The How and Why of Cloth Diapering

Before we had our son, Bubba*, I told my husband that I wanted to cloth diaper. Even when I was pregnant with twins (which we subsequently lost) I wanted to cloth diaper. I don’t have any specific reason why but I just knew in my heart that I wanted to do it.

Why, you may ask, do people choose to cloth diaper. Isn’t it messy? Isn’t it smelly? Isn’t it inconvenient? Well, my answer is; what diaper isn’t potentially messy, smelly, or inconvenient?

Honestly, putting diapers into the washing machine takes about as long as it would to take a bag of disposable diapers out to the trash can. The washing machine does all the work! I use pocket diapers and they require stuffing after washing. I do this while watching TV and in takes all of about 10 minutes to stuff 20 diapers and fold the cloth wipes. It’s really not that hard. I mean, come on, my 5 year old niece can (and loves to) do it.

I have sewn most of my own diapers. They have an inner layer of organic bamboo velour and an outer layer of water resistant polyester called PUL (polyurethane laminate). I stuff the pocket with a soaker that is 1 layer of microfiber cloth and 1 of hemp terry. The microfiber absorbs wetness quickly and the hemp holds lots of moisture. Together they mean Bubba can go about 3 hours between changes. Really, unless he’s sleeping, any baby should be changed at least this often. I love the fact that it’s cushy, smushy bamboo next to my baby’s bum instead of paper and chemicals…ew!

If you were born in the 1970’s like me you may have been cloth diapered. Back then it was flats or prefolds with pins and rubber pants! Sure, you could still choose to use those methods today but there are many other choices now. Most diapers use a type of hook and loop fastener called Aplix or poly resin (read plastic) snaps to hold the diaper closed. There is also a little invention called a Snappi too. Just for nostalgia, here’s a shot of my sister and me in the late 70’s rockin’ our prefolds and rubber pants!

Look for upcoming posts on the types of cloth diapers and cloth diaper care instructions.

*all names have been changed to protect the identity of the innocent.


About allisontreble

I am a wife, mother, and teacher.
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