Welcome to Part 3 of Adventures in Cloth Diapering: My Stash and Storage! This is my final “planned” post. From here on out I’ll be sharing our cloth diapering experiences (good and bad, failures and successes, trial and error) as they come…I actually already have a fail to share a bit later! Keep reading to see our stash and “system”. Hit the little square in the upper right corner if you could care less about cloth diapering!
We will be using a combination of flat, prefold, and fitted diapers. We’ve purchased all of ours from Green Mountain Diapers (GMD). They’re often referred to as GMD diapers, but their brand name is also Cloth-eez. I’ve done years of research and read that GMD is the best! Haven’t put them to use yet, but their shipping is super speedy and they have some of the most reasonable prices…especially for fitted diapers!
These are flat diapers! They are the most “basic” old school diaper. This is what our grandma’s and great grandma’s used. It’s just a giant single layer of fabric that needs to be folded to be used as a diaper. Say what? It has to be folded? Yup…many in the cloth diapering world have never used flat diapers because they’re super intimidating, BUT I stumbled upon them in my research and have a really good feeling about them.
PROS: 1) They are the least expensive cloth diapering option 2) They fit from birth to potty training—that’s right…one diaper that fits for a really long time 3) They clean up really nicely and dry super fast since it’s a single layer of fabric 4) They are one of the most trim, yet absorbent cloth diapering options. 5) They’re customizable—they can be folded many different ways to put the absorbency where you need it for your baby.
CONS: 1) You have to fold them!
While the regular flat diapers will work from birth to potty training they also come in 1/2 and large sizes for an even more customizable fit! The photo on the left is a 1/2 flat which will give me a much more trim fit during the newborn stage. If you remember from my hesitations post a big bulky fluff butt was on that list so I was willing to spend the money on a 1/2 flat stash to get a more trim fit during the newborn stage! I really want to love flats so I decided I should go with the better fitting on a newborn 1/2 flats to give myself the best shot at loving them! The photo on the right is a regular flat. I don’t have any large flats and may never get them…if I do it will be a very long time from now. These diapers work newborn to potty training because of the way you can fold them to fit your baby and whatever stage/age they are in!
Photos of the flats in various stages of folding. The GMD flats also come in 2 different materials…Birdseye and muslin. The muslin are super soft and a bit more absorbent, but they’re also a bit more bulky. The Birdseye are a bit less absorbent, but also less bulky. The great thing about flats is that once I get to know my baby and his/her patterns and I can pick the size and material I need to make the perfect diaper. Example: if my baby is a more heavy wetter in the morning I can go with the more absorbent muslin flat and then switch to the Birdseye in the afternoons. Or I can choose the more absorbent muslin flats for naptime. Or I can just fold it differently for different times of the day and different activities to put the absorbency where I need it (i.e. will the baby be crawling around or in the car seat).
This is what the flat diapers look like once they’re folded. Cute, tiny little diapers secured with either snappis, boingos, or good old fashioned safety pins (I’ll talk about these later). Different folds, different materials, different sizes. My stash includes 6 muslin 1/2 flats, 12 Birdseye 1/2 flats, 12 Birdseye regular flats, and 12 muslin regular flats. There’s going to be a big learning curve with flats as I figure out how to fold them and get the best fit for baby, but they seem like such a great option and I’m actually really excited to give them a try!
This is a prefold diaper. This is a very popular cloth diapering option and one of the more affordable options…although not as cheap as flats. It’s a square diaper divided into 3 different sections with a thicker section in the middle. The diaper can be folded into thirds and placed right inside the cover or it can be folded to be a bit more diaper shaped and fasted around the baby. They come in different sizes to get the best fit and absorbency for babies of different sizes/ages.
PROS: 1) Still budget friendly 2) Easier to use than flats
CONS: 1) Don’t wash quite as nicely since they’re more than 1 layer 2) More bulky than flats
This is an angel folded newborn sized prefold fastened with a boingo. The fold is super easy and only takes a second. I’ve read folding and fastening is a must with runny newborn poop. Folding into thirds (padfolding) and setting it inside the cover without a special fastener is a better option when the poops are more solid. Since I’ll be home with the baby all day I intend to mostly use flats. The prefolds will be a great option for Daniel and grandparents who diaper less often. It’s a bit easier and they won’t have to learn all of the folds…at least at the beginning! We have 12 size newborn and 12 size small prefolds. I’m waiting to buy larger sizes until we see what we like! Maybe we’ll all just love flats once we get them figured out and not feel the need to buy larger size prefolds.
