Four years into cloth diapering, I feel ready to write about it. I've read way too many sanctimonious cloth diaper blog posts to want to add to that. The reality is that I don't think disposables are a bad thing; I don't care if people chose to use them. But, cloth diapering has worked well for us. I enjoy using them on our kids, and I think they can be great a great solution for diapering your kids bums. So rather than tout the wonders of cloth diapers and demonize disposables, I'm just going to lay our what we do to make cloth work for our family.
First off, what we have.
I luuurve Bum Genius diapers. They make several different styles, but I prefer the 4.0 pocket diapers.
The diaper is 2 parts: the diaper portion and the stuffing. You can stuff it with any type of stuffing you like based on how heavy of a wetter your kid is and how long they will be wearing it. I stuff mine with newborn sized cotton prefolds during the day because that will hold 2-3 hours worth of pee with no problems. Overnight it gets stuffed with a larger bamboo/cotton prefold and a piece of microfiber because he's wearing that diaper for 12 hours so it needs to hold more.
Now, I need to store the diapers somewhere. I like to store diapers both in the living room on the first floor and the nursery on the second floor. I don't like having to go up or down stairs to get a clean diaper. These cheap fabric boxes work great for containing the clean diapers.
For wipes, I use Thirsties brand Fab Wipes. They are soooo soft. I just wet them down with water when needed.
Dirty diaper storage is actually easier than one may think. In the nursery I have an old 13 gallon garbage can with a pail liner in it that I drop the dirties into.
In the living room I have a wet bag that hangs on the side of the shelves that I stick the diapers in.
Poop. The worst part about cloth diapering is the poop. Poop that comes from an exclusively breastfed baby can go straight into the pail. It's water soluable and will disappear in the wash. Once you start on solids or formula though, you will have to get that poop into the toilet before you put the diapers in the pail. You don't want that business in your washing machine. Some people swear by diaper sprayers. I've never tried one, so I can't say anything about them other than I don't trust Evelyn near a water spraying device in the house. I just have an old plastic spatula that I use to scrape whatever won't plop into the toilet on it's own. Most of the time it's no big deal.
Once it's time to actually wash the diapers, it's much simpler than you might think. If you have an HE washer, it can be a lot trickier since they use so little water, but I have an old school top loader that I refuse to get rid of until we are done with the diapering years.
I dump the diapers out of the bag straight into the washer and throw the bag in with them. I then run a cold pre-rinse to help rinse the pee out of the diapers and loosen up any solids so that when I actually wash them, the detergent can do it's job. Once they are rinsed, I add some Tide up to the 1 or 2 line depending on how big the load is, a couple tablespoons of oxy clean, and fill the fabric softener holder with white vinegar. I run a HOT wash and a double rinse to make sure all the detergent gets out of the diapers. When they're done I throw them in the dryer on medium heat. When they're all dry, I put the two parts back together and store them in their fabric boxes.
Bonus! Cotton Babies, the makers of Bum Genius, are having a sale right now!