The title ‘Cloth Diaper Made Easy’ will throw some people off. When thinking of cloth diapers, many conjure up images of flats and prefolds covered in poop, trying to rinse them off in the toilet (while making a mess), and then trying to get them clean in the wash but having them still come out dirty.
The idea of keeping something around that’s been pooped in is pretty disgusting. How on earth can that be sanitary?
Believe it or not, it is! And it’s not the disgusting process that many think it is.
Cloth diapers have evolved away from needing to fold them and pin them to a baby. That type of diaper is called a flat. They’re still around and have many uses beyond diapering.
But if you’re not into the whole folding thing, there are cloths that work just like disposables.
There are the All in Ones (AIO) to start with. They have no folding and no inserts. You put them on the baby as is. When baby pees in them, take them off and throw them in the wash. Once dried, they are ready to use. No assembly required.
Another modern cloth diaper is the pocket diaper. This one does have some assembly. It comes with inserts that you have to put in the diaper and take out before washing.
Pocket Cloth Diapers
Pocket diapers are the ones I’m going to talk about in this post. They’re the only modern ones that I have. Thankfully, they’ve worked great and satisfy our needs.
Pockets have a water protective covering on the outside and fabric on the inside, the part that goes against Baby’s skin. Between these two layers is a pocket that can be stuffed with multiple inserts.
The nice thing about the pockets is that you can adjust the absorbency level. There are four common inserts that you can use: microfiber, bamboo, flats, and prefolds.
I have three of these inserts, all but the prefolds. They each have a different absorbency level and rate.
From least to greatest, the volume of absorbency is microfiber, bamboo, and flat.
From fastest to slowest, the rate of absorbency is microfiber, flat, and bamboo.
The purpose of the microfiber is for quick absorption so that wetness doesn’t stay next to the baby’s skin.
Bamboo absorbs liquid the slowest but can hold more than microfiber.
Flats are made of cotton and absorb at a decent pace and have the highest volume of absorbency among the three.
The last one, prefolds, I don’t know it’s absorbency levels compared to the other three since I don’t have any. My guess would be that they have a higher volume that can be absorbed even compared to flats due to them being thicker.
Different kinds of inserts mean that you can use the ones that suit your needs.
I always use microfiber for the first layer as the one that goes closest to the skin (but not on the skin, the diaper has a layer of fabric naturally between inserts and Baby’s skin).
During the day, I add either bamboo or a flat as the second layer to provide good volume hold. A microfiber by itself doesn’t hold much and will leak easily.
For nighttime use, I use all three: microfiber, bamboo, and then a flat. With this combination, I never have to worry about leaks during the night when the diaper isn’t getting changed.
What About the Poop?
Poop is probably the greatest concern among those who are thinking about cloth diapering. I remember having it myself. But the truth is, once you’ve gotten used to a routine with cloth diapers, poop isn’t a concern.
Breastfed poop is water soluble. So it gets thrown in the wash as is. Solid poop gets knocked in the toilet and then the diaper goes in the wash.
I say wash, but usually they go in some type of hamper before the wash. I use Kanga Care Wet Bags.
Is it really that easy? Just throw it in the wash and it comes out clean? Yes and no. Yes, if you have a routine down that fits your family and brand of cloth diapers. No, if you are using a routine that isn’t right for your household and brand.
There are hundreds of videos and blog posts out there about proper wash routines for cloth diapering. I remember going through them. But the best advice I got came from two places.
The first was the manufacturer’s website for the brand of cloth I have. My pockets can’t be washed in hot water. If I did, the waterproof lining would get damaged, and I would have leak problems.
The second is Allaboutclothdiapers.com. That’s my go-to place whenever I have questions about proper care for my cloth diapers.
It saved me from having to strip my diapers. I just needed a new detergent.
One part of the wash routine that is universal is a prewash. The prewash takes out all the yucky stuff, poop and urine. Without it, you’re trying to wash your laundry in poopy and urinated water.
That is gross.
Prewashing is a must for clean cloth diapers.
So long as you have an appropriate wash routine, you don’t have to worry about smells or diapers coming out dirty. My diapers come out so clean that I use the flats for both inserts and bibs.
Yup. The very same ones. The come out of the dryer and I grab them at random for whichever purpose I need them. Whether it’s as an insert or a bib.
They get thoroughly cleaned in the wash.
And I do use the dryer. It is not recommended to as it can cause them to not last as long. I accept that eventuality for ease of use. We’re going 10 months strong and no problems yet.
One of the best parts of cloth diapering is how cute the patterns are. Here are some of my favorites.
My husband has two favorite lines when it comes to our cloth diapers. The first is, “That’s an exquisite design for something that was made to be pooped in.”
He’s not wrong.
The second line he loves to tell people is that we have paid $0 for our diapers. We’ve had a baby for 10 months and we’ve paid $0.
That was made possible by family and friends who bought us cloth diapers for the baby shower. I had them on the registry. We’ve been using the same ones since.
People love to buy cloth diapers. The designs are adorable. Family and friends are eager to add to the stash.
Cost from Extra Washes
Back to the $0 thing, we do have more laundry that we do. So it’s not completely 0$. I just can’t track how much extra I spend in water from cloth diapering.
The plumbing in the house I live in was really jacked up when I moved in. It was a while before the full extent of the problems were identified. What we’ve had to pay in water has fluctuated greatly thanks to the bad plumbing.
There are others who can measure it. I’ve seen one youtuber say her price in water only increased by $5 a month. That’s not bad at all.
A Clean Option
Cloth diapering has evolved. They are not the same diapers your grandmother used. New designs work just as easy as disposables. Most importantly, they are a very clean option.
Cloth diapering does not mean you have to deal with poop in your dryer or smelly clothes. If that happens, your wash routine needs to be adjusted.
I’d love to hear your thoughts about cloth diapering. Have you done it or are thinking about it? Has your experience been good or bad?