I love reusable products.
Have you seen the people who fit a whole year's waste into a mason jar? Talk about serious goals. I love making small swaps to reduce our household waste.

This post contains affiliate links. This means if you click on a link and make a purchase, I receive a small commission for my referral, at no extra cost to you. As always, I would never recommend something I would not use myself! Thank you so much for supporting my blog!

Reusables make AMAZING gifts because they are something that people sometimes struggle to buy themselves (upfront investment), but will be used all year long... for years and years!

Here's a list of my favorite green items:

Silicone Straws: Unlike their hard, stainless steel counterpart, silicone straws are soft and safe for little (and big!) teeth. They're bendy, easy to clean, and completely safe to chew on! These are one of my favorite "green" switches.

Wool Dryer Balls: I haven't used dryer sheets in years. I actually haven't used anything. BUT dryer balls are amazing for softening up clothes and speeding dry time, which in turn saves energy. I would LOVE to receive these. It's one thing you can't have too many of!

Wetbags: Not just for cloth diapers! Wetbags are awesome for storing dirty clothes, wet bathing suits, used kitchen towels...the possibilities are endless, really. There's even small, food safe varieties that are amazing alternatives to ziploc bags!

Reusable Grocery Bags: We do most of our shopping at Aldi, so plastic bags are out for this household. Many states are even putting a ban on grocery bags, which I think is amazing. Reusable grocery bags hold so much more, and they can even double as a gift bag!

Unpaper Towels: Another favorite switch for me was going to real towels in the kitchen instead of paper towels. I'm going to be real honest and say it was actually the wanna-be chef in me watching the Food Network that made me switch to using real towels while cooking. Whatever works, right? You can get fancy and buy unpaper towels, decorate your own flour sacks, or just go for the fancy ones they have at Target!

Cloth Wipes: Another, whether-you-cloth-diaper-or-not item. Cloth wipes are amazing for wiping up messes and little faces. My favorites are Grovia or Bumgenius. I love the terry fabric because it's super grabby, but still soft.

Cloth Diapers: I put this WAY down the list but... it probably would be my number one gift for myself. I've been known to tell my husband to skip the flowers on special occasions and use it to buy a new diaper instead. Any cloth diaper mama would LOVE to receive a new diaper "for her baby."

Menstrual Cup: Okay, maybe I'm getting into crazy-land here, but I definitely feel like the biggest inhibitor of cup converts is the initial price. They would make a great gift for someone who has been wanting to make the switch. Here is the deal though: they are not one-size-fits-all. It would be a safe bet to go for a medium height and firmness, like a Lena or Ruby Cup. Check out Put A Cup In It for more information on buying a good cup for the "average" woman. And for the love of all things, DO NOT buy a Diva cup. They are one of the worst cups for beginners, being too hard and too tall for the average. I am partial to Ruby myself. They donate one cup for every one bought.

Cloth Pads: Let me tell you how long it took me to buy cloth pads... oh wait, I NEVER actually did. I was finally sent some from a certain company I adore. It's one of those things that you want, but you just cannot suck up to buy for yourself!


I could probably title this "Kaitlin's Gift Guide" because I would love any of these gifts!
Are you shopping green this year?  What are your favorite reusables?

Don't forget to follow me on Instagram and Pinterest for more cloth diaper tips and reviews!

For my cloth diapering system, check out my complete Guide to Cloth Diapering




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I'm all about keeping it real.

Cloth is amazing, but it does have it's downsides.

I did a post about why I'm obsessed with FST, and why they are my insert of choice.
But they are not perfect inserts, by far.

This post may contain affiliate links. This means if you click on a link and make a purchase, I receive a small commission for my referral, at no extra cost to you. I'm saving up to buy myself a cup of coffee so I can keep this thing going. As always, I would never recommend something I don't stand behind and use myself!

