Cloth Diapers; the Lowdown

Oct 31, 2012 | Blog, Green Living, Parenthood


Cloth diapering gets a bad rap for being really gross and time consuming. There is definitely a learning curve to figure out what works best but with the right products it’s easy.

Alan is always saying, why can’t we simplify and just use one kind of diaper? But I think we need different diapers for different situations. I’m all about the BumGenius products. I like their pocket dipes for day and the All-In-Ones and Flips for night. I also use prefold diapers with covers for daytime. They only absorb for a couple hours so you have to change them often but I like them if I think a poo is eminent because they’re easy to clean. It’s also the cheapest way to cloth diaper your baby. BumGenius diapers cost a bit more but they’re worth it and way cheaper than buying disposables every month.

I didn’t end up buying the diaper sprayer toilet attachment because it’s expensive, didn’t get awesome reviews and if I’m cloth diapering for the environment’s sake, the sprayer uses a lot of extra water. I do just fine with a pair of rubber gloves and a few swishes in the toilet. C’mon, it’s not that gross! I’d like to get down to doing the diaper laundry twice a week but right now it’s three times- pretty much every other day. I have to increase my stash a little.

I also figured out the diaper pail situation (from a mom’s tip on Youtube). I have one next to the changing table and I use a small plastic container to transport the dirty diaper to and from the toilet without dripping. I spray Biokleen Bac-Out in the pail every time I put in a soiled diaper and I’m not going to say it never stinks but it works.

Here’s what you need, in my humble opinion, to cloth diaper your baby:

4 BumGenius all-in-one “Free Time” diapers. These are closest to disposables in that they are ready to go- no stuffing them with inserts, just strap it on. I prefer the snaps to velcro because even with the laundry tabs they get stuck to everything in the washer/dryer. Plus Shepard can’t get them off and at 6 months he’s almost figured out how to pull off the velcro so I hate to think what will happen at two!

4 BumGenuis “Flip” diapers, which are diaper covers with inserts. These are great for overnight – super absorbent, haven’t had more than a minor leak and like all BumGenius fit a baby anywhere from 8-35 lbs! And if he’s only peed you can reuse the cover. LOVE these.

4 BumGenius 4.0 pocket diapers.  The material on these is amazing.  It wicks moisture away from the baby’s skin while the insert in the pocket comes out sopping wet!

6-10 prefold diapers. I got way too many of these and never get through all of them before laundry day. I would’ve been fine with 6. You use these under diaper covers, like the BumGenius Flip or Bummis Super Whisper Wrap. I use them because I have them and I actually like them, but they’re not really necessary if you buy BumGenius because they come with the inserts. But you can use the prefolds as burp cloths or cleaning rags when you’re done diapering.

1 12-pack of flannel wipes. I haven’t bought disposable wipes in months! These reusable flannel wipes are awesome. You just wash them in hot water along with your diapers and use them again and again. Don’t worry -I do have disposable wipes for my diaper bag!

A diaper pail – nothing fancy. We just use an old kitchen trash can.

A diaper pail liner like this one from Planet Wise. I wash it every time I wash the diapers which is three times a week in hot water. It’s only been two months – I’ll let you know how long it holds up!

Biokleen’s Bac-Out. Spray it in the diaper pail, on the diaper or to clean anything. Love this stuff!

Tea tree oil. I put a couple drops in the diaper pail bag for odor and a few drops in a spray bottle with water to wet the flannel wipes. Tea tree oil is a natural antiseptic and diluted with water is safe on a baby’s bum.

A spray bottle

Diaper rash cream for cloth diapers. I’ve heard that diaper rash can be a problem with cloth diapering but Shepard hasn’t had a bad rash yet. Maybe it’s because I change him frequently during the day but usually he keeps on the same diaper all night, so… I got a bunch of Desiten from my baby showers so I’m still using that and it’s fine. When I run out I’ll buy a specific cloth diaper cream. GroVia makes a good one in a stick so you don’t have to get your hands dirty.

It seems like a lot but it’s just an initial investment but then that’s it! Easy on your wallet, your baby and the environment.

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