Cloth Diapering Questions Answered - Mom to Mom

Jan 27, 2010

As a follow-up to my Cloth Diapering 101 post I want to share with you what I have personally discovered about cloth diapers. If, by sharing my perspective of CDs, I can encourage you or answer a question you may have had, then I have succeeded. The best thing I can do is share my experiences, and you can take them or leave them.

That said, after daily interactions with a little bum, here are a few cloth diapering questions that I encounter often, and my responses to them.

1. Isn't it a lot of work?
Honestly, if you’re concerned about a lot of work, maybe having kids isn’t the best idea for you! Heh!

Although it may seem like there are a lot of steps involved with CDs, they seem to simplify with practice. Remember when you gave your baby his/her first bath? It was a long process! There were all these steps to remember, many items to assemble ahead of time, and the slippery baby seemed so awkward. Now compare that experience to bath time now– it’s a cinch, right? In a similar way, cloth diapering soon becomes as easy as tying a shoe, and just one more load of laundry.

2. Don't Cloth Diapers cost a lot of money up front?
There are already so many purchases to be made that come with the arrival of a newborn that the cost of outfitting your baby’s bum can seem like a big hurdle. One of the advantages to cloth diapering that we have yet to experience is when other children come along - no start-up fee! Sounds good to me.

Remember, prices may vary, but my initial start-up cost was not nearly as pricey as most people think. At Wildflower Diaper Company, our local Cloth Diapering store, we spent around $400 to outfit Nora in CDs. And again - remember - we went with some of the more costly CDs. Yes - one must factor in the detergent and other costs, but still, you have to admit it is a fraction of the cost of disposable diapers!

3. How do you wash Cloth Diapers?
I know there are different care instructions for cloth diapers, so please note that this is solely the instructions the BumGenius Manufacturer's recommend.

Basic Washing Routine:
1. Wash the entire load on cold with ¼ to ½ (¼ for high efficiency machines, ½ in regular machines) of the detergent manufacturer’s recommended amount. Washing (a full wash, not a pre-wash) once on cold water is important to remove leftover BM (even if it is not solid yet) from your diapers. This step also goes a long way to preventing stains.
2. Wash the entire load again on hot (up to 120 degrees) – also with the above-mentioned detergent amount.
3. Do a second (any temperature you prefer) rinse.
4. You can dry everything in a warm/medium dryer.
5. You may use ¼ of a cup of bleach in your hot wash routine once a month, without fear of harm to your diapers. We do this the first week of the month and our diapers look brand new! It's awesome.

4. What do you do with the pooh?
The bottom line? Baby’s diapers are messy no matter whether they are cloth or disposable–it’s the pooh that is messy!

If cleaning cloth diapers conjures up images of kneeling in front of a galvanized washtub, scrubbing poopy diapers on a washboard, then you are in for a pleasant surprise. I was surprised when I first heard that for exclusively breast-fed babies, you do not need to rinse or spray your diapers off. Newborn poo is completely water soluble so it will dissolve in your initial cold rinse. For other babies, dump the pooh in the toilet or spray with a diaper sprayer. See below for a DIY diaper sprayer tutorial :) It's actually really easy - and not all that messy.

5. Why BumGenius?
I personally use BumGenius one-size pocket diapers and love them! I chose to invest in the BumGenius diapers because they have great reviews, are so easy to use and dry quickly. They are a one-size diaper and a snap adjustment system can be changed as she grows…and I can use the same diapers for more than one child, without having to think about different sizes.

6. What else do I need to get other than the diapers?
Pail Liners- a washable, reusable liner to line your diaper pail with, or hanging pail liners in lieu of the actual pail. A Wet Bag- to store dirty diapers in while you are out running errands, at playgroup, for the church nursery, daycare, etc. A Diaper Sprayer- A diaper sprayer makes this task quick, easy, and hygienic. I found this
great tutorial of how to create your own diaper sprayer for a fraction of the cost.

There are so many more questions I could get into on this post - but rather than cover everything I thought I'd hit on some of the "hot buttons." If you really are interested in learning more about cloth diapers there is a large amount of information on the internet. One of my favorite resources is
Wildflower Diapers FAQ page. Or you can always email us. We'd love to help you in anyway we can.

Again - like I said in the last post - Do I think that cloth diapers are for everyone? No. Has it suited my lifestyle and integrated well into my mothering? Absolutely. In the end, each mother (or father) has to do what best suits their lifestyle, and then be at peace with their decision.


Kiki said...

I use cloth diapers too! Well, not right now, I can barely change a poopy diaper let alone wash them. We'll get back in them in the second trimester. I am using our Fuzzi Bunz for the second go around and they've held up wonderfully.

Do you use them for church too? My church won't let me. When I've dropped him off in cloth, they don't change him. Those are short nursery times 1.5 hours. But if he's in a disposable, they change him.

Sorry for the long comment!

peanuts said...

great post! i use cloth diapers too... love Kissaluvs fitteds and Bummis covers. also the new kissaluvs Marvels AIO has worked super duper for us.
yay for cloth diapering!

David said...

The best way to clean cloth diapers is to pre-rinse them off in the toilet using a Hand Bathroom Bidet Sprayer. So convenient and if you are trying to help the environment (and your pocket book) you can give it a double whammy by virtually eliminating toilet paper use at the same time as you benefit from using it on the diapers, by using it on yourself. I'm not sure how many people know this but that is what they were originally created for. I think Dr. Oz on Oprah said it best: "if you had pee or poop on your hand, you wouldn't wipe it off with paper, would you? You'd wash it off" Available at they come in an inexpensive kit and can be installed without a plumber. Now we're talking green and helping the environment without any pain.

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