I wanted to share three areas they kind of suck at:
  
1. They need to be folded. For me, this ain't no thang. I love folding laundry, and how easy FST are to wash without issues is totally worth the time it takes to fold. I could pad-fold in my sleep.
And some days, I actually think I do.


2. They are linty. Linty, linty, linty.
The package may say "lint-free" but that is a LIE.
The first time you wash them, DO NOT wash them with your diapers, especially anything fleece-y that will act as a lint magnet.
After they've been washed the first couple of times, the lint will slow, but my favorite dark covers still collect it, after eternity.
Sad face.

3. They are not the most soft insert on the block.
They're miles ahead of disposable diapers, but compared to some of those soft, luxurious prefolds and inserts, these guys are scraping by.
Or maybe scratching.
Okay, they're really not that bad, but they are more rough than your average cloth diaper.

4. They aren't the most trim insert, either.
I see a lot of people say they like them because of how trim they are. but in my opinion, they're not. They fold up more thin than a flat, more than your most plush prefold, but I would never call them trim.
Hemp is trim.
Run-of- the mill inserts are trim.
Flour sack towels? They're big boned.


I also believe that it is the cover/shell that makes the trimness of the diaper.
It doesn't matter what you stuff in your Button's Diaper, it's going to be trim.
And that's why I'm crazy in love with Buttons:



Best Bottom and Lalabye Baby covers also meet my trimness standards.


Cloth diapering as a whole is a very preferential experience.
Most people either LOVE or hate flour sack towels as inserts.
What side are you on?

Don't forget to follow me on Instagram and Pinterest for more cloth diaper tips and reviews!

For my cloth diapering system, check out my complete Guide to Cloth Diapering 


Shop Diaper Junction:
If you have been following me for any amount of time, you know that I have crazy mad love for flour sack towels as diaper inserts. I started using them shortly after I started cloth diapering (in 2015) and I am obsessed with them, still. I live, breathe, and preach this diaper system.


This post may contain affiliate links. This means if you click on a link and make a purchase, I receive a small commission for my referral, at no extra cost to you. I'm saving up to buy myself a cup of coffee so I can keep this thing going. As always, I would never recommend something I don't stand behind and use myself!

Seven reasons why:

7. They can be conveniently bought at Walmart or Target, or most big box stores with a kitchen towel department. This was huge for me when I was building my stash on a budget, because I'd throw in a package every time I went shopping.

6. They're kind of great for everything- clean ups, as a changing mat, snot noses, as a nursing cover, their actual use as a kitchen towel, and I've even used one when I've forgotten my son's swaddle blanket (that he needs to sleep). It's a lifesaver to keep in my diaper bag!

5. They are so versatile as a diaper. Whether you want to do a quick pad-fold or get fancy with a Snappi, these guys are down for whatever.
You can use them with a pocket diaper, cover, with wool, or whatever diaper system you choose.


4. They are a natural fiber. Being 100% cotton, the boast all the advantages of natural fiber diapers: they don't harbor stink, don't hold unto diaper creams, are super absorbent, and don't lend compression leaks.


3. They cost a freakin' dollar. Actually, Walmart sells them 10/$7.88, so it's less than a dollar. That's a good deal for a diaper insert. I've been using the same ones for two kids, for over two years and they haven't shown any wear yet.
They are perfect for cloth diapering on the cheap (like for less than $200)

2. They dry quickly. They are a single layer of fabric when unfolded, so they dry crazy fast. Thirty minutes in the dryer, and the same amount of time out on a clothesline. Seriously! They save energy and so much time. This has been one of the biggest draws for me, and what prevents me from going into other inserts. I don't like having to run a long, or more than one, dryer cycle.

1. They wash like a dream. Since they open up to just one thin layer of cotton, they wash CLEAN, even if you haven't perfected your wash routine yet. This makes them AMAZING for hand washing! No washer, no problem!
Actually, I think it's pretty bad-a$$ to be so dedicated to cloth you will wash by hand! If you do, flour sacks are the way to go!


