cloth diapering is a huge part of our life. we try as much as we can to be sustainable, and when i think about how much money we are saving and how much of a positive impact we are making on the planet with cloth diapering, i feel more and more secure about our decision to cloth diaper.

my journey in cloth diapering started five years ago when oliver was born. i wasn’t fully committed at first because i didn’t have much knowledge of it-and we had a ton of diapers to go through from the baby shower-but after a few months, i hopped on board and we used gdiapers and alvas exclusively. i even made diaper inserts for them! so when we found out we were pregnant with joseph, i went a little cloth diaper crazy and bought a ton of cloth diapers.

we started out with gdiapers again because they worked so well with oliver. but then i hated them. i could never get a good fit on joseph and he always peed right out the side of the diaper, no matter what. then we tried the econobum prefolds and covers and while they worked well, i didn’t like how bulky they were. i finally decided that we needed to get alvas. i really loved the few i had with oliver, but because you need a full stash, it was too expensive at the time to attain that amount. this time i was able to get what we needed, plus some bamboo fitteds for overnight use with flip covers, since joseph was a heavy wetter. we started out with 15, but since then our stash has grown to 26, not including fitteds, swim diapers, one bum genius, and two other brands.

pocket diapers, specifically alvas, are our absolute favorite. they’re incredibly easy to use, affordable, they don’t take forever to dry (like AIO’s) and come in very fun and cute prints. because they’re affordable, it’s really easy to get a good stash going, even if you’re buying just a few at a time. if you know you plan to cloth diaper, i suggest stocking up over the course of your pregnancy so when baby comes you have a real good stash. and ask for them on your registry!
​if you’re a seasoned cloth diaperer, it’s not hard to get back into the swing of things. but if you’re new to cloth diapering, there will be some trial and error as well as figuring out the best routine for you. even with all of the information out there, it can get a bit overwhelming for newbie fluffers. i am no pro at cloth diapering, but i have found a routine (and some tips) that works for me that i would love to share with you guys.
  • get a good stash going. you can do that by purchasing all at once, buying throughout your pregnancy, or registering for them for your baby shower. don’t be afraid of second-hand, either; it’s an inexpensive way to add to a stash. a good stash is between 15-24 diapers, on the higher end with a newborn. that is with a wash schedule of every other to every two days, depending on baby’s age.
  • if you’re going to do cloth wipes as well, alva has some great bamboo ones that are so soft! we also use bumkins. you can use just water in a spray bottle or peri bottle (the kind they send home with you from the hospital) or you can make a wipe solution. there are lots of diy recipes on pinterest, but we love wee essentials on etsy.
  • if you have some cloth diapering friends, ask them what their fave cloth brands and types are and why. see what their routine is and compare to what you feel might work for you (ie: how many kids are in cloth, how often they wash, etc.).
  • join your local cloth diapering group(s) on facebook. there are always great resources and info in there and even mama’s who might let you try out their cloth to see if you like it. b/s/t groups are great, too-bonus if they’re local!
  • figure out how you want to store your clean cloth, as well as the soiled cloth. we keep our cloth diapers on an ikea raskog cart in the boys’ room, but plan to move them to a wall shelf soon, since the baby loves to pull everything out of the cart! the soiled ones we keep in a huge hanging wet bag, but some people use a pail with a liner. i prefer the wet bag for aesthetics, but would definitely use a pail and liner if we had a laundry room accessible from inside the house.
  • invest in a diaper sprayer! you wont need one until baby starts solids, but my routine of taking the poopy diapers outside and hosing them off is becoming quite inconvenient. you’ll need one for all of those sticky solid food poo’s that don’t just flop off into the toilet. you will need one, i promise.
  • get cloth diaper safe diaper cream. coconut oil is what we use, but burt’s bees multi-purpose ointment (not their diaper rash cream) is safe as well as these other brands.
  • you will need cloth diaper safe laundry soap. we use tide original scent powder, but there are other brands out there that work just fine. you want to stay away from optical brighteners and fabric softeners. for a full list of detergents, go here.
  • it is suggested to have a washing machine that will get your cloth diapers clean without you having to do (hardly) any prep work to achieve that. it should have a center post agitator, a large enough tub to accommodate your stash, and fill with a lot of water. ‘he’ machines are fine, as long as you can select how much water fills the tub. we had a washer with no agitator and ‘sensed’ the load size and gave ‘just enough’ water to wash our items. we had so much build-up and had to go out and buy an old washer and then strip the heck out of the diapers to get them where they needed to be. there is nothing worse than ammonia smell in diapers, as well as ammonia burns on your baby’s sweet skin!
  • figure out a wash routine. depending on how many diapers you have in your stash, you should be washing every other day, every two days, or every three days-but definitely do not go longer than three days before washing. we wash every other day, or every two days, depending on how much time we have and what’s going on. we can go three days between washes, but i prefer not to, as we get down to the last few and i have to throw everything in the dryer to speed up the drying process. and the dryer is fine on occasion, but too much dryer use with pul can break it down sooner. hang dry is best, whether inside or out.
  • have fun! we buy fun and nerdy prints that get us excited about cloth diapering. alva has tons of prints that are incredibly adorable. our favorites are these, these, and we already have this one!
those tips should help you get started in your very own cloth diapering journey. here are some tips with washing, prepping/stripping, and the general ‘how to’ cloth diaper. keep in mind that this is my routine and what works for my family. adjust how you see fit! these instructions can work for pocket diapers or prefolds and flats with diaper covers. if you use AIO’s, there is no need to separate inserts, as the inserts are already sewn in. to see different type of cloth diapers, check out the humbled homemaker!
if you would like to print out these instructions and hang them up in your laundry room and cloth diapering station, feel free to save the image and print. i won’t be a copyright nazi or anything, but i do ask that if you share these, to please credit me and tag me wherever possible. thank you!
​if you plan to hang dry everything, or even just the covers, invest in a good drying rack and/or a clothesline. i’m saving up for an umbrella clothesline!
​i gifted these printables to my sis-in-law with some cloth diapers from alva. they look great in frames in your laundry room and diapering stations. you can easily make your own using picmonkey! now, for some cute fluff spam. from alva, of course! (they’re seriously my fave!!!)
​if you have any tips yourself, or a routine that has worked for you, please share with us below! link your blog posts, forums, or simply just write it out. happy cloth diapering!

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