30 responses

  1. Cassie
    August 19, 2013

    If you go prefolds and covers, which I really like, for a newborn it is totally worth it to get a couple snappis. Securing the prefold on the baby under the cover will prevent some of the poop-splosions from getting on the cover. Not all, you will totally get poop on the cover a few times a day, but it will save you from having to get a new cover for every poop.

    Or, if you want to spend a little cash to save the effort, fitteds under covers were lovely for the newborn stage (and even my husband could handle it) (though not my extremely cloth-resistant MIL for some reason). 

    • Christina
      August 19, 2013

      I second the snappis suggestion. They’ve saved us.

  2. Martha
    August 19, 2013

    Ahhhh how I love that paragraph on washing instructions. I bought a full-time Mother-ease one size fitted package off of Craigslist when my son was 2. They stank to high heaven and I stripped the hell of out of them by washing in hot and hot and hot and vinegar, etc. Never worked, so we gave up on cloth diapering (because we didn’t want the baby to smell whenever he peed). For baby number two, I decided “what the heck” and just washed them ONCE with oxiclean (which Mother-ease specifically forbids). Guess what? It stripped them perfectly with one wash, I use the diapers all the time and they are clean and smell fine, and they are in great condition still. Washing instructions has been, by far, the most stressful part of cloth diapering for me. 
    For what its worth, we have hard water and I do a cold rinse and then a hot wash with a smaller scoop of regular Tide. :) SOmeday I’d like to try Charlies but haven’t done that yet! 
    If you are looking for something between the pocket diaper and prefolds, I really really recommend Mother-ease one size fitteds! They are so well made and ethically made in Canada. They are bulkier than some other systems but they work well from 10ish pounds to 35 pounds (although they advertise they work from 8 pounds, most people I know haven’t found them to work on wee newborns). 

    • Cassie
      August 19, 2013

      Try Charlies! I was convinced by both Amalah’s posts and a good friend’s encouragement to try it (I don’t even have cloth diapers, but, ya know, general laundry usage and stinky towels) and it is AMAZING. Seriously. I get wonderfully unscented, super soft clothes. And its cheaper in the long run too. :)

  3. Cortney
    August 19, 2013

    I used bum genius one size pockets for each of my 3 kiddos (a fresh batch for each unfortunately) and used powdered Country Save detergent. I found it at Whole Foods but also my tiny local grocery store and I think it was about $12 for the box. With the tiny amount I used for each load in my front loader, I think a box lasted me about the time each kid was in diapers!

  4. kristin @ going country
    August 19, 2013

    I make that laundry soap. I use cloth diapers. I’ve done both for four years now, through two kids, and only had to strip the diapers once, between kids. I do use mostly prefolds with Thirsties covers. The diapers have held up pretty well until now, but they are starting to fray. Mostly because I’ve done more machine drying with them rather than on the clothesline because of lack of time when my younger son was born. Machine drying will wear them out fast.

    I did use bumGenius all-in-ones (with extra stuffing) for nighttime diapers for both my kids until about a year, when they started sleeping through the night and leaking. Not sure if the leaking is because the diapers break down due to the detergent, though. I figured it was just because they were in them, and therefore peeing, longer.

    Cloth diapering seems hard before you do it, when you get overwhelmed with the INSANE amount of information online. It’s not hard once you do it and figure it out for yourself, though, promise. And it is WOW so much cheaper. Especially with prefolds.

  5. Alexia
    August 19, 2013

    We do all BG one size, pocket diapers. We’ve fought the stinks and leaks and pretty much everything else… successfully. We use EcoSprout detergent which you can only buy online. It’s not ridiculously expensive (this coming from another mama who makes her own laundry soap) and it’s formulated for the cloth diapers. It’s super gentle for a little one with super sensitive skin like mine.

    Best advice: Pick a path, stick with it, correct course when necessary. We all have our own ‘snowflake’ of a routine… and they all work… for us.

  6. Erin
    August 19, 2013

    I decided on an all-cotton stash after reading so much about laundry issues that man-made fibers have. I use GMD prefolds with Thirsties Duo covers, though we just got several Flip covers to use at daycare due to the ease of use.  I wanted to be able to pre-stuff them with prefolds so they could just use them like an AIO.  I LOVE my Flip covers, and can’t wait to expand my stash as the babe outgrows his Duo size 1s.  The prefolds wash up really well with All or Tide Free-and-clear detergent, and I’ve been able to sun out any stains.  (Cold quickwash with no spin, then hot wash with extra rinse.  The no-spin option fakes out HE washers by making the load seem heavier.)  

