Friday, February 3, 2012

Prepping and Washing Diapers

Prepping and Washing Diapers.  This is the part that almost scared me away from cloth diapers.  There are so many different opinions, so many different detergents and on top of so much other information I know it can seem overwhelming.  Once again, I can really only tell you what has worked for me.  I'll give you some tips to help develop a diaper care system that works for you.


You will hear all kinds of opinions about what you can and can't use for diapers.  There is a VERY wide variety of choices but not all will work with your water or washer.  I'm reminded of the popular phrase "if at first you don't succeed, try try again."  I went through several different ones before I settled on EcoSprout.  I do have to order it online (when I run out...which won't be for a while because little bags will last you a long time!!)  Many people use original formula Tide.  I have heard many use All Free & Clear (which I do use on clothes) but that the natural chemicals in it can be a little harsh on your diaper materials.  ** ONLY USE POWER DETERGENTS NO MATTER WHAT KIND**

I found this site on my phone last week when I was in a pinch last week and, though it doesn't include everything, is pretty handy:

Any cloth diaper store, brick or online, will have a good detergent available.  Many detergent brands have sampler packs that you can grab and try a few times.  Or, if you're really motivated, you can make your own.  I haven't tried it yet but I think I will in the next few weeks just to see how it turns out.  Here's a great site with a detergent recipe:

If you use a regular detergent then you'll only use about 1/4 to 1/2 the recommended amount.  Cloth diaper detergents use 1-4 Tbsp depending on your water and brand.  The harder the water, the more detergent you want to use. 

Here's a map:  Of course this is city water.  You may be on a well or have a water system and will have to adjust your detergent amount.  If your diapers start to smell bad after just a few washes try upping your detergent amount.  If that doesn't work try a different brand.  You will get stains no matter what detergent you use so don't let that be much of a factor (although your detergent should get the majority of the stain out).  If you are on well water your diapers will most likely turn grayish over time.  This is normal and won't affect the function of your diapers.


Once again, your washing routine is an area where you just have to try and see what works. The Real Diapers Manufacturers Association (RDMA) recommends the following:

  1. Choose the right detergent and know how much to use.
  2. Soaking cloth diapers is unnecessary.
  3. Wash soiled diapers every other day.
  4. For best results, remove solids from diapers before storing in ventilated pail.
  5. Wash cold with correct detergent to remove waste and fight stains.
  6. Wash hot (120 degree F) to cleanse your diapers.
  7. An extra rinse may be required to remove any lingering detergent.
  8. Hang dry or tumble dry warm/medium.  Hemp or cotton diapers may be dried on hot.
  9. Once per month, use oxygen bleach (if it's advisable by manufacturer) in the hot wash cycle to sanitize diapers and fight odors.
  10. RDMA does not recommend the use of laundry additives (including vinegar and baking soda).
Now what I have found is if you wash your diapers correctly the only thing you will need is an occasional soak and and extra rinse to take care of your issues.

My routine looks like this:
  • cold water rinse (though i will sometimes use a hot water too, especially if there's a lot of poo.  I've read both rinses work).
  • Hot wash with high/med water level and 4 Tbsp of detergent.  (even though the recommended amount for CD wash is 1-4 I go for the maximum.  I think that has helped keep mine in great shape)
  • Cold water rinse.
I've been CDing for 5 months and I've never had a problem with diapers stinking or not getting clean.  If you are having problems like that I recommend first upping your water and/or detergent amount.  If that doesn't work, try a different type of detergent.  If that doesn't work you might have to try "stripping" your diapers which includes a several hour to overnight soak in HOT water with original blue dawn detergent.  I find that if I have particularly dirty diapers and run a soak cycle (or pause your machine when it's in the wash cycle for an hour or two) that it takes care of the especially hard to get out messes.

Keep in mind that even with the best wash routine you will encounter stains.  Poo will be poo =)  My secret to treating any stain is actually in the drying process!


It's important to pay attention to your diapers and covers and see which ones can be popped in the drying and which ones need to be line dried.  Because of the different makeups you can significantly decrease the lifespan or even ruin your diapers by drying them wrong.

