7 Things I Wish I Knew About Cloth Diapers

June 1, 2012

Basics/Getting Started

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When you begin to learn about the world of cloth diapers it is easy to get overwhelmed with all the options.  While options are a good thing they leave you asking which is best.

Unfortunately, that isn’t an easy question to answer.  But, I can give you some tips I have learned over the last 6 1/2 years that will equip you as you begin.

  1. Wet Bags.  A good wet bag will hold in smell, moisture and lots of dirty diapers.  I started out with a cheap camping bag and although it was okay it didn’t hold in smells…or moisture that great.  After several washes it broke down and had to be thrown away.  Sure it was only $5 but that money didn’t last long.Now, I have 2 XL wet bags and 2 or 3 small ones for out of the house.  By having 2 XL wet bags I can always have one on deck.But which brand do you buy??  I get zero affiliate or kickback for obsessively promoting Monkey Foot Designs Wet Bags.  They are simply that good.  The quality is UNmatched on every level.
  2. Diaper Sprayer.  A diaper sprayer has many uses.  Depending on where you are able to set it up you could use it for cleaning up kids, postpartum cleansing, prerinsing laundry and of course rinsing off diapers.  I loved the versatility in my old house.I have experience with the bum Genius Diaper Sprayer and found it to be a quick install and easy to control. There are several on the market today like the Mini-Shower and Blueberry Flo.  There’s also the DIY version that to me looks horrifying but to others is a cake walk.
  3. Consider flat cloth diapers. Easy to clean. Affordable.  Easy to use.  Easy to clean.  Fast drying. Surprisingly absorbent. Simple.  Don’t be scared of a big old-fashioned square of cotton.Easy to use?Yes!  Check out this tutorial on how to pad fold a flat:

    I like using the origami fold but isn’t easy to accomplish with a crazy, floppy baby.
  4. Bac-Out.  Not all cloth diaper manufacturers allow the use of enzyme cleaners.  I have found though that Bac-Out is a must for properly cleaning cloth diapers.  I use it in the pre-wash to get all the poop out before washing with detergent.I’ve always said 3 large squirts is what you need but not everyone has the squirt bottle.  I have measured the amount and it comes to 1/3 cup.  If you aren’t washing a large load you can cut back on the amount.You should never smell Bac-out’s distinctive lime odor on your diapers.  If you do you need to rinse, rinse, rinse!  While enzyme cleaners are great at degrading biological material they will attack baby’s skin causing a rash if it isn’t properly rinsed off. I purchased my Bac-out in bulk off Amazon and simply refill my 32 oz squirt bottle when it runs out. I haven’t had to buy more in over a year because I stocked up. I like having extra also because when we have dinner guests over I’m always giving them cloth diaper items to make their cloth diaper journey a bit easier. Just call me the “cloth diaper evangelist”!
  5. Aplix/Velcro.  Aplix can be annoying but man is it so much easier than snapping diapers.  Not all aplix/velcro/touch tape is equal.  You’ll find some brands are super sticky, Rumparooz (Buy 4 Get 1 FREE sale right now), while others barely stay fastened. Some aplix tabs will curl up on you, they’ll collect fuzz and hair and at some point your baby will disrobe in his bed hopefully with no poop messes.  BUT, (I’m not making a very good sale yet) aplix isn’t intimidating to spouses and babysitters and it makes diaper changes fast! There is also an easy way to keep the fuzz out.
  6. Buy used. When you are starting out the key is to try out as many diaper styles as your budget will allow.  If you buy used you can try out more.  Cloth Diaper Trader, Re-Diaper, Diaperswappers, Ebay and Craigslist are markets for buying second hand cloth diapers.Many cloth diaper retailers are offering a Gently Used section which is also fabulous!  Diaper Junction, Nicki’s Diapers, Jillian’s Drawers, Kelly’s Closet all have a used section.
  7. CJ’s BUTTer Spritz.  No more messy hands trying to goop your baby’s bum up.  Every diaper change I spray liberally on and feel good knowing his bottom is protected.  Plus CJ’s BUTTer comes in the best scents!! Pink Sugar and Warm Vanilla Cake are yummy.  If you don’t mind getting your hands dirty, I also love Hiney Honey Creme and “THE” Balm!  The key with this tip is by adding a protective barrier on baby’s skin it helps to prevent rashes from things you don’t always anticipate like an acidic poopy or ammonia burns or a longer time between changes.

There are many things I have learned throughout this journey.  Many things I’m still learning every day! For more in depth tips on how to navigate the world of cloth diapers check out my ebook Ultimate Guide to Cloth Diapers.

