I have been asked about my cloth diaper experience and whether or not I enjoy it on multiple occasions. I want to take the moment to describe our adventures with cloth diapering. I will share why we cloth diaper, our cloth diaper stash, what works well for us, what did not work for us, and our wash routine.
There is a lot of personal preference involved in cloth diapering. What works really well for me may not work well for you. Creating the prefect stash will require a bit of tweaking and experimenting.
Why We Cloth Diaper
I did not start cloth diapering for any noble reasons like its benefits on the environment or to avoid ingredients in disposables or to save money. A year prior, if you asked me what I think about cloth diapers, my response would have been, “Eww! Gross. Ain’t nobody got time for that.”
Midway into pregnancy, while excessively researching all things baby, I came across an article arguing that babies in cloth diapers potty train earlier than babies in disposables . This caught my interest. Once I discovered the prints, I was sold.
As I began to delve into the world of cloth diapering I found myself completely overwhelmed. What’s the difference between a pocket and a prefold? Is bamboo better than cotton? Should I get a Blueberry cover or one from bumGenius? Many hours were spent researching the different cloth diaper systems, materials and brands.
As you begin to create a stash of your own, the best piece of advice I can give is to sample a variety of systems and brands before making a large purchase. A diaper you think you will love may not work for your baby as well as you thought.
Most of my cloth diaper stash was purchased from Green Mountain Diapers. I love Green Mountain Diapers! I have also purchased from Nicki’s Diapers. I have had a very pleasant experience shopping at each store and recommend you check them out.
The following is a list of items in our cloth diaper collection:
- 24 Cloth-eez Prefold Diapers (size Newborn)
- 24 Cloth-eez Prefold Diapers (size Large)
- 24 Cloth-eez Prefold Diapers (size Small)
- 24 Cloth-eez Prefold Diapers (size Medium)
- 3 Cloth-eez Workhorse Fitted Diapers (size Newborn with snaps)
- 2 Cloth-eez Workhorse Fitted Diapers (size Small with no snaps)
- 5 Cloth-eez Workhorse Fitted Diapers (size Large with no snaps)
- 12 Cloth-eez Flat Birdseye Diapers
- 2 Bummis Simply Lite Covers
- 5 Blueberry Capri Covers (with snaps, size 1)
- 6 Blueberry Coverall Covers
- 2 Nicki’s Diapers One Size Bamboo All-In-One
- 2 Best Bottom Diapers with 3 small inserts and 3 medium inserts
- 1 Nicki’s Diapers One Size Diaper Cover
- 1 Chelory miniC Diaper
- 2 Chelory All-In-One Diapers
- 2 Wet Bags from Sweet Bobbins
- 2 X-large Pail Liners from Sweet Bobbins
- Snappi Diaper Fasteners
- Malden Mills Fleece Stay-Dry Liners
- 2 Blueberry Wet Bags
For a newborn stash I recommend starting with 24 diapers and 6 covers. With a stash of that size, expect to wash diapers every other day.
My favorite diapers are my prefolds! In the beginning I found them really intimidating. I avoided my cloth diapers for two weeks after taking my little boy home from the hospital. Fortunately, I soon discovered it was not as scary as it seemed! I actually find it easier to change a squirming baby with prefolds than with disposable diapers. I use the Newspaper fold with Snappis for our prefolds.
The Blueberry covers are my favorite! I have tried covers from Bummis and Nicki’s Diapers, and the Blueberry covers is the best of the three. I use covers with snaps. The Blueberry covers are great at preventing leaks. I can usually get a really good fit with them, and they are of nice quality. Pricey, but worth it.
I really enjoy using my fitted diapers from Green Mountain Diapers. I originally purchased some fitted diapers with the snaps and I did not like them. I recommend the fitted diapers with no snaps because you have more room for adjustments and thus can get a better fit. The only reason I do not have more of these in my stash is the price. A large fitted diaper is $9.95 compared to the $3.75 price of a large prefold. I like using the fitted diapers for overnight.
Nicki’s One Size All-In-One (AIO) is my favorite AIO (although, I have only tried two!). I have had a really good experience with this diaper. No leaks and at $14.95, it comes at a really good price. Plus it comes in chevron!
