Cloth diapering update | The Life of K: Cloth diapering update

Friday, April 20, 2012

Cloth diapering update

In honour of Real Diaper Week, April 16-21st, 2012, I decided to get off my butt and put together a post about my cloth diapering journey. It is absolutely a journey and not a destination.

Waaaay back in May, wow almost a year ago, we decided to give cloth diapering a try. I started researching and got overwhelmed. You would too; the language alone is baffling. Eventually I found enough information in plain English to explain the different types of diapers and some pros and cons to each type. I felt informed enough to set foot in a baby store.

We were able to do a two-week trial from a local shop and tried out the different diapers. If you're able to do this, I highly recommend it. You might think you're in love with one type of diaper only to find it doesn't fit your baby at all.

After the trial, we chose to go with prefolds and covers. Prefolds are rectangular pieces of layered cotton that get folded onto baby and snappied (here's some language for you: new age diaper pins are clever things called snappis that grab onto the fabric holding it in place) and then a cover goes on top. We chose these because they're cheap, you can still get fun covers, they aren't bulky and the diapers dry quickly.

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What we didn't consider was what would happen when Baby K got a bit bigger. I knew eventually we'd have to get bigger diapers (both prefolds and covers) but what I didn't consider was how hard it was going to be getting a diaper snappied on a squirmy baby and then having to put a cover on too. I needed at least 3 hands for the entire maneuver. Every diaper change.

I bought a pocket diaper for cheap and liked how easy it was. Right, the lingo again. A pocket diaper is a waterproof cover lined with fleece or something else soft, that has a pocket where you put in an insert to add absorbancy. Once the insert is stuffed in the pocket, putting the diaper on is the same as putting on a disposable. Much easier.

I asked some friends what brand of pocket diaper they used and liked and settled on HipKiddo, a company in BC, and bought a rainbow of diapers.

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Things that HipKiddo diapers have going for them: they're cheap and they have hip snaps. With a skinny baby the hip snaps help the diaper stay on properly.

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Over time I tried some other brands and types but found I really like my HipKiddos. I prefer having all the same kind but I know a lot of people like a variety.

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Diapers aren't the only part of cloth diapering though. We also have wet bags, which are waterproof bags, to hold the dirty diapers. I have two that I use at home and two smaller ones for the diaper bag. I hang a big one in Baby K's room and it holds 10-12 diapers and gets washed with the diapers. I have two so I'll have one to use when the other is in the wash. Same reason I have two little bags. They hold 3-4 diapers and end up with dirty clothes in them often too.

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Ah the wash. Washing cloth diapers isn't as easy as throwing them in with your regular laundry, it's more complicated than that. Figuring out a wash routine can be time consuming and frustrating and will depend on so many things. Just quickly, our wash routine looks like this: a cold rinse cycle, a hot wash cycle with extra water and detergent, and an extra rinse at the end. We use a natural laundry detergent. Most detergents have things in them that can irritate baby's skin so a natural detergent is good to use, but it's not necessary.

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I hang the diapers to dry and will put them outside in the summer because the sun is so great at getting them bright white again. Stains happen and they don't change how the diaper works but having clean looking diapers is nice.

We keep the clean diapers stuffed and lined in a bin in the change table and the wet bag hangs on the dresser beside the change table.

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That's pretty much the story so far. Baby K has been in cloth for almost a year and we've been happy with it overall. Sure there have been some frustrations - some leaks and rashes and tweaking the wash routine - but like I said, it's a journey. One that I'm happy to be on.

So tell me, do you use cloth diapers on your little one? Is there anything I didn't cover that you're curious about?

{Here is my post from last May when we were just starting with cloth diapers.}


  1. I used them for awhile with Karington but ended up finding the washing routine too time consuming and I gave up!

  2. This is SO MUCH information and it IS baffling language! I am glad my local shop does a little seminar, and I went TWICE! I ended up with sizeable diapers that require a cover, and I'm pretty happy overall. I had two pockey AIOs, and didn't like laundering them, but this was back in the BF poop days, and I might feel differently now. Thanks for all the great info (and ADORABLE photos) on the types you prefer. Very handy!