I actually kind of hate the term “dipes” but it rhymed, so I went with it. How easily I cave for a catchy phrase.
Anyway, it’s about time I gave an update on how cloth diapering is going for us over here!
We have the BumGenius 4.0 snap diapers with inserts. We have around 20 diapers (some are dirty right now and I’m not about to go rooting through there to count them up) and it’s been about perfect – we aren’t hurting for more, but any less and we probably would be. We chose the insert version over the all-in-one because as Leo gets older (and therefore produces more), we can stuff the diaper with an extra insert or two to keep nighttime leakage from happening.
We also use cloth wipes – a mix between Thirsties and some generic thin washcloths. Both work great, but the washcloths are way cheaper, so if/when we ever need more wipes, I would get the washcloths over the Thirsties. I saved an old Huggies wipes container (from when we did disposable when Leo was first born) and put a little bit of baby bath soap in the bottom (we use Aveeno). Then I add warm water. I submerge a stack of wipes in the container until they’re all soaked through. Then I pull them out, drain out the extra water, and squeeze out the stack of wipes (so they’re damp but not dripping). I put the wipes back in the container and – viola – wipes! It’s really quick and very easy.
Wet bags and the toilet sprayer
We also have three wet bags – one large for at home and two smaller, for when we travel. We could probably use another large one for when ours is in the wash, but so far we’ve made due pretty easily. The wet bags are great because you can just upend them into the washing machine (no re-touching old, dirty diapers) and then throw the bag in the wash, too. It really simplifies the process.
We have the BumGenius diaper sprayer attached to our toilet. For messy diapers you simply hold the diaper over the toilet bowl and spray it off. Then put the diaper in the wet bag. Way easier (and less hands-on) than having to dunk the messy diaper in the toilet water to get it rinsed off. I would say this is a must-have for the process (especially after having to do the toilet dunking while we were in Tennessee. It wasn’t horrible but it’s not really that enjoyable.).
Once a dirty diaper is taken off, it follows two courses of action. If it’s just wet, we pull out the insert and drop both the insert and the diaper (and any wipes used) into the wet bag. Zip up the wet bag and you’re done! If it’s messy, we pull out the insert and drop it in the wet bag (along with any wipes used). We spray off the dirty diaper (takes 10 seconds, tops) and throw it in the wet bag as well. Done.
About every other day (sometimes a little longer) I upend the wet bag into the washing machine. I put it on the soak cycle with cold water. After 10 minutes (or whenever I remember) I spin it out. I then set it to hot water and the heavy duty cycle and add baby-friendly detergent. Once it finishes, I do an extra rinse cycle. Inserts, wipes, and wet bags go in the dryer and diapers (the colorful parts!) hang up to dry. They dry pretty fast, too, which is helpful! Once everything is dry I re-stuff all the diapers so they’re ready to go.
The good and the bad
The good: We’re definitely saving a lot of money using cloth diapers and wipes – all of which will fit him until he’s ready to be potty-trained. Leo also hasn’t really had any trouble with diaper rash (maybe a red spot here and there, but it disappears fast and doesn’t seem to every bother him). The extra steps really don’t take very long. Starting a load of wash isn’t a big deal and throwing a diaper in a wet bag doesn’t take any longer than throwing it in the trash. We’ve also traveled with the diapers and have’t had a problem – although if we’re away longer and won’t be able to wash the diapers, we use disposable. We also love how colorful they are!
The bad: Restuffing diapers isn’t my favorite thing, but it takes 5-10 minutes and can generally be done while Dave and I talk or watch a movie. You’re also a little more involved with the messy diaper, but honestly, it’s mostly hands-off. If I’m late starting a load of diapers it can be an issue in terms of having a clean, dry one ready for him. We keep a stash of disposable diapers on hand for when this happens (also for some traveling). The diapers are bigger and a little bulkier… although we personally love the squooshy diaper butt.
All in all, Dave and I are really happy with cloth diapers and wipes. It took a week or two to get our process down, but now it just feels really simple and easy. We think Leo loves them, too!
What’s your favorite color diaper: orange, dark green, light green, dark blue, light blue, or yellow (unpictured)? Mine is either dark blue or yellow.