Cloth Diaper Q & A Volume 2

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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.

Question 1: Sandra asks, “Thank you so much and sorry for all the questions! You are just such a good resource I can’t resist. I was wondering if you knew of any all in ones for newborns. I know about lil Joeys and was wondering what you had heard about them because I was reading a lot of reviews that they leak quite a bit. Any other AIOs?

Also, assuming I don’t bother with the pockets or the AIOs during the newborn stage, are fitteds+cover doable under most clothes? Should I buy larger pants and onesies to accomodate?”

Here are a few newborn AIO suggestions: Cutiepoops, Sposoeasys, Bum Genius, Very Baby and Monkey Doodlez- Micro Doodlez. I haven’t yet used Lil Joey’s but will as soon as our new one arrives!

There are fitted/cover combos that are bulkier but most aren’t.  Muttaqin Baby (mutts) with a thin PUL cover like Proraps are fairly trim.  Mutts are my favorite daytime fitted to use with newborns.  Others I look forward to using are Little Boppers and Goodmamas.  I haven’t ever needed to upsize clothing with a newborn.  Gowns and one-piece outfits are pretty roomy.

As your baby gets bigger and starts wearing more fitted clothing like blue jeans, you’ll need to experiment.  You may be using a cloth diaper brand that is trim and doesn’t require bigger clothing.  Recently, I was able to try out a new line of blue jeans created just for cloth diaper bums!! Check out www.greengamboni.com.  We love our pair.

Question 2: Theresa asks, ” Hi Autumn,

This site is very helpful. I am 4 months pregnant and trying to figure out how to make cloth diapering work in our situation. We live in an apartment building and would be doing all laundry using communal washers and dryers. I’m concerned that my diapers will pick up residue from other people’s use of dryer sheets/fabric softeners. Does this mean we’ll be scrubbing down the machines the two or three times a week we’ll be washing diapers? If anyone has successfully used cloth diapers in this sort of setting I would love any advice.  Thanks!”

This is an EXCELLENT question.  I have no experience with community laundry facilities. Do you have experience? I’m leaving this question open for you to answer. I will insert your tips as they come in.

*Another excellent set of questions Autumn.

I also don’t have any experience with community laundry facilities, at least not with my cloth diapers, but I do have a couple of suggestions.

The fabric softener in the liquid form should wash away pretty well in the washer so there should be any worries there, but I have heard that dryer residue will build up and release over time. To get over that I’d suggest hanging your diaperes to dry. Diapers covers should always be hung anyways, but I find that pocket diapers don’t take very long to dry in a low humidity environment. The liners take a bit longer so maybe buying a few more of those would help.

Another tip might be to look for a local diaper service. The cost might be a little bit more than owning your own, but should still be less than disposables. I’ve also heard of soem services allowing you to buy your own diapers and they will wash them for you, if you’re not keen on the idea of using prefolds forever. They might break down faster because of the industrial machines and the sanitation process though.

*Hi Theresa,
We have been clothing diapering our 7 month old since he was about 1 month old and we have communal laundry facilities. So far I have had minimal issues with residue and that has just been recently and I think I have resolved them without too much extra effort (fingers crossed). I try to airdry as often as possible to avoid dryer sheet residue as well as save money since our laundry is coin operated. But so far so good.

*I’ve used communal laundry for my two year olds diapers for about a year and we haven’t had too many problems. I do have some accumulated ammonia stink, but not any worse than it seems like others with their own washers complain of. I do think I get some build up, but I have gone to my mother in laws a couple times to strip them in her washer and that has helped. Also, I wouldn’t get all in ones or non-pocket fitteds. I use mostly pocket fitteds stuffed with folded flats, so they wash well. Also, we almost always air dry. Good luck!

*I used shared laundry in an apartment building for just over a year. The easiest thing I found was to hand-rinse each diaper as it came off, that way I only had to pay for a hot wash. I also found that natural fibers were easier to launder. I personally found that pocket diapers (the fleece/suede cloth) didn’t hold up too well with exposure to the build of of other peoples detergent/fabric softener in the machines. I constantly had to strip them.
Good luck & have fun.

*Autumn, When we go away for my husbands week long modules (working on his masters) we end up staying in an apartment building with one washer and dryer for the whole building. What I have done is wash all my other laundry first (a load of towels on hot and then the rest however) and THEN do the diapers. I do the same at my mother in laws place when we visit there. So far I haven’t had any real problems doing it this way.

*For Theresa:
I cloth diapered my daughter from age 2 months to 2 years in an apartment complex with shared laundry. Amazingly enough, I never encountered any difficulties with residue of any kind. I wouldn’t be overly concerned. Also, one money-saving tip is to wash the diapers by themselves first (consider it a pre-rinse), and then fill up the rest of the machine with other clothes and run the whole load together. This allowed me to get my diapers squeaky clean without spending absurd amounts of money (or time).

