Getting Organized and Getting Going in the World of Cloth Diapers

There is alot of information on this page.  It will help you figure out how many and what to buy.  If you have any questions please feel free to ask.

Don't let anyone convince you that cloth diapering is more difficult than disposable diapering, that is a thing of the past!  If you need some convincing in the cloth diapering department, just ask. There are so many reasons why cloth diapers and wipes are so much better to use than disposables ranging from the harmful chemicals found in disposables to the cost (cloth being cheaper no matter how you slice and dice it).

HELPFUL (or hopefully Helpful) INFORMATION:

24-36 Diapers
4-6 Diaper Covers (if needed, All-in-Ones, Fuzzi Bunz and BumGenius do not need covers!)
1 Large Diaper Pail (54 qt size)
1 pack Deodorant Disks ( last 3-4 weeks each, pack of 10 will last 9 months or so)
36-48 Cloth Wipes
4-8 Diaper Pins or Snappis (if you will be pinning)
1 NICE roomy Diaper Bag (Sorry, I don't sell them but highly recommend Lands' End's diaper bags!)

Nighttime Diapering:
4-6 Good thick, absorbent diapers (just add extra liners to the diapers you already chose, if needed)
2-3 Tiny Tush Wool Soakers or Wool Diaper Covers

The Extras:
1 or 2 Small Diaper Pail (or Large Pail liner to separate wet and messies)
1 or 2 X-Large Diaper Pail Liners (for 40-54 Qt Pails)
1 Large Diaper Pail Liners (for "knee high" size Pails)
1 Small and/or Medium Tote Bags  for outings
1 Small diaper Bag for walks, Church, and short excursions

Diaper Area Wash, Rash Cream and other Skin Care items
Deodorizing Spray

Disposable Diaper Liners
Absorbent Diaper Doublers or Liners

There isn't a room in the house that is well-organized but my diaper changing system is!  It wasn't at first and you would cringe to hear the horror stories of my first attempts at cloth diapering!

Changing Area:
I use a "2-Dry-Pail" System.  I have a DRY 54 Qt Diaper Pail lined with an X-Large Pail Liner (I have 2 X-Large Pail Liners because although they dry quickly, they don't dry as quickly as my babies get wet!) I also have a DRY "Knee-High" Diaper Pail lined with a Large Pail Liner (again I have 2 of these as well!)  Alternate suggestion:  If you simply don't have room for 2 pails get just the 54 Qt Diaper Pail and line it with an XLarge Pail Liner.  Then simply hang a Large Pail Liner inside and place messy diapers in the extra liner (you can hang it by looping the Toggles together).

None of my Diaper Pails lock.  (Drowning is not a concern here because I don't fill the pails with water)  Not one of my children so far has enjoyed playing with wet or messy cloth diapers.

Next we move on to changing the diaper...

If you are new to diapering here are a few tricks... For boys, do yourself a favor and place a dry cloth wipe over his private parts.  For girls, place a prefold diaper or other absorbent pad underneath  or you may find baby lying in a huge puddle right up to the back of her head!  No joke! (These 2 experiences speak from experience!)

For the ever-so wiggly baby/toddler, I  suggest having some interesting, unusual, or other distractions nearby.  It is amazing how the best of wiggle worms can even be distracted by holding something they normally don't see or play with.
Try one of our wooden toys or a soft toy. I keep a few things in a basket at the changing station.

Wet Diapers:
Place wet diapers in Large DRY 54 Qt Diaper Pail.

Messy Diapers:
Dump clumps of messy stuff in toilet and place diaper in "Knee-High" DRY Diaper Pail.  I have never found the need to dump or rinse Breast-Fed Baby Poops.  The washer will take care of these since it is so runny and slimy.  Disposable Diaper Liners help immensely!

Not all laundry detergent is created equal.  MOST of the commercial detergents, including special Baby Detergents contain whiteners and any number of irritating chemicals which do not easily rinse clean!  Also whiteners and other chemicals in the detergents are very harmful on cloth diapers (and clothing in general!)  I most highly recommend Bi-O-Kleen Laundry Detergents (not just because I sell them!  I have been using them since 1998!)  Bi-O-Kleen does not contain any harmful chemicals, is all-natural, brightens clothing, smells good, rinses clean and does the job well!

NEVER  use bleach on your diapers or covers.

