I've had a few folks ask me questions about how I go about cloth diapering so I thought I'd detail it here for anyone who is interested. (Here are my previous posts about cloth diapering: Cloth Dipes 101 , Cloth Diapering Review, and Cloth Diapering). I guess there's a million different ways to go about it and caring for the diapers, but this is what works for us for now. Griffin and Charlotte are both in cloth so my loads are a little bit larger but they are still very small for our top-load washer (we ordered a high-capacity front-loader just last week and it should arrive in late March so some of these details may change based on how the front-loader cleans).
1. For Griffin I have 8 medium gPants diaper covers and 18 gCloth inserts. For Charlotte I have 8 small covers and 18 inserts. I could probably use 2 more covers for Charlotte since being a newborn she poops quite often (6-8 times per day) and because they are runnier it can get on the cover more easily. It works out so I have enough that I can wash covers and inserts on the second or third day. If I've waited much longer than that between washes the pail starts to get really stinky.
2. For Griffin's dirty covers and inserts I have a small garbage pail with a lid that I keep beside the kids' bathroom potty for when I need to swish out the solids in the potty. The wet ones can just go directly into the pail. I was using a wet pail (half filled pail with water and about 1/4 cup white vinegar), but now I just use a dry pail with a small garbage bag to line the pail to keep it clean.
3. For Charlotte's dirty covers and inserts I have an inexpensive diaper pail that I use dry with a garbage bag as a liner. Because she is exclusively breastfed there's no reason to swish out poopie into the potty so I keep her diaper pail beside her changing table. (FYI...breastmilk poopies are water soluble and not stinky).
4. On the second or third day I dump the contents of Griffin's and Charlotte's diaper pails into the washing machine and throw away the garbage bag liners. If you wanted to be really frugal and "green" you could use a re-usable liner that you wash with the diapers. I do a rinse and spin cycle first then do a regular wash cycle.
5. With Griffin's eczema and very sensitive skin, I have found that the type of detergent does matter. I use Arm & Hammer Essentials Mountain Rain scent. Walmart didn't have the fragrance free when I purchased last time or I probably would've done that one instead. I found this website to be particularly helpful in finding detergent that was inexpensive yet good for cleaning cloth diapers for sensitive skin babies. Once we get our HE washer I will consult this website's HE list and probably try Ecos detergent because it can be found at my local Sam's Club.
6. After washing and drying (I air dry the diaper covers so they don't get worn out) I sort them out and put the covers and inserts into Griffin's and Charlotte's changing table. I put together a few diapers (inserts into the covers) for Charlotte in advance because newborns hate to be naked and it just makes things go more smoothly and easily, especially at nighttime diaper changes.
7. For going out, I have a wet bag for Griffin and one for Charlotte. They have a pocket in the front to keep clean diapers in. I carry scented plastic bags to put the dirty stuff into before I place it in the wet bag. This keeps me from having to wash the wet bag everytime I use it. The plastic bags alone do not contain the smell of a dirty diaper but once they are zippered up into the wet bags you don't smell anything at all. And even after a few days in the wet bag (I know, gross! But I forgot one in the van one day) you cannot smell the dirty diaper. However, beware when you open! When I get home I take the dirty diapers out of the wet bags and put them into the pail ready to be washed.
Well, I think that's pretty much it. Pretty simple and I am totally enjoying not having to purchase disposable diapers anymore.
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