Cloth Diaper 101

As long promised, I shall start the cloth diapering post.

Here are my cloth diapers. Aren’t they beautiful?
We use the BumGenius 3.0 diapers. I have nineteen cloth diapers. I have two of each color that BumGenius makes. (Dear BumGenius, No purple or red? Why ever not? I would buy them immediately. Love, Jen.) Yes, that adds up to eighteen diapers. But I actually have three of the light blue, one that lives full time in the diaper bag.

Since I am obsessed with order and such, I always keep my diapers in this color order (rainbow order, of course, with dark pink standing in for red) and I use them in order, to ensure that they will wear evenly. (Yeah, yeah, I know, I am a weirdo. Just wait until you see how I even organize the wipes.) I move through the colors. I used to start each day at dark pink, but I was never getting to the end and therefore never using the whites or light pinks. So we changed that and we just keep going around the color spectrum.

Now, here are my cloth wipes and my spray bottle. I did not get the lighting very good, but my wipes are actually very cute as well, with colored edging. Barb got me the first pack for my shower and therefore I think of her a lot when I am changing Elizabeth, which is not necessarily how people want to be thought of, all in conjunction with baby poop.
I have thirty wipes, two packs of fifteen. You (obviously) need more wipes than diapers because you will use more than one wipe per diaper change. I also store these and use them in color order. (There are five of each color.) I do this mainly because I am kind of afraid that I will accidentally throw one of these into the wastebasket for trash, which is next to and identical to the wastebasket for diapers. So by folding them and using them in color order, I am constantly taking inventory and theoretically could save it out of the garbage if one should accidentally end up there. Which one hasn’t, so far.

The spray bottle is just a cheap bottle from Wal-Mart, from the travel section. It is filled with water with a little bit of baby friendly soap. I use the dry wipe method, which involved spraying the baby (or you could spray the wipe too, I suppose, but it is more direct to spray the baby) and then wiping her clean with a dry wipe. I like this way because she is dry when I am finished.
There is also the wet wipe method, which involves a wipe warmer. I started with the dry wipe method, since it is simpler, and was satisfied, so never moved on. For the wet wipe method, you store damp wipes in a wipe warmer. This would be ideal for babies who do not enjoy being sprayed with room temperature water or for babies that live in colder climates. (It’s Florida Georgia, people, we do not suffer from the cold.)
So, when doing a diaper change, you pull out the insert and fasten the laundry tabs. These diapers are pocket diapers, which means that the cover has a pocket in it that the insert gets stuffed into. I do this after I wash them all at once. (We will talk about washing cloth diapers later.) The laundry tabs are just little spots to stick the velcro tabs down to so that all the velcro doesn’t stick to each other in the washing machine. Since we haven’t progressed to solids yet (well, we started two days ago, but haven’t had to make any changes yet), I have simply an open garbage can that I drop the dirty diapers into. With newborn, breastfed babies, there is no rinsing and no smell. Our changing table is in our bedroom and the diaper pail has no lid. It is no problem. (We shall have a solids update post in a month or so, when my diapering has changed because of solids.)
The BumGenius diapers come with two different inserts, a newborn and a regular. We moved up to the regular insert a couple of months ago when Elizabeth started soaking through the newborn insert. For overnight, I stuff an extra two newborn inserts into the diaper and don’t need to change her again until morning. I also use one of the newborn inserts on our changing table. I do not have a changing table cover, I change her right on the plastic pad. (It wipes clean and she quite enjoys peeing in the open air during diaper changes.) So, I keep one of the newborn inserts on the changing table and when I change her, it goes under her back, between her rear and her outfit. That way, if she pees while not diapered, that insert catches it before it gets to her clothes and hair and I do not have to change her outfit. (This is a huge help, if you don’t cloth diaper, you could use regular washcloths for this instead of the inserts.)
(Also, the inserts make great dustcloths, since they are all microfiber and stuff. Not that I have ever grabbed one to dust the bedroom.)
The BumGenius 3.0 diapers have three different snaps that size the diaper up and down so that they will fit tiny babies and, in theory, babies up to 35 pounds. Most children do not need a larger sized diaper before they are potty trained. (Giant Elizabeth might end up being an exception to that.) I started cloth diapering her at about a month old, I think? We did disposables until I felt better enough and had the baby and housework under control enough to start washing diapers. Currently we are on the middle sized snap. I sized up when I kept popping the snaps because I had to tug to get the diaper high enough when I put it on her.

Diaper rash cream cannot be used with cloth diapers. It gets into the cloth and makes them not waterproof anymore. You don’t need it as much because cloth breathes and you don’t get as much rash. Now, here is the part where I contradict myself. You can use diaper rash cream, if you need it, but you have to use a liner. I got some fleece and cut up my own liners, but you can buy them too. (Don’t. Fleece is cheap and you don’t have to hem it. So if you cannot use scissors to cut up pieces of fleece in rectangles to fit inside a diaper, well, then you are not reading this website because you are too unintelligent to read.) Then you just use the fleece liner to keep the diaper rash cream away from your cloth diaper. Wash your liners separately to keep the diaper rash cream from transferring to the diapers in the wash. But honestly, I really don’t have to use cream because she almost never has any rash and any that she does get goes away on its own.

Okay, next up- washing cloth diapers and then traveling outside the house with cloth diapers. Then we shall have (if we need one) a post answering the questions you still have about cloth diapers, so ask away, if I have skipped anything.