Another option, however, which we have started using since moving into a building without laundry facilities, is to buy your own portable apartment-sized washer and dryer. Haier brand makes a very nice line of these. I was able to buy a washer and dryer set for around $250 on Craig’s List (less than I’d have spent on a year of coin laundry), and both were less than a year old. They hold about half the load of a normal washer (perfect for a load of diapers), and the washer hooks up to your kitchen sink. This solution has worked wonders for us. I highly recommend it!

Question 3: Mary asks, “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!”

The easiest solution is to leave the pail/bag open.  Also, limit the moisture.  If you are using a diaper sprayer make sure to ring your diapers slightly.  Tea Tree oil is an anti-fungal.  Adding a few drops to the bag will keep mold at bay. When you do see mold wash with either a small amount of bleach or TTO.

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

View all posts by Autumn Beck

25 Responses to “Cloth Diaper Q & A Volume 2”

  1. Jennifer Says:

    (forgot to click on subscribe to comments so re-entering my name to do so)

    Reply

  2. Jennifer Says:

    Hi there – I, too, am having a mold problem, I believe. I’ve been cloth diapering now for about 10 months (on and off – another story/question for a different thread), and I’ve noticed recently that all of the diapers have a pinkish discoloration on them that seems to be worsening. It looks like the pink stuff that can accumulate on showers or toilets… I’m assuming it is a type of mold, but not sure exactly why it is there, etc. I see you recommended washing in bleach to the above Mom, which is what I will try, but just wondering if you have any advice as to what is causing this and if there is anything else I should do besides a bleach wash. Thanks so much!

    Reply

  3. Ashley Says:

    Hi Autumn,
    My original CD diaper plan was to use only One Size pockets from the get go. However, after reading more on here, it seems that they might not fit for a few months.

    What is my next best economical/practical solution. I don’t want to buy a whole bunch of infant size diapers, but I don’t want to be changing the baby every hour. What about good quality pre-folds with one size covers (like Kiwaiis)? Is there another cover you’d recommend that perhaps we could still use as the baby grew? I assume this is cheaper than fitteds plus covers?

    Thanks so much,
    Ashley

    Reply

  4. Autumn Beck Says:

    That’s very odd. I would make sure you are spraying as much as you can off and then use Bac-out in the prewash.

    Reply

  5. Jill Says:

    We started out loving our kawaii goodnight heavy wetters, just using them at night. I decided to use them now and then for day time with just one insert so then we starting having BM’s in them. I use a diaper sprayer immediately after a diaper change and wash diapers every other night. Hot wash, double rinse with Charlie’s soap and then straight into the dryer. The fleece liner of the kawaii is not washing clean. Not only are they staining with BMs, but you can see that the tiny fibers are actually retaining poo. Any suggestions?

    Reply

    • Autumn Beck Says:

      are you doing really big loads of laundry? the other day (after having no washer for 3 days) I washed about 40 diapers. Total waste because you could see some yellow bm poo on some of the diapers still! If you have an old TL this may not be the problem but with FL smaller loads come cleaner.

      Reply

      • Jill Says:

        Not at all. Really just around 15 or so prefolds and a few pockets. Also it’s like since I didn’t notice before drying them that the dryer cooked it on there or something???

        Reply

  6. Nona Mills Says:

    I’ve used communal laundry for my two year olds diapers for about a year and we haven’t had too many problems. I do have some accumulated ammonia stink, but not any worse than it seems like others with their own washers complain of. I do think I get some build up, but I have gone to my mother in laws a couple times to strip them in her washer and that has helped. Also, I wouldn’t get all in ones or non-pocket fitteds. I use mostly pocket fitteds stuffed with folded flats, so they wash well. Also, we almost always air dry. Good luck!

    Reply

  7. Kris Says:

    Hi Autumn, I have a question about stinky diapers. I have been cloth diapering for a month now with my 14 month old girl. Everything has been going great until the last couple days, every time I go to change her the diapers smell so bad, even if its just wet. This morning I came in her room and the whole room reaked, almost a skunky smell. I was expecting a horrible mess in her diaper, but there was only urine and it really wasn’t as soaked as it usually is. I use a combination of flips, BG pockets and Kawaii’s minky and bamboo. Do I need to strip them? They are absorbing fine. I use All small & mighty, free & Clear detergent. Do I need to switch detergent? Help! Thanks.

    Reply

    • Autumn Beck Says:

      It doesn’t sound like they are getting cleaned fully. If you have hard water you may need to add a bit more detergent. There are lots of great, natural detergents that clean very well: Country Save, Rockin Green, Clean B, Crunchy Clean… I’d give them a good, sudsy cleaning and rinse a ton then see what they smell like.

      Reply

  8. Laura Says:

    I have used communal washer/dryers in our apt. for almost six month and haven’t had a problem with build up. I usually run one rinse, one wash and then hang to dry. So, maybe I miss the whole “dryer sheet” build up because I’m too cheap to pay for the dryer! Good luck Theresa!

