So what is it really like to cloth diaper your baby? Is it smelly, do I have to touch poop? Where does the poop go in the washing machine? What if he needs a change when I am away from home?
All valid questions, that deserve to be answered. Keep reading to find a no-holds bar look at what it’s like to have a kid in cloth.
Always try them on before washing, and then put them through a wash/dry cycle with detergent as directed below before wearing. They become more absorbent the more they are washed.
If you have hemp inserts or doublers, then they need to be primed prior to use. You can prime your hemp by washing it in Hot water without drying it about 10 times or you can boil it. The Hemp insert can be used before it’s been primed, but remember that it may not hold as much liquid as your other inserts, after it’s been washed about 10 times, it should be fully primed and work just as well as your other inserts.
When to Change
Change just like you would a disposable diaper, every 2-3 hours. The fleece inside wicks moisture away, so they will feel dry even if their liner is soaked.
I use just a regular diaper pail with a PUL (laminated polyester) liner in it. You can sprinkle some baking soda in it ever so often if it starts to smell, but if you are washing every other day this shouldn’t be an issue.
Dealing with Dirty Diapers
When you put the diaper in the pail, pull out the insert and put it in the pail separately. The end of the liner won’t be wet, so you don’t have to get dirty.
If it’s a poopy diaper, shake the poop into the toilet if you can. If it’s like peanut butter, don’t stress over it. Just put get as much off as you can, and put the diaper in the pail. They also have sprayers that you can hook up to your toilet to wash the poo away. For particulary nasty ones I have been known to throw it in the washer for a cold rinse with no soap, but it’s not necessary.
As far as wipes are concerned, you can either use flushable disposable wipes like Kandoo wipes, or try your hand at cloth ones.
*If your baby is exclusively breast fed, you don’t have to even rinse the diaper. Just throw it in the wash as is.*
Out and About:
Get a small wetbag to carry in your diaper bag. When you change them in public, just throw it in the wetbag (still put together) and deal with it when you get home. It’s made out of PUL, so it shouldn’t stink up your diaper bag.
- Dump everything into the washing machine. Just turn the pail liner inside out, so you don’t have to touch anything. Then throw the liner in with the load.
- Run a short COLD rinse cycle on the highest water setting. Mine doesn’t have a setting for this, so I just put it on the middle of a regular cycle. Don’t put any detergent in! This rinse cycle is to get the yuckies rinsed out of your dipes. When you open the lid, the poop will have magically disappeared!
- Run a long HOT cycle on your highest water setting. Add in 2 tablespoons of Rockin’ Green cloth diaper detergent into the wash. Yes, that’s enough soap. I promise. There are other soaps that you can try, but make sure you do your research first because most commercial soaps have dyes and enzymes that can hurt your diapers.
- You can also run them through another long HOT cycle after wards, to make sure all the soap is rinsed out.
- Put everything (liners, diapers, inserts) into the dryer and dry on HOT or WARM until dry.
What NOT to do when washing
- Don’t use bleach
- Don’t put fabric softener or dryer sheets in with your diapers, or they will lose some absorbency. I use dryer balls, and they cut the static and make everything nice and fluffy.
Stick the insert in the pocket! It should be sandwhiched between the fleece layer and the outside shell of the diaper. Wait till the diapers are cool from the dryer so you don’t mess up the elastic.
At night you have to double stuff your diapers. That means put in 2 inserts into the pocket before putting them to bed. You can use a combo of 2 regular inserts, or use an insert and a doubler (which are less absorbent than a regular insert) depending on what you have. Each kid pees different amounts, so it may take a few nights to get this figured out.
- Diaper rash. This shouldn’t be a big problem when you are in cloth. If they get it, switch to sposies for a few days to slather on the cream or wait it out in the cloth. Any creams and lotions can decrease the absorbency of your diapers and stain them, so just go natural if possible.
- Stained diapers. If it bugs you, or you are trying to sell them you can lay them out in the sun while they are wet for a few hours. The stains will magically go away, though I can’t tell you why it works so fast…
- Diapers stink or they seem to be leaking all the time.- This means they need to be stripped! It isn’t as bad as it sounds. You can be proactive and strip your diapers like once a month, or just wait and see what happens. You may never need to do this (especially if you use a diaper safe detergent like Rockin’ Green.).
- If you accidentally get diaper cream on your diapers, you will need to use a little elbow grease and some dawn original (blue stuff) to scrub the fleece inner of the diaper. This will help cut the grease that’s in the diaper cream. Then proceed with the stripping process.
- Wash like you normally would.
- Run it on a long HOT wash with no detergent.
- When it starts to agitate, open up the lid and look for bubbles. If there are bubbles, it means that your diapers have detergent build up and need to be stripped. Let the cycle finish.
- Run another long HOT wash with no detergent. Check for bubbles.
- Keep washing, until you don’t see any more bubbles.
- It could take quite a few washes to get everything out.
Good luck with your cloth diapering adventure! It really is simple, and so much better for your baby!