So you decide to go with cloth diapers… this previous blog is all about the basics of how to get started and some very easy ways to start and this cloth diapering one year review.
This blog, however, builds on that… what changes with cloth diapers after you start solid foods? Because once you start solids it's not as easy as just throwing it in the wash like it was before. But honestly, it's not that much more work, you just need to know the right set up.
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A brief rundown of starting with cloth diapers
This previous blog has more detail and I'd recommend checking it out if you'd like more info. But here's the jist (so we can build on it):
– Breastfed baby's poop is water-soluble
This just means that it will dissolve in the water and be washed away. This makes the first few months of cloth diapering extremely easy… it's just an extra load of laundry!
I'll share my wash cycle with you but check out this site to know what's best for your washing machine.
When my baby was breastfed, I started with a cold rinse cycle first to rinse out all of the waste. Then, a hot cycle with detergent (I used plant-based and fragrance-free detergent). Finally, I ran one more rinse cycle to get the detergent off of the diaper because it goes directly on sensitive skin.
– We do an 80/20 cloth diaper method
This is nothing fancy… it just means we use cloth diapers 80% of the time and disposables 20% of the time.
We use disposables in these situations:
– Newborn phase There are newborn size cloth diapers but they can be expensive for just a few weeks until your baby weighs 8 lbs. Unless you have a friend who wants to lend them to you, most people stick with disposables to start.
– Overnight One night she fell asleep in her cloth diaper and it leaked everywhere. So, to avoid a mess, we use disposables at night and I usually size up if she's on the cusp in order to hold more pee.
– Out and about: Sometimes I use disposables if we'll be gone all day or if we are traveling. Other days I bring a wet bag (or a plastic bag) and put the cloth diapers in there while we're out and put them in the laundry when we get home.
– If she gets a rash (the mistake we made with cloth diapers) – she got a rash when we first switched to cloth. Maybe we did not changed her enough? The cloth doesn't wick the moisture away as well as the disposable so now, I change her after an activity or after a few hours and she hasn't had a rash since. Another mistake I think we made was wiping her with disposable wipes and then putting the diaper on right away, causing a moist environment. Instead, we now pat her dry with a reusable wipe.
Decide what kind of cloth diaper you want.
If I'm honest, this is almost where I quit. There are so many options!! How do you know what's best?! Then I had a friend invite me over to show me the basics (what I hope my videos do for you).
From what she showed me, there were only 2 types that I think make the use of cloth diapers as simple as possible. An “all in one” (AIO) or a “pocket diaper”.
All-In-One Cloth Diapers
These diapers do not have inserts… it is one piece! Hence, it's all-in-one. This is the diaper that I chose and use (why I may have chosen something different below). I loved that it was essentially like a disposable diaper. I just threw the entire thing into the wet bag, washed it, and that was it. No pulling dirty inserts out of a pocket or stuffing them back in. Easy, freaking, peasy.
BUT THEN we started solids and I had to spray out the poop. The problem with the all in ones is if one of the flaps slips out of my grip it falls into the toilet… ew. BUT I only do about 1-4/week and I'm getting better at holding it so it doesn't fall in.
Pocket Cloth Diaper
Full disclosure here… I have not used a pocket diaper so the grass may be greener, I don't know. But the idea behind a pocket diaper is that it's smooth on the inside with no spaces for … poop … to hide and that you would have to spray out. But in order to make them absorbent, they have liners that you stuff in the pocket. I have read that if you can find some with an opening on both sides, they will come out in the wash and you don't need to pull them out. But don't quote me on this.
I also just found this brand that has a double elastic to help with blowouts.
Anyways, now that my daughter has started solids and I have to spray out the diapers before I wash them, I would think that pulling out the liner and spraying off a flat fabric would be so much easier. But maybe it's not as easy as not having to stuff a pocket… you decide.
ALSO, cloth diapers can be expensive. Yes, they do save money (and the world) in the long run, but I highly encourage checking out Facebook marketplace or your local Facebook sale page. People are getting rid of them for usually about $10/diaper.
When you go to purchase, check the elasticity (which is apparently very easy to change if it's no good).
Also mom hack: Poop stains will be taken out if you lay them out in the sun!
What changed with using cloth diapers when we started solid foods:
You have to get the poop off before you wash. Here are a few things you may want to consider getting when you start solid foods while using cloth diapers to make your life easier!
We use this one that also comes with a splash guard so you can easily clean the poopy diaper and keep it contained! It attaches to your toilet and was pretty easy to set up. We're moving soon and I might just use the laundry sink downstairs with some rubber gloves (TBD).
Or diaper liners:
I bought these and honestly haven't even used them. They seem like too much work because I'm never REALLY sure when she'll poop and don't want to use them for just wet diapers because it's an extra step I don't need.
Our current cloth diaper set up:
We just use a laundry bin (I could only find it on Amazon in packs of 6 so I say head to target).
Plus a wet bag ( I got this 2 pack and I'd recommend 2 so you can use one while you wash the other). Because I wash the diapers every other day and catch most of her poopy diapers in the toilet, it's never too stinky. If she does have a stinky one, I bring it to the bathroom with the sprayer right away and rinse it out that night.
This simplifies things a bit… you have ONE spot for the cloth diapers and the wipes. Plus, after a few diaper rashes we realized we needed to pat her dry and these worked great for that!
– I keep the cloth diapers in a basket like this! Feels cute.
– It's worth noting we also do Elimination Communication
This means we somewhat potty train our infant (Blog/video about that here). But if I'm honest, we're the ones being trained to learn when she needs to go! This has also helped with fewer poopy diapers. When she starts grunting I put her on the potty and usually catch it!
What I'd change from the first video about cloth diapers (before starting solid foods):
Regret is a strong word so I don't know that I would say I REGRET the diapers we chose and since I haven't tried the alternative, I'm honestly not sure.
But like I said above, the all in one diaper has 2 flaps and sometimes one falls into the toilet water when I'm washing them (YUCK).
Initially, I thought the pocket diapers were gross because you had to pull out the liner, but I think it might be easier to spray the poop away because there aren't so many places for poop to hide! But like I said before, the con is either a bit of a tougher time spraying or the pocket having to get extra liners and pull it out before washing and stuff them after.
The other thing I recommended in the previous post was using vinegar for the smell (something I learned working in a hostel on the Appalachian Trail).
However, I was told that vinegar can damage the elasticity in the diaper… so maybe skip that. I still do it occasionally if they start to smell musty.
How do clothes fit over the diapers?
I typically size up or buy the “jogger” type pants with the low crotch. She's 8 months and usually wears 12 month clothing
Overall, not a ton has changed with using cloth diapers after starting solid foods except for the fact that a few times a week I spray out a diaper before I throw it in the wash!