Help with Cloth Dipaers

Updated on February 06, 2008
J.K. asks from Lafayette Hill, PA
5 answers

Hello Again Ladies,

I finally made the leap. I bought bumGenius yesterday, while i only bought one of them, how many should i buy? Also, go figure my DS had a BM the first time wearing it, so it stained. How does this whole cloth diaper thing work? On average do you change the diaper every time or just the inserts? How many inserts do you have? Where can i purchase the liners inside so it does not damage the actual diaper. Thanks for any and all help. I'm so tired of purchasing regular diapers. I also realize that it will take a while to get used to this but i'm totally willing to take the time and make the change.

Also - any suggestions on cleaning and removing stains would be great!

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answers from Philadelphia on

I wash with regular detergent, and I add baking soda and vinegar for odor removal. If you don't remove solids right away, they will stain, but it's not that big a deal. By summer you can douse them with lemon juice and lay them in the sun for an incredible bleaching job.

I have BG AIOs and Mommy's Touch pocket diapers (try Lil Bunz for the MTs - email and ask if they have seconds available - they're cheaper, and they come in great prints). I have two Fuzzi Bunz, but I find the outer layer lets wetness through, and I don't like unstuffing used inserts to do the wash. The MTs are one-size, and you just toss the entire pocket diaper in the wash, and the inserts fall right out. They are great.

You should get Cotton Babies microfiber inserts - if you go directly to the CB website, sometimes they sell seconds for $1 each (they may not have rounded corners, which means nothing - I love them). They are the most absorbent inserts I've ever encountered. I used the ones that came with the FB diapers - and they just couldn't make it through naptime.

There are also flushable/biodegradable liners by Imse Vimse (try Nicki's Diapers if Lil Bunz doesn't carry), and that will protect the diaper, but I think in time you'll find them to be a hassle - I did.

I have 10 pocket diapers and 5 AOIs (they're for the diaper bag, or just when I need to move fast - they're faster to put on/take off, but my son can take off the velcro, and they take FOREVER to dry in the wash). I wash diapers 2x a week.



answers from Philadelphia on

How many diapers you need depends on how often you want to wash. I have about 20 diapers and I have more then enough but my daughter only goes through about 5-6 a day and I wash either every day or every other day. So basically just figure out how many diapers you use in a day and then multiply it by how many days you'd use them before washing. You have to change the diaper every time if you use pocket diapers or all in one diapers (like bum genius) but if you use diapers with a cover you could reuse the covers but the diapers or prefolds would need to be washed.
I have probably abouut 30 inserts because I line dry my diapers and the inserts take longer then the diapers to dry.
I don't use any liners so I have no advice there.
As far as cleaning goes I highly recommend getting a diaper sprayer which attaches to your toilet and using that for getting poop off. As far as washing the diapers I do a cold rince then a regular wash on hot and then another rinse. I know some people do two rinses to get all the soap out but one works for me. You need a cloth diaper friendly detergent as well. There's a site that explains some
As I said before I mostly line dry mine so the elastic stays in better shape but once every few weeks I throw them in the dryer to help the fabric the diapers are made of stay sealed.
I haven't had issues with stains (that's why I wash so often is I think the less they sit the less they stain but it is harder on the diaper to wash them all the time) but I've heard people say that they got rid of stains by leaving them out in the sun with or without lemon juice.
Sorry for the novel but I hope that helps



