Home » Pregnancy 2015 » Cloth Diapering Advice

Cloth Diapering Advice

So I am looking for some advice and suggestions. DW and I plan to cloth diaper Dumplin’ almost full-time. I say almost because we aren’t opposed to disposables for convenience (going out, night time if he’s a heavy wetter, et cetera). Anyways, we’re trying to figure out what to do for storing dirty diapers in his nursery. We plan to have a Diaper Genie Elite for the disposables and any nasty disposable wipes we might use, but we need a system for our wet and poopy cloth diapers and cloth wipes. 

I know that exclusively breastfed poops are a different ball game than when he starts to eat food. Once he has poop that needs to be scraped off, we will probably do that at the toilet. 

We are pretty good with routines, so the dirty cloth diapers and wipes will be brought to the laundry room, soaked, and washed probably every other day. 

Here are our concerns:

– smell (we have a small house, so if his poopy diaper bag/bin smells, the whole house will smell)

– cleanliness (I’m so not interested in drippings or having to clean the receptacle often)

– maintaining the longevity of the diapers (we will be doing fitted + covers for newborn, and then a mix of pockets, all-in-ones, and Tuck and Go’s afterwards)

– one-handedness of the system, so that we can always keep a hand on Dumplin’ (this is one reason a wet bag wouldn’t work for us- you need two hands to unzip/dispose/re-zip)

Thanks in advance for any experiences and or advice you can share!

57 thoughts on “Cloth Diapering Advice

  1. I only ever used wet bags – I had a large one hanging off the bedroom door, a small one for travel and a medium sized one hanging off the bathroom door. I don’t know of any one-handed systems, I hope you get some good tips!

  2. We have a great system. We bought a cheap kitchen garbage can with a spring loaded lid and line it with a wet bag. With two wet bags they rotate perfectly. Every night or every other night depending on heat and how much poop happened that day, I take out the wet bag and toss the whole thing in the wash, then replace it with the clean wet bag and put the lid back on. It is not air tight, but does not stink (I have a hypersensitive nose so this was vital). I do recommend washing the milk poop off diapers as well. You don’t want that running through your washing machine if you can avoid it. We have a diaper sprayer on our toilet for that, which is the most inconvenient part of our system. I love using cloth, although we do use disposable diapers at night due to heavy wetting. Peeing through a 12 hour diaper in 8 hours is Darwin’s specialty.

      • Happy to share! From the research I did in coming up with this, most systems don’t stink unless you don’t wash at least every other day. We initially considered a wet pail but decided it would be too heavy to deal with.

  3. I am so excited to learn from this post. We still haven’t thought too much about diapering, other then it’s necessity.
    Also, have you heard of the UBBI Diaper Pail, instead of the Diaper Genie Elite? Once I read reviews and realized that the it will be cheaper in the long run, I am sold on the UBBI.

      • We use a Ubbi for our resuce dog, Guillaume. He’s in diapers for life, so we invested. We use cloth belly bands, then flannelette liners to soak up the pee. The ubbi is lined with a rotation of homemade wet bags, custom made by DH’s mom (she makes all his diaper stuff) and the whole thing gets washed on Sundays. Gooey (Gullaume) goes through about 1 belly band a day and about 3-4 liners. In his case, it’s only pee, not poop. But the Ubbi holds in the smell (we can attest to that because if it didn’t, he’d try to pee on it).

        Our next big leap is make flannelette wipes and figure out a system of how to keep them pre-moistened and ready to go. It’s been on my list to tackle for a while since he’s only four, and I don’t see him changing any time soon….


  4. I used a nappy bin next to the changing table – it’s basically a nice white bucket with a lid. Line it with a string nappy-wash bag and store dry (you can add a couple of drops of essential oil to the bottom but I never did). Wash every 24-48 hours, just lift out the string bag and pop straight in the machine. I’d run a rinse cycle first for a very dirty load. It’s not easy to use full-time cloth nappies – I had weeks of cloth interspersed with weeks of disposable, depending on my energy levels, but every cloth one used saves a little cash and saves a landfill nappy πŸ™‚ Summe is better as drying them on the line makes them fresher. When out and about I just stuffed them in a wet bag – you get used to needing three hands. Will love to see how you get on – I’m still on the fence about going for it 100% with this one!