"When in doubt, hang it out"

I recommend hanging a clothesline in the sunniest spot possible OR get a drying rack.  I have one that folds up and tucks in right beside my dryer.  It's one of the best purchases I've made!  I'm getting ready to let you in on the biggest CD stain fighting system... the SUN.  It's the truth!!  The sun can take care of just about any stain that you have.  Once you complete your washing routine, hang your diapers outside in DIRECT sunlight.  Along with making them smell nice and fresh the sun will zap the stains right out.  If it's a tough stain you may need to wash and repeat sunning (or if you're really on the ball you can keep wetting the stain with a spray bottle of water all day). 

MOST pocket diapers can be dried in the dryer but again, make sure you read the directions (or give plenty enough time to hang them up to dry).  You can dry a few inserts on high but I usually just put all my dry able things in and dry them all on low.  The most important thing to remember about the dryer is NO FABRIC SOFTENER.  These will ruin your diapers.  Be diligent about taking a peak and making sure you don't have a stray one floating around.

I like to hang my favorite diapers out to dry because keeping them out of the dryer makes them last longer.  I know this sounds like a lot of work but after a few weeks it will become second nature and you won't think twice about it.


Unfortunately, unlike clothes, most diapers are not wash and wear.  Some take time to "prep" or get ready for first use.  Don't get discouraged.  The ones that take the longest to get ready are more than likely the ones that will save you (and your sheets) in the event of a blowout or heavy wetter. 

Natural Fibers (hemp/cotton)
Wash 3-5 times in hot water using proper amount of detergent for the product.  Dry hot between each wash 

Polyester Fibers
Wash product once using the proper amount of detergent for the product.  Dry warm

Wool Products
Hand wash wool in lukewarm water with wool wash.  Line dry or lay flat

** you must prep each fabric individually.  For instance, if you try to wash a load of new hemp diapers and polyester blend fibers together, the natural oils of the hemp will attach to the polyester and will, in essence, make your polyester blend waterproof.
After initial prep all diapers can be washed together in your normal routine EXCEPT wool. 

For natural fibers there is a quicker way although it is debated how good it is for the product.  I did it for prefolds and I haven't had a problem with them.  This is for materials that have no snaps or Velcro's (like prefolds and flats).
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. 
  2. Add a few prefolds and a few drops of original blue dawn (optional) ** allow enough room for the prefolds to move around.  If you're using a regular size pot you'll only want to add 3-4 prefolds at most.
  3. Boil for 20-30 minutes
  4. Dry on high heat
This will save you 5-6 prep washes.  It's good if you are just wanting to prep a handful of diapers.

So that will do it for prepping and washing!  If you have any questions feel free to ask.  I love talking about CDing!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

An Invaluable Resource

As I was reading through the comments some people left on my blog (sorry I couldn't cell phone doesn't like to cooperate) I was reminded of something that COMPLETELY slipped my mind.  The very first thing you should do when thinking about cloth diapering is check to see whether or not you have a store near you.  When I was entertaining the thought of cloth diapering Trace I dropped in my local store (Green Baby Diapers - ) and left with my diaper service registration sheet in hand!  Over the rest of my pregnancy, as I researched, I did decide to try my hand at doing them all myself.  Had I been more squeamish I would have for sure signed up for a cloth diaper service.  Basically the only thing I would have had to do is change Trace and throw the diapers in a bag.  When the pickup day rolled around I would just set the bag outside and wait for my nice clean bag of diapers to be dropped off.  Doesn't get any easier than that!!  If you are worried about the price it will actually run you about the same as disposables (or less). 

To put it in perspective, if you do a cloth diaper service you will not have to:
  1. Wash Diapers
  2. Buy diapers
  3. Run out at bath time to pick up a bag of diapers because you didn't realize you were out
  4. Pile a ton of garbage in a landfill for 500 years
  5. Put for any diapering effort aside from wiping and re-clothing
Sounds pretty easy right?  That's because it is...and there's no catch.  Diaper services are becoming increasingly popular so check it out!

Oh, and an added benefit (especially if you decide to take on everything yourself...because you get addicted to cloth diapers...not that I'm speaking from personal experience ha ha) is that the people who run cloth diaper services/stores are EXPERTS!  Most likely they are offering the service because they believe in it and they can be more help than any online how-to (or blog!) that you can find. 

