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GOING GREEN: CLOTH DIAPERING

In honor of earth month I wanted to share how we go green by using cloth diapers. The first few weeks of a baby's life we use disposable diapers and then once our little one fills out a bit we switch to cloth. This is what works for us, you may have a different system (please share). After using cloth diapers all the way to potty training Matilda I certainly think you get your money's worth and I love the soft cotton against their skin. The best.

First things first, see if you have a friend that is selling or will let you borrow their gently used diapers. I got lucky and bought some barely used bumgenius diapers from a friend (my favorite) as well as I was able to borrow some from another friend. I also received some as gifts bringing us to a total of about 16 diapers. In my opinion you want enough diapers to get you through a couple of days but not so much that they are sitting dirty for too long. You want to be motivated to get them in the wash.

There are tons of brands out there so ask around and do your homework or try a few before you buy a bunch. I tried prefolds and found them to be really difficult and they don't wick away the moisture, I also tried a few other brands and decided on bumgenius (hands down my fave). I personally like having all the same brand (easier on anyone that may help you - ie babysitters/ husbands/ grandparents) and I like snaps. I've used velcro and it ends up taking a beating. I also like the one size because it grows with your baby and you only have to buy them once. Be aware that baby leggings and pants will need to be a size bigger to accomodate the cloth diaper booty. Phoebe is cracking me up with her faces these days. OK, so next you need to get a few things in order to have a system. Again, this is what works for me. Links below the picture.

  • Ubbi diaper pail
  • Bumgenius snap diapers
  • Flannel wipes
  • Method laundry detergent in Fresh Air
  • Kanga Care Wet bag
  • Planet Wise Pail liner


    I keep my diaper pail in the laundry room. It takes me just a few seconds longer to bring the diaper in there and that way I don't have a diaper pail in Phoebe's room (or "area" as of now). Inside the pail is the pail liner. I take the diaper and if it's dirty I shake the poop (hehe) into the toilet and flush. If it's pre-food poop then i just stick it into the pail. Shake the diaper insert into the pail first and then the shell. If you're using velcro make sure you attach it to itself so it doesn't destroy your laundry. I try and wash the diapers every other day. I also LOVE the soft, flannel wipes. I wet them with warm water and then stick them in the pail with the diapers when I'm done.

    As far as washing the diapers goes I dump the entire pail liner (with diapers, wipes, wet bags etc inside) and shake it into the washer. First I rinse the load, then wash, then rinse again. I've washed the diapers in just about every kind of detergent, but in the spirit of truly being green, I love using Method detergent. I especially dig this pump bottle that allows me to do one-handed laundry, which is a real thing when you have a little baby. I also love that it's plant based and easy on the environment (ps they're giving away a year's supply here). To dry the diapers I typically stick the inserts in the dryer and let the covers air dry. About one-two times a month I let the diapers get bleached in the sun. This typically gets rid of any bad smells and stains. I love the way sun-dried diapers smell. So sweet.

    I pre-stuff the diapers before I put them away that way they are ready to use when I need them. When we are on the go I keep a wet bag in my diaper bag and put them in there and then dump them the same way when I get home as well as the bag itself. It all goes in the pail. The wet bags are also great for bathing suits, etc later on. Stock up. I know some childcare providers will use wet bags with the cloth diapers too. Make sure you look into that if you're a working mom.

    That's it! Have a question? Ask away!

    Special thanks to Method for sponsoring this post. I really do use and love their detergent and all opinions are 100% mine based on 3 years of cloth diapering experience. :)

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  • 34 comments :

    1. I use cloth too, amazing! And like you said, you definately get your money worth!

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    2. we use pretty much the exact same method!! good job!!