    • That’s sort of my approach too- I won’t be mad at myself if we use disposables when we need to or even want to mentally. The challenge with having two systems is that you need two ways of keeping soiled diapers. I’m sure it’ll be fine, I mean, we have two dogs that are poop machines, and we manage to keep a lawn pretty poop-free. My feeling is that since we will be doing a wash every other day at the least, that the smell from the cloth diapers won’t be bad.

  5. We have the diaper dekor plus diaper pail with the diaper dekor cloth diaper liners (came in a two pack) which is perfect as while we are washing/hang drying one liner we are able to use the other. We don’t have any issues with smell & he is on solids so he does have quite stinky diapers sometimes. We like to use g diaper cloth liners. They’re flushable & you put them on the top of the inside of the diaper so it helps to keep the diapers cleaner & makes less of a mess. It’s like 8.00 for 105 so they’re pretty cheap. Since you are going to have a regular diaper pail as well you could just throw the disposable liner in there. We use baby Lysol on the diaper pail randomly to disinfect it also. If you need any help or suggestion for laundry detergent, wash routines or bleach soaking/stripping the diapers (needed if the diapers ever get/stay funky even after being washed ) let me know. πŸ™‚

    • Thanks for the great advice! We do plan on using liners too, even though lots of people seem to be against them. Once we get going, I’ll definitely be asking you for washing advice!

      • No problem! & yeah, idk why so many people don’t want to use them either. They make clean up a lot easier & cleaner. And also I feel like they add an extra layer of absorbency, even if it is thin.

  6. Our system is similar to others’–kitchen trash can (spring loaded with foot pedal to open) next to the changing table, lined with a giant wet bag. (Also a sign telling visitors not to put disposables in it–we hosted a lot of play dates with fellow babies.) We used disposables through the meconium stage, prefolds + covers for the newborn months, and pockets after that. And disposables for air travel and road trips to places without laundry. When solids came on the scene we scraped the poop into the toilet. Considered a diaper sprayer but our plumbing was wrong. Have since replaced the relevant part and may install one for #2. Towards the end of diaper years we ended up with overnight disposables due to high volume pee. Still use pull-ups at age 4 for overnight.

    Newborn is back to prefolds though and the changing station is actually in the living room since the kid room is occupied by the preschooler and there’s no room for it in our room where said newborn sleeps.

    Stink is not an issue and we have a very small open floor plan apartment. Happy to answer further questions about specifics.

    • Thanks for the great advice! Your disposable use is similar to what we plan on doing too. DW is super against the sprayer attachment to the toilet (she’s paranoid about water damage).

  7. I’ll be watching this thread for sure because I’m really interested in doing this too (combined with disposable liners). I read that for newborns you may still want to use disposables until theyre a month or so. That’s if you do the one size style….

    • It’s totally worth it to get newborn “All on ones.” I had a micro-preemie and I still use mine as they go 4-13 pounds, and Imagine makes them and sells on Amazon $10 each. I absolutely love them.

  8. I have a lot of diaper experience. First of all, I have not met a diaper genie that doesn’t wreak to high hell and cleaning them turns my stomach just thinking about it. A small plastic bag for dirty diapers or tossing them in the main garbage and taking the garbage out frequently is the best plan of action.

    Cloth diapers stink a lot less and you are guaranteed to empty and wash them ebay 2-4 days. My preferred method is a small kitchen garbage can with a lid that has a pop open feature, either by hand or foot. You can put a large wet bag in it or just use it bare and wash it out once a month or so. The lid closes and keeps the smell in for the most part. My son started doing most of his poops in a little potty at 10 months so I didn’t have to deal with dumping them very frequently.

  9. Other things I have learned: cloth wipes get the meconium and poop off so much better than disposables, you don’t have to wipe after every pee, and coconut oil on with every diaper change in the beginning helps a ton.

