The Basic’s of Cloth Diapering

Interested in cloth diapering but not sure where to start? I know when I looked into it, there was so much information I didn’t know where to start! I was overwhelmed and I thought there was no way I was going to be able to figure it all out. Now that I have figured it out, I want to share with you how it works for my family. 
Cloth diapering is easy. It really is. Especially once you get in the groove of things, it’s a piece of cake.
After using disposables for three weeks and seeing how much garbage we were throwing away, I was already convinced that cloth diapering was the way to go. I couldn’t believe how many diapers we threw away. It’s really rather disgusting to see that much waste. In close to one week we practically had our outside garbage can full of diapers and wipes. If only you could recycle diapers…
So, around three weeks, after our guy put on a couple pounds, we started using cloth. We’re using fuzzi bunz and bum genius and I like both for different reasons. I like the fact that the bum genius is one size and will (supposedly) last until he is out of diapers. The velcro on the bum genius is easy and quick, but it’s already starting to wear from the dryer. I plan on hanging them to dry when I can, so the velcro last longer. The fuzzi bunz have snaps, which I like and are pretty slim. These come in sizes which allows them to be a little trimmer. So far they both seem to absorb well and I haven’t noticed a difference in that area.
We have a closed lid garbage can next to our changing table that has a regular trash bag in it. You can buy special liners that can be washed with your diapers, but with limited funds, I’ve found a regular trash bag works just fine. All you have to do is dump the diapers into the washing machine. After I change him, the diaper goes directly into the can. I don’t rinse them or do anything special beforehand. These diapers can sit like this for a couple days and be fine- the poop does come out. (If your child is older however, and has solids- you’d need to dump that down the toliet or rinse it off. Luckily I’m not at that point yet.)

I try to use cloth wipes whenever I can because this also saves money and on the waste I’m producing. Cloth wipes are really just a small baby towell. I didn’t make them or buy fancy wipes. These are just your standard cotton baby sized wash clothes. All I do is get it wet with warm water and wipe his bum. You can make a special cleaning solution if you want, but I don’t find it necessary. This makes it easier when you are using cloth diapers because everything goes in one place. You don’t have to have one garbage can for wipes and one garbage can for diapers- you just throw everything in together.

Right now I’m washing every 2-3 days because we only have 11 diapers. (I’m using disposables at night still.) I’d like to get about a dozen more and then I will wash every 3- 4 days. For our washing rouine, I just rinse in cold (or do a cold wash) and than do a hot wash, dry on medium, or hang to dry. I use a very small amount of Purex Free and Clear detergent. It’s necessary to do a cold rinse first so that you don’t get any stains. Even if you do get stains though, it’s not a big deal. These are diapers after all. The most important thing is that the diaper is clean. A clean diaper should not smell like anything.
Then, I spend about 5 minutes putting the inserts inside the diapers and ta-da! Diapers are ready to go.
And that’s it! That’s all there is too it. I find nowadays I’m doing so much laundry, that I don’t even notice doing two extra loads a week. It’s just another thing. Honestly, the “hardest” part if you will, is putting the inserts into the diapers. This is the most time consuming with about 5 – 10 minutes.

There are many, many different options for cloth diapers out there and many methods. This is just one way that works for us right now. Also, don’t think that just because you decide to use cloth diapers it means you have to do it 100% of the time. There are some days when I use more disposables for whatever reasons, sometimes I use them when we go out, sometimes I don’t. It’s just a matter of what works for your family! 

Do you use cloth? Did I convince you… or turn you away? What are your cloth diapering tips?

Published by Samantha Mellen

Certified personal trainer & health coach helping women transform their lives through fitness, abundant mindset coaching and internal peace. Mom of two boys, living life in Alaska.

7 thoughts on “The Basic’s of Cloth Diapering

  1. I switched to cloth with Gabe and like them so far.. and they are not hard at all. The only thing that I am experimenting with is how to best care for them..because mine came out smelling a little like pee still last time. Hmm….

  2. Kara- finding the perfect washing routine is the hardest part. Before I realized that I needed to do a cold rinse first I ended up with a few stains on my brand new diapers. 😦 Oh well. Are you using enough detergent? Or too much? Maybe try a different kind… what diapers do you use?

  3. Sometimes my diapers come out of the wash not smelling quite as fresh as I’d like them too. When this happens, I either a)run another HOT rinse cycle or b)hang them on the line. I can’t even tell you how wonderful diapers off the line smell! And the sun will literally make all your stains disappear! It’s like magic. 🙂Great post, Samantha. 🙂

  4. I switched to cloth with Landyn about 2 months ago. We use Bum Genius One Size and Thirsties Fab Fitteds and Covers most of the time. But we also have some Kissaluv contours (do not hold poop well at all!!!) and some prefolds (they are a pain and don’t hold much). One thing I do love is the hemp inserts! they hold sooo much. I put Landyn in a BG at night with a hemp and the big insert (he’s 5 months) and then i throw a thirsties doubler on top of it all and fold it over at the top since he sleeps on his tummy. He can wear this 12 hours! I totally should do a cloth diaper post obviously.. i’ll do that another time!

  5. i saw that you became a ‘follower’ on my blog and came to check it out. i am sure you may know we do cloth. i LOVE it!! you gave a really quick and simple over-view. not too scary for anyone. i actually use prefolds at home, i just use a micro fiber or hemp liner in them and they hold a lot for my kiddos. i have to agree with kelli that the kissaluv contours do not hold poo for a breastfed baby, but for my two year old they work out quite well. i use prefolds on my bf baby and with the ‘fold’ i use it holds all his poo in. i love fuzzi bunz!! that’s what we use when we’re out and about and overnight. i just use two liners for overnight. (one hemp one micro) so yes i could go on and on…but one thing i must add is tea tree oil has worked GREAT to help not have smelly diapers. i also use ‘allen’s’ detergent, which can be pricey, but got the best reviews for a front loader washer. okay i’m done babbling. :0) again great post!

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