Washing Instructions:
I have a very simple washing method which gets cloth diapers clean!  I rarely get stains. Any stains that do "stick" are very light and wash out in time.  I have found this method to work well in both a top loader and a front loader.
Cycle 1 COLD: Place Messy Diapers in washing machine and wash complete COLD cycle with detergent.
Cycle 2 HOT: Add Wet Diapers to the once-washed Messy Diapers and wash complete HOT cycle with detergent.
Cycle 3 HOT: Run everything through one more complete HOT cycle.  No detergent necessary.  (some just do a rinse cycle here but I like a full HOT cycle)

Drying Instructions:
Dry diapers in dryer or line dry.  If you are using thick terry diapers allow a day to dry (unless you live in a very dry, sunny, hot area, then 1/2 day may be plenty!)

NEVER dry your diaper covers in the dryer.  The elastic will not last as long as you would hope for!  (yes, this is based on experience)

Washing Wool Diaper Covers:
Fill small basin or sink with warm water, add 1-2 tsp. Eucalan Wool Wash per gallon of water then add cover.  Soak for 15 minutes.  DO NOT RINSE.  Line dry.  (To remove excess water run through a “spin cycle” in your washing machine (no water).  Repeat process for very soiled wool items.

Place wool covers and/or soakers in the washing machine on a small DELICATE cycle with a WARM water setting.  Add 1/4 cup of Eucalan Wool Wash and let the machine run its course.

When your wool covers and/or soakers seem to have lost their waterproofness it is time to “lanolinize”.  Dissolve a “pea-size” amount of pure lanolin* per cover in HOT water (use fork to help it dissolve, it will look like oil and vinegar dressing).  Add this to one of the above washing methods.

There are a number of reasons your diapers may be stinky after they are washed. Many have complained to me about diapers being smelly (particularly thick terry diapers) as soon as baby piddles.  Here are some possibilities (not in any particular order!):
1.  If baby is on solids, he may need more water in his diet.  Don't force it, just leave the water in a place he can get if he needs it.
2.  Diapers aren't primed yet.
3.  Use HOT water for washing the dipes (we turned our hot water heater up)
4.  Don't over-load the washer when washing dipes, it shouldn't be crammed full or they won't get clean enough.
5.  Everyone who has mentioned this problem has used vinegar in their wash or rinse (may just be coincidental).
6.  Teething or a cold. These make for more leaking of fluids out of nose or mouth so the urine is more concentrated causing it to smell stronger.
7.   Thick diapers not getting clean enough.  You are better off with a thinner diaper and liner or two than a very thick diaper.  Again, don't overload the washer!

PREFOLDED DIAPERS: Prefolded diapers and pins with Pull-on Style Pants are by far the most economical way to go. These are not the "burp-cloth quality" you find in discount and department stores.  Be sure to buy DSQ (Diaper Service Quality) Prefolded Diapers in 4x8x4 (there are 4x6x4 prefolded diapers that are DSQ) You will need to buy Prefolded diapers in   Newborn and Premium (Supers) and then possibly the Large Toddler size (for the chubbier baby or the older toddler).  Pins are optional but if you don't use pins you will want to buy good quality snug fitting wraps.  Most of these are in velcro style but there are a few snug fitting snap wraps made for use with prefolds.

FITTED DIAPERS: Fitted diapers with covers  are more costly but very convenient.  You will need to buy anywhere from 1-3 different sizes depending on what brand you choose.  One thing to be cautioned with fitted diapers is that no 2 babies have the same shape, size or mold!  Diapers are sized according to weight but this is just for an average size baby.  2 babies each weighing 25 pounds may need totally different size diapers!  One baby may be completely well-rounded while the other is thin and delicate.

ALL-IN-ONE STYLE DIAPERS: All-in-One style diapers are the ultimate in cloth diapering convenience!  These consist of a cloth diaper inner with a waterproof outer, somewhat like a disposable diaper but reusable.  Thus the ultimate in cost for cloth diapers.  These are often used for outings and long days.  Great for use by grandparents and other personal care givers.  Also can be kept in the diaper bag so the bag is always stocked and ready to go when necessary!

For traveling, many do haul along their cloth dipes or some use  a gel-free disposable like Tushies or Seventh Generation. Check out your local health-food store.  Huggies and Walmart brand makes a Fragrance Free disposable wipe that is nice to keep in the car for messy faces and accidents!  This is the only kind that doesn't cause my fingers to crack!  If you are organized (unlike me) you may be able to remember wet washies in a ziploc bag or tupperware type container!

Also, remember when choosing the correct size in a diaper that not all babies are created equal in build!  In our house alone we have had the super skinny, the super chubby and the exact average size babies!  Currently the 1 year old wears XLarge sizes while her big (I mean older) sister wears Large Sizes!  I have been adding sizing charts on the various website "pages" for your convenience.