Cloth Diaper Q & A Volume 1

facebooktwittergoogle_plusmail

I get dozens of questions via email and comments daily. I try my best to answer them promptly but sometimes life gets in the way and days go by. In an effort to allow you to help each other and to give more attention to these great questions, I am starting a new series.

Cloth Diaper Q & A will publish once a week (things may get off kilter when baby #5 arrives). I encourage you to add your thoughts and if you have questions you want answered let me know. I’ll randomly choose questions for each weeks segment.

Question 1: Mona G. asks, “I know I’m going to sound like so many of the other moms who have written, but I’m still really unsure of what path to take. I really like the BumGenius 4.0, but you’ve said that you prefer the Elementals over the 4.0. What is the difference? Also, I’m thinking of also going with pre-folded and covers- do you have a preference for these?
Thanks for any peace of mind you can offer- With the baby due in one week I’m a little panicked!”

Congratulations, Mona! Don’t panic!! Cloth diapering should bring comfort not stress…you’ll have enough of that in other areas :)

Honestly, I vacillate back and forth between which I prefer: the 4.0 or the Elemental. Right now I’d have to say the 4.0 is winning. My Elementals are aged and are showing their age! I like that the 4.0 gives you day and night time use. What’s the difference between the two? The 4.0 is a pocket diaper. A pocket can be stuffed with as little or as much absorbency as needed.  The Elemental is an organic cotton all-in-one. You don’t add anything to it, just snap it on baby.

There are many great covers to choose from if you go with prefolds: Thirsties, Gen-Y, Softbums and Flip are my choices. Check out Kelly’s Closet for a great selection of diaper covers.

Are you planning on using the prefolds and covers from day 1? If so, I would buy some covers with an umbilical notch. My favorite newborn covers are Proraps.

Question 2: Vicky R. asks via email, “Hi Autumn,

I have been thoroughly reading your blog for a couple of weeks now and I’m so very excited to start CD. I am having a csection Jan 6th so i still have a few weeks to go. I ordered a total of 14 CD to get me started, 5 of those are Bum Genius AIO Elementals. My question about those is how to do the prewashes. I know I have to do about 6 before they’re ready to go, but do I have to wash and dry them 6 times or just wash them 6 times back to back and then dry them?
I also had a question about regular washing. I have a Front loading HE washer and the settings for a wash are as follows
Hot/Cold
Warm/Warm
Warm/Cold
Cold/Cold
What setting should I be using to wash my diapers on a regular basis? I’m assuming its the Hot/Cold but I wanted to be sure.
Thanks for your wonderful site and for all your help.”

Vicky, congratulations on the upcoming birth! 14 cloth diapers is a start but you’ll need to fluff up your stash quite a bit for a newborn. Elementals will start to work well for your baby somewhere between 12-15lbs. It will depend a lot on how skinny those legs are.

To prewash your cloth diapers you wash in hot water 5-7x (as per Cottonbabies website) drying each time. The heat will break down and release the oils present in organic cotton.  Every diaper will have different prep needs. Most synthetics can be washed once and are ready to go.  Natural fibers require the oils to be stripped first (ex. Goodmama, Pooters and Ragababe).  Then there are some brands like Sustainablebabyish that don’t require an intensive prep process.

For normal washing, run a cold pre-wash then follow up with a cold/cold wash. Cold water will help with preventing stains and saving energy. However, cold water will not help with breaking down debris and buildup. My routine is a Normal cycle as the prewash on cold/cold followed by a Heavy Duty cycle on hot/cold. I then will either do a rinse/spin cycle on warm or run another Normal cycle on hot/cold. On the first 2 I set the spin setting to low. This keeps the diapers heavy allowing plenty of water to be added to my final rinse/cycle.

With HE machines it can be tricky in figuring out how to properly rinse your cloth diapers. I am constantly making changes as I learn new things.

I look forward to hearing from all of you on how you handle these situations.


facebooktwittergoogle_plusrssinstagram
, , , , ,

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. You can read more from Autumn over at https://www.facebook.com/beautifullyblessedlashes.

View all posts by Autumn Beck

Subscribe

Subscribe to our e-mail newsletter to receive updates.

advert

33 Responses to “Cloth Diaper Q & A Volume 1”

  1. Paola Says:

    Hello!!! My Bumgenius diapers started getting black spots on fleece, and now it is in the plastic cover!!!, what can I do? how should i remove them, could it be mold? Autumm Help Pls!!!