  10. I’d definitely suggest a bin with a lid of some sort -the foot operated kind if you’re worried about keeping a hand on Dumplin’ -lined with a large wet bag. It worked well for us. The only time we had an odour problem was when we had a diaper service that only picked up once a week when The Bean was a wee baby. The urine smelled way worse than the poop (at that age).

  11. We use a simple plastic bin with a lid. It looks like the one that sesame street monster lives in. We line it with a wetback that has a drawstring on top so it fits perfectly around the bin and a zipper at the bottom, therefore everything tumbles out in the wash.
    We keep the lid a bit open. Air reduces ammonia stink. Soaking, in my experience, kills diapers, especially the PUL and elastics. We EC poop which helps a lot, especially after he started solids.

    • EC = elimination communication? I would love to do that with Dumplin’ too. after reading all of the comments, I think I might just make a hanging wetbag for his room and for the bathroom. We will be changing and laundering frequently enough, and I don’t want another waste basket on the ground lol.

  12. OK. I’m actually fairly new to this since Jonathan has only been home 2 months, but our system works great for us. I started by trying many different kinds of cloth diapers and diaper covers with traditional pre-folds until I settled on my favorite. We love the Imagine newborn “all in ones”, because J wasn’t even 6 pounds when he came home and everything else was too big, including the traditional pre-folds. (I should write a blog about cloth diapering a preemie.) Now that he is probably past 10 pounds we are trying the Imagine one-size “all in one.” The all in ones are just so much easier. Unfortunately, my kid has my skin, so he does best in cloth diaper. We use disposables when we are out, but someone got us a BIG box of huggies and his skin said…NOPE! The disposable so far that doesn’t bother him is the BAMBO Nature. They’re a little more expensive, but since we cloth the rest of the time the cost isn’t so bothersome. Also, we just bought 2 packages of cheap washcloths at target (they’re actually pretty nice) and that is what we use for wipes. They’re 100% cotton. Perfect. I use water and the washcloths for cleaning his bum…no diaper rash with this method. If your baby ends up with sensitive skin, it’s the way to go! We use the dekor plus diaper pail for out cloths and we do not use the wet pain method. We just toss them in there and wash every 2 days (poop and all-we are primarily breastfed). When the poop is big I just rinse in toilet before throwing it in there. No stinky with the dekor plus. Regarding washing…everything I’ve read recommends plain tide powder (not HE). I tried this and it’s great. We pre-wash in plain cold water then wash with the tide on a hot/cold cycle. We actually dry ours in the dryer, as per manufacturer recommendation, but you can hang dry for longevity. When the nappies start getting a little stale, after pre-wash, we wash with 1/3 cup baking soda and I put vinegar in a fabric softener ball to the line, extra rinse, and then do the tide again. I only do that about once a month. Happy diapering!!! Let me know if you have more questions!

    • Not really. I’ll tell you what I have, and my approach though. So far, I’ve got about 20-ish newborn fitted diapers made (and 3 covers for them). I suspect that Dumplin’ won’t be in those for very long. I have also bought a stash of used one-size pocket diapers from Solomama’s sister, varied in brands but mostly medium (Kawaii) to lower end brands (Alva). I also have about 6 Tuck and Go system covers (you just swap out inserts, which I’ve sewn a couple for) that are also one-size. I registered for one each of a couple of higher-end all-in-one diapers (like Bum Genius, GroVia, Rumparoos) with the intention of trying them out before getting a batch of them (if we like the brand). Depending on how well each of the ones from Solomama’s sister, Tuck and Go, and the higher-end brands fit Dumplin’, I will kinda go from there. What are you thinking?

      • I went into a local store today and got a few demos. I feel like there’s so many options. I found a Bummis starter kit never been used for $60 off on local classifieds. I’m going to pick it up tonight. We might start with that and try out a few more kinds as we go. I liked the concept of the prefolds (less laundry, less required) but I know my husband would probably like an all in one more. I’m going to go to a friends and check out her variety before investing any more. I should also ad a few of the higher cost ones to my registry. Great idea!

      • Sounds like a good plan. We are lucky that we’ve got a lot of time to keep our eyes open for deals. I liked the prefold idea too- but I had already made all those little newborn fitted diapers before I had researched more.

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