This cloth diaper routine is based purely on my personal preferences and what works for me and my babies. It is NOT the end all be all! Each mama should make their own plan for their unique situation.
I cloth diaper as a hobby. I cloth diaper to save money. I cloth diaper because I find it personally rewarding.
Also, I hate hauling heavy trash bags full of smelly disposable diapers out to my trash bin. I’d rather do laundry, haha!
I am a lazy cloth diaper-er.
I cloth diaper the simplest and most cost-effective way I could think of. I was too indecisive to even pick my first cloth diapers, my first ones were hand-me-down!
Low Initial Investment
When I first started cloth diapering, I wasn’t sure I was going to stick with it. It was a trial run. So, I started with 6 hand-me-down diaper covers, and 12 new cotton diaper flats.
My initial investment was maybe $24? I didn’t want to spend money on something I wasn’t sure about.
Cloth diapering is a mental game to me, and I like to challenge myself. So I told myself I had to do it for a minimum of 2 weeks for my initial investment to “pay itself off” in diaper savings.
I started with diaper covers because that’s what I had, but I fell in love with them because you don’t have to wash them after each use.
Any other type of cloth diaper must be washed after each wear, meaning you must have a lot of them on hand.
Diaper covers are basically just a waterproof shell. When changing a diaper, I put the diaper flat (the wet/dirty interior) into my diaper laundry, wipe out the interior of the cover, and use it again the next time.
I reuse covers through the day, going through 2-3 per child per day, and put them in the dirty laundry at the end of the day.
You can “stuff” your diaper with just about anything, inserts, prefolds, flats, fitteds… you name it. I probably forgot a few.
I chose diaper flats because they’re low maintenance. They’re easy to wash and dry quicker than other options.
Cost effective diaper flats
My first diaper flats that I bought were OsoCozy birdseye cotton and they didn’t work great for me. They gave me issues when others didn’t.
My absolute favorite diaper flats are Flour Sack Towels. You can buy a pack of 10 of them at Walmart for around $8 and they’ve never given me an issue!
They are what works for me and my babies, and I love that any time I want to replace them or add to my stash I can just add them to my Walmart grocery order (because you know I’m not about to drag my 2 under 2 into a grocery store when I don’t have to!).
How I fold my diaper flats
I like folding towels, so folding diaper flats isn’t a chore that irks me. Folding a diaper around a wiggly toddler wasn’t something I was super excited about though.
I practiced a few different diaper folds on a baby sized teddy bear. I watched YouTube tutorials and it went pretty well, but I couldn’t imagine folding a flat around a kicking baby and then trying to fasten it!
I settled on a pad fold to start out with, and I’ve been doing it that way ever since!
Fleece Diaper Liner
I’ve used flour sack towels in my diapers on their own for quite a while without issue. However, both of my kids tend to break out in diaper rash when teething.
This motivated me to add a “stay dry” layer to help prevent diaper rashes. I bought a fleece throw blanket from Walmart for $2.50 and cut it into rectangles.
This gave me plenty of reusable diaper liners to use in my diapers, yet they’re cheap enough that if my toddler has a nasty poopy diaper I just throw the liner away instead of trying to rinse it.
Cloth diaper wash routines seems to be a hot topic for some. I’ve seen so much conflicting information and moms insisting that it must be done *just so.*
My goal has always been to keep things as simple as possible.
In my own cloth diaper journey, I researched enough on wash habits to know what to watch for, and how to alter my routine if need be. But that’s entirely too much information to go over here.
What I do, works for me and my cloth diapers. It may not work for you! It’s up to you to create your own system that works for you.
My Cloth Diaper Wash Routine
When changing diapers, I store my dirty/wet diapers in a large wet bag that I keep unzipped. Toddler poo is plopped into the toilet and I rinse the diaper if needed, breastfed baby poo doesn’t need rinsed.
I do my diaper laundry daily or every-other day, depending on how much diaper laundry has accumulated.
I start by dumping the diapers into my top-load washer and running the “rinse and spin” cycle.
Next I add baby clothes or any other dirty laundry from around the house to make it a full load, add detergent (I use “ALL- free and clear”) according to the label (no more or less) and run the wash cycle normally.
I pull my diaper covers out to hang dry, and then throw everything else in the dryer. In the summer I like to dry what I can outside in the sun, but in the winter I often just clip up my diaper covers in the nursery closet on a few clothes hangers to dry.
This is not the only way, or the best way, it’s just my way!
Everything I’ve outlined here is just what works for me. I’m certain that I could do things better, or differently, or even find an easier way.
It’s a system that works for me and my kids. My kid’s diapers don’t leak, and I very rarely have blowouts.
Find what works for you! And have fun along the way.
You’ve got this mama!