    Reply

  2. Lanae Says:

    Okay I want to make sure I totally understand this before i start washing. I just got my first CD and I need to prep them, they are pooters. So I was them in HOT water 7x? Do I use detergent all 7x ?
    Now when it comes to just everyday washing…I have a front loader. So I should do a rinse with a low spin cycle or no spin cycle with COLD water, then a heavy duty wash with COLD water also. Do you use something in your first rinse cycle? Thank you for all of your help.

    Reply

  3. Paulette Lott Says:

    I just bought two of the Grovia AI2 and I love them. Super easy and the velcro is awesome, plus you don’t have to buy a lot of the extra snap ins because you can use pre-folds with them as well. Hope this helps!

    Reply

  4. Lisa Cordodor Says:

    I have a question as well. I am using a combination of Bum Genius Elementals & Flips. I am experiencing staining with both. I am following the washing/drying recommendations listed by cotton babies, and I use Rockin Green detergent. I live in the pacific northwest where there is currently no sun for me to lay them out to get rid of the stains. What else can I do to get rid of the stains and prevent any more?

    Reply

    • Autumn Beck Says:

      You don’t have to have direct sun to lay them out. You might try Oxyboost or bleach. It’s almost futile though to treat stains when they’ll just return with the next poop.

      Reply

  5. Allison Says:

    Re: Question @#1
    We’ve been using the Elementals for our 10 week old and love them. They are a bit pricey but have been great. My husband wanted a true AIO. He couldn’t stand pulling the soaker out of our EcoBums or 4.0s.
    We also tried the Flip system (pre-folds and covers). I thought it would be great to just change the insert and reuse the cover but EVERY time my little one poos, the cover needs to be changed. We may try them again when she starts solids.

    Reply

  6. Emily Says:

    Hi Autumn. This is a great section :)

    Just had a question about the last bit on the second response… I had read in one of your earlier posts that you do a pre-wash rinse and then spin it out on low so the inserts & diapers are holding more water weight. Recently I actually stopped the spin altogether and simply do the pre-wash rinse. I find this rinses the diapers of residual soiling (I have a sprayer too so there’s not a whole lot of funk there anyway) and leaving out the spin leaves the diapers very heavy with water so when I add my Rockin’ Green detergent and run it on Heavy Duty Hot/Cold with an extra rinse in my HE washer, the diapers come out a lot cleaner. Water level has always been an issue for me when cleaning my dipes because of the efficiency of the washer. The inserts just suck up all the water! I find by not doing the spin in the pre-wash cycle they are saturated to the point where the detergent is able to do its job and clean them thoroughly. I always do a high speed rinse with the wash cycle. What do you think? Since I’ve been doing this my ammonia smell is almost all gone too :) Thanks.

    Reply

    • Autumn Beck Says:

      I sometimes do no spin :) Really I pretty inconsistent with my choices. It’s like a new menu every time I do laundry.

      Reply

  7. Melissa Says:

    I am very excited for this new section. I have several questions myself including the same question as Vicky. Thanks to Mona and Vicky for asking such a great questions that others were curious about and thank you Autumn for taking the time to answer them!

    Reply

  8. Katie Says:

    Hi Autumn,
    What do you think of the Grovia diapers…want to use a new diaper with kiddo #3 and want it to be economical and last for maybe a 4th kid.

    Reply

    • Autumn Beck Says:

      I used them when they were GroBaby. You can search for a review under that name. I’d recommend Flip and Softbums over GroVia if you are wanting to go the hybrid route.

      Reply

    • Erica Says:

      I just bought two of the Grovia AI2 and I love them. Super easy and the velcro is awesome, plus you don’t have to buy a lot of the extra snap ins because you can use pre-folds with them as well. Hope this helps!

      Reply

  9. Yanira Says:

    Thanks Autum this is a great idea!!. I hope yu are feeling well..

    Reply

  10. Mary S Says:

    Thank you so much for all of your fabulous insight on cloth diapering! I have been using prefolds for my 6 month old for about 5 months and I love them. Everything seems to be going well except for one thing: Mold. I usually don’t let my diapers sit in the pail for more than 2 days, but I have still occasionally had problems with mold growing. The latest victim was one of my Thirsties prefold covers. I use a small metal trash can style pail with a wet bag as the lining. Do you have any advice on how to prevent this? I have friends who are planning to wash their diapers only once or twice per week. How will they keep the mold at bay? Thanks!