This is a fitted diaper. Of all the diapers we’re going to use this will be the easiest. It’s already shaped like a diaper with elastic around the legs and has a flap sewn in for extra absorbency. These come with or without snaps. We went snapless because you can get a more customized fit and they should fit a bit longer because the flaps are a bit longer on the snapless. These are a lot more expensive than flats and prefolds (GMDs are very reasonable as far as fitted diapers go) but a lot easier to use since they’re already shaped like a diaper. This will be our nighttime and on the go diapering option since nobody wants to fold a diaper at 2am or in the Target bathroom…at least not while I’m still trying to figure it all out. We have 12 newborn size fitteds, 6 small, and 6 medium on the way.
PROS: 1) Super easy to use 2) Super absorbent
CONS: 1) Most expensive option 2) Don’t wash up as nicely and take longer to dry 3) Elastics can wear out
So you’re up to speed on flat, prefold, and fitted diapers! There are more options out there (all in one, hybrid, pocket, etc.), but those are the 3 styles we’re going with. The flats, prefolds, and fitteds do the dirty work…they catch the pee and poop, BUT they’re all cotton and require a waterproof cover so the contents of the diaper don’t soak through the clothes. Enter the super adorable and most fun part of cloth diapering…diaper covers! They keep the pee and poo in the cotton cloth diaper and off the clothes, crib, mom, etc. The best part about flat, prefold, and fitted diapers is that as long as poop didn’t escape the diaper cover can be used for more than one diaper change and only the flat/prefold/fitted cotton part needs to be changed every time. Some people wipe the inside of the cover and let it air dry and use 2 different covers alternately throughout the day. I’m not sure what we’ll do yet. Diaper covers are the most expensive part of cloth diapering so it’s nice that they can be reused and you can get away with less…although a lot of people still have tons of covers because they’re so darn cute. The covers come in different sizes or one size fits all. They have lots of snaps on them so they can be snapped down to fit smaller babies. I have one size and sized covers and plan to use the smaller sized covers during the newborn stage so I can get a better, more trim fit. Once baby grows we’ll mostly use one size diapers. We have 4 Thirsties size 1 covers, 1 Blueberry mini coverall, 1 Blueberry one-size capri, 1 newborn and 1 small GMD Cloth-eez Wrap (GMD recently came out with this cover…they only come in white, but they’re super affordable and I hear awesome), 1 Grovia one-size, and 1 AnAnBaby one-size. We’ve got plenty for the newborn stage, but will definitely need more as baby grows. I’m just waiting to see which ones we like best and if baby Newell is a boy or girl so we can buy some gender specific covers!
The “accessories”. The flat, prefold, and fitted diapers need to be fastened to stay on the baby! That’s where these funny looking things come in. The orange “t” shaped thing is a Snappi. It has little plastic teeth that grab onto the diaper on the left, right, and middle to hold it in place. The 2 blue things with stars are called Boingos. It also has little plastic teeth the grab onto the diaper and you use one on each side. And then you see the good old fashioned red diaper pins. I got some to have on hand but have a feeling I’ll prefer the Snappis and Boingos. The 3 white things on the right are onesie extenders. Fluff butts are bulkier than sposie butts and babies sometimes grow out of their clothes sooner because of it. Enter onsie extenders. These add length to onesies so they fit better over cloth diapers without having to size up! These should also help eliminate compression leaks.
What about the wipes? We’re going all out on this cloth diapering journey and using cloth wipes too! At first I thought that was a bit extreme until I realized I won’t have anywhere to throw disposable wipes so I might as well use cloth wipes and wash them with everything else. I have 24 Grovia cloth wipes and 24 GMD Cloth-eez 2 sided wipes. I may need to invest in even more wipes! The Grovia wipes are a bit bigger and super soft! The Cloth-eez wipes are smaller and not as soft, but will probably be a bit better at getting stubborn poop. We’ll keep the wipes dry at the changing station and wet however many we need with a spray bottle at each diaper change. We’ll have a spray bottle with plain H2O for simple diaper changes and a spray bottle with a homemade wipe solution for messy situations. We’ve got big ones for the changing station and smaller ones for the diaper bag. A lot of diaper rash creams can’t be used with cloth diapers so I got the Seedlings diaper rash cream from Young Living which only has cloth diaper safe ingredients.
