Cloth Diapering: The Basics (and a GIVEAWAY from Ecological Babies! NOW CLOSED)

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I’ve had a few pregnant friends ask me for the low down on cloth diapers, so I thought I would do a post about my experience with them accompanied by some links to good resources if you’re interested in cloth diapering. And local business, Ecological Babies has offered a GroVia AIO in the brand new Woodlands print (which is just adorbs) as a giveaway for you. Hurrah!

When I was pregnant with my firstborn, Benjamin, I considered cloth diapering. I even went so far as to get some covers and prefolds. But when the world’s most colicky and refluxy baby arrived and I had to go back to work at five weeks (criminal, I know!) cloth diapering was just one of those tasks that got tossed out the window in order to maintain my crumbling sanity.

For the second round of motherhood, I decided to give cloth another try and my dearest childhood friend (maid of honor in our wedding) threw me an amazing cloth diaper shower that almost completely set us up for all of Baby Lucy’s diapering needs.

I LOVE CLOTH DIAPERS. Is it weird to love diapers? Well, too bad. I love them. Every time I have to use a disposable now, I cringe.

Here’s a quick run down.


Cloth diapers are cheaper. WAY cheaper, especially if you use them for more than one child. Daniel and I examined our utilities costs and estimate that we spend $5 a month on electricity and water to wash them. I don’t even want to think about how much money we spent on disposables every month for Benjamin.

They don’t contain nasty, toxic chemicals that will be touching baby’s skin.

You’ll get fewer leaks and blow outs. If you’re not yet familiar with this phenomenon, congratulations. A blow out is when poop explodes out of the sides or back of the diaper….charming, I know. It just doesn’t happen much with cloth diapers that fit well. But every time I use a disposable…poop shoots all the way up Lucy’s back, I’m not even kidding. Gross.

Apparently, disposables aren’t great for the environment. Surprise!

Cloth diapers are adorable. Really. Adorable. Big fluffy bottoms!

I have several different brands, but my favorite are probably the GroVia AIOs and Hybrid system.

Generalizing, there are three kinds of cloth diapers:

1. All-in-Ones (put it on like you would a disposable, one piece, no hassle, takes longer to dry)

2. Covers and Prefolds (water proof cover over a traditional prefold, the square fabric you think of with old-timey diaper pins…except nobody uses diaper pins anymore, they use these nifty little things called Snappis. Cheapest, most hassle)

3. Pocket Diapers/All-in-Twos, etc (A waterproof outside with an absorbent part that you either stuff into a pocket or snap in)

Inserts/Doublers/Liners/Boosters: At nighttime, I add a bamboo or cotton with fleece on the outside insert and I have NEVER had a leaky diaper by morning. In fact, I’ve started using them more often during the day because they seem to help with diaper rash and they are easy to remove from the rest of a poopy diaper so that I can easily dump the poop in the toilet. Which bring me to an important point:

The poop: Honestly, I feel like I deal with less poop when using cloth because there’s fewer blowouts. But, there’s still some poop issues. As long as baby is exclusively breastfed, the poop is water soluble and doesn’t have to be sprayed off the diaper before washing. Once solids are introduced, though, the poop needs to go in the toilet. (Apparently, you’re supposed to put disposable diaper poop in the toilet, too, but I don’t know anybody who actually does that.) Basically, you just dump the poop into the toilet and if it’s sticking to the diaper, use one of those handy-dandy diaper sprayers. Not a big deal.

Wipes: I use cloth wipes that were gifted to me when I was pregnant with Benjamin and I use this recipe for my cloth wipe solution. Cloth wipes work so much better and I adore them.

My Washing Procedure: So, I’m not sure if I’m doing it exactly right but this is what I do and it seems to work just fine. I prewash in cold. Then I wash with warm water and Rockin’ Green detergent. Then I rinse twice with warm water. After 4 months the diapers started to smell stinky so I used the Rockin’ Green Funk Rock to soak them in and rinsed several times in hot water. Problem solved. This is a good post at Raising a Green Family (the Ecological Babies blog) with more information about “stripping” your diapers when they get smelly and leaky. Now, some gals I know have been using cloth diapers for months and there’s not a stain to be seen. Mine have poop stains all over the place, so I don’t know what kind of magic they used to keep their diapers from getting stained. The thing is…I really don’t care if there’s poop stains because the only thing they’re going to touch is…well, more poop. I’ve heard that line drying them in the sun helps bleach the stains out, though, if you want to go to the trouble.

