Casey was born on Earth Day, something both me and Mike are proud of. As a couple attempting to live sustainably, we felt that his birthday was somehow symbolic of what we hoped for our son. Someone who appreciates nature, understands ecology, respects our place in biology and becomes a tenant of this planet we love. In line with all that, we made the decision to use cloth diapers years before we even planned on having children. I remember vowing that if we ever did have kids, we would opt to reduce our contribution to the landfills. I remember his skepticism. But what I love about Mike is his openness to new things. By the time we decided to start a family five years later, he was totally on board.
I read about cloth diapering via Erin Boyle’s blog back in 2017. It was the first time I considered an alternative to disposable diapers. I didn’t realize at the time that my siblings and I were all reared on loincloths wrapped around our bums, pinned with a clothespin. But cloth diapering has (thankfully) come a long way. Cities like the Big Apple can tout cloth diapering services wherein they pick up used cloths at your doorstep and launder them for you. But where we live has no such services. So it’s a godsend that Esembly created a diapering system that can be done at home.
The First Few Months of Diapering with Esembly
Of all the questions I’ve received as a new parent, I have not gotten as many inquiries as I have with cloth diapering. Moms all over the web are asking how it’s going. As if they couldn’t believe it could be done. But as my mom said when I showed her our Esembly diapers, “it’s as easy as cake!”. Esembly has gone above and beyond to take care of the logistics. “I wish we had something like this when you were a baby,” my mom said as she gleefully analyzed the thick, cotton inners in her hands.
To be honest, I had my doubts too. But let me tell you, I love using cloth diapers! It is just as easy as disposable diapers, but better for the environment. For the first few weeks, we solely used disposable diapers. We couldn’t use the high-waisted Esembly inners since it would rub the umbilical cord. It took 10 days to fall off. Because of this, we have something to compare Esembly to. Those who argue that cloth diapering is too much work is wrong. Yes, you need to wash the diapers, but you never will run out of them or have to dash to the store to get more.
Changing nappies are a breeze thanks to the button closures at the front. Multiple snaps make the diaper customizable to your growing child’s size. No wasted diapers that your baby outgrew. The outer fits snugly and keeps wet inners from soiling clothes. Yet the elastic band around the legs and waist make these comfortable to wear. Plus the outers have cute designs, to boot! We have six different outers and we can change them based on his outfit for the day.
How to Clean Esembly’s Cloth Diapers
People always ask, “What do you do with the soiled diapers?” You remove them and toss them directly into the Esembly diaper bag. Since Casey isn’t eating solids for now, there is no need to remove anything from the nappies. Poop, pee, nappy – all of it gets tossed into the bag. You don’t get your hands messy at all. The diaper bag, by the way, fits into this Dekor Diaper Pail pretty well in case you are searching for one. However, a pail isn’t necessary as you can hang the bag on a hook quite easily.
To clean, all we do is toss dirty diapers and bag into the wash. We use Esembly’s washing powder with their agitators (the best invention ever!) and run a normal cycle, followed by a heavy duty cycle. It takes 40-60 minutes to dry in the dryer and voila! If you wish to reduce your footprint even more, laying them under the sun works wonders. It actually results in a neater looking nappy.
To my surprise, the inners haven’t stained one bit. They haven’t shrunk in the wash and they don’t stink. They haven’t caused diaper rash (whereas the disposables started to) which goes to show how nice they are for your baby’s bottom. They store nicely in a basket on our changing cart, and take up less room than a box of disposable diapers.
To be completely transparent, there are a few caveats. We bought the fewest amount of inners and outers needed to sustain us. We have 21 inners and 6 outers. To be honest, I think we could have survived with 3 outers. Meanwhile, 21 inners could have been 24. Minor changes aside, one caveat is that no matter how many you buy, you have to do laundry every 2-3 days. For us, 2 days seems to be the number. Of course, not everyone has the time. Balancing laundry amongst other chores and working full-time is a difficult feat. The privilege of having job flexibility cannot be ignored.
Second, it is an investment. We bought the diaper system, agitators, wash powder, and diaper bag. We were gifted 3 inners and one outer. We nabbed the rest during a sale. (Check out their clearance section for awesome deals on outers.) The total cost was $250. I would recommend adding it to your baby registry if you want to save money. For the curious, this is my curated baby registry list.
Lastly, Esembly works for most situations. Whether you are at home or away, it isn’t much different from disposable diapers. However, the cloth diapers aren’t as absorbent as disposables. Meaning, if you want your baby to sleep through the night, using disposables in the evenings may be better. Likewise, if you’ll be out of the house for a while with nary a changing table in site, then a disposable diaper will make your child more comfortable. There is always the option of purchasing overnight liners from Esembly which absorbs more. We opted not to go that route and still use disposable diapers part time.
Trying is Better Than Perfect
Let me be the first to say that we aren’t perfect, and Esembly isn’t either. But trying is better than being perfect, so don’t let the caveats stop you. Don’t let perfection get in the way of reducing your landfill contribution, even if its a little bit. Using Esembly half the time still reduces 3,000+ disposable diapers per baby! So give it a go. Their try-it kit is a great place to start.
Esembly is a partner brand for TheDebtist. I try to promote companies that I have tried and love. Whenever I choose to partner, I consider the ethics and values behind the company. This is no different. The thoughts and opinions in this post are mine own, as are the experiences. Thank you for supporting the brands that support my post.