Wednesday, December 7, 2016

How I Cloth Diaper

There are so many different ways to cloth diaper, and when I started my search for the best way to go about it, I found the large amount of options somewhat confusing and overwhelming. There are so many varying opinions out there because certain diapers fit certain babies better than others, and certain systems suite different moms better than others. So like most things in motherhood, it's really just about figuring out what works best for you and your baby.

Here is how I cloth diaper using pocket diapers!

My System

Starting with my clean inserts and covers, I fold the inserts and slide them into the pockets of my diaper covers ("stuffing" my diapers). When Rose needs her diaper changed, I just snap the diaper on her. Then when I take it off, I throw it into a wet bag that I have hanging on her door. After a few days, I dump the wet bag into the laundry and wash my diapers. When Rose wears cloth diapers out of the house (depending on what I'm doing I will sometimes just use disposables when I go out), I have a small wet bag in my diaper bag that I put the dirty diapers into, and when I get home I just dump it into the larger wet bag. For wipes, I throw a few cloth wipes into a sandwich bag before I leave and use those. I don't use cloth diapers for going out as much now that she is on solids, but it was super easy when she was just nursing!
Bum Genius one-size pocket diaper on the smallest size

Style of Cloth Diaper

As far as style of diaper goes, I decided on pocket diapers. This is the best site I could find that described the different styles of cloth diapers, however, she does say that you have to unstuff pocket diapers before washing them, which isn't necessary because the washing machine agitates them enough for the inserts to slip out on their own. I like that pocket diapers are ready to go when I need them, and I can easily adjust the absorbency and bulkiness by choosing the which inserts I put into the pockets. I also haven't had problems with them leaking, and these seemed to be the most popular style on the facebook page that I bought my used cloth diapers on, so they were easy to find. I have one-size diapers (except with my Applecheeks which I'll explain in a second), meaning they adjust in size with various snaps to fit babies from 8 to 35+ pounds. Newborn diapers are probably best for when the baby is first born, but I was fine with waiting until Rose grew into the one-size diapers, which was at about a month old.


Bum Genius one-size pocket diaper on the largest size
I tried a few different brands, and my favourite was Bum Genius pocket diapers (I have both 4.0 and 5.0). I have the ones with snaps rather than velcro, because I've heard the snaps don't wear out as quickly, and the velcro can get caught on things in the wash. Applecheeks diapers are my second favourite, and I only like them a little less because I've noticed they have more potential to get pilly than the Bum Genius (none of my Bum Genius are pilly at all). With that being said, I think Applecheeks are really good diapers and I liked them better than any of the other brands I tried. I actually have size one and two in Applecheeks but were I to do it over again would only buy one-size diapers because it's a lot more cost effective. The size ones did fit her a little better than the one-size diapers at first though. You can get pocket diapers for a lot cheaper than these two brands, but since I haven't used the cheaper ones I don't know how they compare. I really wanted cloth diapers that I knew would work well because if using them was too frustrating I did not think I would be able to stick with it. I was also getting my diapers used, so they were more affordable, and I wanted to be sure they were good quality since I wouldn't be the first to use them.

Buying My Cloth Diapers

As a cheaper way to buy cloth diapers, I bought all of my diapers, inserts, and wet bags used on a Facebook buy and sell page that was local to the city I lived in. I would make sure that the diapers were in good condition, that the elastics weren't stretched and they weren't too pilly. This worked well for me. One other option for spending less than the original price is waiting for sales to come onto sites that sell cloth diapers.

Either way though, the investment was completely justified in my opinion, because I bought good brands that I know I will be able to resell on the cloth diaper buy and sell page, and by the time Rose is potty trained I would have spent more on disposables than I have on her cloth diapers. There are many sites that go through all the expenses of cloth diapering and compare it to the costs of disposables. None of the sites I found fit my experience exactly, but were good for helping me to get a rough idea of the different costs and to be sure I would be saving money in the long run.