    If you want to be even more frugal, I have heard that Flips also work well with pad-folded flats. The only bad thing about the Flips is that, at 3 months old, my 15 pound little guy is just on the lowest rise, with the velcro almost touching at the waist.  Those things would have been entirely too big as a newborn.

  7. Julie
    August 19, 2013

    I really wanted the pretty pocket diapers when I had my baby too. I wouldn’t even look twice at prefolds and covers. And now that she’s 21 months? I’ve long since given up on the annoying, stanky, shot elastic pockets, and am now evangelical about prefolds and covers. A laundress’ dream! So. Mayhaps do look twice at prefolds and covers. They are still so cute! And so cheap! Good luck!

  8. Olivia
    August 19, 2013

    “And forget about the elastic lasting past one baby if you hot wash and tumble dry all the time.” 

    So, this is just one example of course, but my small Fuzzi Bunz are on their fourth baby. I always wash on hot and tumble dry (on low) and the elastic is fine on all but one diaper out of 25. The inserts are showing more wear by far.

  9. KimCS
    August 19, 2013

    I use and love my Bum Genius pocket diapers. We’ve tried several other brands but none compare. I use soap nuts with a rinse and hot wash and an occasional overnight soak with Rockin Green and its very inexpensive. We mostly hang up to dry and they are in great condition for baby #2 on the new year. The only problem we had was when we tried the Arm @ Hammer free and clear. It took several washes and extra rinses to get the diapers to stop repelling. That said the BG fit best startiinv around 10 lbs so we used prefolds and covers in the newborn stage.

  10. Meghan
    August 19, 2013

    Tide works well for me – I know – I know – you will read many articles that say Tide is the devil but it is the only one that I have used that cleans my diapers great and I don’t have to strip too often.

    • Polly
      March 5, 2014

      what tide detergent did you buy? i have a he top loader . i hear tide is good too.

  11. Kate
    August 20, 2013

    We use the Flips system (mostly- I also have 6 Charlie Bananas) and while our little guy was exclusively breastfed, we washed them in a free & clear detergent with no problem. Since he started solids, we’ve had to tweak our routine a bit and now we use Ecover Zero with vinegar and about two capfuls of bleach, only because we apparently have the least cloth diaper friendly washing machine ever made, ever (Maytag Neptune). The Ecover is about $10, lasts us about 4 months (wash every other day) and I found it at a local grocery store. Good luck!!

  12. Carie
    August 20, 2013

    I use pretty much every kind of cloth diaper there is. I use pad folded flats with hemp doublers and flip covers. For outings or naps I use pockets and for night time I use fitteds with covers. I was having sensitive skin issues with the detergent I was using and someone had given me a free container of arm & hammer Free for sensitive skin. I wasn’t sure since I had never seen it recommended for cloth diapers but it works great. It has no perfumes or dyes and you can buy it anywhere. 

    Just make sure it says FREE on the bottle.  I have been using it for over a year with my HE washer and never had to strip. I’m not even super careful about how much detergent ends up in the load. 

  13. Flwolff
    August 20, 2013

    I am the OP-thank you all for your wonderful advice. I am now 28 weeks pregnant so figuring out this whole diaper thing is a little more pressing. Unfortunately my husband started reacting to my homemade detergent after using it for several years (cause still unknown-water? Did’t mix well enough? Turning 30 caused his skin to try and explode??), so we have ordered a jar of Charlie’s soap and that seems to be going well so far.
    A friend of mine gifted me some cloth diapers her kids have grown out of, and recommended using prefolds and snappis for the newborn stage as well, so I think that’s what we’re going for at the moment.

  14. allisonjayne
    August 20, 2013

    Oh man. I’m the laziest cloth diaperer ever. We have a wee little washing machine in our kitchen that hooks up to the sink, and all we do is toss them in, usually do either a regular wash plus an extra rinse, or two ‘quick wash’ cycles instead, usually hot water because I often can’t remember to change the temperature (since it has to be done manually by moving the sink faucet) and using whatever free and clear natural detergent they sell at our local health food store. Every so often we will take the whole stash down to the laundry room so that they can be tumbled dry instead of hanging them in our apartment.

