Since I started cloth diapering with Blanche almost three years ago, I have had quite a few friends ask me about my process with cloth diapering. While I am certainly not an expert, I will say that I have made my routine pretty simple. I thought I would share with you what it is that makes cloth diapering something doable for me, even now with two small children.
When I first learned about cloth diapering when I was pregnant with Blanche, my friend from college was selling them. As she told me about the waste of disposable diapers that can take something like 500 years to decompose and all of the untested chemicals inside of them, I knew that cloth diapering was something I wanted to do.
I chose to use Bumgenius because it seemed fairly simple. I had good advice from my consultant friend to probably use the snaps over too many velcro. She said the snaps are harder for babies to undo and seem to last a bit longer. The ones that I use with bum genius are called "AIO" or "all in ones." They are really simple with an insert that slides in the inside pocket, and the outside has snaps that can adjust the size. This makes them usable from what they claim to be from 7-35+ pounds. I have found that both of my babies needed to fatten up a bit before they worked ideally. Blanche also reached a point in her pre-potty training days (from about four or five months ago to now) where when she holds it all day and then does urinate in cloth, it seems to be a little too much for cloth. So she isn't in them anymore.
I have found the more research I do about cloth diapering, the more I realize there is so much to know. In today's market there are so many options and ways to do cloth diapers. I felt like a lot of people looked at me funny when I said I wanted to do cloth, but now that I live in Austin I am surrounded by people who not only cloth diaper but know way more about it. There are pre-folds and wool pants and all the little hippie ways I sort of wish I would/ could have done. But at the same time, like I am trying to figure out, it doesn't have to be all or nothing. There's nothing wrong with doing cloth diapering in a simple way, and using disposables as well sometimes.
The main reason I thought a post like this might be helpful was to list what supplies I have found to be needed. Or what things make it easy. I had a "cloth diaper shower" when pregnant with Blanche, and a lot of my friends and family chose to buy me a diaper or two which has been such a great gift that I now use with Rosemary.
-25 cloth diapers with inserts (bum genius all in ones come with a smaller and larger insert for each diaper) Having this amount can last long enough to wash every 2-3 days and still have a few while washing and drying.
-2 large wet sacks It took me awhile to get this one down. I don't know why it took me so long, but it did. For almost two years I was buying planet wise wet sacks and hanging them on the back of my bathroom door. I went through multiple and no matter how I dried them (on the line, inside, dryer etc.) all of them would eventually leak. And smell. Then a wise friend in Austin told me about Thirsties wet sacks that were actually diaper pail liners. Or you know, ten dollar plastic trash cans from Target. All I do is have one wet sack lining the pail right next to the toliet and place my diapers in there after washing.
- 1 or 2 "to go" wet bags" These smaller wet bags are great for on the go. Its nice to not even worry about messing with your diapers and just putting them in a bag while on the go. My wet bag wasn't from thirsties but is similar to the link below. It keeps moisture and odor in well too.
- Natural "Cloth Diaper friendly" rash cream and wipe spray I actually think out of all my cloth diapering products this one brand is what I am the most passionate about. I love this company and the small family that runs it. She has amazing products. A good friend from Arkansas that also cloth diapers told me about her "baby wipe juice." It is made with natural and healing oils. A teaspoon is added to my little glass spray jar. I choose to spray the cloth wipe and a little on her bottom over soaking the wipes, but it is totally preference. I also love Lusa Organics diaper rash cream. It is so healing, smells amazing, its natural and organic... and cloth diaper friendly. Certain rash creams will not come out of cloth diapers. So be careful.
- Disposable wipes or cloth wipes I actually made a lot of cloth wipes and hankies when Blanche was younger. You can see them here and here. Also there are really cute pictures of Blanche so you should click on those links. But its totally preference on what wipes and when and how and why (sort of like diapers as well).
- Spray Wand In one of the pictures above you can see the spray wand on the toilet. It is a life savor for getting a good start on those dirty diapers. I highly recommend getting one. Actually its kind of a bidet. If you bought one under that name over a special "cloth diaper sprayer" it would probably be cheaper.
Of course, I am up at midnight trying to finish a post about cloth diapering. I do this because I like to feel like I still use my brain. Rosemary has been sick all week, after bringing her to the dr for her check up she got a virus. So, she isn't quite herself in the pictures. I am also starting to fad while writing. Lastly though I wanted to do a quick run through of what it looks like.
-cloth diaper on
-cloth diaper off
-use baby wipe spray and cream to clean
-spray diaper clean in the toilet
-put in wet sack
repeat until two or three days
-wash (I like to use Charlie's Soap )
And when I wash, I first do a cold rinse, and then a hot wash. Normally the wash has a rinse at the end. People get sort of crazy with all the rinsing and how many times you should do it. Then I read an article that said that didn't matter and it made me feel better and I stopped doing it so much.
-hang in sun to dry
The article that said all the rinsing didn't matter... said that frequent washing and sun drying were the most important elements to having clean, white, nice smelling diapers.
So this is what I do! A whole world of taking care of baby poop. My last picture is my "on the go" supplies. I have a mini spray bottle for home and to go. The same with the amazing cream. There is something so nice about walking into a restroom and changing my baby and never leaving any trash. I just throw it all in the wet bag to wash at home. I also love having my babies in just a cloth diaper during the hot summer. Or with a little shirt. Its so cute. I do wish I had a few more girly colors of diapers. I bought mostly yellow and green, always thinking I am pregnant with a boy when it is a girl.
I hope this can help someone who is interested in cloth diapers! Cloth can be super simple. Even if its just around the house a few days a week. It is just one extra load of laundry and can save so much waste from just sitting in the Earth. With cloth all the yucky stuff goes down the toilet with the rest of ours, but with diapers all of that waste sits there forever in a landfill. I hope some of you will be open to trying cloth diapering!
Below is also a great link that has a "registry list." She has supplies like I have listed, but also breaks down different types of cloth diapers with a few brands included.