The wonderful ladies at Green Baby Diaper showed me folds, answered a ton of questions and let my daughter pull out every toy she could find.  Not only will you find cloth diapers in these stores but you will also find accessories and in many many cases a large variety of useful (and locally made) products like clothes, bags, pillows, hairbands and on and on.

So do your research and check out local stores around you.  They are by far the best resource you will find!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Getting started: The Necessities

So you've decided to Cloth Diaper (or at least your still seriously considering it)  YAY!!  Please don't let this post scare you away.  I'm covering a lot of stuff really fast.  We'll break it down over the next several weeks/months but I feel it's important to get all of this information out there now because I think it will save you a lot of time, stress and MONEY.  In this post i'll be going over everything you'll need to get prepared for the cloth diapering aspect of welcoming your new little one.  Please keep in mind that this is based on my experience alone (with a few helpful tips I gained talking to other moms).  That brings me to my first point.

Here's the thing, one persons "perfect system" will be another persons cloth diapering disaster.  Not everything will work for everybody.  You really have to ask yourself several questions.  The first few weeks of cloth diapering can be rough (as you will be sleep deprived, life altered, etc etc).  I have heard people that take to it like fish in water and then there's people like me.  I'd be lying if I said it was easy for me (or even that I stuck to it completely in the beginning).  If we have any more kids I can promise you a disposable will not touch his/her behind..i am THAT into CDing now. 

The biggest tip I can give you, spend that little bit of money and get some liners!  You can use the disposable biosoakers (GroVia makes some great ones), or you can buy a roll of them (looks similar to toilet paper and several companies make them).  Just rip off one, lay it in your diaper and be done OR you can buy some fleece material and make your own.
Why diaper liners?  Are you worried about meconium (the tarry black "pre poo" that you will experience in the hospital)?  Diaper Liner.  Are you thinking about circumcision and wondering how the ointment will affect your cloth?  Diaper Liner.  Are you worried about diaper rash creams (that you have to be particular about with CD's)?  Diaper Liner.  You get my point.  **side note:  I probably will not cover circumcision in my blog because it can be a hot topic but if you have questions/concerns please private message me and I would love to discuss my thoughts and experience. 

I've already rambled enough and haven't even gotten to the essentials yet.  Let me get down to it.  "THE CLOTH DIAPER LIST" (per Missy).

1.  Diapers

As you know by now, you have many options.  Here's where you really need to look at your personal needs and try and go for the diapers that will suit you.  So how many diapers do you need?  That depends on how often you want to do laundry.  The average baby needs a diaper change 10-12 times a day.  That is average.  Your child may use more or less.  The older they get, the less they will need a change but it will take a while to really get into a routine and establish an exact number of what works for you.
  • You can probably get by on 13-15 diapers.  You will be washing daily (most likely at night or early morning when your baby only has a couple clean ones left).  They will need to be quick drying diapers because chances are you won't even get them shelved before you use them again.
  • An easier option is to have 2 days worth, or 20-25 diapers.  That's one set to wash and one to wear.  You will probably still be doing a diaper load every day but you will be able to put them up instead of diapers going straight from basket to booty.
  • The best option is to have 3 days worth or 30-40 diapers.  That's 2 sets in the wash and one to wear.  This will allow you to wash every 2-3 days and it will also be less wear and tear on your diapers.
This is usually why you will find a variety of diaper types in an individuals stash.  40 AIO diapers at 12-30 dollars a pop doesn't sound as economical as a few covers and prefolds which are just a few dollars or less.  The more variety you try and the longer you CD the more comfortable you will get (especially when you find that perfect combination and everything clicks).  I suggest keeping an eye out on some deal sites and snagging a few here and there you may be interested in.  A few are:  ** my favorite
You can also check out Jillians Drawers, Kelly's Closet, Mothers Milk Boutique, Green Mountain Diapers and Cotton Babies (all of which offer sale, clearance and seconds sections).

