I have a number of family and friends who are pregnant right now, and many of them want to know about our experience cloth diapering. So I'm sure some of you out there may be interested as well, or know someone you can share this information with. We knew we wanted to use cloth diapers, and I had been researching the options even before I was pregnant, so I had an idea of what was out there, but it was so overwhelming! In the haze of pregnancy, I spent an evening on the verge of tears on the phone with my mom stressing about diapers. I confessed to her I was more concerned about how we were going to cover baby's butt than the whole process of getting him out. HA! Yes, pregnancy hormones are a real thing and they are nothing to be messed with. The fog cleared and I went with my original plan. I'll get right down to business and if you want more detail, read on.
24 Size Newborn Cloth-eez Prefolds
12 Size Small Cloth-eez Prefolds
14 BumGenius 4.0 Snap Diapers
Cloth wipes I made with flannel
~I washed the Prefolds & Covers with Purex Free & Clear. Warm pre-wash, Hot wash with detergent, extra rinse. Hung the covers and wet bags to dry, everything else in the dryer on Perm Press.
~I wash the BumGenius diapers with Nellie's All Natural Laundry Soda. Cold pre-wash, Hot wash with detergent, extra rinse. Hang the diapers to dry and wet bags to dry, everything else in the dryer on Perm Press.
~If there are a number of extra nasty diapers, I will add a little detergent to the pre-wash cycle.
~If a diaper is still poop colored after washing, an afternoon in the sun removes the stain.
~I do diaper laundry about every other day. When I get down to two clean diapers, I wash. Sometimes the timing is weird and we supplement one of the prefolds or a spare disposable.
~The Duo Wraps dry within a couple hours, quicker if they are in the sun or a breezy spot. In a pinch I've thrown them in the dryer for just a couple minutes.
~The BumGenius diapers dry in an afternoon outside or overnight inside. We have a cool drying rack my dad found that fits them all and works great.
~The wet bags take longer to dry indoors - a day or two, but they are always ready by the time we need one.
If that's all the info you wanted, carry on. If you would like to know more, here you go….
We used disposables for the first two weeks. The real concern was getting through the nasty meconium stage. If you absolutely want to use cloth from the start, I'd recommend a disposable liner so that the tar poop doesn't ruin your diapers.
**SIDE NOTE** Our midwife gave us the most spectacular advice: Rub coconut oil on baby's bum during diaper changes and the meconium will slide right off. It's true! No need to use multiple wipes to scrape that stuff off, oil up that bum and get on with your day. **
Around two weeks old we started the cloth diapers. We used Cloth-eez Prefolds from Green Mountain Diaper in the Newborn size. Liam was back up to birth weight of 7 lbs, 11 oz at that time and the newborn size fit until he was about 11 lbs + at 2 months. At that point we were also using the Small size in the mix for nights and naps when he needed more absorbency. We used Thirsties Duo Wrap covers in Size One with all the prefolds.
**SIDE NOTE** If you go the disposable path, do yourself a favor and get a couple of the Duo Wraps. It's like a rite of passage in parenthood to clean up a blow-out but it's not necessary! We don't have problems with the cloth diapers but I don't trust the disposables we use while traveling. So we put a Duo Wrap over the disposable and voila! - no blow-outs. And trust me, there have been a bunch of diapers that would have completely ruined Liam's outfit and spoiled the day of whoever was holding him at the time. Totally worth the $12 investment to grab a couple of them, plus they look cute. **
When Liam hit 2 months old and was over 11 lbs, we switched him to BumGenius 4.0 snap diapers. He probably could have started those sooner, but the prefolds were still doing their job and I needed to buy different detergent for the BumGeniuses so I was waiting. We love these diapers! I would happily do prefolds for the rest of his diapering life, but the biggest improvement with the BumGenius is the moisture wicking liner fabric - the inserts can be soaked through but Liam's buns stay nice and dry. The snap adjustments make it easy to get a good fit and they are as easy to change as disposables. The adjustments also mean Liam can wear these diapers until he is ready for the big boy potty. Awesome!
We use the normal insert during the day and add the additional newborn insert for bedtime sleeping. I haven't had issues with absorbency, but the beauty of our diaper system is that if Liam ever needs something extra inside the diaper, his old prefolds work just like another insert.
Today I decided to adjust the rise on the height of the diapers. Liam is 4 months old and over 15 lbs with chubby thighs. BumGenius recommends changing to the middle rise around 16 lbs but it can vary depending on the size and shape of every baby, so Liam seems to be falling right in line with that. You can see in that picture above how it is pulling a little in the middle - time to extend!
Before he was born, I put my serger to good use and made 50 cloth wipes from leftover flannel. I just cut squares about 8X8 and serged the edges. I made some double sided, but the single ply has worked just fine. If you are cloth diapering, it only makes sense to use cloth wipes - you just throw them right in with the rest of the laundry and never run out. You can purchase cloth wipes or use wash cloths, but making them was really simple and free for me.
We keep a squirt bottle with water next to his change pad to wet the wipes. When he was younger we would spray right on the wipe, but now Liam gets a kick out of spraying his bum. I tried an aloe, tea tree, soap mixture, but something in that seemed to irritate his bottom so we have just been using water. Most experts recommend water for the first few months anyway to keep the sensitive skin happy.
We use two wet bags in rotation .. one gets washed with the diapers and hung to dry while the other one starts the cycle of filling up with diapers over again. They contain the stink and keep things dry. We had intentions of hanging them up but couldn't find a good spot or system, so they just sit between the dresser and trashcan on the ground and that has worked well for four months so I assume we'll just keep it that way.
Did I miss anything? Do you have any questions? Do you now know more about cloth diapers than you ever wanted to? Great! Not a super interesting post, but hopefully helpful!