    Kid is over 2 years old, and I have had to replace the elastics on the fuzzibuns (they came with extras anyway) and all our Bummis AIOs are toast, but otherwise everything has managed ok. We use mostly prefolds anyway. They’re just so cheap and easy. And once she’s out of diapers, they make the BEST rags because they’re totally lint-free!

  15. Ang
    August 20, 2013

    Prefolds with covers here, and while I like my Flipz covers I LOVE my Rumparooz covers. Those double leg gussets have saved many an outfit from poopsplosions. As for detergent, I use Ecos Free and Clear (without fabric softener added), a large bottle runs about $10 at my Walmart and lasted about 1.5 years.

    A cold wash with no detergent, then a hot wash using a small amount of detergent and an extra rinse. Dry prefolds in the dryer and hang up the covers. I throw in a couple of old towels to trick my HE machine into using more water.

    Use what works best for YOU, and good luck!!

  16. Kari Weberr
    August 20, 2013

    OK… I am a pretty thrifty person… so am I just crazy to think that it isn’t necessary to make your own detergent to be thrifty?? I found Charlie’s Soap online for 13.99 for an 80 load tub… That is 17 cents a load! If you go to amazon and by the 1,000 load bucket you pay only 11 cents a load… 
    I am all for being thrifty, and I understand that you can probably make this soap pretty cheaply, but if there is so much concern, and uncertainty, why not just pay a few cents per load. PLUS, Charlie’s Soap has the benefit of being great for ALL your laundry, so no need for a “special soap” for diapers, and then another soap for other things.  Heck, we use it and I don’t even need fabric softener or dryer sheets anymore!

  17. Melanie
    August 21, 2013

    I buy Charlie’s soap at our local fresh market. After tax I think it’s just under $15 for the 80 load tub and it lasts us at least 3 months of doing diapers every other night and regular laundry for two adults and one toddler.
    We just switched because it was easier than using different detergents and it has the added benefit that my husbands sensitive skin isn’t as irritated in the winter! Also, I used to think tide smelled so good on clean laundry and now the smell gives me a headache! I always have to rewash clothes that end up in the washer at gma and gpa’s house.
    Thanks Amalah, guru of all things parenting ;-)

    • Melissa@Mama Never Sleeps
      August 23, 2013

      I just made my own detergent and you are spot on. Charlie’s works SOOOO well, why did I think I would save any money making my own? I now have a so-so detergent (baking soda, Oxiclean, Dr. Bronner’s, washing soda) made that is so meh, to me. It’s great, sure, but not really for stains. Going back to Charlie’s. It’s cheap and it works beautifully!

  18. Autumn
    August 23, 2013

    Not to break up the Charlie’s love going on here, cause I’m thinking about getting some now.  We use rockin’ green for the cloth diapers and costco’s  free and clear for the rest of the stuff.  I’m rather sensitive to detergents (a night with my then boyfriend now Mr Autumn was memorable for not the right  reasons after I found out about his Tide usage), so I would say it’s smart even if you plan to use your home made detergent to have a back up on hand.  cause you really don’t want your baby’s but to be sad.  Cute newborn butts should not look like hamburger. (see my kid in pampers. . .)

  19. Julia
    August 23, 2013

    We use Flip plus insert for the second time, holds up very nicely and lasts, well, as I said, second kid, first set of diapers. As for the inserts, the ones that come with the covers work perfectly for us, from about 6m up until the end (organic cotton). before, we just used the really simple flat (california?) cotton cloths, because they are a bit thinner between the legs. there are offers for packs of ten from about 15Euro upwars, depending on quality, and there are some folding tricks floating around the internet, but just a rectangle works fine. over all, we spend about 150 Euros on everything.

  20. Robin
    August 31, 2013

    We used Country Save detergent for our Bum Genius diapers. I was able to find it at one of our local grocery stores. It was reasonably priced and I think I only used 1 box of it in the 2 years I cloth diapered because I only used about 1-3 tsp per load.