Newborn Diapers 
Babies grow FAST but you have several options.  You can:
a)  Buy your own newborn stash.  If you purchase a whole set just to get you through those first few weeks or months the chances are you're going to spend a pretty large chunk of change, especially if you get AIO diapers.  Granted, since they're not used a lot they will be in excellent condition and you will be able to resell them if you put your mind to it (recovering 50-90% of the cost).  There are many buy, sell, trade boards just for this.  It allows you to get exactly what you want.
b)  Borrow a friends.  Chances are you know someone that CD's.  Just ask around.  Any parent that is into cloth diapering (and has kept their stash) will more than likely be thrilled to let you borrow some.  Like I mentioned before not everyone's individual system works for every family so you run the risk of not meshing well with the borrowed diapers you receive.  But hey, it's little to no cost. 
c)  A Newborn Trial pack.  Check out Jillians Drawers newborn Changing Diapers Changing Minds trial pack.  It's a 21 day trial.  You pay 160.00 and get a variety set of newborn diapers.  Try them out for 21 days and then send them back for a 140.00 refund (to your card, it's not a store credit).  Go here: and check out the details (includes a list of the diapers).  This DOES mean you will be washing diapers every day for 21 days unless you get a few more to supplement. 

Infant Diapers
If your baby is small or skinny the chances are they will only fit into designated "newborn" diapers or prefolds with covers.  There may be diapers (even if they are "one size") that will not fit until your baby is several weeks (or even months) old.  When your little one grows out of the newborn size you will be able to try different types of diapers to see what works for you.  I used prefolds/covers for Trace as a newborn but he HATED to be wet.  After the first couple weeks I changed diapers every hour.  That is why I got really discouraged and went through several packs of disposable diapers until I finally figured out what worked for us.  Don't give up.  There are so many options just keep trying them out until you find what works.  There's a few things you have to ask yourself.
a)  Who's watching your child?  Are you going back to work or staying home?  If you are leaving your child with a babysitter or day care you will want to discuss CDing with them.  AIO's are definitely the easiest (or you can stuff the pocket diapers).  You will want to make sure you have enough.
b)  Think about your night time situation.  As a baby gets older they sleep longer and therefore wet more.  I found (and still find) this to be the most challenging part.  There have been several nights that's I've had to change Trace entirely (several times).  If you have a heavy wetter you may need to add a handful of super absorbent diapers (or inserts) to your stash.
c)  How often do you leave the house?  If you are out and about a lot then the chances are bulky AIO systems (while having the least amount of parts) take up the most room.

There is also a 21 day trial at Jillians Drawers for older babies (after newborn up to 32 lbs).  It includes several different types of diapers and like the newborn trial you return it after 21 days for a full refund (minus 20 dollars).  Or you can keep it if you like it all and it's still a great deal.

2.  Wet Bags / Dry Bags / Pail Liners

Wet bags or pail liners are what you will use to store your dirty diapers in between washes.  Again, you have several options.

Wet Bags
These are lined with waterproof material.  You just toss your dirty diapers into them and dump the diapers into the wash when you're ready.  The wet bags goes right into the wash with them.  You can find a variety of different sizes, types and closures.  I have a hanging wet back from Fuzzibunz.  It hooks right onto my changing table.

It's helpful to have 2 large wetbags and 2 small ones (for your diaper bag).

Dry Bags
Just like wet bags only they have no waterproof material.  You can really use anything for a dry bag.  There are several companies that make a wet/dry bag.  It holds your clean diapers on one side and dirty diapers on the other.  Very helpful for a diaper bag.

Pail Liners
These can be dry bags or wet bags.  You usually place them in a trash can (or diaper pail system) to hold your dirty diapers.  Again they come in a variety of sizes.  The best part about Pail liners is that there are a lot of accessories you can purchase to combat the dirty diaper smell.  They are, typically, more expensive.

Planet Wise Diaper Pail System

3.  Diaper Accessories

Cloth Wipes
We covered this in a previous blog but if you are interested in cloth wipes you will need enough to get you through each wash.  I would suggest starting with 20-30 and add from there if you need to.

Wipe Solution
Again, you will only need it if you are planning on cloth wipes (though it is helpful for spraying on the tush for extra protection).

Snappis or Diaper Pins
If you are using contours, flats or prefolds you will need a few sets of diaper pins or snappis.  Personally I have no experience with diaper pins and probably never will because I like the snappi so much.

