I have had a request for a post on cloth diapering. I was actually planning on doing one about how I'm now cloth diapering 2 kiddos at once, so I will just make this more thorough and give all of the details!
I have been cloth diapering Parker since he was just wee. I've never exclusively cloth diapered and always have some disposables on hand. I have never cloth diapered at night as I never wanted to deal with figuring out what worked for this, and to me it's not a big deal to throw on a disposable at night. I also tend to use disposables if we are on extended holidays because washing is an issue, if Parker has a diaper rash that won't go away (he's my sensitive kid and often has rashes, Cooper hasn't had a rash yet), or sometimes if I'm just not feeling the cloth.
Type of Diapers
I have probably over 30 diapers for the two kids plus about 12 cheapies that I really hate because they leak, but will use sometimes around the house if I'm not worried about leaks and having to change Cooper. I just recently bought about 10 more diapers to help since I have both kids in cloth, so I probably had around 20 before.
I would recommend about 24 diapers to start if you are cloth diapering a young child as babies pee and poop a lot. You have to change them about every 2 hours.
The diapers I now have are:
I only use pocket diapers.
Bumgenius are the most expensive. They look nice and are fairly trim. I find that the elastics don't hold up great though. You can replace them yourself but they are a bit of work.
Kawaii are cheap. They are a bit bulkier but they work really well for the price. I like that the material is more fleecy because when you get to the point of having to spray poop off it seems to come off a lot easier. I bought some Bamboo Kawaii as well. They are more absorbent but take a lot longer to dry because of that, so you wouldn't want all bamboo or else you would be waiting days for them to dry properly.
I just bought the Fuzzibunz used and really like them. They are my trimmest diapers because they adjust by elastics rather than snaps. It's not as easy to do, but they do fit nice and it's nice to have a less bulky option.
I highly recommend buying used diapers because you can get some great deals on them. The more diapers you have the less they are used and the longer they last of course. You can also go longer without washing.
Other items you need for cloth diapering:
-Diaper bag or pail - I have the Ubbi Pail - It's expensive but I love it
-Pail liners x2 - one will be in the wash and one in the pail
-Small wet bags - at least 2 of these - these are for when you are out and need somewhere to put dirty diapers
-Larger wet bag - for travelling or daycare when you need to fit a whole day or weekends worth of diapers in a bag
-Diaper sprayer - This could be optional but it's really not...you are going to want one of these - I have the Bumkins one and bought it from Babyrama online
- I wash diapers every other or every 3rd day
- When I take the diaper off Parker I dump whatever poop I can into the toilet and then put the diaper into the pail with the rest of the poop on it. I used to spray it off right away but a wet diaper sitting for 3 days can be hard on the elastic, plus it's easier to just have to spray diapers all at once when I go to do the wash, and sometimes the poop comes off easier if you wait a bit
- On wash day I go through the diapers and throw them in the wash, pulling the inserts out as I go. Coopers exclusively breastfed poop goes straight into the wash. This is actually ok, I didn't believe it at first! Any of Parker's poopy diapers I set aside and then take them to spray down
- Spray the poop off Parker's diapers
- Update: The wash routine that I used to have was what I basically had researched when I started. Now when I look, everything that I thought I knew was wrong. Obviously what I was doing worked to a certain degree, but I have had leaking issues. I will show my old routine and new routine.
- Old routine: Regardless of number of diapers, do a large load. Cold rinse, hot wash with small amount of Nature Clean detergent, Warm cycle
- New Routine:
- Short hot wash with small amount of detergent (Tide Original or Tide Free & Clear)
- Hot wash with about level 4 of detergent
- Water level based on size of load because you want the diapers to agitate
- I have slightly hard water so I don't want to do a lot of extra rinses without detergent because that's just adding minerals to my diapers, which I think was causing the leaks. Apparently you can use detergents with scent now, you just don't want anything with fabric softener. However, these diapers are going to spend a lot of time on your baby's bottom so having scent free detergent probably isn't a bad thing
- Hang diapers to dry - inserts can be put in the dryer if needed but shells can't - if possible hang outside, I find they dry nicer, quicker and are nice and white when they are done!
- Stuff diapers, or if you are like me, wait until you need one and stuff it because you have two kids and don't have time to sit around stuffing diapers
Other things to mention
- You can't use regular bum cream with cloth diapers so I either use disposables or make sure I'm using a cream that won't hurt my diapers
- Once in awhile if you have leak or stink build up you may have to strip your diapers - I have only done this once but RLR works amazing. If you are in my area, Remedy RX in Fergus sells it as well as many other cloth diapering accessories!
- You can buy used diapers off Kijiji or there are cloth diaper Facebook groups as well where people often sell off some of their used diapers
Cloth diapering seems like a big expense when you are starting out but buying boxes of diapers adds up really quickly! The extra laundry isn't a huge deal. I find it a bit worse now with two because I just have so much laundry as it is with both of the boys clothes, but when it was just one and I was on maternity leave it was easy!
The Fluff Love website is a great resource. It breaks down different detergent options and has instructions on how to strip diapers and has any other information you might need.
It takes a fair bit of research, and this is just what works for me. So you really have to look at all of the information and see what works best for you and your family! Good luck!