Before my daughter was born, being a first time mom came with so many hard decisions. From which bottle brand to buy down to what is the safest car seat to get. But one very rewarding decision I made was using cloth diapers. I knew I wanted to save money (and better yet the environment) but I had no clue where to start. I read website after website, watched video after poopy video, and tried writing down all of the tips and tricks to using cloth diapers. You may already know this but let me tell ya anyways…it can get very overwhelming with all of the information out there and can make you not even want to bother!!! There are so many routes to go with and so many questions to ask. Which brand do I use, how many do I need, what do you do with the soiled diapers, how often do I wash the diapers, which detergent is the best, etc.
I knew using cloth diapers was something I really wanted to attempt so I gave it a shot and I am so happy I did because it turns out, it’s actually quite easy! With all of the information that I pulled from the internet , I have come up with this stress free and simple routine that I have been using for almost a year now. Please read on!
First, let’s start with the diapers I use:
I only have one brand of diapers because it has everything I need. I use Baby Cloth Pocket Diapers 7 Pack, 7 Bamboo Inserts, 1 Wet Bag by Nora’s Nursery .
I love them because they come in super cute patterns, they grow with my daughter, on the cheaper side compared to most diapers, and are great at preventing leaks. My daughter is a heavy wetter at night so I just put a second insert in the diaper cover and it works great. I also bought 3 sets of them and they last me until I need to do a load of laundry which is typically within 2 to 3 days.
Second, let’s talk dirty diapers:
Speaking of laundry, my other dilemma after finding the right type of cloth diaper is what my wash routine would look like. It’s surprisingly not that bad! When babies poops aren’t solid yet, you can just throw the dirty diaper into the wash without rinsing it as they are water soluble. But when they become solid, there are several techniques you can do which I will give an update as soon as I cross that bridge. So once my daughter has soiled a diaper and I go to change her, I pull the liner out of the cloth diaper and throw them both in a hamper I have set up in her room. Her hamper is just a kitchen trash bin with a lid that surprisingly keeps the odors in! It fits a 13 gallon trash bag but instead of using a trash bag I bought a Teamoy (2 Pack) Reusable Pail Liner for Cloth Diaper/Dirty Diapers Wet Bag, Gray Chevron+Slate. It’s perfect because once the hamper is full, I pull out the diaper filled pail liner and throw everything in the wash! I don’t ever have to reach in and touch the dirty diapers.
Once the diapers and pail liner are in the washing machine (I have a whirlpool HE front loader), I do a cold wash without any detergent on normal setting. After that’s done, I will do a second wash with a quarter cup of detergent (free of dyes and perfumes) on normal setting with hot water and an extra rinse. Then I dry the diapers on normal setting and use wool balls with lavender essential oil. I have 4 balls and put a couple drops of lavender on each one. It fluffs up the diapers, cuts the drying time, and add’s a nice scent to them!
Third, some tips and tricks that I have learned:
- Scented detergents may cause irritation on your babies bum so use any that are free of dyes and perfumes. I have an HE washer so I use HE detergents. I bought a big container of Arm and Hammer free of dyes and perfume without looking to see if it’s safe for my diapers and when I looked it up, turns out it isn’t. But it’s a big container and I’m not wasting it because it seems to be doing the job. Maybe once the detergent is all used up I will pick from this list: http://www.lilbumsclothdiapers.com/complete-list-safe-harmful-detergents-cloth-diapering/
- It’s totally ok to have stain marks on your liners. No one see’s them because they go right inside the diaper cover. But if it really bother’s you then you can wet the liners with water and squeeze lemon juice on them and place them out in the sun to bleach it. Re-wash afterwards.
- After every month you will want to clean your washing machine due to the odor and residue build up. I use Affresh washer cleaner tablets on a normal cycle with hot water and works beautifully.
- I’ve noticed a love/hate relationship with stripping the cloth diaper liners with bleach once the diapers get a horrible smell (after they are washed and cleaned). I have used mine for almost a year and I think with my wash routine and the amount and type of detergent I use, I have not had the need to ‘strip’ them. Here is a good website on stripping your diapers though but I would be hesitant to try it: https://www.mamanatural.com/how-to-strip-your-cloth-diapers/. Instead I would just buy extra liners Bamboo Cloth Diaper Inserts for Pocket or Cover Diapers from Nora’s Nursery – One Size Fits All (10 Pack, Soft Bamboo)
- Be careful of the type of diaper cream you use. Some of them will cause the cloth diapers to repel the liquid. This website is a good reference to which cream to use with what type of cloth diaper you purchase: http://www.fluffloveuniversity.com/learn-about-cloth-diapers/diaper-creams-and-cloth-diapers/. I myself use Ava baby diaper creme and it is amazing stuff.
So there you have it! This is my simple routine to using cloth diapers and although it’s not as easy as disposable diapers, it is very cost effective and rewarding to do. Please feel free to share your tips and your routines!!!