Hey folks! It’s been quite a while since the last time I posted about cloth diapering. We’ve changed up many things about our diapering routine, but we’re still just as enthusiastic about cloth over disposables. Especially now that we’re using “pocket” diapers instead of prefolds and covers. A pocket diaper has a pocket opening between the waterproof outer shell and the inner layer that touches baby’s skin. The absorbent inserts are placed inside the pocket and are removed prior to washing. With this style of diaper, you save the step of having to fold and pin the cloth. You simply put the diaper on the baby as you would a disposable, and either snap or velcro it shut.
What brand of cloth diapers do we use?
Our diapers are all Charlie Banana brand, one-size. I’ve heard they are similar to Bum Genius and even closer to FuzziBunz, but we’ve been happy with our Charlies and haven’t looked back. Prefolds were wonderful for the first few months when Isaac was small and couldn’t fit into the one-size pocket diapers yet. My favorite thing about the Charlie Bananas is that the opening for the inserts is in the front, unlike most brands where it’s in the back. This means that when there’s a big poopy blow-out back there, your fingers are safe from the mess. Yes, you will come into contact with urine in the front, but I’d take that over the alternative. And we all wash our hands after every diaper anyway, right?
My second favorite feature is what people notice first about these diapers – the colors! We bought two packs of rainbow colored diapers to coordinate with any outfit we select. There’s also classic white and black, plus a fun nautical theme design. Here’s a pic of our stash (minus a few that are in the wash!):
For quite a while we were only putting one insert inside the diaper during the day and two for nighttime, but now that he’s older and soaking his diapers quickly, we always double stuff with two inserts. It’s amazing how much this boy pees!
When do we use disposables?
Throughout his babyhood, we made it just fine only using disposable diapers when we were away from home for more than a couple of days. Right around age 1 we realized that he wasn’t sleeping well anymore because he would soak his diaper all the way to his PJ’s in the middle of the night. Not only was it was causing him to wake up more frequently, he also developed a nasty diaper rash that needed medication. One of the top no-no’s for cloth is using diaper rash cream (coconut oil is a safe option, though). That’s when we realized how miraculous disposable diapers can be when used sparingly. We started putting a disposable diaper on him every night and we hardly ever need to change it if he happens to wake up. It’s nice knowing that he’s going to sleep better, and we still hardly ever need to go buy diapers. We’ve tried Honest Co. diapers (cute designs, eco-friendly) and Seventh Generation ‘Touch of Cloth’ diapers which really do feel a lot nicer than your standard Pampers. They’re also eco-friendly and free of icky chemicals that I don’t feel comfortable putting on my baby. The level of absorbancy in both company’s diapers also far exceeded my expectations. Win-win!
How do we keep the diapers absorbent after so many washes?
Let’s talk about diaper stripping! Sadly, it’s not as fun as it sounds, though it is a highly effective way of keeping cloth diapers fresh and absorbent. Around the 6 month mark we started noticing that Isaac smelled. Really badly. It didn’t matter if we had just changed his diaper a few hours or a few minutes ago. So, I did a little online research and learned that after several washes, cloth diapers accumulate a chemical build-up and need to be “stripped” once in a while. I learned the method I currently use from Mama Natural. Her family uses chlorine bleach and Dawn dish soap in the process, which freaked me out a bit at first. I didn’t want to destroy my precious cloth diapers! I gave it a leap of faith, and the results were fantastic. Here’s what I do:
- Rinse diapers on cold as I normally do
- Wash diapers on hot cycle with 1 Tbsp Dawn dish soap (original blue formula) and 1/2 cup of bleach (make sure you put it in the designated bleach spot!)
- Rinse diapers on hot until suds disappear
- Dry, and enjoy stink-free diapers!
As I talked about in part 1, we are still using cloth wipes. It’s a mix of flannel squares that I cut from yards of fabric and took the time to hem, and squares of cut up cotton receiving blanket, not hemmed. Levi is in charge of preparing the wipes solution. We make a mixture consisting of equal parts:
- Johnson’s Baby Bath Wash
- Johnson’s Baby Oil
You can add drops of essential oils to the mixture for some fragrance, but it’s not necessary. He starts by adding the ingredients to a baby wipe container (we just use an empty disposable wipe container), stirring it up, then adding a stack of wipes to the container and making sure they are all soaked. They only need enough of the mixture to be damp. Then they’re good to go! We haven’t had a problem with mildew, but a container of wipes doesn’t last longer than a few days anyway. After using the wipes, we just toss them in with the diapers and they all get washed together. Simple, easy, and MUCH cheaper and eco-friendly than disposables!
There you have it, our diapering routine with our 20 month old. Stay tuned for our newborn cloth diapering post due this fall!