The Cloth Diaper Post

changing table

There are approximately one million blog posts about cloth diapers. This will be one million and one.

When most people find out that we use cloth diapers, they either:   (a) think it’s cool and want to know more, (b) think it’s gross  but still want to know more, (c) think I’m obviously not in possession of all of my marbles.

For all of you who think cloth diapers have gone the way of the dodo bird, this one’s for you. Cloth diapers have made a big comeback in recent years and there is certainly no shortage of information about them on the web. So this is not a how to cloth diaper post, but just a how we cloth diaper post. Let’s get down to business! Sorry- I couldn’t help myself.

cloth diapers

What We Use and How Many:

My diaper stash is made up of 24 Bum Genius Elementals (the old style), which is an organic cloth, all in one, one size diaper. This means that they are size adjustable and are supposed to fit from about 8 pounds on. Even though Henry was over 8 pounds when he was born, they were still too bulky for him to wear as a newborn. In my opinion, these didn’t really “fit” until he was about 15 pounds or so.

All in one means that that the diaper is all one piece, so there is no stuffing required. Not that stuffing diapers takes that much time, but I like a shortcut when I can get one!

I also have a couple of Sustainablebabyish one size fitted diapers that we used with a Thirsties cover for nighttime back when Henry was still nursing all night long. We had the most terrible time with leaking diapers. I tried everything. Multiple brands and sizes of disposables, my BG and some other fitted diapers as well. Nothing could contain it, but the Sbish fitteds. If you are having nighttime leaking issues. Run don’t walk and get these diapers! They are magic. You can thank me later.

wipes and liners

Cloth Wipes, Why not?

We also use cloth wipes. There are a variety of cloth wipes on the market, or if you’re handy with a sewing machine (or know someone who is) you can make your own. My mom has a serger and so she made me a huge stash before Henry was born. They are just a single layer of cotton flannel serged around the edges and they work awesome! We’ve actually been using the wipes longer than the diapers.

Many people make a solution to soak their wipes in and fold them all fancy in a wipes box or warmer so they resemble disposable wipes more, but ain’t nobody got time for that!  I prefer to wet mine as I go so I don’t have to worry about any unused wipes mildewing at the end of the day. I kept the peri bottle from the hospital when I had Henry and use that to wet a wipe just before I change him. I just use plain H2O. It’s simple and gets the job done!

diaper pails (1)


When Henry was exclusively breast fed, I just tossed the dirty diapers in the pail as is and washed them every other day. That may sound gross, but breast milk poo is completely water soluble and really not stinky so it is fine to go in the washer. Before I had Henry I thought, “Well that’s nice, but I will probably rinse them off anyways before I put them in.” Then I had a newborn and realized that stopping after each diaper change (of which there are about a million) to spray diapers that didn’t need to be sprayed was a total boneheaded move. So into the pail they went. Man, those were the days!

Once Henry started eating a significant amount of solid food, which didn’t happen until around 11 months old, we had to make some changes. Things get crazy once solid food comes into the picture! Some people make it sound like once they are on solid food, you just plop the poo into the toilet and be on your merry way, right? Wrong. We very seldom have truly “ploppable” poo (not sure if ploppable is a word, but just go with me here). I contemplated getting a sprayer that attaches to the toilet, but my husband wasn’t too enthralled with the idea and I really  just saw disaster waiting to happen with that thing. I tried out flushable liners, but they were a total bust for us. They move around so much in the diaper as Henry plays that they barely catch any of the poo! So I was left with paying for disposable liners and still having to figure out how to clean an icky mess off the diapers! Not cool.

Finally, after some YouTube videos, I discovered that good old fashioned diaper dunking was the only way to go for me. Yep, I swish poopy diapers out in the toilet. Gross, you say? I honestly don’t find it that gross, a little humbling maybe, but not gross.  Listen; if you have kids, you are going to get poop on you from time to time no matter what diapers you use! It’s just a fact.  It does take a bit of practice, but now it’s just no big deal at all.

Anyway, the wet only diapers go in the diaper pail as is and the “H bombs” (my husbands term for Henry’s stinkers) go in after a quick swish in the toilet. I use a reusable pail liner that I just toss into the wash with the diapers every other day. Easy peasy. I do a rinse cycle only, followed by a power wash cycle on my HE machine (which is a presoak, hot wash, and an extra rinse). It works great and gets the job done. I used Country Save detergent until about a month ago when I switched to Allen’s. I really did not have any complaints about Country Save, but the cloth diaper store I purchase from stopped carrying it and I didn’t want to order online, so we just switched to the Allen’s and so far so good.

When the weather permits I like to dry them on a rack in the sun. It gets the stains out like magic and I feel like the sunshine helps to really sanitize them too. If it’s rainy or just too cold outside I just throw them in the dryer for a good drying.

Diaper Cream and Liners:

I have tried several cloth-safe diaper creams and my favorite by far is Grandma El’s. Actually, it’s my favorite diaper cream period. Although it is a cloth safe cream I like to be extra cautious and use a liner in my diapers when we need to use cream. I love these fleece liners from Bummis. They are so soft and they give a stay dry feel to my cotton diapers. I also use these liners if we are going out running errands in case I cannot immediately change him.

When We Use Them:

I’d say Henry is in cloth diapers about 90% of the time. We use a disposable at night now just because it is less bulky and helps him feel drier.  Because good grief, I don’t need to give this kiddo any more reasons to wake up at night! We also use them when we travel, since we don’t usually have a place to wash them and also who wants to spend their vacation doing diaper laundry? Not me.

Why We Use Them:

The main reason I wanted to try cloth diapers in the beginning was the cost savings. We were planning on me quitting my job to stay home with Henry and were looking at ways to save money to make that possible and as comfortable as possible. While there is the initial investment in cloth diapers, I feel like we have saved a ton of money by using cloth! My diapers are still in great shape and we plan to use them for our future kids as well, so this area will only get better as we go.

However, the reason I continue to use them is this: I like knowing what is touching my son’s skin. Henry has eczema and crazy sensitive skin so it’s nice to know that what is touching him is as gentle and as safe as it possibly can be.

Whew! Well, I think that about sums it up! Anything you were curious about I forgot to mention?


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