It’s no big deal! Really!
The only difference with cloth diapering with solid food is that now you have to rinse the diapers before washing them. I actually like this better, believe it or not. It basically eliminated all the stains and most of the smells (not that those were a big deal before). It’s one extra step, but not really a big deal at all.
Okay, your first fabulous accessory is the diaper sprayer. There are websites all over that show you how to make your own from hardware store items, but seriously, even they admit that you only save a little money, so just go ahead and buy the official one. When you get a dirty diaper, you simply hold it over the toilet and give it a spray. All you need to do is get the, oh how shall we say this…chunky stuff off. Or you can be like me and you can spray and spray and spray until the diaper is practically so clean that you don’t have to wash it. (This totally eliminated all stains and smells for me and I am weird so I find it satisfying.)
We also started using diaper pail liners when we started solid foods. Before, I was just dropping the diapers into an unlined garbage can and rinsing out the garbage can when it needed it. Now I use the pail liners because it is a little nicer and a little more convenient. You can buy them (I don’t know that I’d buy that one that I linked to because the reviews aren’t great, but that is the basic premise behind a pail liner) or I made mine. I just got two yards of PUL fabric (it’s waterproof) and basically sewed a pillowcase shape. My first two aren’t fantastically made because PUL tends to bunch up until you figure out how to sew it properly, but who cares, they are basically reusable garbage bags.
We now have two diaper pails. We have the one in Elizabeth’s room, next to the changing table, that is just an open garbage can with a liner in it. I put all the wet diapers and wipes in there. Then I keep another diaper pail in the bathroom, next to the diaper sprayer so that I can put the dirty diapers and wipes (I spray wipes if they have any significant amount of solids on them, but you don’t have to, just chunks, I just like that it gets all the stains off) in there after I spray them. For this bathroom diaper pail, I bought a paint can (a really big plastic one) with a lid. I think I got it at Wal-Mart for something like $5.
So we have two diaper pails with four liners (two on the pails and two in the wash) and a diaper sprayer. We don’t use disposable liners in the diapers or anything, I’ve never felt that we need them. (Plus, when we use liners for diaper rash cream, they don’t catch everything, so I feel that there is no point.) Some people like to use a rubber glove and spatula system for getting the solids off the diapers, but I prefer the sprayer. Word of warning though, it takes some practice to not soak the bathroom, so go slowly at first.
I put the diaper sprayer in our bathroom, not the one across the hall from Elizabeth’s room which is also the guest bathroom. This way I don’t have to worry about guests messing with it or children messing with it when Elizabeth gets old enough to mess with it. Also, it’s kind of handy to have around. You know how lots of European bathrooms have bidets? Well, this is basically what you have now. Let’s just say it is nice to have at certain times of the month and when I didn’t have time to shower. Okay, moving on. But I recommend diaper sprayers, whether you have cloth diapers, or even children for that matter. Oh, and I hear they are handy when you have potty training toddlers, but I don’t yet, so I have no comment on that yet.
The diaper sprayer has a valve that you close after using (it also lets you control the strength of the spray) so that it doesn’t leak. Sometimes it leaks a couple of drops anyway, so I keep a plastic washtub underneath it (you know, those low rectangular bins from the dishwashing aisle at the store?) and that catches all the drops. I also keep the toilet brush and cleaning stuff in that washtub, so it’s bonusly helpful. It doesn’t ever leak enough (unless I forget to close the valve, but I haven’t forgotten in ages) that I need to empty the washtub, it just evaporates.
Let’s see. Washing instructions don’t change at all, so check that other post if you need them again. Except that I now carry the diapers to the wash in the diaper pail liners and turn the whole things inside out and just wash the liners with the diapers. And I am revising my cloth wipe suggestion. Now I suggest buying them from me, as the wipes I made myself (and put up in my Etsy store) are way better than the ones from the store. And I have switched from using a spray bottle for wipes to a peri bottle (like from the hospital) which works better than the spray bottle to an oil bottle which works better than a spray bottle, worse than a peri bottle, but is prettier than a peri bottle.
Now, any questions?