As for drying, I dry all my inserts and GroVia AIOs in the dryer on low. I line dry my GroVia hybrid covers and my other AIOs. The less wear and tear cloth diapers get from the dryer, the longer they will last. It’s just hard to really get a super absorbent insert dry in the insane Florida humidity.

The only downside has been that Lucy has struggled with diaper rash a good deal. But, her skin seems to be more sensitive than Benjamin’s in general so it could be unrelated. Any suggestions? GroVia’s Magic Stick was working for awhile but I think we need to try something else.

Cloth Diaper Links:

Katie of Kitchen Stewardship just did a great series on Cloth Diapering that will answer most questions in-depth.

Raising a Green Family has tons of great cloth diapering posts as well as other green living info. Here’s a good one to start with: Diapers–How Many?

Molly Makes Do’s Cloth Diapering – The Down and Dirty explains Molly’s awesome method to buying used CDs from ebay.

Simple Mom’s Series on and Resources on Cloth Diapering (This is the best, most extensive series and and list of resources I’ve found)

And now for the giveaway!

I am dedicated to only promoting products that I have or would purchase myself which is why I’m so excited to mention a few things about our giveaway sponsor, Ecological Babies, a local company I get all my cloth diapering products from. I seriously love this business and wouldn’t have started cloth diapering if not for them. I went to one of their local cloth diaper workshops then spent a good hour with Claire who helped me figure out what brand of diapers and how many I would need to set up my baby shower registry when I was pregnant with Lucy. I also just threw a cloth diaper shower for a friend who registered with them. So, I’m very familiar with their products and customer service. Jen (founder, now in South Bend, Indiana) and Claire (Tallahassee representative) are both delightful and so helpful in educating about cloth diapers and assisting their customers. In addition to having great products and great customer service, I love that they are concerned about the ethical practices of the companies they buy from and do their homework about the products they sell so that I don’t have to research each one myself. Jen recently wrote a great post about why they are no longer stocking Fuzzi Bunz due to their sketchy business practices since relocating production overseas. Long story short, Ecological Babies is splendid.

For the giveaway, Ecological Babies has graciously offered a GroVia All-in-One cloth diaper in the brand spankin’ new Woodlands print. It contains a super absorbent, organic cotton inner with a soft layer of water resistant TPU outer. Look how cute!!!

This giveaway is open until  May 27 (Sunday night) at 10pm. To enter, please leave a comment telling me who you would diaper with this adorable AIO (your child, a child-to-be, a friend’s child, etc).

For additional entries please leave a separate comment telling me that you:

Subscribed to Carrots for Michaelmas (via email in the sidebar or via an RSS reader like Google Reader)

Liked Ecological Babies on FB

Liked Carrots for Michaelmas on FB

Subscribed to Raising a Green Family (The Ecological Babies blog)

Shared this giveaway on your FB Timeline, your blog, or on twitter

(6 possible entries total) I will announce the lucky winner next week! May the odds be ever in your favor 🙂

Thank you, Ecological Babies for this fantastic giveaway!

…And the winner is: Lindsey! Congrats, Lindsey! Email [haley.s.stewart(at)gmail(dot)com] or FB message me your address and I will ship you your adorable diaper 🙂

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  1. says

    Have you tried fleece liners? They wick away moisture from baby’s skin, good for those diapers that don’t have that moisture wicking layer like most pocket diapers. May help with her rash. Also, I don’t know where you’re putting the microfiber, but keep in mind it isn’t supposed to touch baby’s skin. It can dry out the skin extremely fast because they absorb so much moisture. We use California baby for jax, but if it’s a stubborn rash I have to switch to disposables for a day and use desitin. It’s the only thing that works for him.