Cloth diaper “add-ons”. Doublers and liners. Some babies are heavy wetters or outgrow the absorbency of the diaper even though the diaper itself still fits. That’s where doublers come in. They are extra layers of material sewn together to be placed inside of the diaper for extra absorbency. The upper left is a nighttime doubler and the upper middle is a small doubler. I have 3 of each just to have on hand in case we need them and to see if we like them. Cloth diapers don’t wick away the moisture like disposable diapers. Some babies don’t mind, but others hate feeling wet. That’s where the Malden Mills fleece liners come in. It’s just a thin layer of fleece that gets set inside the diaper against babies skin to wick away moisture and help the baby feel dry. We have 12 of the fleece liners. These seem like a great option for nap and nighttime when the diaper will hold plenty but you don’t want the baby waking up earlier just because they feel wet. On the bottom is a silk liner. I’ve read that these are a great, natural way to heal rashes. These are a bit pricy and have to be hand washed. We have 3 of these to have on hand and try out in case of rash. I think 3 should be fine since you have to hand wash them and they should dry quickly. I’ll just have to hand wash them real quick after each diaper change and hope it’s dry 2 diaper changes later! The 1/2 flats can also be folded and used as doublers when baby is bigger and not using them as flats anymore.
Osocozy Disposable liners. This is my peanut butter “solid” poo diapering solution! Does it kind of defeat the purpose of cloth diapering? Maybe…but I need a solution that doesn’t require me scraping poo off the diaper into the toilet. For that non plopable, no longer exclusively breastfed because we started solids poo we’re going to use these diaper liners and throw that poo out! These can also be used to protect the diapers when a non cloth safe rash cream HAS to be used and may also come in handy when we’re out and about since I won’t be able to rinse the diapers right away.
These adorable bags are Planet Wise wet bags. They’re purpose in life is holding dirty diapers. We’ve got a big one for longer/overnight trips and 2 smaller bags for the diaper bag whenever we’re out and about. They have super lining on the inside to keep all of the dirty diaper nasties on the inside and away from everything else in the diaper bag! They get turned inside out and thrown into the washer with the diapers.
This is a Disana wool diaper cover and the accessories that go with caring for it. Apparently wool is a bullet proof (read leak proof) diaper cover perfect for nighttime diapering and a full night of sleep! This cover has to be hand washed with special wool wash (Eucalan) and lanolized (occasionally- I have the NOW brand lanolin) to ensure it remains waterproof. Some people love wool covers so much that it’s the only kind of cover they use. We’re going to start out using it only at night. The crazy thing about wool is that it only needs to be washed a few times a month as long as poop doesn’t get on it. Crazy, right? Apparently you just air dry the cover during the day and it’s good to go again at night. It doesn’t get smelly…unless there’s poop on it…then it has to be hand washed. We only have 1 of these since they’re a bit more pricy and only requires washing a few times a month. We’ll have to size up at some point and it will be big for a while, but we’re starting with the smallest size they have.
What to do with the dirty diapers? Dirty diapers will be thrown into a garbage can with a Planet Wise wet bag liner until wash day. We’ll store the trash can in the guest bathroom shower as long as we don’t have guests. It will have to move around when we do! We’ll wash the diapers every other or every third day and like the wet bags above we’ll just turn the wet bag inside out and throw it in the wash with the diapers. Breastfed poop is water soluble and doesn’t require anything special…it can just be thrown right in the pail until wash day. I don’t really love the idea of that so I plan on spraying all of the diapers to clean out some of the pee/poo before wash day. We installed a diaper sprayer on the guest bathroom toilet and purchased a spray pal (photo on the left) for spraying our diapers. Basically, we’ll clip the diaper into the spray pal and hold it over the toilet while we use that silver sprayer to spray the contents of the diaper into the toilet. The spray pal helps prevent splattering…ewww! This becomes more necessary with solid poo because it must be removed before wash day, but I think I’ll feel better about this whole process if I spray every diaper from the get go!
Diapering station. We have a changing pad on top of the dresser with an awesome storage shelf with baskets from Hobby Lobby hung above it. The soft Grovia wipes are in a basket on the dresser (top right photo) and the 2 sided Cloth-eez wipes are in baskets on the shelf above the changing pad along with the rash cream. The diaper covers are in the wire baskets hanging from the shelf and the spray bottles hang from the rod on the shelf (bottom right photo). The dresser has 3 drawers on top. 2 smaller drawers the sides and a larger drawer in the middle. The drawer on the left has the prefolds, the middle drawer has the flats, fasteners, and onesie extenders, and the drawer on the right has the fitted diapers. Everything we need should just be a reach away.
Our other diapering items are stored in the closet. We’ve got next size up diapers in a cubby and the liners, doublers, wool products, and wipe spray ingredients are in the closet door organizer.
And there you have it! Our entire cloth diapering system! Sorry for such a long one, but there’s just a whole lot more to cloth diapering than disposables! For now on they should be shorter and easier to read as I share our trial and error!
Not long now and we’ll be putting all of this to use! I’m so ready to meet this baby of ours!