Switching to Cloth Diapers - Stress Free Checklist
There were so many questions that went through my head about cloth diapers when I was thinking about making the switch. What happens when she poops? How do I get rid of the poo? Where do I put the pee diapers? Does daycare allow cloth diapers? How do I wash them? Do they make poo stain remover? Will they leak? Will she grow out of the diapers? Is it safe to put them in the washing machine? All these questions, but yet my biggest concern was how will everyone else feel about it - will AJ think I’m crazy for wanting to keep & wash dirty diapers?!
If you think about it, cloth diapers have been around for a very long time. Your parents may have even used them on you and look, you turned out fine ;-) ! If you’ve been using disposable diapers, it can seem like a lot of work since you’re so used to cleaning your babe’s hiney and tossing it in the trash, but it’s a lot easier than you think and sooooo much better for the environment.
Cloth diapers are not only better for the environment, but they help save you from, essentially, throwing away your money every month. I have created an easy checklist for you so you don’t have to worry about a thing!
To start, having both parents on board with the switch is important, so you want to have a sit down talk with baby daddy/mama, and make sure you write down all questions/concerns and talk through it with one another. It can be a little stressful at first making the adjustment, but remember - sh*t takes time, so hang in there!
Things You’ll Need to Succeed:
Wet/Dry Travel Bag
Odor Blocking Trash Can/Diaper Pail
Washable Diaper Pail Liner
Or if you’re not ready to jump both feet in, keep using the disposable ones… Just remember, you’ll just need a second little bin for those dirty wipes since you wont be washing them or just throw them in the trash.
Baby Laundry Detergent
When shopping around for diapers, inserts, bags and pail liners, the brand I use for and love is Alvababy. Their diapers are made with high-quality polyester with waterproof and breathable TPU and the best part is - the diapers are fully adjustable, so one size fits all (well, up to 33 lbs, but hopefully our babies are outta diapers by then).
Choosing the right inserts are SUPER important. When we first started using the diapers, we had the original inserts that were sent with the diapers, which are 3-layer microfiber material, but these did not work at all for our daughter at nighttime. They worked fine during the day, but she would wake up in the middle of the night with pee all over her jammies and the bed because they would leak. Mind you, our daughter is a knees tucked under her belly sleeper so this probably didn’t help at all, but since the disposable diapers didn’t have this problem we decided to look into other inserts.
The best inserts for nighttime are the Alvababy Charcoal Bamboo Inserts. They are super thick and dry really fast, we were shocked at how fast they actually absorb. But first I’d suggest giving the microfiber inserts a try, and if you have this problem too then order the charcoal bamboo ones and use them for nighttime.
When it comes to the diaper pail, this was an easy switch for us because we were already using a trash can with a sealed lid for her disposable diapers. We didn’t really have to buy anything new since we had the can, but I wanted to replace the trash bags with a washable bag. We are going to be washing the diapers anyways… why not wash the thing that holds the mess too! If you don’t have a trash can for diapers, find something around the house that you can use as a can or buy one - Hefty 13 Gallon Odor Block Waste.
Once you figure out your trash can situation, and you are looking for a washable diaper pail liner, just make sure the one you get is waterproof. You don’t want pee pee leaking out of the bag. The pail that I recommend is ALVABABY Reusable Diaper Pail Liner.
The benefit to having the wet/dry bags are for when you’re out and about. The Alvababy Wet/Dry Bags have two separate zipper pockets, allowing you to separate the poo and pee inserts. They are also waterproof and has a wet section, which is sealed so nothing leaks out.
So now it comes down to wipes. Are you going to keep using disposable wipes, or are you going to put both feet in and use washable/reusable wipes? Personally, we have not switched over to the reusable wipes because we have 1000 packs of Seventh Generation wipes from our baby shower, but once we run out I will be buying GroVia Reusable Cloth Diapering Wipes.
Alright, so when it comes to cleaning the diapers, there is a special way I do it, but do what works best for you and your family. I wash her diapers every 2-3 days, depending on how many soiled diapers there are in the pail. Since I have the washable pail liner, I pull the liner out with the diapers still inside and dump them into the washing machine. You want to make sure you always pull out the inserts from the inside pocket of the diapers immediately after changing, that way you don’t have to dig through the soiled bag before you put them in the wash. I only use my Attitude Stain Remover spray if there is a poo stain on the inserts, otherwise I don’t do anything special with the pee pee liners.
Now, you can do whatever works best for you machine, but the settings I use on my washing machine are:
Water temp - hot/warm
Cycle - heavy duty/bulk items
Soil Level - heavy
Rinse - 2nd rinse cycle
The second rinse is not something you MUST do, but I do it because I want to make sure they’re clean and free of all the mess.
Alright, so that’s it! Super easy! If you’re still contemplating the switch, give it a try for a few days and see how it goes. Remember, you will thank yourself when you save $100+ a month on disposable diapers. AND you won’t have to worry about what size your baby is in, since most cloth diapers are one size fits all!
I hope this checklist helps you succeed in the swap over to cloth diapers! Comment below if you have other recommendations or suggestions!