Here's a quick youtube video.  You can easily get by with 2 snappis although if you are using mainly prefolds and covers you may want to get more.

I mentioned it already but liners are a great thing for cloth diapers.  Whether you make them yourself or buy them it can prevent stains, make cleanup easier and is the perfect solution if you have to use a cream on your baby that you're unsure about.

4.  Diaper Cream

Here's a very important thing to remember about cloth diapers. 


You must look for a diaper cream that says "safe for cloth diapers".  Most diaper creams have ingredients that will ruin your diapers.  Either they have chemicals that will break down the fabric or they will cause a buildup that will make your CD's repel any sort of liquid.  Thankfully if you are using cloth diapers your babes bottom will be free of chemicals and get more air (because of the fabric makeup of CD's) so you will probably not have to deal with diaper rash.  There are some kids, however, that are just prone to diaper rash and if your little one is allergic to a certain food(s) you will most likely have to reach for a tube of something.  So what works?

Like everything else in CDing you have several options. 
  • A cloth diaper safe store bought cream.  California Baby makes a calming diaper rash cream that is cloth diaper safe (although the website says to spot test).  This is easily accessible but pretty pricey at almost 12 dollars for just under 3 oz.  There may be some other options out there.
  • A diaper cream made specifically for cloth diapers.  CJ's has a line of products.  I have tried CJ's BUTTer which is made just for cloth diaper bottoms.  The downside is that you probably won't find these products in a store (unless you have a local cloth diaper store).  There are many online cloth diaper sites that you can order from and Amazon has almost everything.  Almost every diaper brand will have their own diaper cream.
  • Make your own cream.  There are so many (natural) things that are great for baby.  Just like a wipe solution you can try your hand at cloth diaper cream.  Again, it will probably be a little pricey but you get the benefit of making your own and it also doubles as a skin cream for adults and toddlers.  If you want to go simple there are several other things that work:
  • Coconut Oil.  If you live by a health food store, Whole foods or farmers market, or even in a bigger grocery store you can find coconut oil.  Coconut oil is anti-fungal, anti-viral and antibacterial.  You can use it in solid form or liquid (it will liquify around 72-76 degrees).  It also doubles as moisturizer, sunburn tamer and is great for eczema.
  • Lanolin.  Make sure you get pure lanolin.  The easiest place to find it is in Lansinoh cream.  That is the same cream you will be using if you breastfeed.  It's 100% safe for babies and for cloth diapers.  I am currently using Lansinoh for Trace and it's amazing!
I think that will be enough information today =)  I was going to post my CD stash and accessories but I'm already getting long winded.  Maybe in another blog.  If there's anything you'd like me to cover specifically let me know.  I think I'll do prepping and washing diapers next!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Have you thought about Cloth Wipes?

I know you're on cloth overload about right now.  Feel free to message me on Facebook or if you need help with specific questions.  If I don't know the answer I will find someone who does.

Something I didn't think about until I got well into my cloth diaper purchases was cloth wipes.  Of course, if you're like me, you're thinking "geez, haven't I saved the planet I really need to add to my every growing laundry duties".  The truth is, cloth wipes will make your CD experience even easier.  You simply toss them right into the dirty diaper pail and wash / dry with your diapers.  Not convinced?  Let's do some pros and cons.


1.  Already wet so you don't have to use a solution
2.  Portable - only takes a second to throw a package in the diaper bag
3.  Disposable - don't have to worry about washing

1.  Chemicals - some wipes have chemicals that can dry out your babies skin
2.  More garbage
3.  Higher cost.  Even if you only use one a diaper change (not likely).  That's at the LEAST around 10 a day, 365 days a year which totals to 3,650.  It adds up.
4.  Harder to use if you are cloth diapering because you have to have a separate trash can and can't wrap them up in the diaper.

Cloth Wipes

1.  Easiest to use with CD's because you just toss them in the hamper with the diapers
2.  Cost effective.  You can buy a package of 20 for 6 dollars and reuse them until they fall apart OR you can buy cheap fabric (cotton, fleece, etc) and make your own.  They don't have to be pretty.
3.  Chemical Free
4.  No garbage

1.  Takes a little bit longer to use because you have to wet them or spray your little ones tush. (Though it's not always necessary especially if you have soft wipes). 
2.  Adds another handful of laundry.

