Cloth diapering: my washing process

Now that we have two under the age of 2, I am even more thankful that we are cloth diapering! I can’t imagine how many diapers we’d be going through otherwise or how much it would cost.

I wanted to do a series of posts on my current process but it turns out that it was way too long. I am breaking it into 3 parts.

  1. My stash (what diapers I use)
  2. Washing diapers
  3. Cloth Wipes

Washing

We started with a traditional top-loading machine, but last year we bought a high efficiency front loader. They both seem to work equally well, except that the front-loader doesn’t have a rinse cycle so I have to use a “Quick Wash” cycle without soap to do the rinsing.

For the breastfeeding infant, I don’t use liners, but for the toddler I use Bummis Biosoft flushable liners. These are laid on the inside of the diaper so that when the child poops, the poop actually hits the liner rather than getting absorbed into the diaper, and  I can dump the majority of the poo straight into the toilet without touching anything. For the rest of the poo, we installed a diaper sprayer to spray the poo off the diapers. I highly recommend installing one of these when your baby starts eating solids.

Here is my process:

  1. I throw the pee-only and newborn breastfeeding poo (which is water-soluble) diapers into a lidded trash can lined with a PlanetWise wet bag. I do not add anything to the pail.
    For the older child, when there is poo I do dump it into the toilet and use the diaper sprayer to spray most of it off into the toilet. I throw that diaper into the pail.
  2. When the pail is mostly full, I take the whole wet bag and throw it into the washing machine, including the wet bag itself. I have two wet bags that are identical, so I use one while the other is in the wash.
  3. One rinse cycle with hot water.
  4. Then a full wash cycle on hot with either Charlie’s Soap or Rockin’ Green.
  5. I hang the diaper shells out in the sun to dry and put the microfiber inserts into the dryer. The sunshine bleaches any stains out of the diaper, I have never had to use anything for stains except for once when I accidentally used diaper cream containing zinc oxide*.
  6. When everything is dry, I stuff the shells with the inserts and they’re ready to put on the babies!

*Never use diaper cream containing zinc oxide with cloth diapers, it creates a barrier of oils that will make the diapers stop absorbing moisture and you will have leaks. Also, the oils grab stains like you would not believe.

Cloth diapering: my stash

Now that we have two under the age of 2, I am even more thankful that we are cloth diapering! I can’t imagine how many diapers we’d be going through otherwise or how much it would cost.

I wanted to do a series of posts on my current process but it turns out that it was way too long. I am breaking it into 3 parts.

  1. My stash (what diapers I use)
  2. Washing diapers
  3. Cloth Wipes

The stash of diapers

Before Little Lady was born we bought 6 more BumGenius 4.0 One-Size All-In-One pocket diapers. We had 20-something of these for Little Sir from when he was born, 11 of which were used. I think this brings my stash to around 30 of the BG pockets, total. We also have 3 random diapers of other brands: FuzziBunz, GroVia, and Itti Bitti.

When Little Lady arrived, she was significantly thinner in the leg area than Little Sir was. With Little Sir, we were able to put him in the BumGenius by 2 weeks old. Unfortunately, Little Lady’s legs were too small for the BG leg elastic (which caused leaks), so I ventured out of my comfort zone and bought 12 Indian cotton prefolds in the Infant size and some covers.

With prefolds, you fold a thick cloth (the prefold – why do they call it that when you have to FOLD IT? I don’t know!) around the baby’s bum and cover it with a waterproof cover. You can just use the cover to hold the prefold in place, or you can use a Snappi to secure it. I started out without Snappis, but when my sister-in-law let me borrow hers, it worked much better.

The covers I used included a Bummis cover in XS (the smallest and best for brand-new babies), 2 Thirsties covers in Small (so far the most flexible when it comes to sizing because we they fit at 8 lbs. and we are still using them at 12 lbs.), and 4 Bambino Mio (these are right in the middle – they fit when she was 8 lbs. but she just recently grew out of them at around 11 lbs.).

Now that Little Lady is plump enough, I rotate between using the prefolds with Thirsties covers and using the same BumGenius stash that her brother wears. BumGenius diapers can be sized up and down for different sized kids.