Many Vancouver mamas take green living very seriously. One way that you may choose to reduce your new baby’s environmental footprint is by cloth diapering. Over the course of two (or more) years of diapering your baby will go through thousands of diapers, and if they’re disposable those will all end up in the landfill. Not pretty. On top of that, while the initial investment in cloth diapers is higher, you’ll save money in the long run since you won’t be constantly buying diapers.
If you’re considering cloth for your little one, here are our tips for getting started.
Cloth Diapering Tips
1. Diaper Service vs. Diaper Ownership
If you want an easy alternative to disposable diapers, a diaper service may be for you. It’s really easy: every week they pick up your dirty diapers and leave you a delivery of fresh, clean ones. They typically provide you with bags, and they can also sell you a pail. It’s up to you if you want to rent or buy your own diaper covers. This option is fairly expensive though, at about $30 per week.
2. Try Them Out
If you decide to buy your own cloth diapers, you’ll want to check them out before you invest. If you know some cloth diapering mamas you can ask them what they use and how it’s working for them. Modern cloth diapers can be super cute and easy, so don’t settle for something you don’t love. There are local businesses that carry cloth diapers, and offer cloth diapering workshops.
3. Choose a Cloth Diapering System
Once you’ve had your hands on cloth diapers, you’ll want to choose a system. There are two basic styles. The first is a two-piece system where your baby wears a cloth diaper close to their skin and a waterproof cover on the outside. Two-piece systems include prefold and contour diapers, as well as fancier, more modern styles with snaps and elastic to keep everything in place. These systems are typically cheaper, but they’re a little harder to use. There are also one-piece systems, like all-in-one and pocket diapers. These resemble disposables in that they’re really easy to put on and take off, and they typically fasten with snaps or velcro.
4. Laundry, Laundry, Laundry
If you own your cloth diapers, laundry will be part of your life. Ask the person you buy your cloth diapers from about how best to care for them. A must is a big diaper pail. This doesn’t have to be fancy – a large plastic garbage pail with a lid works well. Err on the side of caution and buy something large, because as your baby grows so will their diapers. Of course doing laundry often will keep the smell down, but if life gets hectic you don’t want to be left in the lurch. Some people opt for flushable diaper liners, or for a handheld rinser attached to the toilet, to make washing easier.
5. It’s Never Too Late
Have you tried cloth diapers? We’d love to hear your tips!