I’ve received a lot of emails lately asking specific questions about cloth diapering with a baby who is now on solids, my wash routine, etc. I figured I would take a minute to answer some of the most popular questions here. I LOVE that so many people are researching their options and considering cloth diapering. Of course, the downside to research in this age of Google is that it can get overwhelming really fast. I can’t promise that my methods will work for everyone, but hopefully this will take a little bit of the guessing game out of the decision making process, especially for those who are trying to predict what it will be like to have an older baby in cloth.
Here are some recent questions I’ve received:
Is the Full-Time Newborn Test Drive Set available at Sunshine Diapers the way to go? I noticed you mentioned you started off with a similar set.
In my opinion, I really think this is a great way to get started. For me, I only had to make this short term decision before actually having a baby. Then I had 10 weeks to find out what system would work best for us moving on. I was able to try out all types of diapers while still using the Kissaluvs Size 0 Rental from SunshineDiapers.com. In all my research, the only quasi negative thing I’ve heard said about KL0s is that they aren’t super absorbent, and that seems to be true. However, that was never a problem with a newborn because you are changing them every 2-4 hours regardless. Of course, there are other diapers you can start out with on a newborn, including prefolds. But, again, I believe the KL0s were the most convenient option for me and I liked that with the rental program I could return them and get some of my $$ back after three months. It made it feel like less of a jump off into the deep end of cloth diapering.
Will that be all I need to get started with cloth diapering once our baby is born? Is there anything else I’m not thinking of, like fasteners or something?
If you choose to go with the KL0s, either from the rental program or by purchasing them outright, you will still need covers for them. I recommend at least 6 in sizes that vary from newborn to small, so that you can have at least 3 in rotation at any time. I used 2 newborn Proraps, 2 small Bummis Super Brites and 2 Thirsties (one XS, one small). If I had it to do all over again. I would have skipped the Super Brites (they seemed to wick urine to the outside of the legs a lot) and replaced them with 2 additional small Thirsties.
If you choose to go the prefold route, you will also need the same number of covers, and some sort of fastener. You could use old fashioned diaper pins, but I hear Snappis are the way to go. I think you only need a couple of those.
What do you do when you have dirty diapers, just throw the diaper (full of poo) right into the washing machine – or do you use a diaper pail? If you use a diaper pail, which one do you use? How often do you wash diapers? What does washing diapers entail?
If the baby is exclusively breastfed then, yes, you throw the diapers – poop and all- straight into a pail. If the baby has started solids or is consuming any amount of formula, you need to remove the poop from the diaper before washing. My favorite method is to line the diaper with a flushable liner. Then all you have to do is peel the liner out of the diaper and the poop comes with it. Just flush it and forget it. I’ve also tried lining the diapers with fleece since poop tends to not stick to fleece, but Kendall had a bad reaction and developed a terrible rash that resembled a chemical burn.
My “pail” is a white basic step lid trashcan that I purchased at Target. My pail liner is a Bummis XL bag. I wash diapers about every second or third day. My wash routine is this: I remove the liner from the pail, dump everything into the washer, throw the pail liner on top, start a cold rinse. Then I add one scoop of Crunchy Clean detergent or Charlies Soap (I like to mix it up) and run a hot wash followed by a second cold rinse. After that they either go into the dryer on medium or on the line out back. Honestly, they haven’t been on the line all winter, but as soon as it warms up I hope to take advantage. When they are done drying I throw them in the middle of Kendall’s floor and we sit down and stuff diapers together. It’s a fun little routine 🙂
Do you recommend a specific brand of baby wipes or diaper rash cream/ointment? What about detergent?
When I use cloth diapers, I like to use cloth wipes, too. I bought several 6 packs of thin Circo baby washcloths from Target and they have worked like a charm. I just spray one with a solution of water and a few drops of baby shampoo and wipe. I have a squirt bottle for my diaper bag and do the same thing out and about. We’ve used Aveeno and Burts Bees diaper cream with no incident. As mentioned above, I like to alternate Charlies Soap, which we use on the rest of our laundry, and Crunchy Clean Diaper Detergent.
How do covers fit into the picture? Are they necessary, or just something for decoration?
Covers are necessary for fitteds, like Kissaluvs, contours and prefolds. You do not use them with all-in-one diapers or pocket diapers.
What do you do with a dirty cloth diaper when you’re out in public? Someone recommended that we use disposable diapers for travel and public outings and cloth at home.
I have two Wahmies regular wet bags in rotation. I keep one in my bag and throw the dirty diaper in there and zip it up. Sometimes that diaper has poop in it. I have NEVER had an issue with it stinking. I just remember to take it out and empty it as soon as I get home. Using cloth while out is just as easy as using a disposable, and it’s fun! Practice your speech. People will see you with them and have tons of questions. It’s the perfect opportunity for some cloth diaper advocacy. As far as long trips go, we successfully traveled for ten days over Thanksgiving with cloth diapers. We knew we would be able to wash them where we were staying (my dad’s) so we brought them. However, when we are going to be at a hotel or someplace with no access to a washer for more than 48 hours, we do use Nature Babycare disposables.
How much has the poop changed now that he’s started solids?
Well, it stinks, and it’s never the same. You never know what color it’s going to be. There is a bit of a transition phase that many people call peanut butter poo. It’s just like you would imagine, the consistency of peanut butter. This is when cloth diapering can get really frustrating. Nobody wants to spend 5 minutes over a toilet scraping poop off a diaper. That is why, if it is at all possible, I highly recommend doing the flushable liners from the start. Like, the minute after that kid eats his first mouth full of cereal, there had better be a large liner in that diaper. Trust me. Eventually the poop with thicken and harden. Some days you’ll get ploppable little turdlets. Sometimes it’s more of a cowpie, but most of the time it’s very easy to get it off of the diaper.
My husband is a SAHD and not exactly thrilled with cloth diapering. Is it possible for him to just leave the dirty diapers for me to handle when I get home?
Sure. My husband seems to do this a lot, although he swears it’s on accident. In our case, I usually come into Kendall’s room hours after his morning diaper was changed to find it sitting on top of the pail, cold icky poop still inside. Despite my, dare I call it, nagging at my husband about this annoyance, it’s really not that big of a deal. Perhaps you can designate a seperate small Bummis bag or wet bag that your husband can place all the diapers and their contents in, and you can just take 10 minutes after you get home to flush them and get them into the pail. If stink is an issue, I suggest sprinkling some pail freshener into the bag. I recently tried some from the same lovely lady that makes Crunchy Clean called Poopy Powder, and I love it. It really helps keep the smells at bay.
What does Kendall wear at night to keep from leaking?
Of all the cute diapers out there, I must admit that I love our Bum Genius 3.0 pocket diapers the most. They are our go-to diaper, especially at night. Since he’s in the diaper for up to 12 hours usually, though, it requires a little something extra to pump up the absorbency. We have had tremendous luck with some hemp doublers from Artsy Fartsy Foo Foo. I bought 4 for less than $20. I use one in combination with a regular sized BG insert at night and have never had a leak. Never.
That’s all the time I have for tonight, but if I didn’t answer your question here or in my two previous posts:
Please feel free to either ask below in the comments section or email me. Also, fellow cloth diaper-ers, please feel free to chime in with tips and tricks of your own!
Kendall is 8 months, 3 weeks and 2 days old.