For all of you soon-to-be and current parents wondering what is the deal with CLOTH diapers, here is our spin. We will split this topic into several posts because let me tell you: There is a lot of ground to cover. Most of the useful information we found on cloth diapers came from Youtube. But who has time to sit and watch several 20 minute long instructional videos? Not to mention, we had to dig around a lot because much of the information was scattered around. How many diapers to buy? How much is it going to cost? We hope that we can give you the answers you seek and more. This first post will be about why cloth diapering, what kinds of products are out there, and how much things are going to cost. A little back story to clarify our position before we start.
- We had our first baby in June of 2015 and before that the cloth diaper question had come up quite a bit in our circle. We looked further into it and decided it was something we felt strongly about doing.
- Our baby arrived six weeks earlier than his due date and was too tiny to fit into cloth diapers. We basically had to use disposable diapers until his thighs were chunky enough to fit in and it’s been nothing but a positive experience ever since.
- We strive to be conscious consumers on all levels. Just because you can buy anything and everything in this day and age, doesn’t mean you should.
- So why not disposable diapers? The thought of us adding some 7,000+ diapers to pile up in growing landfills did just not sit well with us. Not to mention the idea of literally throwing away between $1600-$2200 of hard-earned money that could go toward baby’s college fund.
- Last but not least, cloth diapers are gentler on baby’s little buns because they don’t contain a gazillion chemicals to suppress smells and absorb liquids. This was something that was also confirmed to us after we switched to cloth diapers full-time. With the cloth diapers, baby rarely had any rashes.
So where do you start? You have heard about plenty of cloth diaper brands that have been around for the last 10-15 years with good/average reputation, but you don’t have the time to sift through Amazon reviews and commit? Despair no further! We have tried to do that job for you and answer some of the questions we had as we began this cloth diapering journey.
What brand(s) should I buy?
What are the pros and cons of each brand?
Is it affordable? What is this going to cost me?
Where can I buy cloth diapers?
To begin, there are several different categories of cloth diapers (see Baby Center Cloth Diapers Guide for more detailed descriptions of the below):
- Pocket Diapers
Now sitting and reading through all of the different kinds can not only be tedious and tiring, but also confusing and frustrating. Everybody wants to tell you what is out there but nobody seems to want to tell you exactly what they bought, what worked well and what didn’t, and how much it cost them. Just tell me what to BUY! Of course every baby is different and there are no guarantees that what worked for us will work for you but here goes. Cloth Diapering advice from one Newbie to another.
We purchased a variety of diaper brands including Gerber pre-folds (which worked really well and are awesome as inserts) but the majority of our stash consists of one size pocket diapers. So for the purpose of this review, we will focus solely on those.
Pros: Top quality and good sizing.
Cons: Cost- $15-$20 per diaper.
Average Amazon Rating: 4.5-5 stars (out of 900+ reviews)
2. Charlie Banana
Pros: Snug fit and adjustability
Cons: Cost- $14-$20 per diaper and not made to last.
Average Amazon Rating: 4-4.5 stars (out of 200+ reviews)
3. LBB/Alva (Same brand)
Pros: Very reasonable cost ($6.50 per diaper) and great sizing
Cons: Made in China.
Average Amazon Rating: 4-5 stars (out of 600+reviews)
Pros: Quality is above average.
Cons: Cost-$12-$20 per diaper.
Average Amazon Rating: 3.5-4 stars (out of 200+ reviews)
Pros: Very reasonable cost ($5.70 per diaper) and good sizing
Cons: Not leakproof. Not a single diaper of ours did not leak. The only time we can use them is at night with two thick inserts.
Average Amazon Rating: 4 stars (out of 70+ reviews)
Pros: High quality material.
Cons: They are not designed for real life babies, leaky design.
Average Amazon Rating: 3.5-4.5 (out of 50+reviews)
We decided, based on recommendations, to purchase 1 or 2 diapers from each brand and see how they work out. This is a good idea especially if you don’t want to get STUCK with cloth diapers that are useless and cost an arm and a leg. The first 30 days, as I mentioned earlier, were a total fail because baby came early. Before we transitioned to full-time cloth diapering we tried some newborn sized AIOs(all-in-ones) but they became obsolete very quickly. By the time baby turned 3 months, we had completely settled into our routine and figured out what brands we liked and what worked for us based on quality and cost. This is what our current stash (baby is now 6 months old) consists of:
- 25 One Size Pocket Diapers with inserts
- 18 LBB/ALVA – We use these regularly.
- 7 Adovely – These diapers are our night diapers
- 2 One Size All-in-ones
- 1 bumGenius-used for day and night
- 1 FuzziBunz-used only during the day
- 5 Gerber Prefolds
- 6 bumGenius Inserts
- 2 Flip Covers
- 3 Snappis
The total cost, of all our diapers and inserts, was around $250. This may seem like a large sum up front, but it is definitely worth it in the long run. The only other costs we had were the cost of a glass spray bottle ($10) and cotton wash cloths ($20) since we do not use wet wipes. Some people recommend a diaper sprayer that attaches to the toilet (~$50) but we already had a bidet. All in all, you’re looking at spending around $350 if you go with a stash and accessories similar to ours.
Why we went with LBB
Finding the LBB Brand was a stroke of luck. I happened to come across them as I was building my baby shower registry and thought “6 diapers for $39.99! Why not?” After trying the more expensive brands out there, we found the LBB to be comparable in both quality and durability. Not to mention the price was awesome. The cost per diaper with insert included is around $6. (HALF the price of bumGenius and other brands out there). Of course if you can afford $16-$20 per cloth diaper you are more than welcome to splurge at your heart’s content. We started off with 6 diapers and after a two month trial tripled them to 18. LBB also has a wide variety of bright colors and adorable designs, which pretty much sealed the deal for us! Here is the link if you’re interested in checking them out: Baby Cloth Pocket Diapers, 6 pcs + 6 Inserts. Basically, at some point, and after all the research you’ve done, you will have to just pick something and dive right in. For that, all you’ll need is some patience and flexibility and you will be golden!
You can never go wrong with Amazon
While Buy Buy Baby has a limited selection of cloth diapers (Babies R Us is even more limited) we opted to purchase most of our supplies via Amazon Prime. Firstly, they have almost every brand available so you can sample one of each with the touch of a button. They offer free 2-day shipping and depending on where you are, tax free purchases. Lastly, if you are not satisfied with your purchase you can write a review as they take it very seriously. After a month of trying the Adovely brand, we wrote a review commenting on their leakiness and within 1 business day we had a response and a refund. Now that’s customer service!
Ok, I think that’s enough cloth diapers for one day. Thank you for reading along as we share our experiences. We hope that, if you were unsure about cloth diapering, you no longer feel overwhelmed or confused. Feel free to leave any comments or questions and stay tuned for the next post in this series!
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