Since I first mentioned that we were using cloth diapers on M, I have gotten so many comments asking me questions. I am by no means an expert, and everything we're doing I have learned from friends, a class I took at a local baby store, and other bloggers. But I do know that I'm loving cloth diapers right now, and when I was thinking about using them, I loved getting any info I could from others who had used them. I wanted advice, opinions, and tutorials! So if you've ever considered cloth diapers or have questions, this post is for you. If the idea of cloth diapering is gross or too much for you...feel free to skip this post!
What type of diapers are you using?
I am using the Bum Genius 4.0's. There are so many diapers out there, but after talking to other mama's, these sounded like they'd work best for us. I like that we can use them from the time she was 4 weeks old till she's a toddler. And they're really simple! We also have some of the Bum Genius Elementals that are All in One diapers (AIO), but I haven't even used those yet, mostly because I've found that the 4.0's work so well, and I hear the AIO's are more of a pain to dry.
When did you start using them?
We started with CD when M was about 4.5 weeks old. At this time she was 11 pounds and her thighs were just starting to chunk up. I know you can use prefolds or buy newborn pocket diapers for the tiny babes, but I decided before she even arrived that I wanted to get a hang of mommyhood before jumping in to cloth. My original plan had been to wait until the start of the new year and get past all the holidays, but when I realized she was big enough at one month, we just kind of went with it and haven't looked back.
What other supplies are we using to make this work? How do you organize everything?
I think one key to cloth diapers is having a system set up in your nursery that really works for you. After driving Kate crazy with all my questions and reading this post by her, we set up M's changing table like this....
You can see here where we keep everything. I bought these baskets at Homegoods and they're the perfect size for our diapers. To the left is other random baby necessities. You'll also notice we keep a stash of disposables and we're using disposable wipes. We've been using Pampers at night and when we travel. But other than those times, we're only using cloth. I'm interested in trying hemp inserts in the diapers for nighttime, but I haven't bought any yet. Anyone out there used them and like them?
Since we're using disposable wipes, we have two trash cans. The little one is just lined with a plastic shopping bag and it's for wipes, dirty disposables, and any other trash. We try to take this bag out daily. The big can is for our cloth diapers and it's lined with the Kissa Pail Liner. We have 2 of these, so each time I go to do a load of diapers, I just empty the bag and throw it in with the diapers. I go back up to the nursery and line the can with the second liner and we're good to go. The big trash can is from Target, the little one is from Home Depot. So far we've really had no smell issues...well, except for days when we forget to take the trash out.
Wet diapers go straight in the pail, and soiled diapers get sprayed down with this stuff and then get tossed in the pail. So simple. Thank you to Kate for suggesting this product.
Since you can't use just any old diaper rash cream on your baby's bum in cloth diapers, we've been using coconut oil like they suggested in the class I took. So far so good. Also? It makes a great lip balm.
How do you clean your diapers?
We have a HE top loader by Kenmore that we purchased last summer. I do a cold soak and rinse (no detergent), and then I follow that with a hot wash + a second rinse while using Rockin' Green Detergent. I dry my inserts and line dry the diapers. If I notice an insert has a stain that isn't washing out, I line dry it in the sun, and that does the trick every time. It's amazing what a few hours in sunshine will do for your diapers!
How often do you have to do laundry?
I have about 15 diapers that we use (the Bum Genius 4.0's), and we're going through about 7 diapers a day right now (she's 10 weeks). This leads to me doing diaper laundry about every other day. Occasionally I have to do it two days in a row to make it work, but that's rare.
So you're glad you went the cloth diaper route?
Definitely! I love that we're saving so much money (I bought all of our diapers used and almost new for a great price), I like that we're not creating more waste in landfills, and honestly, they're way cute on her little bum! I do realize things get harder when you introduce solids into the baby's diet, but right now, I am really happy that we chose to use cloth diapers. I was a little bit afraid that I'd spend money setting this all up and end up hating it, but I'm glad to say that's not the case. If you're thinking about doing it, there are SO many blogs and websites to help you get started. And look around your town, too! I know of two stores in Charlotte that not only sell cloth diapers, but they also have free intro classes to answer all your questions.
And just for fun...one more sweet picture of my girl in one of her diapers!