With disposable diapers readily available and pretty much the only diapers that people use these days, it’s might be quite daunting to try any other alternative. However, as soon as I saw a friend using them, it became clear that I would one day use them for my baby as well. You see, I’m not the type to just do whatever is most convenient or most popular, I’m the type to think things through, research, and decide what the most cost-effective methods are for running a household while taking into consideration the environment, health, and efficiency. So when my first baby was born, I immediately started her out on cloth diapers. The ones I settled on were Bumgenius. They looked nice, durable, and user-friendly. However, the system took some experimenting and getting used to, exactly like becoming a mother. Here is what my system looks like after 18 months:
12 Bumgenius One Size Diapers (with velcro) – good from birth to potty training
Detergent (watch out for allergies)
Wipes (again, watch out for allergies)
1) Insert the inserts (included with purchase) according to needs and sizing. In the first stages, use the small one. Then, switch to the large one or 2 small ones. For overnight, maybe even an extra small one.
2) Optional: line the diaper with a wipe. Basically, after using a wipe for urine (not #2), toss it in the machine with the rest of the diaper stuff and dry it. This is meant to catch BMs to allow for easy clean up as you simply toss it in the garbage. Their other purpose is in case of diaper rash, when you want to apply cream. Don’t allow the cream to get on the diaper because it doesn’t come off in the wash (you must strip them see step 7). Instead, use the liner to protect the diaper from the cream. Note that the only diaper rash my baby ever had was due to the cheap wipes I was using, many say cloth diapered babies get less rashes.
3) Diaper the baby the same way you would use a disposable.
4) After the soiling, remove the diaper and place in the pail. Place the liner wipe in the garbage. My pail is near the washing machine and toilet.
5) After collecting 10-11 (you get used to the timing and also you need to adjust according to the weather), prepare a diaper load. This involves removing any extra solids from the diapers with toilet paper, shower head (if near enough to toilet) or however you choose. With solid BMs, they just fall into the toilet easily. For nursing babies, it’s a little more effort but less smelly. Remove the inserts and place both inserts and diapers into the machine. I generally add other laundry in as well to make a fuller load. Make sure to put it on a high spin cycle.
6) Line dry the diapers, inserts, and liners in the sun weather-permitting. The sun removes stains and odors to keep your diapers white. The diaper covers dry really quickly so be ready to use the inserts that weren’t in the load to stuff the diapers for faster availability.
7) Every few months, “strip” the diapers of oils and residues to return to original absorbancy. Get out the dish soap (any will do), and make sure to get soap in all the diapers and inserts. Do this process by hand. It takes a bit of time, but it is important. Rinse out the diapers and inserts and toss in the machine.
8 ) When traveling or out of the house, always carry a plastic bag for dirty diapers. Just roll them up and toss them in, they don’t smell so bad. If you will be away from a machine for more than 2-3 days, resort to disposables.
9) Always have some disposables in your house and diaper bag in case of emergencies. You never know when it’ll rain on your drying diapers or when your baby will have an extra special day.
10) Nutrition: I find that formula and dairy products cause smellier diapers. It makes the whole system a bit more unpleasant. So, when possible stay away from them.
Sound simple enough?