My little one has very sensitive skin. Overcoming his wetness sensitivity was my greatest challenge with cloth diapering. Despite frequent changes, it did not take much for a contact rash to form. I tried just about every cloth diaper safe diaper rash cream I could think of:
- CJ’s Butter (love their scents!)
- Earth Mama Angel Baby Bottom Balm
- Northern Essence Better Butt(er) Cream and Salve
- Dimpleskins Bum Bum Balm
Unfortunately, none of the creams were successful at clearing or preventing his rash. For a while there we gave up on using cloth diapers overnight. I was feeling really discouraged about cloth diapering. After weeks of combating with the problem, I finally decided on giving fleece liners a try.
Since using the fleece liners, I no longer have issues with keeping contact rashes at bay. I can even use cloth diaper overnight. If you are feeling crafty you could purchase some fleece and make them yourself.
What Did Not Work
I purchased two packages of the Cloth-eez Flat Birdseye diapers and I have only used them as burp cloths. The prefolds worked so well for us I did not have the incentive to learn how to fold flats. The diapers are really well made, and perhaps one day I will learn how to use them.
I really wanted to love my Chelory diapers, but I had issues with leaks. These diapers were a little loose around the legs for my boy. He has fattened up a bit and I can now use the one size diaper with no problem, but these were really disappointing for me.
If you purchase a diaper from Chelory and it does not work out well for you, she will accept returns as long as you return it within a 15 day window. I purchased these diapers months before my little boy’s arrival.
That said, the Chelory diapers are very well made, and she has the best selection of prints. If I have a little girl I will purchase one of her ruffles diapers.
Our Wash Routine
Dirty Diaper Storage
I bought a cheap plastic trash can (this particular one is the perfect size) and two pail liners to store our dirty diapers. ( I recommend at least two liners so while one is washing another is available.) I purchased my liners from a little Etsy shop named Sweet Bobbins. I really like their pail liners and after many washes they have held up pretty well.
While we are out and about I use wet bags to store the dirty diapers. I purchased two from Sweet Bobbins, and I also have a couple from Blueberry. Between the two, I prefer my Blueberry wet bags. They dry quicker.
Spraying Poopy Diapers
The newborn poop days were pretty nice (minus the explosions) because you could just toss the dirty diapers in the wash. Now that our little man is consuming solids we need to dump the poop in the toilet. We gave dunk and swish a few tries, but no thanks.
We purchased the Potty Pail cloth diaper sprayer and prewash toilet bucket. I considered purchasing the diaper sprayer from bumGenius, but I had a better feeling about purchasing the Potty Pail sprayer.
Installing the sprayer was pretty easy. However, there was a small leak. I contacted the folks at the Potty Pail about my issue, and they responded quickly with helpful advice. My issue was resolved by reattaching the nuts. It took a few tries to get it threaded just right.
The prewash bucket is pretty simple and nice. We like the hooks for hanging wet diapers, and the bucket is a decent splash guard.
I was really nervous about creating our wash routine because we have a front load washing machine. I have read postings where people were having trouble getting their diapers clean because these machines use less water than a top load washing machine. I took a lot of notes from other people’s experiences and created a routine that has been working pretty well for us. We use the following preset options:
- Rise + Spin with an Extra Rinse
- Heavy Duty with an Extra Rinse
- Another Rise + Spin with an Extra Rinse
Mainstream detergents are okay to use on cotton diapers. We started out using Gain detergent, but my little one has very sensitive skin so we switched to using Tide Free and Gentle. Diapers are washed every other day.
I air dry anything containing PUL to extend its lifespan. All my cotton diapers I toss in the dryer for a light cycle, then I hang dry to remove any remaining dampness. I purchased my drying rack from Costco and love using it for drying diapers!
Next child, will Ashley cloth diaper again? Yes!
- The prints!
- Good for the environment
- Potentially saves money
- Covers help contain poop explosions
- Spraying diapers actually reduces odors in the house
- Super bulky (Pants? They don’t fit well. Diaper bag? You better get a large one!)
- Cannot fall behind on laundry!
- Can’t use Destin
- Cloth diapers must be changed more frequently
- Not all child care providers will use cloth diapers
We started this journey hoping to reduce the time it will take our son to be potty trained, but at this point it does not matter. Despite the extra bit of work involved with cloth diapering, we have had a good experience and look forward to using our stash with future children.