Cloth Diapering Essentials


June 5, 2013

Let’s talk about a controversial baby issue…


Just kidding.

No, let’s talk about FORMULA VERSES BREAST MILK!

Just kidding.

Let’s talk about EPIDURALS!

Just kidding.

I don’t really give a crap about all that stuff.  So let’s talk about cloth diapers instead!


It’s not that hard. Promise. I do it, and I’m a total slacker mom. Once you ease up on yourself, and try it, you’ll get into a rhythm, and dare I say… actually enjoy it?

I’ve been cloth diapering for a while now (I’ve written about it before), and I don’t take it too seriously. I have a stack of cloth diapers next to the changing table, and a stack of disposables too. When I run out of cloth diapers, I slap a disposable on those sweet baby buns. And presto. No guilt.

So if you are interested in getting started, but you’re scared of poop and using your washing machine, then, I question if you’re really a mom. Maybe your a cyborg. Because moms are always cleaning poop and using washing machines. It’s like in our fight song. What?! Moms don’t have a fight song? We should. Let’s get on that.

But first, we got to get some things for our cloth diapering adventure.

Grab a baby and let’s do this:

Cloth Diapering Essentials

1. Diapers: This is the tricky part. There are more types of cloth diapers than there are types of wine. So do yourself a favor, pour a tall glass of your favorite wine, type “cloth diapers” into Google, and pick the first three. A goggle rouette, if you will.  I’m currently using pocket diapers (meaning the inserts go into the pocket that is built in) that are one-size-fits-all: (pictured from left to right) Soft Buns OmniTotsBots, which are trimmer and the insert is connected to the diaper, so it doesn’t go AWAL on you during laundry time. And lastly, my personal favorite, the Rumparooz.  The nice thing about the first two diapers pictured is that they have velcro closures, so they are very much like changing a disposable, quick and easy. The snaps sometimes can be a little more labor intensive when you have a squirmy baby wiggling around on the diaper table.

2. Detergent: You have to be careful with soap and cloth diapers. Because regular detergents can leave a film on the cloth that over time repel moisture instead of absorbing it. Stick with speciality detergents that are designed for cloth diapers. I have tried a bunch.You can even make your own, but let’s not go over board.  My favorites are Charlie’s Soap and Rockin Green. These detergents are great for all your laundry too, not just diapers.

3. Wet bag: If you’re on the go, you’re going to need a place to stash that dirty nappy. I have two wet bags, one small one for when I’m out, and a super-sized one I use at home to throw wet diapers in before they go into the laundry. But, honestly I don’t use the big one, I just stack dirty diapers on top of my washing machine (Like I said, slacker mom) until Silas’ bed time, and then I start the cycle.  Unless he poops, then it goes directly into the washing machine. Side note: breastfed baby poop is water soluble, and doesn’t need to be pre-rinsed. Once he starts really eating solids, I’ll start rinsing his diapers, but for now, his diet is about 90% breast milk and 10% food off my plate. So I can slack off on the rinsing step a little while longer. Yay for slacking!

4. Pail: When Silas really starts blowing down, a pail might be necessary. I used one with Hudson’s giant turd-soaked diapers and it was great. First I would get rid of the solid waste in the toilet, and then toss the diaper into the pail that I filled with water and white vinegar to hang out until washing time. There are a ton of ways to deal with poop crusted diapers, and this is just my way. Other people swear by swishing the diaper in the toilet, and some even buy a fancy hose to spray the crap off. Whatever floats your turd.

5. Wipes: Homemade wipes go hand in hand with cloth diapering, because when you wipe your baby’s butt, you can throw the wipe and diaper into the laundry. I have one of those classy-baby wipes warmers, and I would soak the wipes in water, tea tree oil and a little soap, and store them in the wipe warmer so they stayed wet and were ready and warm. But seriously, seriously…I don’t use reusable wipes right now. When I wipe his butt, the disposable wipe goes into the laundry with the diaper, and then I throw it away once it’s clean. Zing.

6. Diaper spray: This stuff is awesome. Cloth diapering or not, it’s a great baby product. Diaper rash cream isn’t’ good for cloth diapers, so this stuff does the trick. Plus it’s good when your baby’s poo crusts over on his butt, give it a few sprays and it will lift that junk right up.  Or I even use it to clean his hands and face sometimes.