answers from Philadelphia on

Congrats, J.!
I'm a huge cloth diaper fan! Thankfully, my nearly 3 year old doesn't wear ANY diapers anymore. Woo-hoo!
I bought many different kinds for my son at first, to figure out which I liked best. When he got older, and I had to go up a size, I bought all All-in-ones (AIO's), as they were just simplest for me!
You'll need to change the diaper and the insert everytime. If you have a cover, whose will need to be changed to air out every time, but don't necessarily need to be washed each time. I have about 30 AIO diapers, and even more inserts. If you're using covers, you probably need about 6-8.
How often will you be washing them? if you use a diaper champ, you can usually get away with washing every other day for newborns. As my son got into potty training, it was more like once a week. I'd put them in a dry diaper champ to store the dirty diapers. To wash, I'd first do a cold rinse. Then a hot wash with all free and clear. then a cold rinse. Sometimes, I'd add baking soda or vinegar to the last rinse. To dry, I'd put the dipes and inserts in the dryer on high. It would usually take about 1 and a half cycles. I'd hang the covers or all-in-ones on a line in my basement, as the heat can destroy some of the protective barrier. After my son turned 2, i got lazier and sometimes dried everything in the dryer. It took about 2 cycles to dry then. Don't use fabric softener, as it will ruin the absorbency.
Sometimes your dipes will stain, other times they won't. I wouldn't suggest bleaching them. I've heard about lots of people hanging their dipes to dry out in the sun, and that takes the staining away. never tried it myself.
Ok, that was lots of info for you! I'm about to post my diaper champ and diapers on craigs list, if you're interested. Let me know! They're super cute...I had a WAHM make them for me, and I got to pick out all of the fabric patterns. I kind of got addicted to buying them. :)



answers from Philadelphia on

Boy I wish this site was around when we switched to cloth! I own about 8 bum genius diapers. They were expensive, so I only use them when we are out or when we have sitters. Since I have 8 diapers, I have 8 inserts. But I did buy extra doublers for night time or long trips so we wouldn't have a pee explosion. I have 4 Bummis diaper covers (just the regular "cheap" ones). Actually, I have 4 medium and 4 large. My son was 15 months when we started so he got away with the medium and smaller prefolds for a few months and then I had to upgrade to bigger. He's now 31 months, and he's fine with the regular size. I don't have the shower thing that attatches to the toilet and I don't use special detergent. I use the flushable diaper liners (I get them at they look like long dryer sheets and they work great. They even make it through a few washes. I forgot to mention that I have about 20 prefolds and I can go about 2.5 days between washes. My water bill did go up, but I wasn't spending any money on diapers so it might have evened out.

My diapers go through 2 cycles when I wash them. The first is hot water with a slightly smaller amount of detergent than I would normally use, a 1/2 cup of baking soda, and vinegar for the rinse cycle (get a Downy ball and fill it to the line). The second cycle is a repeat of the baking soda and vinegar and cold water (no detergent).

I use the dryer for my diapers. I have no place to line dry them. The only things that don't go in the dryer and the pocket diapers. They just hang on a chair or my mantle and they don't take too long to dry. I also throw a couple of tennis balls in the dryer to help with the static (the liners go in too and they always get stuck to diapers) and speed up the drying.

After using the same diapers for months, they started to smell so bad everytime they got wet. So I found a way to really super clean them. I was surprised to see that all the stains came out along with the smells. The site I found had 2 different ways to do it and since mine were extra gross, I did both. First I put all my diapers, inserts, covers, doublers in to hot water with oxyclean powder for about 4 hrs. Then I washed the diapers in hot water with a couple of drops of dish soap. When that wash was done, I cold rinsed them 2 times. I'm telling you, we're all surprised at how nice everything came out. It's like they're brand new! By the way, I just checked, this info came from and it was called Diaper 911!

One last thing that I found useful. When we started on our cloth diaper quest, I bought the gerber ones from the store. Both the prefolds and the flat ones. The prefolds were small, so they didn't last long. The flat ones we're still using. I fold them long ways in 3 (like a letter in a long envelope) and then in half. I then lay it on top of the prefold (it takes up a little more than half the prefold) as extra absorbancy when I'm out of doublers. They work great that way (not so great as actual diapers).

Remembered something else. We have the diaper champ to store our messy diapers, and this is still what we use for the cloth. It contains the smell better than it does for disposable. I have no problems with the smelly diapers that other cloth moms talk about. And I don't soak them either. I just take the trash bag from the champ to the washing machine and dump them in. We do own 2 of the Bummis diaper totes (1 small & 1 large) for when we're out or on vacation.

Now I wrote a novel. I'm sorry and I hope this helps : )
If you have any questions, feel free to ask.




answers from Philadelphia on

I used cloth diapers way back years ago. I used to soak my diapers in the toilet for a little bit and then I would put them in the diaper pail. When I was ready to launder I would use Borax and hot water fill laundry tub, soak for 1/2 hour.
Drain tub add laundry soap with clorox and wash as usual.
PS. I dont know what liner are?

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