    • Haley says

      I just looked up exactly what’s in the booster pad liners I use and they’re cotton covered in fleece. Why was I thinking they were microfiber? And yes, those do seem to help. Her rash isn’t terrible, it’s just barely there but I’m having a hard time getting it to completely go away. I tried switching to disposables (I did it for three days) and it didn’t clear up all the way. Is the California baby diaper cream ok for cloth dipes, Jeni?

  2. says

    Ah gotcha, yeah those should help keep the moisture from her skin. Yep California Baby is cloth diaper safe. Maybe she just had a sensitive little bum. 🙂

  3. Janelle G says

    Since I currently have a child in diapers they would be used for him and then be moved on to the next kiddo to arrive 🙂 I use prefold clother diapers and LOVE them. I feel like it is much easier to clean them well and they dry quicker. I do like to have a few AIO diapers around though for when we have a babysitter since I consider it a bit cruel to expect a 14yr old to use prefold diapers when that is no longer the normal diapering routine of this generation 🙂

  4. Kim says

    I used MotherEase cloth diapers with my daughter and LOVE Them. They’re all one size and we only had to buy different size covers (small, med, large & XL), which lasted a long time. As for poop, I used Imse Vimse flushable rice paper liners (you can get them on amazon, among other places). They held the solids perfectly and are biodegradable, so flushing them isn’t a problem. I washed them if they only had pee and after 3 washes, they started to break down, so I knew they would truly biodegrade in the sewer with no problem.

    We never EVER had a blowout with cloth diapers… only when we traveled to grandma’s and used disposable would we have problems! 😀

  5. Jen says

    I would say I would use it to diaper my daughter who is adorably asleep on my lap at the moment, but she is 19 months and grew out of the GroVia hybrids we have awhile ago. So I will say I will use it for the next little one whenever he or she happens to come along!

  6. Jessica R. says

    I’d like to say I’d use it to diaper my newborn in November, but I’d probably break it in with my 21mo old even though she’s started potty training!

  7. LoryAnn Payne says

    I would use this with our 8 month old little girl and then pass it down to the hopefully many more children to come.

  8. Becky Walsh says

    My sweet daughter Mady would be rocking this diaper well if we won it. We love our grovias but don’t have any AIO grovias so that would be a maiden voyage for us:)

  9. says

    Thanks for the share! I’d love to add this to our current stock (we actually added a GroVia shell and two liners to our stock from a CD resale in April) for current baby and “babies yet to come”. =D

  10. LMM says

    I’ve used the same 20 organic Bum Genius AIOS for 3 YEARS, through 2 babies (though I did need eventually to buy 10 more since I’ve had two in diapers for the past 16 months). I can’t even imagine how much money I’ve saved, even though I think I bought one of the more expensive (but convenient) cloth diapering systems. I lived with stains for the first 2 years and totally didnt care, but then we bought a washer with a “sanitize” cycle, and voila, no more stains! Not the most energy efficient cycle, I know, but I do love my squeaky clean diapers. I am thinking of finally making the switch to cloth wipes, it makes so much sense. My boys have sensitive skin, but their rashes are always much worse if they are in disposables for some reason, so I’m sure Lucy is just extra sensitive. Yay for cloth diapers! (though I wouldn’t mind if my brand new 3 year old statrted to show a leeetle bit of interest in the toilet . . .)

  11. Julia says

    I would use that a-dorable diaper on my 12 month babe. She’s wearing her big brother’s old cloth diapers (thankfully still in good condition!), but we’ve lost a few to a higher dryer setting.

  12. Jenna Crane says

    Ok, I know this post originated over two years ago, so I imagine that your current cloth diaper/diaper rash woes are over. Or maybe not. I must recommend lavender essential oil! Not just any brand, but a good one that is what they call “certified therapeutic grade.” I mean, it’s touching your baby’s bottom, so you want the pure stuff. It has cleared up rashes, redness, burns, blisters, and soothes itchy bug bites for both of my kids, and it’s cloth diaper friendly. You just put a drop or two right on the skin, smear it about, and it absorbs right quick. Plus, it makes them smell like flowers. Way better than poop.


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