Thursday, November 13, 2014

NaBloPoMo, Day 13: Cloth Diapering: The First Four Months

I’ve already written this post in great detail six months ago, only to have it eaten by the interwebs. My apologies if this isn’t as full of fluff and fun stories as the original!

When Little Buddy was born, I didn’t intend to cloth diaper. Sure I had thought about it. In fact, cloth diapering was on my regrets list from Little K and I really did want to give it a try. I researched, poked around on Amazon, and quickly became overwhelmed. I eventually decided not to stress about it and just go the disposables route again.

That lasted less than two weeks.

By the time Little Buddy and I were driving to the Birth Center for our 10 day check up, we had already blown through our entire stash of disposable diapers. R and I were done watching our money get covered in poop and thrown in the trash. When I brought up cloth diapering again, R took a leap of faith and agreed to try cloth.

For all my years of wanting to do cloth diapers and looking at the cute prints online, I had never even held one or knew where to start. Luckily, the Birth Center has a boutique with an entire room dedicated to cloth diapering. But I still needed someone with 1.) the real world experience and 2.) who didn’t want to sell me something.

Enter Brooke of Unconditional Support. She is a doula and cloth diapering mom in Austin, TX and happens to be good friends with my sister who pointed me in Brooke’s direction.

After a great conversation with Brooke on my way to the appointment/Boutique, we agreed on trying the cheapest CD’ing solution out there: prefolds with covers. The initial cost was low ($60 for 24 prefolds, $12 for 24 wipes, $85 for 7 covers, $5 for 2 snappis) and the wash routine was super easy.


For those first four months, here’s how we rolled:

1. Thirsties Duo Wraps, Size 1 (6-18 pounds): These diaper covers are awesome! Double gussets to hold in liquidy newborn poop. Three rise settings to grow with your baby. Available in Velcro/aplix or snaps, depending on your preference (we liked Velcro/aplix to start with and switched to snaps when we sized up). The best part about using covers is that they can be used more than once; as long as the diaper is urine-only, you can wipe it out and set aside to dry without having to do a full wash. I would use 3 covers per day, putting them in the wet bag either at the end of the day or when they got pooped in, whichever came first.

2. OSO Cozy Unbleached Cotton Prefolds, Size 1: These prefolds fit similarly to the covers, 7-15 pounds with a Snappi. We used a simple angel wing fold and a Snappi as shown in this picture tutorial. I sold these and bought a bigger size when we could no longer get them around Little Buddy’s waist. If I knew then what I know now, I would have kept these prefolds and switched to a pad fold/trifold laid in the cover.

3. Snappi: These are for use instead of diaper pins. Super simple to use, hard to hurt yourself or baby. Wipe clean, replace if the plastic ever snaps. Two-three is plenty.

4. CJ’s BUTTer: Cloth diaper safe diaper cream. I purchased the 8oz container for less than $10 at the boutique. We use this as a barrier and soothing cream for Little Buddy any time his tush starts to look red. I have also used this as a barrier cream for baby acne or as a moisturizing balm when he has dry/flaky skin. I prefer the unscented with aloe for sensitive skin. I found out later that you could also use plain organic coconut oil. However, Little Buddy is eight months now and this container is still half full. This stuff lasts forever!

5. MothersEase Bamboo Fitteds: I bought these originally to be overnight diapers. They are soft, thick, and easy to fit. In the end I found an overnight solution I liked better and sold these. Some people love fitteds and some don’t. I am of the latter group. So it goes. Luckily, there are tons of cloth diaper buy-sell-trade groups on FaceBook where you can offload your extra diapers at only a few dollars loss. 

6. Grovia Terrycloth Wipes: The first wipes I bought were single ply flannel. After washing those a few times, I felt they got too rough for soft baby skin so I bought these, regulating the original flannel ones to the diaper bag. These were soft and plush for the first four months but have gotten rougher with long term use and the stitching around the edges is coming off. However, at $.50 each, I feel like they were a good purchase; I couldn’t reconcile $1.50+ each for the super soft wipes. I will be keeping an eye out for baby washcloths on clearance at Target to replace these, though.

7. Homemade Wipes Solution: Homemade wipes solution runs the gamut of complexity from plain water to coconut oil/soap/essential oils/aloe concoctions. Our started simple:
  • 4 C distilled water (distilled water keeps you from developing musty smells), ½ C witch hazel, 10 drops each lavender oil and tea tree oil. 
I started with this recipe because I already had all of the ingredients from making postpartum supplies for myself. However, I later learned that tea tree oil can cause hormonal disturbances and chose to remove tea tree oil from our wipes solution. I also noticed that Little Buddy’s anus was starting to look red after I wiped him. After a little trial and error, we developed this solution:
  • 4 C distilled water, ¼ C organic coconut oil (melted), 7-10 drops lavender oil. 
Since starting this wipes solution, Little Buddy is no longer red after wiping. I heat up the solution for 60-90 seconds in order to re-melt the coconut oil before pouring over the wipes in our wipes container. I store any excess solution in the fridge. 