I use Applecheeks 2 ply bamboo inserts (and also have a few AMP bamboo inserts) along with a microfiber booster, and they last me a good amount of time. If Rose doesn't poop I can generally keep the diapers on for about 4 hours. Microfiber inserts are the cheapest, but I found they did not work as well as the other kinds of inserts (bamboo, hemp, and charcoal). I use microfiber boosters to add a bit more absorbency (just my bamboo inserts weren't enough) because they are cheaper and work well as a booster. The more inserts you have, the more absorbent the diaper, but the tradeoff is that the diaper is also bulkier. I think everyone just needs to find the balance they like best.

Bamboo insert (folded in thirds for smaller sizes, in half for larger)
Microfiber booster

Wash Routine

It's really important to have a good wash routine with cloth diapers so that your diapers don't develop ammonia or start smelling. Of course, there are ways to fix this if it does happen, but I think it's better to just use a really good wash routine and avoid the problem in the first place. So the amount of detergent required and the heavy duty cycles might seem like overkill, but I think it's worth it. I follow the wash routine on Fluff Love University, where they have directions for how to wash diapers with HE washing machines (which is what I have) as well as with standard washing machines (which is what I used to have). Specifically, I do a normal wash with one line of detergent (because the water where I live is really hard) in cold water to ensure the diapers aren't being cleaned along with the pee and poo, then I do a cycle on the most heavy duty wash setting my machine has with detergent to line 4. I use Tide original powder detergent. Once they're clean, I hang the covers on hangers that look something like these that I got at Dollarama for a couple dollars and throw the inserts in the dryer on low heat.

Storing Dirty Diapers

I originally thought I would use a diaper pail with a wet bag inside, but found that I prefer having a wet bag hanging on the doorknob in Rose's room because it takes up less space. I've had no issues with smell so far.

Dealing With Poop

Rose just started on solids about a month ago, so I don't have a lot of experience in this area. While babies are exclusively breastfed, their poop is water soluble so you can just throw the diaper, liquidy poop and all, into the washing machine.

Babies poop seems to go through different stages. When she was eating less solids her poop was still fairly liquidy, so at that point what I did to get the poop into the toilet was put flushable liners onto my diapers before I put them on Rose. Then if I changed the diaper and it was just peed, I would throw the liner in the toilet and flush it. If it was a poopy diaper, I could generally can just plop the liner with the poop on it into the toilet and flush. Sometimes some of the poop got onto the diaper as well (like if it was a very large poop... so much detail!), and in that case I have this metal pancake flipper (I don't know what the technical name for that is) hidden behind my toilet, and I just scrape the poop off the diaper into the toilet and then clean the flipper with toilet paper and/or by swishing it in the toilet. Kinda gross but I don't mind. As her poop has become more solid, I usually don't use the liners and when there's a poop it's generally easy to just plop into the toilet. Easy peasy. Another really popular option is a diaper sprayer that just hooks onto your toilet. You just spray the poop off of the diaper into the toilet, and I have friends who have told me that this works well for them. I might try it out if my current method stops working well for me, we will see!

Cloth Wipes

I use cloth wipes because I find it easier to just throw the wipes into the wet bag along with the diaper. I use baby face cloths from the dollar store that I fold in half and put into a disposable wipes container. I then either put a solution onto them or just water. The solution I use is mostly water with a couple squirts of baby soap, a bit of baby oil, a few drops of tea tree oil and a squirt of witch hazel. I just stole this solution from a friend of mine. Adding these things works great, but I find just water works well too so I just do whatever I'm in the mood for.

Diaper Cream

You can't use petroleum based diaper creams with cloth diapers because they will coat the diaper and cause them to repel liquid, which is the opposite of what we want them to do. I use Live Clean non-petroleum jelly diaper cream, that I just get at Superstore in the baby section. There are a whole bunch of other diaper creams that work with cloth diapers as well. I know natural baby stores usually carry a lot of cloth diaper friendly creams and ointments.

So that's how I cloth diaper! I hope you found it useful :) If you have any tips for me or noticed anything I left out, please leave a comment!

Look at this cute little fluff bum!
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  1. Okay you are so good at making things so laid out and so straight-forward. I love reading what you have to say. I swear you have this way more figured out than I do!

    1. Aw thanks Olivia :) Hahaha I'd say you have it just as figured out as I do if it's working for you! And you cloth diaper a toddler, I'm just entering the realm of poop...