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Real Life Cloth Diapering: Part-Time Cloth Diapering, Allie's Story

This post is included in a series of posts about real parents cloth diapering in a variety of life situations. You can read about parents that work full time, cloth diaper without a washing machine and more! Stay tuned for more Real Life Cloth Diapering Stories from parents like you!

Part-Time Cloth Diapering - The Best of Both Worlds!

Hi, I'm Allie, The Practically Green Mom. I'm a green(ish), semi-vegetarian, coffee addicted mommy of a 16 month old boy.

In addition to this mom gig, I have a full-time job outside the home. Therefore, my son attends a daycare center 5 days a week, where he wears *gasp* disposable diapers!

Trust me, this is not what I had pictured. In my dream mommy scenario, I was never going to let a disposable touch my little guy's bum. I was so determined to cloth diaper that I began buying them to start my "stash" long before I even had a baby to put them in!

Then, reality set in. I had to go back to work. There was a lot of mommy guilt there, but life happens, and you deal with it. I found a daycare center that was the perfect fit for us, but they were not willing to use cloth (and in retrospect, it's probably for the best, because I'm pretty sure I would have lost a lot of diapers in the past year!!) I decided that was a compromise I could make. So, we are officially a part-time cloth diapering family. Little man wears cloth at home in the evenings and on weekends, and it works for us. The only downside (because there is a downside to everything) is that now that he's older, we just don't USE as many diapers. So, on a weekday evening, he wears two or three diapers...which means when I'm doing diaper laundry every two days, I'm only washing six diapers! (Sometimes I'll stretch it to three days, but I don't like to let them sit longer than that.) On the plus side, I still have a fairly large CD stash, so we're not using the same diapers over and over (woohoo....higher resale value!)

If you're just starting out, you could use cloth part-time with just 9-10 diapers. However, I recommend eventually having a stash that could last two full days, so you could use cloth for an entire weekend, and not have to do laundry every day (unless you want to).

As far as what KIND of diapers to use, that's really up to you, and it's honestly a lot of trial and error. What works when your child is younger may not work as well as they grow up. A lot of moms start out with prefolds and covers, which is one of the least expensive diapering options. At 16 months, we still use those quite a bit!

Here's a general breakdown of a two day stash based on age.
  • 24-30 diapers
  • If using prefolds and covers - the above amount of prefolds, and 7-8 diaper covers.

    6-18 months:
  • 18 diapers
  • If using prefolds and covers - the above amount of prefolds, and 5-6 covers.

    18 months-potty training:
  • 12 diapers
  • If using prefolds and covers - the above amount of prefolds, and 3-4 covers.

You will also need a diaper pail and couple of diaper pail liners, or large wetbags, to hold the dirties in until wash day. If you're diapering a teeny tiny baby with prefolds, you may want to invest in a few snappis to close the prefolds and contain newborn poo.

I know that may seem overwhelming, but like I said, you can start small and work your way up. If you're like me, you will find that you prefer your little one with a fluffy butt as often as possible!

I will say that always having the right size disposables on hand is really convenient. Disposables are just EASIER in some cases (travelling, stomach virus, travelling WITH a stomach virus...), and you're still saving a little money because you don't go through a box as quickly. On the flip side, every cloth diaper my son wears means there is one less diaper in a landfill, and that appeases my "green(ish)" side. In my opinion, it's the best of both worlds.

Happy diapering!!

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