It is packed full of information, links and recommendations.  The purpose for writing it was to prevent others from making the same mistakes I did and make it easy for anyone to start cloth diapering today!  The 3rd edition has just been released with all updated information.

Check out the updated version of this post! 7…Make That 5 Things I Wish I Knew About Cloth Diapers

 

*affiliate links contained in post. thank you for your support!


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About Autumn Beck

Autumn is a wife, mother, homeschool teacher, friend and most important a follower of Christ. She began cloth diapering in 2005 and has experienced many joys and trials throughout the years. Autumn enjoys writing but would choose camping with her family any day!

View all posts by Autumn Beck

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34 Responses to “7 Things I Wish I Knew About Cloth Diapers”

  1. Kara C. Says:

    Thank you for this information. Our little girl is due November 6th and we will be using CD’s from newborn on. Our son who is now four didn’t use CD’s until he was about 15 months old. Thank you for the tips!

    Reply

  2. Kayla Says:

    I am interested in trying bacout, do you spray the diapers individually or do you just pour 1/3 cup into the prewash?

    Reply

  3. Lindsey Says:

    I am so glad I stumbled upon this site! Thank you for sharing this information!

    Reply

  4. Vicki Hall Says:

    I wish I would’ve tried several different types of diapers before buying a bunch of one brand I also wish I would have bought all snaps , which I prefer now

    Reply

  5. Valerie Says:

    I wish I had read this before I started! I bought a bunch of new diapers that I don’t love anymore but have been able to get a lot of name brand diapers for cheaper – used! I’ll have to check out Bac-Out and I am surprised that the few velcro diapers I have, I don’t hate! They actually work very well.

    Reply

  6. DianeMargaret Miller Says:

    When our daughter was a tiny thing, I used the origami fold.
    When you fold them up completely…you can lay them out, ready to use, just like any other diaper!!!
    I used Snappi fasteners with mine.

    Reply

  7. Staceyjw Says:

    Love the list!

    Any suggestions for moms without a washer of their own? We had one when we started CD, but don’t right now and the cost and hassle is awful. Even using biodegradable/compostable disposables (grovia brand from Costco) is cheaper and easier than the laundromat! And I have a pretty big stash, only need to wash them every 4-5 days. I love my CDs though.

    As for cheap CD’s, my fav place for used CDs is Spots Corner on Hyena Cart. Sure, lots are costly, but many are way cheap. I havent spent more than $6 on any cover or fitted, usually more like $4, you just have to look often. You can get cheap new ones from China on eBay, but I rather support WAHMs when I can.

    You can never have too many flats ot PFs! We EC so there are very few poopy diapes to wash, and flats w snappis are cheap and easy!

    Reply

  8. Diane Standish Says:

    I can’t believe diapers cost so MUCH!!! they were like $4-5 a doz when I bought them and I started out with 4 doz! and we used diaper pins to put them on baby and plastic pants over-I never used disposable diapers at all. A and D ointment was a staple for baby bottom. I am amazed reading these comments what has changed!!!LOL

    Reply

  9. Diane Standish Says:

    When I used cloth diapers in 1974 I had a diaper pail with blue disinfecting solution and water in it-you rinsed the diapers out in toilet and put in pail-and you washed diapers almost every day. do they still have diaper pails?

    Reply

  10. H Says:

    @Alex – I bought 8 bumGenius cloth diapers at a consignment fair (Just Between Friends) for $80 (they were sold in packs of 4 for $40). JBF has sales all over and I believe at the beginning/end of each season. I would check out their website to see if they’re coming your way…

    Reply

  11. Lisa Says:

    Hey There, I have been cloth diapering for 4 yrs now and love it. Expecting baby #4 in early Aug… Quick and easy solution for worn out velcro is to simply purchase 1/4 to 1/2 in wide sew on velcro and afix the rough side onto the butter fly closures of the diaper. I have about 18 bumGenius velcro closures & when I contacted the company they were more than happy to send me the “quick fix” kit. Not so much a quick fix, given my lack of sewing experience, I was not able to replace the velcro on my diapers so, as all good moms… adapt and ovecome! I have been using my own quick fix for about 18months or so. It has also made it nearly impossible for either of my boys to escape thier diaper…bonus!

    Reply

  12. Alex Says:

    Good information. The only thing I do not agree with is to buy used. I have been looking for used cloth diapers for over a year and have found none that are cheaper then buying new. I currently have 6 cloth diapers and have spent less than $20. I bought them all brand new. 3 of them where $5 each and the other where less then that. If you shop around you can find good deals. I have seen used cloth at yard sales for $15 each. I am unwilling to spend that much when I know I can get them new for a lot less.

