Here’s a look at solutions we have figured out to achieve the best results for our family’s cloth diapering.
Honestly, I have been using cloth diapers off and on for just over 8 years, but for a long time I really had no idea what I was doing. Case in point, to any present cloth diaper user, I never stripped my diapers until recently! Yea, I know! Stink-fest. I had no idea why we had the stink issues. You see, when I started doing this, information was not nearly as easily accessible, so I just figured the cloth was not really working out great for us, and we would have to endure it.
Ha! I am so thrilled that it is so much easier to find solid information now, because I was basically able to salvage diapers that we have been using for years with only a single stripping session! Praise the Lord. So, now I want to make sure to share the knowledge I have learned with you, so that you too do not make the same mistakes.
Our Proven Cloth Diaper Solutions
We have had various set-ups over the years. We have had the diaper pail in our bedroom along with all the diapers, while we changed diapers using our bed as the changing site. We have had diapers both upstairs and downstairs to provide a place for changes no matter where we were. We now have pretty much everything downstairs because that is where we spend most of the day. No matter what your solution, though, it is important to make sure that your diaper station is set-up wherever works best for you.
For years we functioned fine without a diaper station, but this little, simple shelving unit from IKEA works perfectly to provide for our needs. I keep the tri-fold diapers and covers easily accessible, with our soap/water solution and cloth wipes nearby. I especially enjoy the basket containers…pretty =0)
Right next to the shelving unit we have a simple tupperware style three-drawer system that contains addition cloth diaper necessities. The drawer pulled out above holds our all-in-one diapers (which we use for solid-food eaters and older). The drawer above (not pictured) contains diaper liners (picture shown further in post), paper towels (which we often use for wipes with disposable diapers when we use them), and homemade diaper cream. The drawer below (also not pictured) has extra small tri-fold diapers and big boy underwear for our training boy! Proud of him!
We are thankful to have a fairly large space in the room where our washer and dryer are located, so I was able to tuck our diaper pail into a corner back there to keep any residual diaper smells reduced from affecting our noses. Honestly, the smell is not too bad, but who wants to even get an occasional whiff??? Not me. We have been using this Diaper Champ diaper pail for 8 years now, and it is still going strong. We have two rotating diaper pail bags that easily go inside of it, hold all the diapers, and then get thrown conveniently into the wash right along with the diapers. Could not be easier. ***LESSON LEARNED! Depending on the type of cloth diaper pail liner you buy, you may have tags in illogical places, which is the situation with our bags. It is important when putting the bags into the diaper pail that the water-repellant side (slick and kind of gummy) is set to the inside of the pail so that it will be what touches the diapers. This is the waterproof side of the bag, which you want to use to keep the actual pail dry. The part that touches the diaper pail should the a more rough, non-slick side. For years we did not know this because the tags on our pail are on the side of the slick, waterproof layer, so I constantly had a wet, stinky pail. That is now a thing of the past!***
For years I threw my cloth diapers into the dryer. I did not know any better (getting the hint that I have learned a lot through trial and error??? Yep, LOTS of errors!) What I have since learned is that diaper covers and all-in-ones should really not be dried in the dryer. The inserts do just fine, but the covers, with their waterproof layer, tend to be a bit ruined by the excessive heat of the dryer. So, we found this awesome contraption at IKEA, which cost us all of $5. We use two of them and are able to easily hang dry our cloth diapers. I have seen tons of different ways to work in a diaper drying solution, but this was simple, easy, and took zero effort really except for going to IKEA (awww, poor us…) and picking them up. We hang the hook easily over a pipe in the room (it’s kind of a utility style room with pipes in the ceiling, etc) and voila! Diaper drying solution!
Another tool we have had in our cloth diaper arsenal is the diaper sprayer, which connects to the water line at the toilet. We have not been able to work out a solution with ours to stick it to the wall or toilet (we did at the first house we lived in with it, but have since moved several times and lost the piece…oops), so it just lays on an absorbent towel on the ground for sake of ease.
This is a look at the sprayer being used, but I figured that no one would really want to see a soiled cloth diaper. As you can see, though, the flow is pretty steady and depending on the quality of the sprayer you buy, pretty powerful (some more than others). This one works for us. Essentially, you spray the residual solid pieces straight into the toilet before placing diaper into the diaper pail and this greatly helps to increase the clean-ability of the diapers when they go through the wash cycles. The less solid pieces there are, the better the results in smell and cleanliness.
Not to be confused with a diaper insert or diaper cover, this diaper liner is an awesome solution for cloth diaper messes. You see the liner sits against the baby’s bottom, so when the child goes potty, any solids are captured in the liner, while liquids filter straight through to the absorbent diaper. Now, this is not always a catch-all, but I would definitely prefer a catch-most or catch-some to nothing. Once baby is all cleaned up, simply take this to the toilet, dump out the contents, and rinse off any residual. Then, put the whole thing into the diaper pail. ***TIP: We prefer to use the Imse Vimse line of diaper liners. I know that various reviews have been given on the product because of the texture of the paper, which is kind of rough, but we have never had any serious issues at all from the rough texture. The reason we choose this brand over all others is that it is actually reusable! Yes, you read that correctly! When a wet-only diaper comes along, these liners can be thrown into the diaper pail right along with the diaper, washed AND dried, and then reused once again. I will reuse them over and over again until they come out of the drier falling to pieces…then they get trashed! Yes, this is a frugal find, and I love it!***
And, just to make sure that I would never forget, that my kids could one day help out with this portion of the laundry, and that my husband also can help when available, I have printed out and taped a copy of the washing instructions to the top of our washer. This has helped me plenty to remember exactly what I need to do to properly launder and care for our cloth diapers. I also included the process for stripping the diapers when needed, probably once every other month or so.
And, there you have it! Our years of experience, trials, and lessons learned laid out for you to hopefully be blessed by as well! Once again, isn’t it great to have so much information available to us nowadays? =0)
What about you? Are you new to cloth diapering, or a years-old user to the cause? What solutions do you think will be a benefit to your diapering situation, if any? What solutions do you still need? I look forward to reading your comments below =0)