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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Cloth diapers (updated)

To read my previous posts about cloth diapering, check out these links:

Why should I fool with cloth diapers?

What you need

Washing Cloth diapers

Oh, yes, cloth diapers. I wrote on cloth diapers shortly after I started blogging. Since then, I've learned more about dealing with washing issues, toddler poop, and having two kids in cloth diapers. Also, I've been doing cloth diaper consulting for a while.

I have a lot more knowledge about cloth diapering now, and I'd like to update myself a little here.

When Korban was born, I initially didn't think I'd have to buy any more diapers because everything I used on Izzy held up great. However, Korban has turned out to be a seriously heavy wetter, so I ordered him some more diapers and doublers to help us make it a little longer between wash days. All told, between diapering Izzy and Korban so far, I've spent maybe $500 dollars. Yeah, that's still a huge savings compared to disposables! (Plus the cost of washing/drying, however much that is.)

First of all, I don't do a "wet pail" anymore. I got a sprayer, and I'm really glad I finally invested in one. It makes cleaning the dirty diapers much less icky. They're not necessary, but definitely worth the extra $50 or so. *update - We moved to an older house, and there just isn't enough pressure for a sprayer here. Bummer As of right now, we're spraying with a hose in the backyard. It's not as bad as it seems, and the flowerbed looks better than ever :)

I also have found that cloth diapering is really not a "one size fits all" process. I personally love my prefolds and don't care much for pockets or anything with microfiber, but I have more than one friend who swears by pockets.

Diapering two at once is not really a big deal, I don't have to wash diapers more often, I'm just washing a bigger load each time, so there's a little more stacking (I can't really call it folding, it's easier than that).

I'm not going to lie, though. Toddler poop can be a challenge. With a newborn breastfed baby, there is no stink. No trouble getting things out in the wash. But toddler poo? Well, we deal with it. It helps to have the sprayer and the liners I mentioned in the "what you need" post above. Definitely not worth giving up over, as even the worst diapers still only take about 10 seconds to spray clean.

The other diapering challenge we faced for a while was washing. When we moved we changed from hard water to soft water. My wash routine was suited for hard water, and I had a few fits trying to figure out how to tweak my routine to make it work. I finally found that I need to use Charlie's soap and add about 3/4 cup of vinegar to my final rinse. I also strip occasionally with Funk Rock and I haven't had any problems since. *Update- I found that it is important that our water is hot enough, and we need to keep it at around 125 degrees to get things really clean. Also, I add 2-3 tablespoons of bleach with my soap. I haven't had a single stink issue in over a year with this routine.

A good place to go for diapering advice is the Zukababy cloth diaper 101 page. However, when I was first considering cloth diapering, it wasn't hard to find information on the internet, it was just impossible for me to sort through it all. Everyone had different opinions and I couldn't quite get a grip on what "pocket", "prefold", and "all-in-one" meant. Fortunately, I had both a diaper consultant and a great place to shop nearby, or I'd have never ventured into this cloth diaper thing.
Cloth diaper booty! So cute!

If there's one piece of advice I offer to someone trying to get started with cloth diapering, it's this:

If at all possible, talk to a real person about it before you start buying.

Like I said before, there are tons of websites with info on cloth diapers, and they all say something different. From what detergent to use to what diapers are best, it's not a one-size-fits-all ordeal. You need someone you can ask questions to and who can show you their system in action.

If you have a friend who uses cloth, go with that. If not, I'd be happy to help you out. I'm a trained cloth diaper consultant. I've tried all the major diaper styles out there and I've helped clients through a number of issues, from heavy wetting to "diaper stink." I'd love to answer any questions you have or help you get started. I don't charge for consults, I think they're fun. I do receive commission on orders placed from Zukababy using my consultant  code, though. (More on that later.*)

So, give me your questions. You can leave a comment on this page or email me at We can also set up a Skype consult, so I can show you the different types of diapers in action, as well as how my diapering system works (wet pail, sprayer, etc.). Or, if you don't have Skype and want to talk on the phone, that works for me, too!

*Like I said, consults are free, I really do enjoy doing them b/c most people don't care to hear me go on about my opinions on pockets vs prefolds! :)
I am an employee of Zukababy, though, and if you are interested in ordering cloth diapers/diapering supplies, or you are looking into other natural baby/mommy items such as baby carriers, natural toys, bath supplies, natural parenting books and such, you can order them from Zukababy and support this blog!

Just remember to type "SE01" in as your consultant code when you place your order online. There is a $5 flat rate for shipping inside the U.S., so it's a pretty good deal.

Now, give me your questions! I'd love to help you out! This post was shared at Fat Tuesday, Frugally Days Sustainable Ways, Works for Me Wednesdays


  1. I love prefolds also. What kind of covers do you use?

  2. That is some great advice!! I have a one year old and I love using cloth diapers while at home. I'm always anxious for others' tips and suggestions. Thanks for the great post!

    <>< Kristen

  3. Thanks, Kristen!

    Alli - I love the thirties duo wraps. The duo wraps adjust to fit a wider variety of sizes. They work great and last a long time, so I can use them for multiple children. The bummies brand is very similar to thirsties. They both have double gussets on the legs, so they guard against leaks better, especially for infants.

    I also love the Flip brand one size covers. They are similar, but don't have the double gussets. I feel like they are better for toddlers, they seem to fit more snug and do not sag as much as thirsties.

    I definitely prefer snaps to velcro. I used velcro for a long time, but now that I'm diapering two, I realize that velcro wears out faster and looks raggedy more quickly.