cloth diapering (some of the time)

calivintage - cloth diapering

first things first! i know that cloth diapering isn’t for everyone. having had two babies, i’m well aware of the multitude of barriers that keep people from doing it. before having kids, i really thought i’d be one of those crunchy mamas with babies in cloth diapers. my mom cloth diapered me and my siblings, so i kinda just assumed i would do it, too. but as adam’s birth drew closer, i just didn’t take the plunge. i was worried that just taking care of him would be enough work. i was already overwhelmed and i didn’t want to add to the stress i was experiencing. i lived in an apartment without a washing machine. then, after he was born, i gave it half-hearted try, and of course, it didn’t work out. i thought maybe i’d eventually try again, but before i knew it, he was out of diapers.

then edie was born. i stocked up on our “eco-friendly” disposable diapers and water wipes, and didn’t even consider cloth. i did all of the other eco-conscious things with her like i did with adam. exclusive breastfeeding, babywearing, avoiding plastic, using organic textiles and products, wood toys, all that crunchy stuff. but i didn’t try cloth diapers. until i started chatting with a local friend who recently launched squeaky cheeky, a new cloth diapering service here in town. i had never heard of such a thing before, and it sparked a little glimmer of hope for us. i was especially intrigued because it was the perfect way for me to give it honest-to-goodness try without sinking-in all of the up-front costs of buying a ton of inserts, covers, supplies, etc. that’s a huge barrier because the up-front cost is kind of high when you don’t even know if it will work out for you!

the way the service works, you pay a monthly fee (similar to that of an eco-friendly monthly disposable subscription) and all of the supplies are dropped off at your doorstep. in our case, we got prefolds, covers, snappis, and cloth wipes. then each week, you leave the bag of dirty laundry out on your doorstep and they swap them out for clean supplies. we tried it for a month to see how it would go, and the verdict is in: we’re now officially cloth diapering part-time.

what we learned right off the bat, is that we couldn’t go full-time because we have too many caregivers helping with edie. that’s great for me, but not so great for cloth diapering. not everyone is comfortable learning how to use them, and you certainly can’t send a baby to most daycares in cloth diapers. so we’re using cloth diapers during the hours when i’m watching her, but we use disposables when she’s being watched by someone else. edie also sleeps through the night, and i can’t stand the idea of waking her just to clean-up a diaper, so we’re using overnight disposables so she can stay comfortable and dry without being disturbed.

another thing i learned is that i’m terrible at using pre-folds. i know with time, you get better. but there are also other options. we got to try out an all-in-one diaper, and i really like that you can pretty much change them just like you would a disposable diaper. they’re a little bit more expensive than pre-folds, but they work for us. on the flip side, i’ve now switched over to cloth wipes! i didn’t even know that they existed before, but i like them so much better. for those who aren’t familiar with how they work, you use water or bum spray first, then wipe things up with the dry cloth. wet wipes are awesome for cleaning up dirty hands and faces, or picking up small messes around the house, but i know adam hates them because they’re cold. and those wipe warmers are notorious for getting moldy and gross. so this is the perfect option if you’re ok with a bit of (admittedly gross) extra laundry.

as far as the service, i’m no longer using it because i’m able to handle the extra laundry, but i think it’s a really great option for households who want to go green, but don’t have a washing machine. and it’s an especially great gift for a new family who is on the fence about cloth diapering because it gives them a chance to try it out without making any up-front investment. i know it was a great learning experience for me.

calivintage - cloth diapering
our top drawer set-up. prefolds with bum spray and clippis, covers, cloth wipes.

calivintage - cloth diapering
don’t worry, we lowered her crib right after taking these photos! she was 6 months in this photos, so she had literally just started standing on her own.

calivintage - cloth diapering
calivintage - cloth diapering
calivintage = cloth diapering
the supplies arrive in this laundry bag, and the service provides a laundry bin for the nursery.

calivintage - cloth diapering


    1. it’s a giant bird of paradise! it doesn’t have any flowers and i suspect it probably won’t flower since it’s indoors. there are three plants in that pot and two survived, while i think i may have injured the roots on one of them. they really are lovely in the home! i killed like three fiddle leaf figs in a row before i finally decided that i needed to try something new haha!

    1. we’ve kinda cycled through different diapers because they aren’t all easy to get and sometimes i run out before i can order more online. this site has really good reviews that lay out all of the details and compare some of the best out there: they talk about environmental impact and break down the prices and everything. they also go into all of the details around cloth vs disposables and they review cloth diapers as well! it’s a great site!

  1. I’m so excited because I found out New Years Day we are expecting our first child in September (2nd pregnancy), *and* I found out they have a similar cloth diaper service here that I think you can even register for.

    1. that is so awesome! and congratulations! i think the services are really great, especially during the first few months when it’s overwhelming enough just taking care of the baby. and such a good gift!!

  2. awww her legs!! Babies are so cute.
    I am glad that you are conscious about what you buy in general.
    I did cloth diapering through a diaper service with my first but the service closed down when he was three and a half months old. I was bummed out about that (literally haha). Being in a place without a washer or dryer, I had never bought any of them myself to use, but now I would. I do like disposables when I go out, since it is just much easier to handle that way, but I hate the amount of trash diapers create. I never bought ones that were biodegradable and am regretful about it.
    Now I know a little better for if we have a third.

    1. yeah, a big part of why i was intimidated was because i felt like i had to go all in. then when i finally tried the service, i realized that i could do it part time and that would still be a positive. lots of things we don’t know until after the fact. i feel that way with both of the babies! already telling myself how i could have done it differently! but i try not to regret that i didn’t do things “perfectly” the first time around!

    1. yeah! i don’t know why i always thought of it as such a black and white thing, but doing it part-time still has an impact, both on the environment and also in terms of cost savings over time (depending on your reasoning behind doing it). if i had thought of it that way before, i would have been using cloth way back when i had adam!

  3. using cloth is 24/7 trial and error lol! Once I start liking a style, he grows and we have to change up ou routine a little. I absolutely love the prints of your diapers!

    1. so true! just over the weekend, i ordered a few more brands of all-in-one diapers because now i’m obsessed with finding something even better, whatever that means! there are just so many options that it’s hard to resist trying more and more!

  4. We’re cloth diapering part time too. We started around 7 months. Like you said, it was too overwhelming to add to the mix in the beginning. when they’re pooping every 5 minutes and you’re just trying to figure it all out. Do you put Edie in cloth when you’re watching her and you’re out of the house? If so, what do you do with a #2 diaper? I have a small, zippered, wet bag, but how do you deal with the solids in public? Just put it in the bag and rinse at home? I haven’t made the leap to wearing them out of the house.

    1. you know, i do tend to use disposables when i’m out of the house with her for that very reason! not sure if you do this, but one helpful thing is to use liners! then you can simply remove the solids with the liner and flush into a toilet. then use a wet bag. liners have been a lifesaver for me!!

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