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    3. We clothed until Jack was 9-ish months. He was so big, and it was getting cold (so pants were a requirement). We had a hard time finding clothes that would fit over his diapers! He was wearing 18 months by about 8 months (!!!) and it became hard to find stretchy (this is key) clothes in a whole size bigger than he was. So he was 9 months, wearing 18-24 months in a disposable, and we were having to find 2T pants with the cloth. By the time you get to the Ts, the waist doesn't get any bigger and they just get longer. Not helpful for a baby with a big, bulky, cloth bum. I was sad to put the cloth away for the winter. He was so, so cute in those diapers. But it just didn't make sense for us long term. Luckily, we mostly did pre fold so we didn't invest too much money in pocket diapers. I was fully expecting to get to potty training in cloth. Hahaha. Not this kid. He's now the size of a decent-sized 2 1/2 year old at 15 months. He'll be the size of a kindergartner by potty training. Ack! (Phoebe is so cute in that mint-green bumgenius!)

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    4. I do the exact same thing! I love bumgenius snaps daipers!!! The only thing I do additionally is use imse vimse diaper liners for poop so I can flush it. http://www.amazon.com/Imse-Vimse-Flushable-Liner-count/dp/B0009A3I5K/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1366125850&sr=8-1&keywords=imse+vimse+diaper+liners

      They are big enough that I can cut them down to size and I reuse them if they've only been peed on, I send them through the wash use them again until they get pooped in.

      Rachael

      www.myolsonfamily.blogspot.com

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      1. neat! thanks for sharing rachael!

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    5. We are going to use cloth (mostly BunGenius). I'm just hoping I can get a system down before going back to work. I do have a cloth question... Do you use a diaper sprayer? I'm trying to decide if/when to get one. None of my friends cloth diaper, so I can't ask them!

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      1. hi michelle! i've heard real mixed reviews about those things (messy, etc). i don't use one but i'd love to hear about it if you decide to. :)

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      2. I will definitely let you know how it goes if we decide to get one!

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    6. I LOVE our cloth diapers!! we use BumGenius 4.0 All in One snap diapers! Our daughter is a year and half and it's going great!! I use Allen's Detergent and Allen's Stink out in the laundry vs. Method, or any other brand. it works the best in my opinion.

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    7. Michelle: In regards to your question about a diaper sprayer, we don't use one and we haven't had any issues..we just dump n' wash :)

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    8. This is in response to Michelle -- I read your note about the diaper sprayer. I am on my 2nd round of CDing (used cloth -- BG's -- from birth through potty training with my first, and now re-using the diapers for our 2nd who is now 16 months). After going through it a 2nd round, I think the reward of having a diaper sprayer will depend on your child's digestive system. Not to be gross, but my first child had BM's that were so soft and smeared all over the diaper. The ONLY way to get them clean was to either dunk them and rub them in the toilet (sick) or use the sprayer. I would not have survived without the sprayer with my first. However, my second child's BM's are hard and "roll" out of the diaper for the most part. I think I have used the sprayer on average 2-3x a month with him. So...it the pay off would not have been as great. HOWEVER, having the diaper sprayer was invaluable durring potty training (spray out the external kid potty in the toilet -- spray out BM accidents in underwear, etc). If I had to re-do it, even if both kids had harder BM's, I would still invest in the sprayer. It is a personal preference...and you may not know how much you want/need/don't want it until you start using your CDs. My personal oppinion -- if you plan to use CDs for ALL your kids...and this is your first...go ahead and get it. It is an expense that will pay off in the long run. If you are primarily concerned with finances (don't care about being green) maybe wait to see if you really need it based on the digestive tract of your kiddo. Maybe you can stomach sticking your hands in the toilet to get the stuff off -- I could not -- the thought of it makes me want to throw up. I hope this info helps! :)

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      1. Thanks Kat. That's really helpful!

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    9. Great post! I really love cloth diapering and I am 100% a Bumgenius fan! Now I am not sure if it is the humidity out here but I have been noticing these little dark spots on my daughters diapers, they are like toothpick size, real tiny, but I feel it must be some sort of mold... have you ever experienced anything like that? They go away after I soak the diaper in bleach and water over night but then I start getting worried about using too much bleach. I use a dry pail and thought maybe that was why, but if it doesnt happen to you I think it must just be because it is so hot and well, pretty much everything gets some sort of mold out here in the tropics...

      Here is my cloth story if it helps anyone too: http://lifeloveandaloha.blogspot.com/2013/02/adventures-in-cloth.html
      Aloha

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      1. hi nikki! i've never had that happen. the price you pay for living in paradise. ;) thanks for sharing!