    Reply

  9. LaNita Says:

    For Theresa

    Hello! We did it for a few months. The best thing I can rec is to try using flats with Thristies Duo Wraps! Flats need the least amount of washing/soaking/double washing, especially in the newborn stages!

    Happy Holidays

    Reply

  10. Emily Says:

    I wasn’t sure where to post this comment. I was wondering if for you were planning on using mama cloth postpartum? If so I was wondering what you recommend using. I’m due in February and I’d like to start building my mama cloth stash now. I was wondering if you or your readers have any advice on brands or washing. Thank you!

    Reply

    • Autumn Beck Says:

      I am using the same mama cloth I bought before Sterling was born. I did a trade with a WAHM on Diaperswappers. I think they work great! I’d make sure to get ones that have a PUL backing. As far as washing, I have a wet bag next to the toilet and when I need to wash I do a load. I add some peroxide to help with stains.

      Reply

  11. melissa Says:

    I’ve used communal laundry for my two year olds diapers for about a year and we haven’t had too many problems. I do have some accumulated ammonia stink, but not any worse than it seems like others with their own washers complain of. I do think I get some build up, but I have gone to my mother in laws a couple times to strip them in her washer and that has helped. Also, I wouldn’t get all in ones or non-pocket fitteds. I use mostly pocket fitteds stuffed with folded flats, so they wash well. Also, we almost always air dry. Good luck!

    Reply

  12. Kay Says:

    I used shared laundry in an apartment building for just over a year. The easiest thing I found was to hand-rinse each diaper as it came off, that way I only had to pay for a hot wash. I also found that natural fibers were easier to launder. I personally found that pocket diapers (the fleece/suede cloth) didn’t hold up too well with exposure to the build of of other peoples detergent/fabric softener in the machines. I constantly had to strip them.
    Good luck & have fun <3

    Reply

  13. Cristy Says:

    Autumn, When we go away for my husbands week long modules (working on his masters) we end up staying in an apartment building with one washer and dryer for the whole building. What I have done is wash all my other laundry first (a load of towels on hot and then the rest however) and THEN do the diapers. I do the same at my mother in laws place when we visit there. So far I havn’t had any real problems doing it this way.

    Reply

  14. Sandra Says:

    Autumn,

    I was wondering, since you just had a newborn, if you would share what your newborn stash consisted of. Thanks!

    Reply

  15. Debra Says:

    For Theresa:
    I cloth diapered my daughter from age 2 months to 2 years in an apartment complex with shared laundry. Amazingly enough, I never encountered any difficulties with residue of any kind. I wouldn’t be overly concerned. Also, one money-saving tip is to wash the diapers by themselves first (consider it a pre-rinse), and then fill up the rest of the machine with other clothes and run the whole load together. This allowed me to get my diapers squeaky clean without spending absurd amounts of money (or time).

    Another option, however, which we have started using since moving into a building without laundry facilities, is to buy your own portable apartment-sized washer and dryer. Haier brand makes a very nice line of these. I was able to buy a washer and dryer set for around $250 on Craig’s List (less than I’d have spent on a year of coin laundry), and both were less than a year old. They hold about half the load of a normal washer (perfect for a load of diapers), and the washer hooks up to your kitchen sink. This solution has worked wonders for us. I highly recommend it!

    Reply

  16. Sweetheart Diapers & More Says:

    Another excellent set of questions Autumn.

    I also don’t have any experience with community laundry facilities, at least not with my cloth diapers, but I do have a couple of suggestions.

    The fabric softener in the liquid form should wash away pretty well in the washer so there should be any worries there, but I have heard that dryer residue will build up and release over time. To get over that I’d suggest hanging your diaperes to dry. Diapers covers should always be hung anyways, but I find that pocket diapers don’t take very long to dry in a low humidity environment. The liners take a bit longer so maybe buying a few more of those would help.

    Another tip might be to look for a local diaper service. The cost might be a little bit more than owning your own, but should still be less than disposables. I’ve also heard of soem services allowing you to buy your own diapers and they will wash them for you, if you’re not keen on the idea of using prefolds forever. They might break down faster because of the industrial machines and the sanitation process though.

    Reply

  17. Jenny Says:

    To Theresa: I don’t know about using communal washers and dryers, but at my house I use normal detergent and fabric softeners on all of my laundry that isn’t cloth diapers. I have not had any problem doing this and I don’t wash out the machines between uses. I also have a front loader if that helps. Good luck!!

    Reply

  18. Marguerite Says:

    Hi Theresa,
    We have been clothing diapering our 7 month old since he was about 1 month old and we have communal laundry facilities. So far I have had minimal issues with residue and that has just been recently and I think I have resolved them without too much extra effort (fingers crossed). I try to airdry as often as possible to avoid dryer sheet residue as well as save money since our laundry is coin operated. But so far so good.

    Reply

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