Our cloth diapering routine

We started cloth diapering when Little Sister was 2 months old. (Nerddad would probably dispute that “we”… I MIGHT have made a unilateral decision here…) I really had no higher motive beyond $$ and OMGSOCUTEFLUFFYBOTTOM. But I got a free spendy one from a vendor at Blogher, then inherited a friend’s whole stash – so it seemed like a low risk investment. And here we are, several months later.

So what does this look like?

We have about 25 of these:


Called “Chinese pre-folds”. They go in covers without pins, like so:


These are my workhorse diapers. I rotate through my 5 covers at each change, reusing them and only throwing them in the wash in event of poo. She wears these most of the time.

We also have about 10 “all-in-ones”:

Some have removable inserts, some are one piece. The common thread is they don’t have covers. You put them on like disposables and when they’re wet or poopy, take them off and throw the whole thing in the wash. These are what I throw in my purse for daily outings and what sitters / Nerddad use.

Some disclaimers:

  • Baby girl HATES wet diapers. Can. Not. Stand. So we probably go through diapers faster than most. Thus the 25 prefolds. Most folks probably use less.
  • I like bleach. Diaper companies / reputable sites tell you to use bleach sparingly. They’re probably right. But I like bleach.
  • I don’t rinse poo. We’re still not feeding her solid food, so the diapers can just go in the wash the way they come off her bum. This will probably have to change as she learns to eat things not on tap at Restauranté Boob.
  • We still use disposables at night – both b/c of the aforementioned pee aversion and because me trying to do snaps without glasses at 3 am is… Hilarious. Yeah. We’ll go with hilarious.

Our routine:

  • Put diapers in wet bag laundry bag (a plastic lined canvas bag) when they come off her bum. Wet, poopy, prefolds, all-in-ones – everybody in the pool.
  • Every other day I dump my wet bag into my 5-yo HE front loader. I do a soak cycle w/ half a scoop of specialty diaper detergent (currently bumGenius brand) and bleach – on hot. I then do a heavy wash (extra agitation & rinsing) with the other half of a scoop of detergent on hot-cold. Finally, I do a rinse-spin cycle on warm-warm.
  • If it’s early enough in the day and sunny I hang everything outside to sun. I then fluff the diapers on hot in the dryer for 15 min (no softener, just dryer balls) to unstiffen them. If it’s rainy or later in the day, I dry the diapers on high for an hour straight from the wash. The covers for the prefolds don’t go in the dryer – rumor has it dryer heat breaks down the plastic & ruins the waterproofing of the covers.

As she gets older I’m slowly trying to build up my stash of the more convenient all-in-ones – mostly through the site http://www.alvababy.com or flash sale sites. She seems particularly long waisted (imagine THAT – whodathunkit), so I am starting to search for diapers made especially for long babies.

I’m still learning in this – I’m not quite happy with my stripping routine (not THAT kind of stripping – gutter brain), and always on the lookout for great hints and tips… If you have some, please share!!