8. OXO Wipes Container: Wipes can be stored wet or dry. I store our wipes dry with a spray bottle of wipes solution for the diaper bag but store them wet at home. I looked into heated wipes containers but read several reports of people experiencing mold growth on their wipes from the wet, warm environment. This container is sturdy and has an airlock seal so our wipes won’t dry out.

Wet Bags!

I have an almost-complete set of Planet Wise wet/dry bags in Toadstool. Here’s how it goes:

  1. Small Wet Bag: This wet bag worked great in our diaper bag for the first 4 months! It can easily hold 3 dirty prefolds and 2 covers when we are out and about. Now that we are using bigger diapers, this bag has been regulated to holding dirty outfits for Little Buddy or a spit-upon shirt for me. I still keep it in our diaper bag and it is really handy. 
  2. Travel Wet/Dry Bag: I bought this wet/dry bag to hold wipes in the diaper bag. I keep the wipes and the spray bottle of solution in the wet section and a spare Snappi in the dry section. Works great! I’m considering switching over to cloth pads for myself and will most likely use this bag for that purpose, needing to get the Planet Wise Wipes Pouch for wipes (which is fine since we don’t use Snappis anymore). 
  3. Medium Wet/Dry Bag: This is the first wet/dry bag I purchased at the boutique. The sales woman recommended it for use in our diaper bag but I found it to be WAY too large at the time and used it as backup at home when our large bag was in the wash. However, now that Little Buddy is in bigger diapers (and I’ve purchased a larger diaper bag), this is my main diaper bag solution. It can hold 5+ dirty diapers if I really stuff them in there! I can fit 2-3 dry diapers in the dry section along with the wipes bag, making it simple to drop off in the nursery at church. Definitely couldn’t survive without this one! 
  4. Large Wet/Dry Bag: This was my main wet/dry bag at home for the first four months. It could hold two days of dirty diapers before being full and only needed washed once per week. It rocks! Now that we are using larger diapers it can only hold one day of diapers. I ended up sewing a pail liner for a large trash can out of PUL and elastic for our main use and use this bag to hold just our overnight wet diapers which always smell when wet due to the sheer volume of urine overnight. You can purchase pail liners online if you don’t sew.


All hail Fluff Love & CD Science! Our original wash routine was pretty straightforward. However, I later learned that we were doing things just a little bit wrong. Here is our new and improved wash routine featuring All Free & Clear liquid detergent:

  1. Prewash (or speed/quick wash, depending on your machine) on Cold with ½-1 cap of detergent.
  2. Towels/Sheets wash on Hot with extra rinse and extra spin with 2 caps of detergent. Other settings include Jeans or Heavy, depending on your machine.
  3. Throw into the dryer on Medium and then allow diapers to cool completely before folding. Hot elastic wears out faster, so allowing the covers to cool completely preserves the elastic and extends the life of your diapers.

Done. It’s just that simple! No special detergents or additives. With this routine, we have never experienced stink, ammonia, or rashes.

The best wash routine and troubleshooting information is available at Fluff Love & CD Science.

Please note that Fluff Love & CD Science does not recommend Free and Clear detergents. We choose to use a F&C detergent due to eczema.


So, there you go! I hope you found this fun and informational. I'm working on our Five Months and Beyond cloth diapering post and will have it up sometime during NaBloPoMo.


  1. I love seeing diaper stashes! So cool. I cloth diapered #1 until pull-ups and #2 for 6 months. Didn't even start with #3. Too much laundry! Prob spending all the money we're no longer spending on IVF on disposables. But I loved fluffy bottoms. Where did you see your dipes? I have a bunch of pockets to get rid of.

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks! I sell mine on Facebook mostly on the Fluff Love & CD Science B/S/T page. I also use the Hybrid B/S/T page, Flip B/S/T, and BumGenius B/S/T.

  3. Phew! I am still loving CDing, but it is just a LOT! I am thankful that I just inherited a friend's entire stash of EVERYTHING I never had to think about it or decide what to go it was free, ha. At any rate, it hadn't occurred to me that I could use pre-folds as inserts. I have plenty of inserts right now, but sometimes I'm not convinced they're terribly absorbent anymore. I'm trying some things to restore absorbancy, but nice to know I could just buy some prefolds and throw them in there if I want to!