This week, I had the pleasure of talking with Makayla Kane. She is the creator of Southern Comfort Fitteds, a cloth diaper company. She also runs a blog where she provides helpful tips and suggestions regarding business, cloth diapering, productivity and organization, blogging, parenting and autism, sewing, and so much more.
Tune in to this week’s podcast episode to hear the full interview: https://growingourfamily.com/S01E23/
My posts may contain affiliate links, which means that I may earn a small commission from your purchase, with no extra cost to you!
1. What is the benefit to using cloth diapers over disposable?
There are two major factors that go into choosing cloth over disposable. These come down to cost and the environment.
Babies use between 8-12 diapers per day for about 3 years (give or take). At an average cost of $0.14 per diaper, that comes out to anywhere between $1,000 to $2,000 over their child’s diaper-wearing years. This is on the low end, and assumes you buy generic store-brand diapers or get them on great sales. If you decide to buy organic or name-brand options, the cost goes up significantly. Now, multiply that amount by each child and you have a good chunk of change spent on something that gets thrown away.
If you go with cloth diapers, you can start your collection of about 40 diapers for around $200. This is even less if you decide to buy second hand. Most people suggest having around 40-50 diapers to rotate through and allow for less days of laundry. Luckily, most cloth diapers are one-size and will last through your child’s complete diapering years, and possible even through subsequent children’s diapering years. Even better, most cloth diapers have a decent resale value, and can be sold for about half of what you purchased them for.
Disposable diapers can take over 500 years to biodegrade if they are exposed to the elements. However, most of these diapers are buried under piles of garbage, underground, or stuffed inside layers of plastic bags. Sitting here for this long can cause groundwater contamination from the human waste. Even with a disposable diaper, you are supposed to flush the poo, not throw it away. Overall, disposable diapers are bad for the environment in so many ways. The first step to choosing between disposable and cloth, is having enough information to make an educated decision. To read more about how disposable diapers affect the environment, check out the post on “The Terrifying Truth Behind Disposable Diapers” by Makayla Kane at Southern Comfort Living.
2. How many Cloth Diapers do you need?
This question is entirely dependent on how often you would like to do laundry. It is recommended to wash the diapers at least twice a week to extend the life and to prevent some less-than-desirable smells. Newborns need a diaper change about 10-12 times per day. If you would like to wash diapers every single day, you could be safe with getting around 15 diapers. As they get older, babies typically need fewer diaper changes. If you would prefer to do laundry twice a week, you will need closer to 40 diapers. If cost is an issue, you can always start with 15 or 20 diapers and slowly add to your collection.
3. How do sizes work for Cloth Diapers?
Most cloth diapers are one-size fits all. The most common options are fitted diapers, flats, and prefolds. These all can be adjusted as your child grows, either with snaps or a change in folding methods. Some brands recommend getting newborn specific cloth diapers to ensure they fit properly, but then you can move into the one-size diapers after they get a little bigger. This is great because once you purchase the diapers, they will work for the life of your child’s diapering years.
4. What are different types of cloth diapers?
The following descriptions were pulled from The Humbled Homemaker. You can find her entire list HERE. You don’t have to decide on one, get a few different types and try them out! In fact, you might prefer different ones for different occasions.
- Flats: Flats are large squares of fabric in a single layer that can be folded in multiple different ways. The fabric is usually a cotton material and this is the cheapest form of cloth diapering you can find.
- Prefolds: Prefolds are pieces of cloth that is folded into three sections, with the middle portion being the most absorbent. The fabric gets folded around your baby and is fastened or can be laid inside a cover. You have to use a cover to prevent leaks.
- Fitteds: Fitted diapers are usually made of cotton, bamboo, hemp, or fleece and are absorbent but not waterproof. These diapers come with snaps or velcro so you do not have to fold them yourself. As your child grows, you just use a different combination of snap locations to ensure a proper fit. You can check out these amazing fitted diapers at Southern Comfort Fitteds and receive 15% off using the code SOCOGOF.
- Contours: These are a mix between prefolds and fitted diapers. They are already shaped, but they do require a pin or snap to close and also require a cover.
- Hybrids: These are a cross between disposable and cloth diapers. They come with a washable cover but you can decide what to use for the insert. You can either purchase biodegradable disposable inserts or use a cloth insert.
- Pockets: These are one of the easier types of cloth diapers since they don’t need a cover and they come with snap or velcro closures. Each diaper comes with a pocket that needs to be stuffed with an absorbent insert and has a liner. This helps the urine to pass through the liner and absorb into the insert, helping your baby feel dry longer. You can also get a sleeve diaper which is very similar but has two openings in the pocket.
- All-in-twos: These are similar to the pocket diapers, but instead of stuffing an insert, you just snap them to the cover. You can either separate them to wash or you can try to leave them snapped together.
- All-in-ones: These are the most similar to disposable diapers and don’t require any covers, inserts, or liners. Even though these are the easiest, they are typically also the most expensive.
For a full guide on how to wash cloth diapers, check out this full guide by Southern Comfort Living.
5. Cloth Wipes
If you would like to give cloth wipes a try, they have many benefits. They are cost effective, reduces skin irritation, and are reusable! You can use baby washcloths or make your own. Store the wipes in a clean wet bag, old wipe box, plastic tupperware, or even a wipe warmer. You can either soak them in plain water or make your own wipe solution out of baby-safe ingredients. If you would like to keep them dry, you can store the wipe solution in a spray bottle and just spray the wipe before use. For a full tutorial on making wipes, creating your own wipe solution, or storage ideas, check out this article “Cloth Wipes Tutorial Plus Free Pattern”.
Although cloth diapers may seem intimidating at first, they seem significantly less scary after doing my research. I personally haven’t used them yet, but I am seriously considering it for when my son is not in daycare. If you have any more questions on cloth diapers, check out Makayla’s full blog Southern Comfort Living or check her out on social media!
If you enjoy these posts, subscribe to our newsletter on the side bar or the subscribe page! It’s completely free and I promise not to spam you. Just updates on new content once a week and you’ll receive access to exclusive content!
Meet the Expert!
Makayla (34) is a mom of 4 and an oilfield wife for over a decade. She rides a journey in Autism with her oldest son, enjoys reading, learning, sewing, and motherhood. She is the sole seamstress at Southern Comfort Fitteds (www.SouthernComfortFitteds.com) for custom cloth diapers and clothing/accessories (for babies, kids, moms, and dads) for over 8 years. Makayla is also a blogger for all things cloth diapers, parenting, productivity, organization, autism/special needs, small business, sewing and much more at www.SouthernComfortLiving.com. As a cloth diaper and Autism advocate, she aspires to spread awareness and educate at least one person a day as her purpose with her business.