In Part One of my cloth diapering posts, I talked about the way that I do cloth diapers and the supplies you need to do it that way. Now, let's talk about the how's.
1) How do you start?
First you have to prepare your diapers. If you buy them new, you will need to wash and dry them three or four times before you use them. This helps fluff them up, gets rid of chemicals and oils, and makes them absorbent.
This is what the prefold diapers look like when you first get them.
They are very big and very flat. However, after you wash and dry them about four times...
...they are much smaller and much thicker. It's pretty fun. I'm always amazed at the difference.
2) How do you do it?
Here's a break down of what our day looks like.
She sleeps in a fitted diaper with a cover over it. She wears prefolds and covers the rest of the day. When we change her diaper, if she was just wet, the prefold goes into the diaper pail, and the cover she was wearing is hung on a 3M hook we stuck to the side of her changing table. The cover that was on the hook is now the one she will wear, along with a new prefold. If one of her covers gets dirty, it goes in the pail too, but usually, they don't.
If she was dirty, I take the diaper to my bathroom, put on my rubber gloves, and use my diaper sprayer to clean it off. I put the now very wet diaper on my old dustpan that I keep in there for just this reason, and take it back to the diaper pail. This is my least favorite part of cloth diapering, but I just remind myself that it takes no more than 90 seconds to do the whole thing.
At the end of the day, we put her back into a fitted diaper with a cover.
3) How do you wash them?
(NOTE: I have a regular top-loading machine. Front-loaders have different instructions.)
I set the washer for a rinse cycle with warm water.
Before bed, Brian goes down and puts detergent in the washer. We use regular, plain Tide powder. It works great. (We were using my homemade detergent, and it worked for a while, but as she has gotten older, we needed to switch to something a little stronger.) We use one heaping Tablespoon.
He sets the washer to a hot wash with an extra rinse cycle.
In the morning, before he leaves for work, Brian goes down and hangs the clean diapers on the drying rack to dry for a day. (We used to just put them in the dryer, but we are trying to save money and energy by hanging them dry first.) He puts the dry diapers that were on the rack from the previous day in the dryer for a ten minute fluff cycle.
Sometime during the day, I get the fluffy diapers out of the dryer, fold them, and put them away.
Sometimes, if they get a stain on them, I will bring the drying rack outside and sun my diapers. By the end of the day, they are good as new!
See, it's not that hard! We don't even think about it anymore! Each of those steps takes about 1-3 minutes. No more time than it would take if you added up all the trips to the store, emptying the Diaper Genie, and restocking disposable diapers.
So those are the how's. That's really all there is to it. After a week or two of doing it, it becomes second nature just like anything else. If you have any questions about this stuff, feel free to post comments and I will answer to the best of my abilities.
Don't forget that my friend My friend Lane Weichman is an Imagine Diapers advocate, so y'all can get some good deals and a flat shipping rate of $4! Plus, you are supporting her as a work-at-home-mom, and I will get a small percentage of the sales.
Click here to go to Lane's Facebook page where you can get more information, and she can help you find what you are looking for. Make sure to tell her you came from my blog!
Or you can order from Amazon. I put up a box on the sidebar with some of the items I use.
Click here for Part 1 of this series, where we talk about basic supplies you need and reasons for cloth diapering.
Click here for Part 3, where we will finish talking about cloth diapers with some FAQ's.