  21. dee
    September 7, 2013

    So…. like many other commenters, I use Charlie’s Soap for both my cloth diapers and my regular laundry. I have been using it pretty much exclusively for the last year. Yet…. I don’t get the hype. It is fine for cloth diapers (never had any stink issues, etc), but I am completely unimpressed about it’s performance on our clothing. It does not get even the smallest stains out. Am I the only one with this issue?

  22. Leslie
    September 26, 2013

    I’ve been using softbums echos and omnis with bamboo pods for 14 months and have only everwashed in tide free. I have since accumulated grovia all in ones, some amp hemp inserts, two dozen osocozy prefolds for camping and new born stage, a chelory all in two, some grovia all in twos, some flip covers, a couple wham fitteds, and have some swaddlebees nbs and grovia nbs on the way. I’ve always wanted to try soap nuts but am hesitant because I’ve never had to strip my diapers while using my tide free. Its so frustrating to read all this conflifting information, even company to company is conflicting. Grovia says to use full amounts of detergent and anything that is free and clear or made for cloth. Softbims reccomends purex free and 1/4-1/2 the amount of detergent. Bumgenius reccomends bleaching once a month. Oxi clean apparently ruins diapers but chemically peroxide based “bleaches” are non corrosive. So many people I know who are curious about diapers are completely turned off by the insane reccomendations. I wish there were a universal cloth diaper guru who would just kybosh all the conflict and say “listen, try what you like and if it works it works and if it doesn’t then try something different”. Lets not forget some companies are also trying to sell their own cleansers so their advice could and will be biased. Anyway rant over lol

  23. Brooke
    November 20, 2013

    Please don’t use Charlie’s! It is an industrial fabric scourer and often causes terrible skin burns in many kids. DIapers are just laundry; you can use any detergent you want as long as it doesn’t have synthetic fabric softeners (Tide with Downy, etc). Do a rinse to get the poopies off, and then just wash your diapers in any DETERGENT (not soap) you want using the correct amount of water and the appropriate amount of detergent for the load size (basically, whatever you would use for a load of regular laundry of the same size– because why would you use less detergent to wash feces-covered diapers than you would for clothing?). You can add an extra rinse if your dipes feel soapy or if your little one is sensitive to your detergent, but no need to rinse 4-5 times. If you have any questions or problems check out The Cloth Diaper Compendium on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/groups/monsterbottomsqa/) and we will help you make cloth diapering easy, safe, and CLEAN. :D

  24. Becca
    January 29, 2014

    Charlie’s soap contains extremely harsh ingredients that are known to cause chemical burns and “irreversible tissue damage” my lo had horrible blisters from it…. It is caustic and should never be reccomenxed for diapers. After realizing this info I dog a little digging and found out that there are hundreds of other moms who went through exactly what we did. It’s horrifying.
    It was developed as a cloth scouring agent, not a laundry detergent suitable for diapers. After trying 9 cloth diaper safe detergents and dealing with horrible smells, ammonia, rashes and constant stripping I switched to tide, I haven’t had a single smell, rash, ammonia issue, in a year. My diapers are like new and absorb like never before, I have an 18 month old heavy wetter with no leaks from my bg 4.0 and freetimes. I haven’t had to strip in a year, there is just no need. It’s amazing :-)

    • Isabel Kallman
      Isabel Kallman
      January 29, 2014

      Thank you for your comment Becca. I am happy to hear your little one is better. It would be great if you could kindly link to some of the information you found online re: the hundreds of other mothers who experienced what you did. Thank you!

  25. Jami
    December 29, 2014

    I have been cloth diapering my 1 year old from the time he was 2 months old.  I started off using the homemade “detergent” of borax, washing soda and oxi clean until my baby started getting these terrible burn like rashes and my diapers reeked of ammonia the instant they got wet.

    After doing some research I found the Fluff Love and CD Science Facebook page and the admins helped me trouble shoot my wash routine to get me on track for a problem free cloth diapering experience.    

    Depending on your washing machine, water hardness level and detergent preference (homemade and Charlie’s are definite no-no’s no matter what) everyone will probably have a slightly different wash routine.  Right now I use Tide powder in my HE top loader, wash 2-3 times a week and do 2 cycles. If anyone is having rash/stink issues, I highly recommend checking out the group.  Lots of documents explaining why (scientifically) why some detergents work and why others don’t.  It’s very informative and so very, very helpful! 

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