The first time I tried cloth diapers, I used a Gerber pre-fold with a snapi under a size one Thirsties cover. It worked perfectly. There were no leaks and changing was no big deal. What I was not prepared for was the wet prefold. I know it sounds silly, but at the time I was at the changing table with a wet prefold and nowhere to put it. Like many of us, I am a “googler”. Yet for some reason I did not turn to it to answer this question. Was it baby brain? All I knew was that my mother used disposables. My mother in law used a diaper service and I remembered her stories of hauling a wet pail downstairs. I did not like the idea of having to produce a wet pail that instant. I thought: “What is a wet pail? A bucket of water and soap?” In any case, I changed my baby into a disposable diaper and I wrapped the wet prefold in a used grocery bag and threw it out. Yes, people. Guilty as charged. In my defense, I washed the Thirsties cover.
Fast-forward one year and I am pregnant with baby number two. Due to many breastfeeding problems and hormonal issues, I know baby number two will be formula fed. Baby number one is a toddler under two years old and not potty trained. I will have two babies in diapers and one that needs formula! The idea of spending that kind of money every month was just terrifying. I started researching cloth diapering in earnest. Paying most attention to what to do with the poop and the wet diapers. Thankfully, the wet pail is mostly a thing of the past (phew!) and a dry pail is just fine. I bought a Planet Wise liner and a “tall” plastic trash can with a lid. Now I would not throw out a wet prefold! The poop is not a problem, since a toddler’s poop rolls out of the diaper into the toilet. No need to rinse most of the time. I am sure this will change with a newborn, but I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it.
A local store stocks cloth diapers. After much pondering, I bought two Flips with stay dry inserts and three Econobums with hemp inserts. I went home and prepped the diapers. By the time I was done, it was nighttime. We were having a lot of trouble with my son’s disposables leaking overnight. In fact, we were using disposables a size larger and yet sometimes he would soak through the diaper! I read everywhere that hemp absorbs very well so we tried it. Why not? I was dealing with leaky diapers at least once a week. Another one would not be a big deal. That first night, my son used a Flip cover with a stay dry insert over an Econobum hemp prefold. The next morning I had a happy toddler that had not leaked! And to my surprise he was dry. I could not believe that the stay dry insert actually stayed dry! Call me skeptical, but I just could not believe that cloth could do that. The inserts went into the dry pail (not the trash). I wiped the Flip cover and put on another hemp prefold. I was back in the store that day and bought more Flip stay dry inserts. I have even added cloth wipes!
I quickly supplemented my growing stash with new bumGenius pocket diapers and bought some used Happy Heinys. This way I don’t have to wash every day. The dry pail does not smell like I thought it would. Pregnant ladies out there, you know how the nose changes! I cannot smell a thing with the lid closed. My husband does most of our nighttime routine therefore, we use the bumGenius pocket with two inserts overnight. I have no leaks to report. Gladly, by now I know I could also use a Flip or an Econobum with two stay dry inserts get no leaks either.
I find cloth-diapering fun and I wish my son was younger and that the weather was warmer so that he could run around in his cute diaper. Soon a new addition will come home and I will be able to do just that! That reminds me I need to get her some coordinating baby legs!
Bio: Sofia M. is currently a SAHM to a toddler and is expecting her second child.