Two summers ago I met someone whom I adore while I was pregnant with Alvi and she introduced me to a whole new world.
The world of, drum roll, please...
I know, I know. Yuck. Poop & urine in a washable diaper? How does that even work? What? Why?
I’ll use this post to dive into all the different parts, so get excited and let’s talk about poo catchers. Trust me, it’s a lot more fun than you might think!
When I first started, I fully intended to stop at the medium amount recommended for my intended wash cycle. It was all about doing good for the environment and saving money. Part of me wants to say it was somewhere around 40-50 diapers to wash every 5 days or so. I will tell you, at one point, I had a roundabout 500 diapers in our home at one time. The amount of money I’ve spent on our stash is positively ridiculous, but I’m an addict and truly, honestly, deeply, cannot help myself. The great thing about cloth though, is up until Covid, the buy, sell, & trade market for them was phenomenal. It’s not so easy to thin out your stash for a fair price anymore, but that’s alright. Life is slowly picking back up, and the BST market will, too.
Worried about sizing? There are newborn and my personal favorite, one size! They have snaps to adjust the size of the diaper to fit the size of your baby. It doesn’t get much cooler than that!
Let’s talk about washing, because it’s honestly not as bad as you may think. If your baby is exclusively breastfed it’s a common practice to just toss the diaper in the wash as is, poop and all, and they clean with no issues. Once babe starts eating solid food you’ll probably want to add a sprayer to your toilet. Super easy and affordable, too. Most of the time Alvi‘s poo is just a bunch of turds or not super smooshed into the diaper so it’s easy to just dump into the pot and toss the diaper in the hamper. Then, you’re good till wash day.
I run my diapers in the wash 3 times. Two heavy duty loads with scent booster & detergent to line 2 (powder Tide, always), followed by a normal cycle with no detergent or booster, and then the inserts hit the dryer and the diapers are hung to dry. Stain remover as necessary, and never ever ever use dryer sheets with your inserts. I say inserts assuming you may use pocket style diapers as we do, but we should probably cover the different types, too.
So. Many. Styles.
Microsuede and athletic wicking jersey are the two most common “insides” to a diaper and PUL is the outside layer that holds in the wetness. You can do pockets, all-in-one’s, all-in-two’s, covers and prefolds, and I bet right about now you may get overwhelmed if this is new to you.
The style we prefer for daytime use is a “pocket” to which I put an “insert” inside. Inserts can be bamboo, charcoal, microfiber, cotton folds, flour sack towels, the options are endless. Nighttime diapers for us are covers with lots of absorbent insides, or, all-in-one’s, that are all things you need to cloth diaper in one handy dandy piece.
Are you lost yet? How’re we doing, any questions? What am I forgetting?
The world of cloth is crazy big, full of adventure, and you never know what you’re going to see on my baby’s bum.
Ointment! How could I forget? Zinc and petroleum in your bum balm is a no-no. It can cause staining and leaking issues.
Leaking! Because let’s face it - it happens. A baby should be in a cloth diaper for 2 hours maximum, unless of course they poop or wet heavy and need changed beforehand. Detergent build up, use of dryer sheets, and not enough absorbency ability in your diapers are keys to leaking and preventing it.
If you ever end up with detergent build up or are struggling with leaks in general, you will most likely need to strip your diapers and inserts. It’s a fairly easy process, but always ask for help if you need it. They have kits you can buy to help, or you can just Google some simple strip methods or check in with the cloth community via Facebook.
I feel like this is a really good start into the depths of all things cloth, and I’m always open to questions! When I don’t have answers, I have places I can direct you to, or friends who have more in depth info I can connect you with.
If you’ve been contemplating making the switch, I’m here to highly recommend it and help send you in the right direction.
Some of our favorite things will be listed below with links!
Our Three Main Brands:
Mama Koala - our fave retailer is Little Bunny Tails for this brand, but they can be found on Amazon, too!