    Reply

  11. sonja lange Says:

    Thanks for the great info – my question is did you have to change your bac-out routine at all when you switched to the FL…I have to do a cold short wash with the bac-out, then my long heavy hot wash with soap, and then another long heavy hot wash. We have struggled with diaper rash a lot more than I expected…

    Reply

    • Autumn Beck Says:

      Sonja, I don’t know how your comment got lost! I apologize. I would skip the bac-out for a couple of weeks and see if anything changes. I haven’t used bac-out in a few washes and I’m going to see what results.

      Reply

  12. Kate Says:

    Autumn, do you use detergent in both your cold/cold wash and your hot/cold wash, or only in your hot/cold wash? And do you wash all of your diapers together (synthetic and organic cotton), or separately? Thank you!

    Reply

    • Autumn Beck Says:

      wash all together. detergent in the middle cycle (heavy duty hot/cold).

      Reply

      • Eugene' expecting twins Says:

        In your instructions for prewashing you said,
        “To prewash your cloth diapers you wash in hot water 5-7x (as per Cottonbabies website) drying each time. The heat will break down and release the oils present in organic cotton.”
        do you use detergent for all 5-7x of washing? I have an older (non-efficient) washer where the water setting depends on the “load-sixe) Larger loads have hotter water, also there’s no pre-soak option. I was gonna start my diaper prep this weekend and was wondering what i should do. Thanks! Your site is awesome and has been so helpful.

        Reply

  13. Vicky R. Says:

    Thank you so much, now I have a much better idea of what to do!!

    Reply

  14. Kelly Says:

    Has anyone used the Kawaii diaper covers with prefolds? I’m getting some Kawaii pocket diapers for Christmas but I’m thinking that I’ll add prefolds to the mix to save money. Also do I need the super expensive prefolds or will chinese or indian prefolds work well?

    Reply

    • Brooke Says:

      I like the Indian prefolds, snappied closed with a Thirsties cover. I add Fluffy’s covers when baby is over 8 months (they have no gussets).

      Reply

    • Cindy Says:

      I’ve used the covers a ton! They work very well for our 1 year old. I find them just a little smaller then the econobum covers. Haven had a leak yet! I also use indian prefolds and they work just fine. :-)

      Reply

    • Beth @ Sweetbottoms Baby Boutique Says:

      Kelly – You can definitely use prefolds under the Kawaii covers. We love our indian prefolds — They are super soft and very absorbent. Works great! :)

      Reply

  15. Valerie G Says:

    your blog is a lifesaver to me…as I am new to the CD world! I am expecting baby # 2 on 1/12/11!! I bought Gerber cloth diapers to use a burp cloths with my first baby (now 4!)….I am using a diaper service for the first 8 weeks to help with the smaller prefolds…and washing!! I have 12 covers raning from xs to small for that time. Is that enough? Also….how should I strip my prefolds….5-7x in hot/cold before using? I will be swtiching to 4.0’s when she is 10 weeks and goes to daycare…..I am pretty sure I have to strip those inserts as well 5-7 times?

    Please advise on how to prepare….I am so lost!!! Congrats on the new little one!!

    Thanks!

    Reply

    • Autumn Beck Says:

      by strip do you mean prep? are you getting the prefolds from the service? they are probably already prepped if so. if they are flat with no quilting then yes you need to prep approx 5-7x.

      Reply

  16. Kat Says:

    Fabulous Autumn! I am a huge fan of your blog (and follow on FB as well!) and love the Q & A. I’m sure I’ll have questions for you in the future (when I’m not reading at 11pm and my brain is fried!)

    Reply

  17. Sin Dee Says:

    THanks Autumn for this series. Certainly very helpful to all cloth diaper mama!
    I have compiled some of them too in here:
    http://www.niceclothdiaper.com/cd-info/cd-info.php
    I hope this will add on to the list.
    Cheers!

    Reply

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Cloth Diaper Q & A Volume 2 All About Cloth Diapers | Cloth Diaper Answers All About Cloth Diapers - December 10, 2010

    [...] We’ll jump right into Cloth Diaper Q & A Volume 2. If you’d like to read Cloth Diaper Q & A Volume 1 click here. [...]

Leave a Reply