Cheaper...Easier...count me in!!

Like I mentioned it is helpful to have a wipe solution (though I have heard of some people that simply use water).  Wipe solutions combine different baby friendly ingredients (such as lanolin, coconut oil, etc) and are fabulous for healthy baby bottoms.  If you want to use a solution there are several simple options.

A.  Buy a premade solution (such as Thirsties Booty Luster).  It can be expensive at around $10 a bottle but it lasts a LONG time and it's made with quality ingredients.

B.  Get a concentrated version (such as Baby Bits).  These come in larger packages of 50 for around 12 dollars.  You put one baby bit in a bottle of water, shake and use. 

C.  Make your own solution.  This can be great if your little one doesn't do well with fragrance or another ingredient that may come with a premade solution.  It can be a little expensive to buy all of the ingredients but it will last you a long time.  I'll cover some simple recipes in a future blog.

Up Next:  What you'll need to get started!  Hopefully i'll get it up tomorrow.

1,000 ways to Cloth Diaper: An overview of CD systems

Truth:  If you are new to cloth diapering the amount of information will seem overwhelming.

I can't tell you how many nights I spent pouring over Internet sites until I was cross eyed and more confused then when I started.  It's almost like another language (and admittedly one that I still haven't fully mastered).  I think any person who understands the ins and outs of CD's should have a degree.  I am not here to tell you that I know it all, or that I even know what works best.  I can only tell you what I have found that works for me.  Over the next several posts I will try to cover everything you need to get started as simply as I can.  So first up...diapers of course.  Keep in mind this is only an overview.  My plan in the coming weeks/months is to cover each of these more in depth.  Right now I just want to quickly cover each so you become aware of how many options are out there and become familiar with some of the terms.

When you look at diapers you will use every day there are basically two categories: 
1.  Diapers that use covers.  These are basically two part systems.  You change the cloth against your babies skin and reuse the covers.
2.  One use diapers.  Same idea as disposables.  You use these diapers once and then the whole system gets washed.

 Diapers that use covers


This IS your mama's cloth diaper.  In many cases it might be what you lived in as a child (if you are in your 30's or older).  Flats are exactly what they sound like.  A flat, squarish piece of cloth that is folded and then pinned/snappied on your baby. 
There are three "folds" for these.  Origami, Kite and Pad.  You can use diaper pins or a snappi (the end attachments are similar to the little metal closures they use for wrap bandages...only plastic.  You simply hook one side, stretch to the other and then hook the bottom...more on this later). 
Flats are cheap, easy to find and versatile.  You MUST use a waterproof cover over a flat.


Prefolds are flat and rectangular.  They have 3 sections with the middle one holding a bit more absorbency than the sides.
They come bleached (white) or unbleached (cream/tan) and sometimes have colored borders to distinguish the size.  There are a plethora of folds you can do and  use the snappi OR you can simply trifold them and lay them in your cover.  Prefolds are affordable and durable.  If you finish using them as diapers they make great dust/cleaning rags.  They can be bulky and intimidating to use at first.  Again you MUST use a cover.

Fitted and Contours

A fitted or Contour diaper is a very absorbent cloth diaper that uses snaps/aplix (fitted) or tabs that you fold over and pin/snappi (contour). 

Fitted little beetle diaper
Fitteds may look like a pocket diaper but they need a cover.  The entire diaper is absorbant which is why it makes a great night time solution (often paired with a wool cover).  They do take a little more time to put on then other diapers but are your best bet if you are having a problem with leaks.  You can even find fitted diapers with pockets or snap in inserts for even more absorbency.  These will be a lifesaver if you have a heavy wetter.

Contours are similar to fitteds but they have no snaps/aplix. 
Pooters Contour
These will need diaper pins or snappis.  They are very useful for newborns who need constant size adjustments.  Contours generally do not offer as much absorbency as fitteds.

All in Two (AI2)

AI2's are waterproof covers (often called shells) that have replaceable inserts (sometimes called soakers).  The inserts/soakers come in a variety of materials and many people choose these systems because they are easy and affordable. 

