I’m SO glad that so many of you are really getting a lot out of this Cloth Diapering 101 series… I was afraid that I’d bore y’all, but apparently that’s not the case! I’m also super pumped that so many of you are either considering using cloth, switching to cloth, or you’re just genuinely curious about how cloth works. Either way, it makes my heart happy. Haha!
Anyway, here’s what we’ve got coming up in the series (and links to previous posts):
- November: Cloth Diapering: The Beginning
- Last week: Different Types of Cloth Diapers and What We Use
- TODAY: Our system: wipes, creams, storage, organization, and whatnot.
- Tuesday, January 21st: The Scoop on Poop – Using & Washing Your Cloth Diapers (I HAD to call it that…)
- Tuesday, January 28th: Out and About – Traveling with Your Diapers
- Tuesday, February 4th: Dealing with… Issues – dealing with the unforeseen stuff that sometimes come up with cloth diapering (mold and stink and ammonia. yuck!)
- Tuesday, February 11th: Cloth Diapering a Newborn
Okay. So. Today we’re talking about our SYSTEM. Every mom (and dad) needs a system (for anything, really). We’ve all got our systems and our way of doing things (whether you cloth diaper or not). SO, there’s no ONE way or ONLY way to do things. This is just how we do it. Although, there are a few things that you need to keep in mind when doing cloth.
If you saw our nursery reveal post, then you remember this set up (pictured below). This is still pretty much what it looks like (with a whole lot more laundry all over the place). We have our changing table, a regular trash can, laundry hamper, drawers, and shelf.
Also, today I’m just talking our “in house” system. This is not the system I use for when I’m out and about. I’ll address that in the post two weeks from now!
Let’s talk dirty diapers.
So, what do you do with a dirty diaper? Well, you need a place to store it in after it’s been dirty-ized.
There are typically two options for dirty diaper storage:
- Wet bag(s)
- Diaper pail with a pail liner
We go the “wet bag” route. We use Planetwise wet bags almost exclusively. You can get them on Amazon.com or in pretty much ANY cloth diapering store.
What you see pictured below is I have two different sizes of wet bags. The left is a large wet bag I have just hanging on a hook. The middle is an extra large HANGING wet / dry bag with handles. After using both for quite some time, I wish I had just gotten two extra large hanging wet / dry bags to start off with. The large wet bags are fine, but I much prefer the handles on the extra large. I also like that the extra large has a separate compartment to store DRY things in (great for traveling!)
So what do you do?
If a baby is EXCLUSIVELY breastfed (meaning NO formula or solids have been introduced yet… breastmilk is the ONLY thing the baby eats) then the diaper (poop and all) can go RIGHT into the wet bag. This is the category Lilly is currently in. So, Lilly has a dirty diaper, I take it off, I wipe her, I throw the whole thing in the wet bag. A breastfed baby’s poop is water soluble which means it all washes right out in the washer.
If a baby is being fed FORMULA and/or SOLID FOODS have been introduced then if the baby has a poopy diaper (pee only diapers can obviously just get thrown in the wet bag), then there are a couple options:
- Use a flushable liner inside the diaper. There are a bunch of different kinds, but basically you just take a thin liner and place it inside the diaper. The liner is VERY thin and catches the poo but let’s everything else go through… so then you take the diaper, and hold it over the toilet and let the liner (and poo) just go in. Flush and you’re good to go.
- Get a toilet / diaper sprayer. You can DIY it or you can buy one from Amazon or any cloth diapering store (I think even Buy Buy Baby sells them). It’s an attachment that hooks on the back of your toilet – you take the dirty diaper, spray the poo off into the toilet and flush.
Once you’ve removed the poo from the diaper, you throw the dirty diaper in the wet bag (or diaper pail with liner). When Lilly starts eating solids in a few months, I will most likely be doing a combination of both. If I know I’m going to be out and about, I’ll go the flushable liner route so I can just flush it in a public bathroom and not have to worry. If I’m home, I’ll just stick with the diaper sprayer. I have babysat kids who are in cloth and eat solids and I’ve done and used both methods before and I assure you, it’s SO SO SO easy and not as gross as you would think, I promise!
