cloth diapering 101

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I've mentioned cloth diapers a lot on this blog.  I've shown you pictures of Claire's cute fluffy butt, Instagrammed about how much we love them, but I've taken what seems like forever to write this post.  Why?  Well, cloth diapering can be intimidating.  It's a REALLY big world.  Bigger than the prefolds, safety pins, and plastic covers of our parents' generation.  There are pockets, and prefolds, and all in ones, and before I start freaking you out I'm just going to jump right into the ones we use the most.

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First up, we started out with BumGenius Elementals.  These are all in one diapers -meaning, you put them on like a disposable diaper, except they close with snaps.  The only difference is that you wash them in between wears.  The absorbent, organic cotton layers are sewn into the diaper.  They're soft and incredibly absorbent.  Claire never leaks in Elementals.  BumGenius is a huge company, but they're St. Louis based, which I love.  They release lots of cute solid colors and patterns.  They're probably the trimmest cloth diaper - they don't take up much more space than a disposable under clothing and they're very easy to clean.  If you want to use them as overnight diapers (like we do) all you have to do is add an extra absorbent layer underneath the sewn in layers.  We use Applecheeks bamboo for this, and it works like a charm.

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If someone says to me "I want to make this as easy as possible" I ALWAYS just tell them to buy BG Elementals.  One and done.  You can get by with a set of about 20 if you want to go 2-3 days between washes, and they'll easily last you through diapering two kids (saving you roughly $3000 over time.  CRAZY!)

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The diaper you probably see the most often on my Instagram or here on the blog is a Twinkie Tush diaper.  Twinkie Tush diapers are hybrid fitteds (I know, now I'm speaking an entirely other language.)  Hybrid fitteds have no plastic involved.  They let the skin "breathe" a little bit more than a diaper with PUL.  However, they aren't technically waterproof!  They will get wet on the outside eventually, but we go 3-4 hours in a Twinkie Tush "Fusion" diaper easily.  I like to put these on Claire when we're home during the day, because it means she's not wearing plastic on her bum 24/7. There are no inserts with fitted diapers - the entire diaper is absorbent! They come in a myriad of patterns and even take custom orders from their customers, and it's a work-at-home-mom run family business.  I love to get behind that!
(ps, their shop will always look empty.  They do "stockings" on Wednesdays alternating at 2 pm or 8 pm est, and the diapers go quickly!)

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Your other options are pocket diapers & flip covers.  Pocket diapers are just what they sound like - a plastic cover with a pocket for your insert/absorbent layer.  Flip covers are JUST a plastic cover you lay an insert into.  This insert will have to have a natural fiber side because you absolutely cannot put microfiber against baby's skin.

These are the type of inserts we use, and we like them all a lot!  As I said, we mostly use our elementals and Twinkie Tush fitteds, but these are what we picked for the occasions we use our flip covers, pocket diapers, and to add extra absorbency for a nighttime diaper.

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I'm assuming by now you're thinking "yes, yes, fine but how do I clean out my kid's poop?  Because, ew."  This is the easy part.  The simplest ever.  The "why on earth do people even USE disposables!"  part.  Wait for it...

Dump all the diapers in the washing machine, rinse on cold.
Wash on hot, with a huge scoop of Tide powder, extra rinse.
Dry on low.

If baby is eating solids, you can dump the "solid" waste into the toilet before the diaper goes into the pail, but for most babies that only happens once a day or every other day.  You can buy a diaper sprayer attachment that connects to your toilet, but we've honestly never needed it.  Breastfed baby poop is water soluble!  It goes straight into the wash.

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We also use cloth wipes!  You can buy them from Bumgenius, they're cheap and actually far more effective then regular wipes.  They go into the pail with the diapers, and we keep them moistened by using the Price Lionheart Wipe Warmer (which is perfectly safe to use with cloth wipes.)  We do use disposable wipes when out and about!

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You cannot use all diaper rash creams with cloth diapers.  Personally, we've had very few issues with rashes using cloth diapers, but a good solution is a little coconut oil with a few drops of lavender essential oil.  Works like a charm, and it's cloth diaper safe.

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If you have stink issues with your diaper pail, I recommend a few cotton balls with Young Living purification oil dropped on stowed away in the bottom of your pail.  You'll never notice a smell again!  Although, our Diaper Dekor skirts this issue pretty well on its own, and we wash about every other day.  We use the Diaper Dekor cloth pail liners, and they get washed with the diapers.

For any persistent rashes or stink issues, wash your diapers with tea tree oil!  It kills the yeast!

When you're out and about - just take a wet bag with you!  Stow the dirty diapers in there, dump them in the pail when you get home.

Bottom line: we love our cloth diapers.  They're adorable, eco-friendly, they save us money, and we've had no issues with them as of yet.

If you're interested in using any of the essential oils I mentioned above, please get in touch with me!  The Young Living Premium Starter kit comes with all three, PLUS a diffuser & tons of other amazing oils, all for what you'd pay for the three I mentioned individually.  You can check out my business Facebook page here, or add me on my Facebook personal page here.  AND I'd love to answer any questions you have about cloth diapering!  Seriously, I'm a huge nerd about this stuff.  Ask away : )  

Be on the lookout for follow up posts including a cloth diaper shopping list and cloth diapering 102 - addressing your issues!  

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