Grovia Shell
Grovia snap in soaker (insert)
You may even purchase biodegradable disposable inserts (often called hybrid systems when combined with a cover) which can save a lot of space and can be a good option if you have limited use of a washing machine (though I have found these to be somewhat tricky to position correctly for boys).  AI2's often leak more than other systems because the insert can shift.  ** The popular flip diaper system is in the AI2 category. 

With all of the above mentioned system you will need a cover.  Covers come in different closures:  Snap or Hook and loop / Aplix (similar to velcro). 
You can reuse covers until they get soiled.  (If mine get a little damp I will air them out and reuse them as long as they don't smell).  The less you wash them the longer they will last. 
Sometimes they will be sized according to weight or age and some covers will be one size where you can adjust them with snaps or elastic.
On a preference note, I prefer covers that have gussets which is just another layer of fabric inside of the leg gathering that offers an extra bit of protection from leaks.
Bummi's cover with gusset

One Use Diapers

All in Ones (AIO)

AIO's are the closest relative (cloth wise of course) to the disposable diaper.  Each diaper has many layers but they are all sewn together creating a system that requires no stuffing, folding or pinning.

Some AIO's take much longer to dry than other diapers because of all the layers.  They are often pricier than other diapers and if you get the sized diapers (which offer a better fit) instead the one sized diapers (which can be adjusted to go from newborn to potty training) they will have to be replaced several times.  AIO's are the best thing to leave with people who aren't used to CDing (babysitters, grandparents, etc).

There are other styles of AIO's, like the tongue style, where diaper looks like a pocket style (see below) but the insert is attached.  You simply stuff the insert back into the pocket after you wash it (this allows for faster drying time along with the ability to place more inserts into the pocket if needed).  Snap-in-Ones are AIO's with a detachable insert.  The covers are only intended for one time use which is what differentiates them from an All-in-Two.


A pocket diaper is any cloth diaper that has a pocket opening and can be stuffed with any variety of insert. The pocket opening can be in the back, front or even the middle. 
These are popular because they dry fast (many can even be dried in your dryer which is a time saver if you have a smaller CD stash.  Most come with microfiber inserts but you can purchase a variety from hemp to bamboo (and more) that makes the diaper customizable according to your needs. 
Rumparooz Pocket diaper
Pockets are often cheaper than all in ones.  The downside is that you have to shake the insert out after each use and then re stuff them after the diapers are dry.  This can be time consuming (and sometimes frustrating) if you have a large stash.


Sleeve diapers are pocket diapers that have an opening in the front and back.  They still need to be stuffed but the advantage of sleeves is that you don't have to take the insert out because (most of the time) it will agitate out in the wash.  This is great for people who don't like to deal with soiled inserts.  It's also a good "on the go" diaper because you don't have to worry about dealing with a pile of soiled inserts when you get back from town. 

*** A note about one size diapers.  Most of the diapers / covers categories mentioned above are available in "one size" options.  These can be adjusted with snaps, slides (like drawstrings) or buttonholes (where you tighten or loosen around the legs or waist with elastic hooked to buttons).  All of these make a diaper more customizable, which in turn will be usable for a longer period of time however it can make the diaper bulky and more prone to leaks (because of error in sizing). 

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Why use Cloth Diapers?

I get "the look" from almost everyone when I mention cloth diapers.  If I don't get a look then more times than not I hear "oh I thought about it but *insert excuse*".  Now don't get me wrong, I'm definitely not looking down on those who use "sposies" (disposable diapers).  If you want the truth, cloth diapers didn't even enter my mind until my 3 year old was almost potty trained so I was a user (and lover) of sposies for several years.  Now that I use cloth diapers I can see the massive amount of benefits to me, my children and future generations.  Why use Cloth Diapers?  Why not??  Here is a list of common questions/concerns/myths and my response to them.

Cloth is too much work.
Gone are the days of thin fabric and plastic pants.  It ain't your mama's cloth diapers!!  There are so many options today.  I'm not going to lie and say EVERY option is as easy as pulling a sposie out and pulling the Velcro tabs...but some of them are!  Yes, it adds to your laundry...but the chances are, if you have a child and a husband/SO you are doing lots of laundry anyway.  I promise you that after a few weeks it will become just as easy as any load of laundry (and easier than socks!!). 