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    10. I think you're kind of a hero for cloth diapering. My friend Amanda does it too. I think that if I ever babysit for people who cloth diaper, I will charge them double. :)

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    11. We cloth diaper too. We waited for my son Lucas, to get past the tar like yucky stuff in the beginning and then we started using the g-diapers size small, which I didn't like, so we switched to Charlie Banana one size diapers. I love them! They are so easy to use and the best part is, he sleeps longer at night in cloth! He is now 13 months and we have a mix of Charlie Banana, Flip Diapers, Fuzzibunz and Bum Genius Element. I always use a Bummis liner on top of the diaper. They are super soft and flushable, for the more solid waste. They are available on Amazon. Thank you for sharing your tips, Phoebe is adorable :-)

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      Replies
      1. thanks julie! i am going to have to check out charlie banana. you're the second person to recommend them!

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    12. Diaper Sprayers a few facts: No Diaper Sprayer on the market was manufactured for that purpose; they are all originally Hand Held Bidet Sprayers. That is why so many people are complaining about their sprayers breaking, because they were not made to handle the abuse. You can save money and buy a cheap plastic sprayer and then need to buy another one soon or you can get a Stainless Steel Sprayer at www.BathroomSprayers.com for a little more that will last, it comes with a 5 year warranty. And don't forget, using it as a Hand Bidet means you will save money on toilet paper, everyday....forever....Just a thought

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    13. So, this might be a weird question, but how often are you changing the diapers? Just as often as you would a disposable diaper? Like even if it's just a bit wet or a bit poopy? Cause that's what I do with a disposable and it seems like I would need 10 diapers per day if that's the case...

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      1. i probably change her about 6 times a day if i had to guess...

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    14. Thanks for the tip about Method. I usually have to go a bit aways to get our detergent, next time I'm in a jam I will try method.

      I used to shake out the inner liner too, but for the last 8 months or so I've just been keeping it all together and the washing machine agitator separates them now for me...everytime! Just a tip that worked for our routine.

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    15. Thanks for the tip about Method. I usually have to go a bit aways to get our detergent, next time I'm in a jam I will try method.

      I used to shake out the inner liner too, but for the last 8 months or so I've just been keeping it all together and the washing machine agitator separates them now for me...everytime! Just a tip that worked for our routine.

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    16. I think you have one of the cutest babies ever! :) yay cloth diapers!

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    17. I have three children in diapers. My oldest is 4 years old and is autistic. We have not been able to potty train him yet. We tried several brands only to find out that Honest was always the one we went back to. No question! No leaks!

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    19. My husband & I recently (almost 3 months ago) found out we are expecting in July! Anyway, we are both very interested in cloth diapering - but we both have our reservations. And when I say "we" I really mean my parents & his, which wouldn't be a problem but they will be helping us out a lot. Since you've been doing this for awhile, I figured I'd ask you how you got family accustom to using them too? Or did you ever compromise for sitters? And, how does your husband do with it?

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      1. hey girl! sorry for the super long wait. when matilda was a baby my mom kept her and had her own stash of diapers over there that she used and washed. you could always cloth diaper at your house and send baby with disposable to grandmas. not 100% cloth but at least you would be doing it the majority of the time? same thing for sitters... sam is a pro with the cloth because we've used them for so long. you could always try it and see how it goes. a lot of people send cloth with a wet bag and then your parents can put the dirty ones in the wet bag for you to wash. just some thoughts... excited for you guys!

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      2. Thanks, Lesley!! Very helpful info. Since messaging you, I've gotten my MIL on the bandwagon, so hopefully in the next few months I can get my parents on board too. :) I really, really think it's worth it all the way around. You've given me lots of helpful information too, so I feel better prepared taking the plunge.

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      3. I went through the same thing, but my inlaws were the ones not on board at first. They thought it would be too difficult. I showed them how the cloth diapers worked (always AIOs or prestuffed pockets) along with a wet bag and put a few disposables into her diaper bag just in case. I didn't force them into it and they soon felt confident reaching for the cloth diapers. I never make them dump bm diapers though; I just do that when we get home.

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