Getting Started With Cloth Diapers

A friend who is planning to cloth diaper asked me to send her some information about cloth diapering. I thought I’d share what I wrote…

Personally, I like the All-in-ones the best because you don’t have to do any unstuffing before the wash or stuffing after drying. They are a little more expensive, but totally worth it. I think the best thing to do is have a mix of brands because you’ll find that you prefer certain ones at different times/stages and it’s nice to have a variety. My favorite AIO’s are BumGenius Elemental with snaps, Grovia AIO with snaps, Bummis Easy Fit, Kissaluv Marvels, and Tailfeathers. Bummis and Kissaluvs have an option to add an insert for extra absorption at night for example.
Another diaper that I really like using is the Flip by BumGenius with snaps, also very economical. These are a cover with multiple inserts(usually 3 per cover)that you just lay in the diaper cover. So… you can use the same cover multiple times before washing and just replace the insert. These absorb really well.
I have some fuzzi bunz and rumparooz and others… since you have to stuff/unstuff these with inserts, they are just more of a pain… and whatever can make your life easier, the better. You might try a couple though just to see what you think.

All of these diapers that I mentioned are meant to last from newborn to potty training because they are adjustable in size. I didn’t start with/learn about cloth until Clara was about 5 months, so I don’t know what they are like on newborns. I have some friends that use them w/ newborns and they certainly are bulky… but cute!! I think some brands have diapers specifically for newborns. Rumparooz has Little Joeys for example. I would probably use disposables until the umbilical cord falls off though, or at least until the black meconium poo has passed-probably a few days. The disposables we have used and prefer are Earth’s Best. They don’t have any fragances or chemicals etc. like pampers and huggies.

Here are some essentials:

Diaper pail: mine doesn’t have a flip top lid that you can just step on and I wish it did!

Diaper pail liner: Planet wise are awesome (get 2 so you can use one while washing the other)

Wet bag: It’s a smaller bag for nursery/changing table or for the diaper bag. I use rumparooz brand and it works great. I keep my diaper pail in the bathroom, so I just hang it on a dresser nob and transfer the dirty diapers to the pail at the end of the day.

Flushable liners: thin liners to put in the diaper so you can dump the poo 🙂 probably not necessary if you are exclusively breastfeeding because that poo is okay to slosh in washer; haha… and it doesn’t smell bad! But when baby starts solids, they are very handy!

Diaper sprayer: attaches to the toilet and great for spraying off those extra messy ones so you don’t have to dunk. 🙂

Cloth wipes: I just put mine in a tupperware with water once a day. If you are washing diapers, why not wash wipes too?! They are better for baby’s skin and then you don’t have to worry about having a trash can to throw the wipes in separate from the diaper pail.

Cloth-diaper-safe rash cream: sometimes you or baby eats something that can cause diaper rash… grovia magic stick- awesome!! Just put on as a preventive at each change. Smells like a spa 🙂 It’s extremely important not to use regular pasty rash cream or anything with petroleum because it will RUIN your diapers… If you have to use some desitin or something strong, use a disposable until the rash has gone away. You can get Angel Baby Bottom Balm from central market which is safe for cloth diapers.

Diaper-safe detergent: this is also very important. You can’t use regular laundry detergent with your diapers or it will ruin them and cause stink and absorbency issues from build up… The most commonly used with cloth are Charlie’s soap and Rockin Green. Use only a small amount because too much detergent can cause build up. ***important, do a cold pre wash with no detergent, then a hot wash with detergent, add extra water to the cycle if you can, and I also do another extra rinse to make sure everything is washed out. My diaper wash cycle routine takes about 2 hours. It sounds like a lot of water… and probably is, but we haven’t noticed any increase in our water bill and it’s a very important part of the process so your diapers work and last for years. You can dry most diapers in the dryer, but it’s nice to hang them out to bleach in the sun from time to time.

There’s a lot to learn about “modern” cloth diapering… very different from what our parent’s experienced. Once you get the hang of it, it’s really easy and so much better than having to go out and buy disposables all the time. Plus, you know you’re not exposing your baby to any chemicals etc…

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