Cloth diapers cost more.
I will admit that the idea of spending several hundred dollars up front is a little overwhelming.  Before Trace was born I found myself thinking "what if I can't do this...then I'll be stuck with this huge pile of decorative drawer fillers".  Let's look at the big picture though.  The average family spends 1600 on disposable diapers.  Depending on the child that number can even be a good bit more.  Cloth diaper systems can be as low as 300, though the average is around 600-800 from birth to potty training.  That's a pretty significant saving.  Add to the fact that if you take care of your "fluff" then you may be able to sell them and recover some of the initial investment.  What a deal!!

What do you do with the poop?
I always get a good chuckle out of this question.  If this is not your first child you are well aware of the fact that no matter what you use to catch it with, you will be blessed with a rainbow of surprises from your precious little one.  Here's the truth.  It's not meant to go in the trash can!  If you look on a box of diapers it will say to dump the stuff in toilet and then toss the diaper.  Now raise your hand if you've done that ha ha. 
The idea of doing anything other than placing poo directly into the closest garbage can be a little unsettling but I'm here to put your mind at ease.  First ask yourself "am I planning to breast feed".  If your answer is yes, give a big sigh of relief.  The human body is an amazing thing.  Not only will you be providing your bundle of joy with the absolute best nutrition, but you have just made your diapering journey exponentially easier.  As long as you are breast feeding your babes "output" is water soluble.  What does that mean?  You take the diaper off, stick it in the bag and toss it right into the washing machine!  Easy Peasy. 
If you are formula feeding then it can get a little more difficult.  It's best to clean the diapers off as good as you can (by scraping into the toilet or either attaching a 30 dollar sprayer to your toilet) OR you can use liners which you then just dump right in.
And the best more poop explosions!!  Ever heard of someone going in to get their child after a nap and instead of a sweet smelling baby they find the mother load?  Disposable diapers are flat in the back (meaning that if your babe fills it up, it just comes on out).  CDs have elastic which, with the correct fit, can contain the worst mess.  Are you swayed yet?  If not, I have one more discussion.

Disposable diapers aren't that bad.
Like I said earlier, I used disposables for Hailey.  Little did I know that I was creating a metric TON of garbage.  That's a ton of pee/poo soaked chemicals that sit in a landfill for around 500 years.  Yep, you read that right...500 years.
Diapers also contain the chemical Dioxin which is one of the most toxic chemicals known in science.  Add to that Sodium Polyacrylate, TBT, VOC's and others and you get a combination of things harmful to the environment and your sweet little one.

I'm definitely not trying to scare anyone into using cloth diapers.  I only wish I had had someone that got the word out earlier so I was more informed.  I think I would have hopped on the bandwagon back then. 

I will be doing, hopefully, a lot of posts covering types of diapers, reviews and useful information.  I still have a lot to learn and I hope some of you find this stuff useful as well.  Thank for reading!!

Next up... diaper systems:  explaining different types of cloth diapers and the pros of each.

Friday, January 13, 2012

The Introduction

Hello, my name is Missy and I'm a cloth diaper addict!!

What started out as a journey to save money, be a little more "green" and try to cut back on products that use chemicals, has now become somewhat of an obsession.  I often (and I mean OFTEN) find myself giving long dialogues about the benefits of cloth diapers to people that probably couldn't care less.  I imagine they are thinking "ew, you touch poo" as their eyes glaze over halfway through my nearly perfected speech, but that doesn't stop me.  Imagine my excitement as I found out 3 of my pregnant friends are now thinking about cloth diapering.  I'm mainly writing this blog so I can keep my CD (cloth diaper) "discoveries" in one place.  Hopefully if will be helpful to friends of mine that are planning to (or even entertaining the thought of) CDing.

If you don't know me... the "diva" I'm referring to is my 3 yr old daughter Hailey.  The "dude" is my 4 month old son Trace.  I love to talk about them more than diapers so be prepared.  I hope I can make each one of you a CD convert and maybe share some other stuff along the way.  It won't always be roses (and most definitely won't always smell like them) but it will be fun!