Cloth Diaper Q&A
Cloth Diaper Q&A
Cloth was a wonderful decision for our family, and I truly believe if more people knew how easy it really was, more would decide to go the cloth route! I am sharing my routine in hopes that it equips you to start your own cloth diaper journey. Watch a video of me in action cloth diapering here.
Why did you decide to cloth diaper?
I really wanted to cloth diaper to a) save money and b) prevent the huge negative environmental impact disposable (and usually compostable) diapers have. Yes compostable is better but it still takes a long time to break down and releases gases into the atmosphere. Also, you have to have a designated compost facility, which means you if you are out and about you need to hang on to the dirty diapers until you drop them off at a specific location made for composting them and most people don’t do that, so they end up in landfill anyways. They don’t decompose how they are supposed to when that happens!
I once nannied some babies and the family cloth diapered. Once I saw how simple it truly was, I knew I would cloth diaper my future babies! Another thing I love about it is that I never run out. There is never a 9pm panic “omg we’re out of diapers and need to run to Target” moment.
What type of cloth diaper system do you use?
We use what is know as one size pocket diapers. This means we use covers and inserts. After much (seriously a lot of) research, I went with Best Bottoms cloth diapers. We bought 6 diaper covers, 18 small and 6 medium microfiber inserts since the small and medium sizes overlap at a certain weight and we wanted to be prepared. They have packages which are cost effective and allow you to choose from an array of CUTE prints and types of inserts (cotton, hemp, microfiber). The reason I like a pocket system is because you can reuse the covers multiple times before washing them (unlike all-in-ones), they are super simple to use with no learning curve (unlike prefolds), and the covers are super customizable for fit. Plus, with the snap system instead of stuffing, you don’t have to touch the dirty insert at all before it goes in the diaper pail!
When did we start using them?
Unfortunately, I couldn’t get the cloth diapers to lay below the umbilical cord during the first few days after birth. We choose to use Pampers Pure diapers until the cord fell off, which was about 7 days. From then on we used cloth and never looked back!
Do you use a diaper pail?
We use the Ubbi Diaper pail with their 2-pack wetbags! We’ve never smelled a dirty diaper. NEVER.
What is your wash routine?
We wanted to stay cost effective by ordering as few cloth diapers and inserts as possible. By having 18 inserts and 6 covers, we do diaper laundry once a day. It’s never seemed overwhelming. We simply grab the wet bag from the Ubbi pail, and turn it inside out into the washing machine so all the dirty laundry falls in and the bag is inside out when washing! You do not have to touch the dirty stuff when doing this. This includes the diaper covers, inserts, and wipes. We do one cold rinse with no detergent, and then put our machine on the “quick wash” setting on warm with detergent and borax (we have hard water and this is imperative to keep the diapers absorbent) on heavy soil and an extra rinse. We use Seventh Generation Sensitive Baby detergent and it works great. We tried Charlie’s Soap but just like some other moms told me, the detergent gave Fox a bad reaction. (I really don’t recommend Charlie’s soap!) We then dry the inserts/wipes/wet bag on low for about 60 minutes, and hang dry the diaper covers which are dry by the end of the day.
Do you use diaper cream?
We have used coconut oil on his bum since birth and it has been so soothing for him! His bum is soft and rash free, and it doesn’t mess with the integrity of the diaper absorbency like store-bought diaper creams will.
If you need to use prescription diaper cream for whatever reason, use a reusable fleece liner so you don't ruin the inserts (or disposable liner if you prefer).
What about wipes?
We also use cloth wipes! We loooove them so much more than disposable wipes. We had gotten some free disposable wipes as samples and keep those in the diaper bag, and they are so thin and small. We use 20 Charlie Banana reusable wipes in total, a Prince Lionheart Wipes Warmer (the one specifically for cloth), and make our own wipes solution although water would work just fine. Fox has loved diaper changes with the exception of his first few days of life, and I totally attribute it to the wipes warmer! Every time time I put the wipe on his bum he smiles!
Wipes Solution Recipe?
2 tablespoons olive oil (or another soothing oil), 2 tablespoons baby soap (we use Baby Castile soap), and 2 cups water. We make a big batch in a huge ass mason jar by mixing 6 tablespoons of oil and soap and then 6 cups of water, which lasts us about 2 weeks or more. The Wipes warmer comes with a little booklet with some recipes!
Do your cloth diapers leak?
We rarely get leaks. It usually means he is outgrowing the absorbency of the insert size or it’s time to change the snap-size. We’ve never had a blowout, and he’s almost 4 months old. We’ve had blowout sized poops, but they never leaked! I didn’t even know he had the biggest poop everrrr until I opened the diaper cover.
How often do you change the diapers?
I like to change Fox often to keep him dry and happy. I typically change him when he wakes up and then before he goes down for naps. Sometimes I change him right when he wakes up from a nap if it was a long nap (more than an hour), or I let him hangout for a little and then change him. He is almost 4 months old, and has about an hour and a half of awake time right now because that’s what works for him! I prefer to change his diaper more often than not, and the inserts aren’t always that wet, but I would hate if he had a hard time going to sleep or woke up early due to wetness that I could’ve prevented!
What about the poop?
All of these questions pertain to an exclusively breastfed baby. Poop is basically liquid and simply gets thrown in the washing machine on the insert. You can clean your washing machine once a month or so by first putting 2 cups baking soda inside and running on the longest hottest cycle, followed by pouring 2 cups white vinegar inside (and some drops of essential oils if you choose) and again running on the longest hottest cycle. I've never noticed a smell or difference in how my regular laundry turns out since cloth diapering!
Once starting solids, there is more consideration of how to take care of cloth diapers. You should dump the solid waste into the toilet by either shaking/scraping, dipping, or spraying it off into the toilet. Did you know you are supposed to do this with disposable diapers too? Yes, it's true. Because human waste in landfill is a great breeding ground for disease and bacteria. There are a number of tools made for cloth diapering to make things easier, or if you prefer, you can use diaper liners to catch the poop.
Did I miss a question? Leave a comment asking your cloth diaper Q and I will do my best to answer!