If you decide to do a diaper pail and pail liner – it’s the same thing, you’re just putting the dirty diaper in there.
Now, what about baby wipes?
We started out using disposable wipes, and honestly, I hated them. It was a huge hassle to have to throw one thing away and throw another thing in the wet bag.
I was introduced to cloth wipes and FELL IN LOVE. So much easier!
So, pictured below is a little shelf right by our changing table that holds a Prince Lionheart Wipe Warmer and a little basket with anti-bacterial hand gel, a spray bottle with water in it, diaper cream, and baby lotion.
I use a combination of As You Stitch cloth wipes (c/o) and some other cloth wipes that were gifted to us by a dear friend! All I do is take a stack of wipes (enough for about 2 days), wet them under warm water in the sink, wring them out, and then place them in the wipe warmer. That’s it!
You can make your own cloth wipe solution (there are a TON of DIY recipes out there), but I’ve found that just plain old water works GREAT.
I removed the little pillow from the bottom of the wipe warmer and threw that away because it can get stinky and mildewy really quickly. The wet wipes work great on their own in the warmer. I also would not keep more than enough wipes for 2 days in there because you don’t want mold and mildew to grow.
So, basically, when I go to change Lilly, I just grab one or MAYBE two wipes out of the warmer, wipe her bum, and throw the dirty cloth wipe in WITH the dirty diaper into the wet bag. SO much easier because then they all get washed together! You don’t need to separate anything or throw one thing away and wash another. The best!
Now let’s discuss diaper rash and other diaper creams.
The one thing you need to remember (and this is SUPER important) is that you cannot use regular diaper creams with cloth diapers. Bordeaux’s butt paste, triple paste, or any of those traditional diaper creams are a HUGE no-no with cloth diapers.
Why? Well, the cream creates a build up on the cloth and eventually can really affect the absorbancy of the diaper and/or breakdown the fibers.
SO, you HAVE to use a cloth diaper safe cream.
Now, I ran the gamut of cloth diaper creams and I feel like I tried them all. Now, granted, diaper rashes are pretty rare and few and far between when you cloth, BUT, they do happen and using a cloth diaper safe cream can help to prevent them from appearing.
I use two different kinds – I use coconut oil (yep, just plain organic coconut oil) for “every day” use. I bought HUGE tub of it for like $14 on Amazon and I’ve barely used even the tiniest bit. I think it may last me forever. I like using coconut oil after she’s had just a wet diaper.
But, when you need the real stuff… the GOOD stuff… I have not found a better cream than Motherlove’s diaper rash and thrush cream (pictured below). This stuff is legit. Now, it’s not cheap – that tiny little container is about $8-$10. BUT, a little bit goes a LONG way and IT WORKS.
We had a pretty bad diaper irritation a few weeks ago (TMI? Nah.) and we loaded her bum up with this stuff before we put her to bed and boom – the next morning it was like there wasn’t anything even there to begin with. It REALLY REALLY REALLY works. Trust me. AND it’s cloth diaper safe! I have YET to find anything else that works as well as this stuff.
Lastly, let’s talk organization / storage.
I don’t have the PERFECT system. In fact, I kinda want to redo our system, but for now, this works. The changing table we have has drawers in it and the bottom two drawers on the right are the drawers I use to store the clean diapers.
When I get them out of the wash, I pre-stuff / fold / snap them and that way when I need a clean diaper, I have them all ready to go. When I get really OCD, I organize them by color / print / pattern. I’m a nutcase sometimes.
So, that’s the basics of our “system” – wipes, creams, storage, etc. What questions do you have? If you’re a CD’ing parent, I’d love to hear about your system or what things you love!
Thanks for reading!