Monday, June 8, 2015

Tips for Finding the Perfect Stash Size!

How many diapers do I need?

This is perhaps the most common question for anyone starting out with cloth diapers... and it seems like it'd be pretty simple to answer, right? And yet, when you ask several cloth diapering parents this same question, you're likely to get a variety of answers! Why the confusion? The truth is, like all things cloth- what works for one, isn't the best for all. The perfect stash size truly looks a little bit different for everyone.  Some can make do with a modest stash of 24 diapers (perhaps less), while others have upwards of 40 and still want/need more! It all comes down to your lifestyle and your diapering needs! 

Today I'm sharing a variety of questions to consider when choosing the right stash size for YOU.

What type of diapers will you be using?

If you're using pockets or all in ones, you will need a larger number than if you are using covers. Covers can be used 2-4 times (or more) between washes, so in theory, you would need at most half- depending on baby! You may find you need to use a variety of types for different occasions as well (grandparent/daycare friendly diapers, for example), so keep that in mind.

How often does baby go?

If you're starting later, your baby likely won't go as often as a small newborn, so you can get away with less. If using covers, consider how often they go #2. Typically, I've found that we end up needing to change covers each time. Some babies- like my daughter- go only 1-2 times a day, so covers last longer. Other babies- like my son- go after every nursing, so we'd have needed more for him! 

How often are you using cloth?

Personally, we cloth full time- home, night, out and about- even while traveling! Others opt to choose disposables for overnight and on outings...or are required to do so at daycare. If this is you, you will generally need fewer diapers than the family who uses cloth full time.

 How often can/do you want to wash?

Twenty-four diapers is generally thought of as the minimum stash and is a perfectly workable amount. This typically would have you washing about every other day (depending on your baby of course). If you don't mind and can do laundry frequently, this works out well. If you'd like to do laundry a little less often or don't have constant access to a washer, a larger amount may be wiser. (Keep in mind that more frequent washing is still best for keeping away stink...especially in the summer!)

How long do you want your diapers to last?

If you intend to use these diapers for future children, or keep a higher retail value, keep in mind that the smaller the stash, the more each diaper is worn...and the quicker they show wear. (Many brands do offer refresher kits for a very minimal price, so even if you choose to stick with the small stash, that doesn't mean you cannot keep them in good shape!)

Overall, it all comes down to preference. If you want to stick to the minimum, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, especially if your primary concern is saving money! If you chose to cloth diaper for the fun prints and cute fluff then by means 'buy all the diapers!'. Truly, there is no right or wrong stash- just the stash that works for YOU. My best advice is to start small. Again, enough for 24 changes is the typical minimum recommended so start there. You may find that's the perfect amount for you and choose to end it there. Or you may discover you need a few more and you can build up until you reach the point you're happy with.

Contributed by Randi, mom and blogger via A Modern Day Fairy Tale