In preparing for our baby girl to arrive I did some research into how to cloth diaper, but was still pretty intimated about how to start, what I’d need and if it was right for our family. My husband wasn’t super keen on the idea of cloth diapering, so I decided I’d shelf the idea until she was out of newborn diapers and then give it a try. I bought little lot of about 6 cloth diaper secondhand and gave it a whirl. I was so surprised and happy at how easy it was! Here are my tips to start cloth diapering for beginners…
Find The Diapers That You Like
There are so many different styles of cloth diapers from pocket, all-in-ones and trifold/insert versions. It best to figure out what style you like before making a big investment into cloth diapers. My favorites are by BumGenius – pocket diapers and AIOs.
I bought a little lot secondhand BumGenius pocket diapers to try out. It costs me about $20 for 6 diapers. After doing some research online a few moms that I follow loved their Flip diapers and Grovia diapers, so I decided to buy one of each of those to see I also liked that style of diaper. After giving me all a try I found I liked the BumGenius ones the best! I liked how after each use I was done with the diaper, until the shell cloth diapers like Flip and Grovia where you keep the outside and replace the insert. Just wasn’t my style. There are a million different brands out there so finding the one that you like is the first place to start! Buying secondhand is a great way to try out a few different styles before you commit and invest!
Currently, I’m using disposable wipes, but I’m looking into moving to cloth wipes. So many people have told me how much better they are, plus they’re much more eco-friendly! Someone commented on my cloth diapering video with a great suggestion – she uses cloth wipes and then stores them in water in a wipe warm! Such a great idea!
Buying Cloth Diapers Secondhand
You by no means need to buy your diapers secondhand, but I thought I’d just pass along a few tips I learned from buying secondhand online. Half of my cloth diaper collection is secondhand. It made getting into cloth diapering much less expensive then buying all new. I bought my secondhand diapers off craigslist/nextdoor app and some from ebay. When you’re looking at the listings online pay close attention to the elastics! I bought a batch of cloth diapers on ebay that had really worn out elastics and they don’t work nearly as well as the new ones because they don’t close tightly around my baby’s legs.
Nursery Cloth Diapering Setup
I store all my cloth diapers in a drawer in the dresser that had the changing pad on top. Next to the dresser and changing station I use an Ubbi diaper pail with a reusable wet bag pail liner. I own 2 reusable pail liners, which works great so when one is washing the other is in the pail! The Ubbi diaper pail does a really great job at keeping any smell at bay in the nursery.
Cloth Diapering On-The-Go
I always carry around a small or medium size wet bag that zippers close to store the dirty diapers in. This double lined wet bag and this thin, light weight one are my favorite on-the-go wet bags. I made a video about what’s my diaper bag if you want to take a look!
Cloth Diaper Safe Diaper Rash Creams
My favorite is a homemade one that is bentonite clay based. It’s super simple to make and only has 4 ingredients – shea butter, coconut oil, bentonite clay and essential oils. The best readymade ones I’ve found are Boudreaux’s Butt Paste (green tube) and Babo Botanicals Soothing Diaper Cream (this one’s my favorite and smells good!).
How to Clean Your Cloth Diapers
This was definitely what I was most intimidated by with cloth diapers. I looked into services locally, but they were just as expensive as doing disposables so I thought I’d give it a try myself first and I’m so glad I did! So far, cleaning the diapers is very easy (Our little one hasn’t started eating solids yet. I hear that’s when things get interesting.)! I wash my diapers about every 3 days or so.
1. Washing twice in your washer. First, in cold water, then hot water.
I bring my reusable pail bag full the soiled diapers to the laundry room and dump all the diapers in and toss in the wet bag as well. Start with a cold wash to remove the poo and help rinse out a lot of the pee. I use a setting on my washer that does an extra rinse. I’ll add the recommend detergent to the cold wash. Some people opt out of adding detergent to the initial cold wash in fear that the diapers will build up detergent, but I have not had an issue with that. Next, with the diapers still in the washer add the recommended detergent and change the water temperature to hot wash. This is the step that deep cleanses the diapers.
The detergent I use is Tide Free and Gentle. It comes highly recommended in the cloth diapering community and does a great job at keeping my diapers clean! I have upright, top load washer (not HE) and I fill the cap to about 3/4 for each wash cycle.
2. Drying your diapers in a dryer on low or hang dry them.
Many people choose to hang dry there diapers. I like to do this during the warmer months when I have the time, but most often I dry them on low in the dryer for about 50 minutes without any dryer sheets. Instead of dryer sheets I add a couple of wool dryer balls and will add a few drops of lavender essential oil to one of them before throwing in with the diapers. The reason people avoid drying their diapers in the dryer is because of a fear of ruining the elastics, but it’s my understanding that dryers simply don’t get that hot to destroy elastic and my elastics are holding up just fine (with the exception of the secondhand ones that I bought with crappy, stretched out elastics already).
How to Remove Stains From Cloth Diapers
My go-to way to remove any staining on my cloth diapers is to sun bleach them!
- Simply put your wet/damp stained diaper or insert in direct sunlight for a few hours and ta-da! they’re back to white!
Hope this lengthy blog post has you feeling more empowered and ready to start cloth diapering! If you have any questions please let me know in the comments, otherwise the best resource for cloth diapering I’ve found is Fluff Love University.