Our journey into cloth diapering!

Your bum is a hot topic, Ames!

We decided early on in the pregnancy to cloth diaper you, and it has been so much fun.
Needless to say, we’ve had quite a few questions (plus an “eww” or two) 
from well-meaning friends and family along the way.
Last night, I sat down to write my friend Jessi an email about our diapering system. 
She’s interested in making the switch from paper (disposables). 
I figured I might as well post a version here, too, for all of those who are interested in how we handle your hind end!

There are two main categories of cloth diapers, and each with two subcategories… dizzy yet?


Prefolds – This is the old-school famous cloth diaper that is wrapped, pinned and covered. It’s the best solution for parents who diaper mainly for economical reasons. These run anywhere from $1-$5 a piece. They usually come in dozens, and they’re made of either Chinese or Indian cotton (bleached or unbleached). They must be washed several times before use to prep them, in order to increase the absorbency.

Fitteds – These diapers go on like disposables, and then they’re followed by a cover. They are either sized, meaning the baby will outgrow them, or one-sized, with snaps that enlarge the diaper as the baby grows. A one-sized diaper can last from newborn stage to potty-training, so it’ll be more expensive. These diapers range from $10-$30 a piece. 


Pockets – These look like covers, with slits in them – these are called pockets. An insert, made of terrycloth or hemp (or a number of other fibers) goes in the pocket. People sometimes use prefolds to stuff them, too, for nighttime or heavier wetters. When the baby soils the diaper, the insert should be removed and the whole thing goes in the wash. These also come either sized or one-sized. They range in price from $12-$25. Notice the outside is waterproof, so it can go cover-less:

All-In-Ones – This is the most simple (and usually expensive) cloth diapering system. Everything is sewn in, and it’s used just like a disposable. No inserts needed, but they can be added as “doublers.” When it’s dirty, the whole thing goes in the wash and a whole new one goes on. Once again, they come sized or one-sized. They range from $15-$30.

Chris & I have all sorts of diapers, because I tried to
collect different types during my pregnancy. 
We’ve used all four types, but Chris has voiced a preference for certain ones… 
so I’m working on building a stash of two main brands.
Not gonna argue with a papa who changes dipes!
Our favorites:
We use a lot of BumGenius All-In-Ones during the day. 
Right now, we used the sized ones, which means we’ll have to buy
new ones in several months. 
I have a few one-sized ones, though, and I’d love to get more. 
We buy them used from DiaperSwappers and
new from CottonBabies when they’re on sale.
We use Goodmama fitted diapers with covers at night. 
They are super cute, popular, bulky, absorbent, & expensive. 
We buy them used from DiaperSwappers and from an online community
Goodmamas are one-sized, so we’ll never have to go up.

Buying used might seem icky, but babies are only in diapers for so many months.
It saves to get involved with other cloth-diapering mamas who are
interested in buying, selling, & trading.
Our personal system is pretty simple. We put dirty diapers in a pail liner that hangs on the door (it can also go in a trashcan). The smell is virtually nonexistent, but we keep a washcloth with lavender or peppermint oil in there just in case. We wash diapers every 2 or 3 days. We are not on solids yet…but those will just go into the toilet via the super-cool/dad-friendly diaper sprayer.

Anyway, back to the wash routine.
We put them in the washer with a bit of Seventh Generation powder detergent.
We also use Charlie’s Soap, which is made here in NC! 
We set it on the hottest/longest wash cycle, usually with an extra rinse. 
Then we put them in the dryer for the longest option, on the lowest heat. 
Sometimes I turn the diaper’s pockets inside out or hang dry them, but that’s as fancy as it gets.

When we go out in public, I have a wetbag, made of fabric on the outside and waterproof PUL on the inside. I just put the soiled diaper in there, as well as the wipe (baby washcloth). When we’re out, we use a diaper spray on his bottom. At home, we use a small squirt bottle with water, apple cider vinegar, and tea tree/lavender oil. Knock on wood – not a diaper rash since we dealt with thrush @ 6 weeks!

That’s it! It may seem like a lot. It did take a bit of time to develop a rhythm, 
but it was never too overwhelming. We’re 5 months in, and it feels so natural! 
I cannot believe how much fun it’s made diapering.
It feels weird to say that, but it’s true! 
It’s a team effort between Chris & I, and we both enjoy it.
It’s also saved us a lot of money. 
I’m not sure how much we’ve spent, but I know it’s under $300. 
Not bad, considering we could easily go through a box of disposables in a matter of days!

8 thoughts on “Our journey into cloth diapering!”

  1. Seriously, thank you so much for this! Now, if you wanted to make a little blog series out of other natural practices – I’m all about that!

  2. Finally got to read through your diaper system. Thanks for all the info. Hey, if you get a brand you don’t necessarily like do you sell it and get another kind? Just wondering how you’ve been able to find what works best for you?:)

  3. Hey, Tasha!

    I can’t believe it’s changed already, but it totally has!
    We’ve gotten rid of most of our Bumgenius AIO’s, and we’re down to just a few pockets.

    We’ve been using a lot of fitteds and prefolds with wool covers.
    Much cooler/less stinky for the summer months!

    Whenever I decide to ditch a certain diaper, I sell it!
    I use DiaperSwappers.com or Craigslist.org or CharlotteMommies.com!
    They have GREAT resale value!

  4. i have just made the switch! i am making some cloth wipes and was wondering: do you keep your cloth wipes wet or dry? i have seen some people keep them wet but i don’t know if they just use water and how long it is really ok to leave them wet. i was thinking of just keeping them dry and using a spray on his bum…

  5. hi i’m jessi’s friend. we have 12 bumguenius 4.0s that we got from cotton babies that i use on my 5 m/o AND 22 m/o. works great. i use bumgeinus detergent and a splash of bleach 1x/month. blessings-

  6. Hey Rachael,
    I am expecting and looking into cloth diapering. I posted on facebook and received this comment:
    “I use disposables ever since a friend of mine ( who is a neonatal nurse) informed me of how much of a risk of staff infection cloth diapers pose. It is very difficult to get them cleaned properly unless you have a separate washing machine just for diapers. This way, it doesn’t allow contamination of other clothing and linens. The risk of staff is for the entire household, not just the baby.”

    What are your thoughts? Thanks!

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