No, really, it is! I swear! But it can be a little overwhelming at first. So many options and so many unknowns. Where do you even begin? Well, here’s a very quick overview of how we do it and why. I am not anywhere near an expert and have really only begun to scratch the surface of the subculture that is cloth diapering, but here’s the story of what works for us.
Step 1: Choosing your cloth diaper
Here’s a quick and easy breakdown of the basic types of diapers. I decided to go middle of the road with pocket diapers. A was initially sceptical, and maybe even intimidated, by the concept of cloth diapering so I needed something that was as easy to put on a baby as a disposable dipe. Pockets require a bit more work than the all in ones (AIOs) since you need to stuff them, but that was worth it to me to save on the drying time. And seriously, stuffing a pocket diaper takes 3 seconds. I can handle that.
Step 2: Put diaper on baby
Pocket diapers come in 2 pieces: the diaper itself and an insert (or two).
You “stuff” the diaper by sliding that insert into the opening.
If you have a heavy wetter or its for overnight, go ahead and throw 2 inserts in there. And as with all things cloth diaper, there are multiple options for inserts (microfiber, hemp, a prefold, ect) but I keep it simple and just use the microfiber inserts that come with most of the diapers I buy.
Now its all ready to go on the baby.
And that’s all there is to that.
Okay, well there are 2 more things…pocket diapers come with either snaps or velcro to affix the diaper to the babe. I prefer snaps because they hold up better and don’t get caught on other things in the wash. Some people prefer velcro for a more adjustable fit. It’s all in your own preference.
The other thing is that with pocket diapers you have the option of buying sizes (S, M, L, XL) or one size diapers. The one size comes with extra snaps that allow you to adjust the “rise” of the diaper…which just means its shorter for a little baby and longer for a big baby.
We mostly have the one size diapers since they can fit both girls and will last through potty training rather than needing new diapers as they get bigger.
There are many brands to choose from, but we’ve had good luck with Fu.zzi bunz (well-known brand, quality diapers) and K.awaii (great price, great product).
3. Take diaper off baby
If it’s just wet, it’s as simple as taking the diaper off and tossing it into a wet bag, just as you would toss a disposable into the diaper pail.
If it’s soiled and firm enough to dump into the toilet, do that first then throw it into the wet bag. There is the option of having a diaper sprayer that attaches to the toilet to spray off the solids before putting it into the wet bag, but y’all know how I like to keep it simple and I’ve just never seen the need…even with two little girls who can make very messy diapers.
4. Wash the diaper
When you wash pocket diapers, you’ll want to pull out the insert from the shell so it gets nice and clean and dries faster. Other than that, it’s just a matter of throwing them in the washer and letting it do its job. If the diapers are particularly dirty I may do an extra long soak and second rinse, but most of the time I just throw them in there on the same cycle I do all of my laundry. If your wet bag got dirty, go ahead and throw that in the wash too.
For drying in the winter, I simply take them and toss them in the dryer at the medium heat setting (no fabric softener or static sheets!!). In the summer, I line dry them which is awesome for getting out stains (especially if you spritz the stain with a little lemon juice then dry it in the sun).
5. Strip the diaper
After a little while, you may notice that the diapers start leaking or become a little stinky. That means its time to strip. It sounds like a process, but it really isn’t. All I do to “strip” my diapers is to double wash them. After the first wash (as outlined above), I run the second wash on the hottest setting – don’t add any detergent, and instead throw in about 1/2 cup of vinegar and a tablespoon of oxyclean free. I’d say I do this about once a month.
And that’s all there is to it.
Like I said – easy! 🙂