Tiny Baby, Tiny House– Minimalist Baby Registry Part 2. Cloth Diaper Edition!
One of our biggest expenses when preparing for our wee babe was her cloth diaper set-up and, like I said in the previous minimalist baby post, I would have loved to have thrown a cloth diaper-themed baby shower in order to help foot the bill for those suckers. Every gift card and return credit we got went towards buying yet more cloth diapers or accessories and, in the end, I think we spent or were gifted about $300 worth. This is WAY less than we would have spent on diapers during this first year of life, so financially, that’s pretty good. Of course, the environmental benefits are truly the motivating factor for James and I–I mean, the diapers I wore are still sitting around in a pile somewhere on this planet, but also these cloth numbers are super stylish and better on Stella’s sweet tuchus. We went with a type called “hybrids”,a two part system consisting of an outer, waterproof diaper cover with snaps that adjust the size from newborn to toddler and an absorbent inner liner. This worked great for us since we were able to buy around twelve to fifteen covers and then my mom made a TON of liners, meaning we only have to do diaper laundry once every five to seven days. Since the tiny house is lacking a tiny washing machine, this has proven to be one of the best gifts we’ve gotten. She also made us reusable flannel wipes so if you know someone with a serger, maybe put in a special request!
As for the other diaper-related gear, we found out that barely anything is needed. While pregnant, we racked our brains about what kind of changing table we could fit into Stella’s small space and luckily we ignored the perceived need and stuck with the changing pad itself. Of course, the cats took that over before a baby ever used the thing and we wound up just changing her diaper on the bed or in the co-sleeper bassinet. As part of a baby shower present, another tiny house mama gave me some felted waterproof fabric and that has been one of the best tiny house finds. I bought some by the yard at JoAnn’s and cut large swaths of it to lay across Stella’s bed when she’s getting changed, especially now that she rolls all over the place.
To save space we also nixed the diaper pale and instead have two waterproof bags that hang from a hook behind the bathroom door. We also didn’t buy any sort of diaper receptacle and instead repurposed some beautiful gift boxes from the baby shower to hold the clean and, in theory, folded diaper inserts. A hanging cotton bag houses our large supply of flannel wipes and we simply either get them wet with warm water or use a homemade diaper wipes solution.
So for you folks starting down the ultra-sustainable and über stylish cloth diaper path, here is a list to help you on the way!
- 15 Flip Diaper Covers
- 10-20 newborn inserts (less absorbent, but smaller for those first few, tiny-bottomed months and can be used later as “doublers”, that is, a second layer of material when baby is peeing way more or to beef up the diaper when she is between sizes.)
- 20-50 inserts, either Flip Stay-Dry Inserts, other wicking brand, or homemade. Adjust the total number depending on how often you want to do laundry.
- Two Large Waterproof Bags to act as the dirty diaper receptacle(hang behind the bathroom door and wash along with the diapers).
- One smaller zip-up Water Proof Bag for your diaper bag on-the-go.
- 30+ flannel wipes, either like these Flannel Baby Wipes or homemade
- Rolls of Compostable Liners. Once baby starts eating solids and starts leaving you turds rather than soft breast milk poops, these catch all the poop and let the liquid pass to the absorbent insert. They then get tossed into the composting toilet (or flushed if you’re not on septic) and make clean-up a million times easier.
- Waterproof felted fabric, cut into 3 foot squares.
- A clothesline or Drying Rack and clothespins. The sun’s powerful UV rays bleach the inserts and help get out stains and ammonia. Too much sun on the covers, however, and the colors will start fading. I dry these in the house or just remove them from the clothesline after an hour.
- Zinc-based diaper rash cream, like this one aptly named Boudreaux’s Butt Paste .
- Non-fragrance and sensitive wash Detergent.
And a word or two about washing cloth diapers…
Don’t despair! Or be scared off! It really is quite easy and stress free (if never-ceasing and cyclical…) Wash the stuff on warm or hot and as long as you can. Have a long soak cycle and use a lot of water. We use Grandpa’s high efficiency machine which will weigh the load and then add water accordingly so to trick it, I fill up the waterproof dirty diaper bag with some water from the sink and throw that in to add quite a few pounds. I use the fragrance-free detergent from Costco and often add in one pod of The Honest Company Oxy Boost Stain & Odor Remover Pods – Free & Clear – 24 ct. Our wash cycle goes for about 2 hours and then we either dry the inserts and wipes in the dryer (the high heat isn’t good for the waterproofing of the diaper covers) or hang dry everything. And then comes the hardest part of the laundry: finding the gumption to put the clean laundry away!
Guess what! There are affiliate links up in this post. That means we get some bucks if you think it’s worth clicking. Happy Diapering!