I’m still cloth diapering Jackson… we are working on using the potty and my goal is to have him potty trained by 15-18 months. Cross your fingers!
Some people in my family are expecting and I know others who have been asking about cloth diapering. So here is what I’ve learned along the way…
Learn from my Mistakes
- Don’t spend $20 on a single diaper. I love our BumGenius Diapers but if I didn’t have money/giftcards given to us I probably wouldn’t have bought them. I do tend to grab them first but they all work the same. You will have favorites and you will have brands you do not like at all. You will go through periods where it seems like the diapers just don’t fit right. Your baby is growing and they will fit differently at different times. This is a picture of Jackson in his BumGenius diaper at 2 months. It looks HUGE haha!
- Choose snaps over velcro or aplix. Velcro just doesn’t last and your baby will get smart enough to get out of it. Jackson mastered the art of undoing his diaper with clothes on. It’s true.
- Don’t buy used. In my personal experience it’s not worth it. I bought used BumGenius diapers for $10 a piece and we used them for about 3-4 months but I hated every minute of it. The elastics were worn out and the velcro was shot by the 4th month. The second time I bought used diapers was from someone who bought cloth diapers with hopes of diapering with cloth but never did. So the diapers were practically new! Awesome right? I thought so.. I bought SunBaby Diapers from her… however, they were different sizes (SunBaby has size 1 and size 2) and the inserts didn’t match the diapers. She had tons of diapers and I think she just got them all mixed up. The upside… I use the outer layer as swim diapers. It was just frustrating buying used.
Cloth on the Go
I’ve had a few people ask me what I do when I’m not at the house. Well, when I first started cloth – I was scared to go out with cloth. The first time I went out I didn’t have a wet bag. I guess I was thinking about everything else – do I have bottles, diapers, the stroller, is the car seat hooked up haha… A wet bag was not even on my mind. That day I used a grocery bag to hold the wet diapers… yeah gross. The next time I went out was to Jackson’s Doctor’s appointment. There was this cute little baby shop attached and they had a wet bag for sale – and it was so stinking cute. My mom bought it for me (thanks mom!) and I have been using it ever since. Recently, I bought another wet bag for the days that the first wet bag is in the wash.
I remember one day at the mall my niece opened up the wet bag and put her hand in it… haha. It’s cute and nobody knows I’m carrying dirty diapers with me. Try to get a wet bag that holds at least 5 diapers for those days out at the mall.
Care & Washing
General Care – Do not use diaper creams with your cloth diapers. There are cloth diaper safe creams but I was always skeptical. As far as laundering them, I just dump out the nasty in the toilet and put the diaper in the diaper pail. I don’t have a diaper sprayer attached to my toilet and I’ve gotten along just fine. I just couldn’t afford a diaper sprayer and now I think it would be silly to go out and buy one so late in the game.
Our wash routine is every other day which is a MUST. If you go longer, the ammonia will knock you over AND ruin the elastics in the diapers. Once in the washing machine it’s…
- Cold wash with 1-2 tablespoons homemade cloth diaper safe detergent
- Hot wash with same detergent
- Extra rinse (or another wash with no detergent).
USE LOTS OF WATER! If you have a front loading machine or a HE machine laundering diapers may be difficult since they are built to use the least amount of water. I can’t comment on it since I have an “old fashioned” machine. Jason picked up a washer and dryer for $50 2-3 years ago. Wow!
Here is the recipe for the detergent: (link)
- 3 Boxes Arm & Hammer Washing Soda (55 oz each)
- 2 Boxes 20 Mule Team Borax (76 oz each)
- 1 Large Tub OxiClean Free or “Baby” (96 oz)
The above recipe fills a 5 gallon bucket. Our “laundry room” is in the garage and it is very humid. I have trouble keeping the detergent from getting rock hard in between loads. Next time I think I will make the smaller batch option…
If it’s a nice sunny day – I hang them on the line but if it’s nasty out, the inserts go in the dryer and the covers hang inside to dry.
Sometimes the diaper inserts come out out of the wash with stains on them. 9 times out of 10 the stains disappear after getting “sunned” while on the line. If that doesn’t work, I’ve used bleach on the inserts – just make sure to rinse and rinse and rinse some more!
I used a “cloth diaper safe” detergent from the store and my diapers got clogged with soap. We had some major leaking issues when I used that detergent. I was getting ready to just give up on cloth but I read about making your own detergent (recipe & link above). Once I switched over to my homemade detergent, the leaking issues were gone and the diapers came out cleaner.
I’ve got 12 SunBaby Diapers, 6 BumGenius Diapers, and 1 Alva Diaper (meh), 2 Pail Liners from Planet Wise. These pail liners fit in a 13 gallon trash can – I recommend getting a 13 gallon trash can with a flip lid, and 2 Wet Bags for on the go. At one point I had 6 FuzziBunz, 1 bottom bumpers, 1 Kawaii, 5 more SunBaby (mismatched or wrong size for Jackson) and 10 more BumGenius but those have been rotated out or made into swim diapers.
My personal favorite option is SunBaby Diapers. I bought 12 diapers with 12 blends inserts for $66 shipping included! They ship from China – yes I know – China… and they took forever to get here but they are just as good or better than the BumGenius Diapers. If you are tight on cash, these diapers are the way to go. I did have some issues with the SunBaby diapers. On one of them a snap popped off. I snapped a picture of the diaper and sent an email to SunBaby – they shipped out a replacement without any questions. So that was awesome!
- Buy cheap, new diapers
- Make your own detergent
- Have 2 pail liners
- Have 2 wet bags
- Have at least 18-20 diapers
- Do diaper laundry every other day
- Don’t get sucked in to the cloth diaper world! You can spend a lot of money when you don’t need to!
- Have disposables on hand. Sometimes, I’m a little slow on diaper laundry or something goes wrong like it rains when the diapers are on the line. Also, Jackson doesn’t wear cloth at night. The only way I could make cloth work at night was to make him a big blob of cloth diaper haha.. meaning triple inserts and I just didn’t like doing that.
I think that’s it. If I missed something let me know or if you have any suggestions or anything – please share! Hope this was helpful to some soon to be mommas!