7. Liners: Once your baby’s poo starts to resemble (ahem) your own, invest in some liners. It acts as a barrier between the diaper and poo, and it’s an easier way to deal with the mess. Just lift the liner with the poop and flush.

So that about does it for my list of must-haves. But really, you don’t need much, just start out with diapers and detergent, and see what works for you.

Try it out and let me know how it goes!




Whatever floats your turd? Ha! That gave me a good laugh during my 3:30am pumping session! Once Piper gets her tush our of the NICU I will be starting to use cloth diapers on both kiddos! Thanks for your input on the subject!

by Jamye Jack on June 10, 2013

cloth diaper safe detergents are a myth. I have been cd’ing for 20 months, have never used a cloth specific detergent, and my diapers don’t have any absorbency problems. the detergents you mention are certainly more green and better for the environment, but for those of us with hard water a lot of times they don’t get diapers clean enough. use whatever detergent works best for you!

by natalie on October 11, 2013

Where is that wet bag from? It’s so adorable!

by Michelle on October 25, 2013

This guide has been essential for me figuring out what I think will work for an impending arrival! I really appreciate your down to earth opinions and suggestions regarding this. Thank you 🙂

by Joan on December 21, 2013

What happened to the old school cloth diapers & pins?

by Meg on December 31, 2013

You can still buy the old school ones. Look online. I saw some at yesterday.

by Sarah on January 2, 2014

Thank you for your advice. That is very helpful as I research the journey of poop

by Caroline on February 11, 2014

In the wipes section did you say you wash the wipe in the laundry and throw it away once it’s clean?
I’m confused because I was expecting you to toss it in the trash since it’s a disposable wipe. My baby’s due in ear;y February, so I’m exploring the world of cloth diapering right now. Thanks for the great info 🙂

by Princess on October 27, 2014

When you do cloth diapers and disposable wipes you typically need a pail for the diapers and a bag or pail for the wipes. I think she said she throws them in with the diapers and then throws them away bc that way she doesn’t need two pails and isn’t digging through yuck diapers to sort them out before the wash. She probably just throws them out when she’s stuffing the diapers or folding them after they’re clean.

by Momma bee on November 30, 2014

Charlies causes chemicals burns.
Rockin green does not contain any detergent only boosters.

by b on March 25, 2015

Charlies Soap is actually horrible for diapers, it gave my little one a chemical burn 🙁 Tide has worked WAY better for us and we haven’t had any issues since switching to Tide from Charlie’s. I talk about it briefly here:

by Jessica on June 13, 2015

Both detergents mentioned are NOT good for cloth diapering! Regular detergents are recommended. I would look into that!

by Jill on December 24, 2015

[…] Hippo Brigade […]

by Friendly Affair | Cloth Diapering for Geniuses on April 25, 2016

I dig the pocket diapers..the liner you stuff in the pocket absorbs pee extremely well… the part of the diaper that rests on her butt stays dry. My girl is 2 months so her pees areally getting heavy. Keeps her less fussy between changes and less laundry as she doesn’t soak through to her clothes.

You can buy Alva brand on amazon for $8-$11 per cover.

My girlfriend who did not end up cloth diapering have me her pocket diaper sampler pack which had like 5 different brands (including bum genius), and Alva works just as well as the more expensive ones for me.

I wish I hadn’t invested so heavily in the Flip shells and then stuffing the shell with a liner and flour sack towel, simply because pee just sits against my daughter’s bum and she is uderstandably annoyed. I did this because I thought it would make for less laundry (you can reuse the shells if it’s a pee diaper only) but this is not the case lol. Live and learn.

First baby and I love cloth diapering!! And so does my husband. So much cheaper than disposables and traps odor better too.

My advice…wrangle in the urge to have everything ready before your baby comes, get a samiler pack and see what you like more.

Most of the pocket diapers will be pretty big on your newborn..I used the “Lil joey” and thirsites newborn size before the pocket diaper and shells started to fit her really well. It seems silly to buy newborn size but it still saves a bunch of money vs. Desposables.

by Shannon on August 4, 2016

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