done, dry them on low heat in your dryer, or hang them up outside in the sun! It's really not a whole lot more work than your regular laundry. Just make sure that when you are choosing your detergent you pick one without brighteners or enzymes!
Of course you can always go the route of fitted diapers and covers. Or newborn pocket diapers. Or even newborn all in one diapers. Really it just depends on your comfort level and your budget. One thing to keep in mind is that newborn diapers, if you go the pocket or all in one route, are really easy to resell for a good percentage of what you paid for them. They don't get tons of use, and if you have a good washing routine, and occasionally sun out any stains, they will probably look good as new, even after a few kids! You can't say that about all of those disposables!
What I really want to get across here is that I wish I had gone straight to cloth. With baby number 2, I will. It really only adds one extra load of wash every two days, they're so much easier than you think, and if used over the course of a couple of babies, so much more cost effective. You can even split the cost with a pregnant friend who is due a few months before or after you, or a friend that you know is trying to conceive.
So if you are new to cloth and are scared to jump right in, you can do it! I wish someone had told me how easy it was right from the start. And how cute my little newborn would look with a big fluffy tushie.
Yay for Real Diapers!!!! (and happy two-month-birthday to my sweet little girl!)