    Reply

    • Desiree Says:

      where do you get yours? I want to do cloth diapers so bad but i am onsucha tight budget and i have no desire to do used for the the fact that i wouldn’t buy used for myself. :P

      Reply

  13. Melissa Says:

    Your list is so true. I was so afraid/ grossed out to buy used diapers when I was first starting. I quickly realized that used diapers can look nearly new if they have been taken good care of. The diaper sprayer is invaluable when I am cleaning out things in the tub (or just cleaning the tub) since I can make sure all the soap is sprayed off.

    And as for the velcro vs snaps debate, while the velcro drives me nuts when it catches on everything in the wash with my wiggly butt son who hates diaper changes with a passion, it is a necessity.

    Reply

  14. MicheMegan Says:

    hello! thanks so much for this post! i am due with my 2nd in Aug and am looking at CDing somehow- tho all the options are overwhelming! What kind of cover is shown in your ‘how to pad fold a flat’ video above? I like that the flat tucks in as opposed to just laying there or being snapped or stuffed like a true pocket. For a new to CDing mom would you recommend waiting until baby is born to make a large CD purchase? I’m thinking this one will be skinny like my 3yo was but you never know til birth!!

    Reply

    • Autumn Beck Says:

      That’s a Weehuggers cover. I wouldn’t make a full stash purchase for a baby not here yet. A newborn rental program is great. Some stores (I think Jillian’s Drawers ?? I can’t recall) offer a trade in value towards bigger diapers when you are done with the newborn size. Check out the newborn rental guide I wrote for more information on that.

      If you already know what style of diapers you like, then you might just buy a sampling of different brands. Are you thinking of going with flats?

      Reply

  15. Lisa Says:

    I love these tips! I have been thinking about the Monkey Foot wet bags. I got a couple beautiful Planet Wise ones but the zipper is not so easy and after 8 months they’re fraying a bit.

    Along a similar vein, a while back I posted “What no one tells you about cloth diapers” – these were things that caught me off guard as a newbie – probably par for the course for experts like you guys! Things like the way newborn clothes fit (or don’t fit!) and how shocking the wetness of the cloth is compared to a disposable when you change your baby. Anyway, have a look if you have time! site.beaniedesigns.com/blog/index.php/what-no-one-tells-you-about-cloth-diapers/

    Reply

  16. Krista Says:

    We bought our diapers used and it was SO MUCH CHEAPER! Some of them were a little worn out but others were near new. I got them off of craigslist and ebay. They’ve worked great for us. I’m glad I didn’t invest in brand new diapers before I new what we liked.

    I definitely prefer the hook and loop (velcro). It wears out faster, but you can replace it. The biggest advantage I’ve found is a snug fit! Our little guy is right at that size right now where the snapping diapers just DON’T FIT. The smaller setting is too small and the next one up is too loose. I like to make my own diapers now (I can make them just how I want them) and I always use touchtape rather than snaps.

    Reply

  17. Cindy C. Says:

    Can you use Bac-Out with Grasshoppers and Bum Genius?

    Reply

  18. jolene Says:

    There is a new store that just opened up at the end of my street. They sell cloth diapers. My head was definitely spinning after I left there. So I decided to do some research online before I committed. Thank you for the helpful tips. I decided to look into cloth diapers for the simple fact the my first child has such sensitive skin. Diaper rash always, her skin would break and bleed. With all the research I did to try and fix it the only thing I never tried was cloth diapers.I have read that disposals could have been the cause. I am 5 weeks for delivering my second and want to give cloth diapers serious consideration. I don’t want my second to go through the same pain and agony that my first did. Did you ever use the hybrids?

    Reply

  19. Jen Hen Says:

    I actually made my own wetbags. PUL material is anywhere from 9.99/yd to 14.99/yd here and I can make 2 bags for my big diaper pail and 2 small travel bags out of one yard. Just used a trash bag for a pattern. I put zippers in the travel bags and elastic in the trash pail bags.

    Reply

  20. beth carbone Says:

    awesome tips!! thanks so much- and a big thanks for the bit about a protective bum barrier!! i heard about ammonia burns for the 1st time recently & have been meaning to look more into it so we can avoid ever getting one.. so i shall be protecting my little angel bum from now on! <3

    Reply

  21. Nicole Says:

    Really I wish I had gone with snaps rather than wasting money on the conversion but I was intimidated by snaps at first.

    Reply

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