I pad-fold and keep them in the drawer ready to lay in my covers.
Have you tried FST in your diapers yet? What are your thoughts?


Don't forget to follow me on Instagram and Pinterest for more cloth diaper tips and reviews!

For all the deets on my cloth diapering system, check out my complete Guide to Cloth Diapering


 
Everyone knows Snappi Baby, right?

Back in the pre-modern cloth diapering era, pins were used to fasten cloth diaper flats.
There are actually still pins out there that you can use with flats, but if you're looking to make this an easy, modernized process, Snappi is the way to go.

This post is sponsored by Snappi Baby. As always, all opinions expressed are my own. This post contains affiliate links. This means if you click through and make a purchase, I receive a small commission for my referral, at no extra charge to you. I only share products I love and use myself!

The Snappi is made from a non-toxic, latex-free material.
They stretch over and grab the fabric with their teeth to hold the flat (or prefold, or fitted) diaper securely closed, like so:

1. Hook on one side.

2. Pull across and hook on the opposite side:

3. Pull bottom tab down and hook on the bottom:

The perfect closure can be done swiftly and with one hand.

I absolutely love Snappis, and it is one of the few "extra" cloth diapering products I recommend (if you've read my blog post on what you really need for cloth diapering).

Though I  am a hard-core pad-folder, I love doing flat folds occasionally with a Snappi so my boys can run around without a cover to air out, or for extra diaper coverage when we run out.


I'll be honest, when I first heard Snappi was releasing a size 2 of their beloved diaper fastener, I thought 'I don't need that'.

Big babies are not made in this family. My toddler is small, and even though the original Snappi may be getting a little tight to use for him, I imagined the size 2 would be this monster that wrapped around his hips.

I was so wrong.

When they are compared un-stretched, there is actually a very slight size difference between them:


But when it is put on, that little extra goes a long way in getting a nice, snug hold without having to stretch so tightly.

Size 2 on the toddler (24 months, 27 lbs):

Size 2 on the baby (9 months, 19ish lbs):


Side note: I took photos of the size 1 on each kid for comparison, but there is very little difference in the visual, so I am sparing the extra images.

I really love this size difference, I think it was a good move on their part to come out with this larger size.
If this was on the market at the time of my original purchase, I probably would have skipped the original size 1 and went straight for the toddler size 2.

Have you tried Snappis yet? Curious about the new size 2?

You can purchase Snappis in both sizes in packs of three or five from amazon.com, snappibaby.com, or Diaper Junction.

OR you could possibly win one from me!

Snappi Baby sent me two packs (of five) of the size 2 Snappis to give away to two separate winners.



Entering is super easy- enter your email and comment with what kind of insert you would use your Snappi with:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


*Open to residents of the contiguous United States. Giveaway ends 9/11/17. Winners must respond within 24 hours to claim prize.*

Don't forget to follow me on Instagram and Pinterest for cloth diapering tips, reviews, and giveaways. And lots of fluff bums.

Shop Diaper Junction:
I have already written a post about traveling with cloth diapers, but I wanted to include in my guide what I do when I just run out for the day... plus what I use for a diaper bag.


This post may contain affiliate links. This means if you click on a link and make a purchase, I receive a small commission for my referral, at no extra cost to you. I'm saving up to buy myself a cup of coffee so I can keep this thing going. As always, I would never recommend something I don't stand behind and use myself!


Now let's just put this out there, I don't leave my house, like, ever.
It's not something I enjoy, at all. But there are things that force you out, like running out of food.

I really like to cloth diaper even when running out, because every time I do, that's two less disposables wasted.
I will admit, I do use disposables occasionally when we go out. I'm a huge advocate of cloth doesn't have to be all or nothing.
Anytime we are driving an hour or more, I generally will use disposable because they just hold more, longer without leaking.

Otherwise, depending on where we're going, I pack fluff.

Unless we are going straight to Grandma's,  I put a more absorbent insert in the diaper.
I like my Buttons cotton hemp inserts, my Thirsties hemp used as a booster, or heck, even a cloth wipe to help absorb extra without over-fluffing their bum.
This will get me longer without having to change any diapers when we're out. I'm not a fan of that, and avoid when possible.

If we're out more than a few hours, I pack a couple clean diapers and a travel wetbag in our "diaper bag" - this cute cheap guy I bought off of Amazon (I love using a backpack because it leaves my hands free).

(Pretend there's a nice photo of it here. I'm a busy mom, guys. Sometimes I don't achieve all my goals)

If I'm going for a long day, I pack a second bag of just diapers.
This is the downside of cloth: it's not super compact.
(But all-in-two diapers definitely take up less space than any other kinds.)

If baby needs a change, I put on a clean diaper, seal the dirty in the wetbag, and I'm set to keep going.

If it's poop, I plop it in the toilet, if that's a possibility.
If it's not possible, I close up the diaper on itself like this and deal with it when I get home:


This is also a great way to store dirty diapers if you forgot your wetbag. I've done it with wet diapers when I've forgotten mine.

If your diaper doesn't have cross snaps, buy a different brand.

Just kidding.

But they are super helpful.

If you don't have a wetbag, a grocery or ziploc bag will do the job.

Though I swear to you, a good wetbag will allow even your poopy diaper to go incognito in your bag. Seriously, been there.

Cloth diapering when out is really not any harder than disposables, and it's just like at home.
The only downsides of cloth over disposables when you're out is:
1. they do not hold as much a disposable, and
2. they take up more space.

So,
1. use a more absorbent insert
and,
2. well, I've seen the diaper bags out there, they're huge, so I really don't think this will be an issue for most people. Extras can always be stashed in the car, too.

NEXT
I will be sharing my cloth diaper storage cover covers, inserts, and accessories. 
Let me tell you a little love story.

Once upon a time, in a little town in the Midwest, a mama was seeking the perfect nighttime cloth diapering routine. This mom was tired and busy, with two little ones under two, who woke her every day in their soaked diapers, which she rushed to change before they leaked all over the entire house, basically.

Disposables were the easiest solution. Some days, she wondered if she'd ever find an easy, effective nighttime cloth diaper.

One day, an adorable print caught her eye on Instagram. "Ohh new prints!" she exclaimed. "I have to try these!"

You see, this mom also loves to take pictures of her kids fluff bums, and share and promote cloth diapers on the internet. This is a true story, FYI.
So this mom reached out to the company and talked to a very nice lady named Melissa (hi, Melissa!). When Melissa asked her what kind of insert she would like to try with this diaper, the mom responded with "nighttime!" on a whim.

Then the rest was history.


 Mother ease sent me this diaper to help promote their new (adorable) Fashionables print line. All expressed opinions are my own.

Mother ease sent me the Perfect Size Wizard Duo (their all-in-two diaper) with a Night Time insert.
This truly is a wonderful and unique design that I am clearly very much in love with, so I wanted to share all the deets. 


First Impressions: 

When it arrived in the mail, I was immediately impressed.

The insert for this diaper is unlike any I have seen:

It is very thick, it's kind of shaped like a fitted, but is actually an all-in-two that snaps into the cover, and the outside is akin to athletic wicking jersey. GENIUS for a stay-dry diaper.
The cover itself is an adorable detailed print, single-layer PUL, with soft, mesh trim.
The hip snaps are really genius, too. You can't even tell it has them from the front, but it does. It's a third snap along the waist.


I panicked a little when I saw the lack of rise snaps. I never in my life have seen a diaper without. 'My babies thighs are tiny!'- said the little voice in my head. The elastics don't seem to have a ton a stretch like a lot of the diapers I have. These fears were quickly squashed once the diaper was on.

I put it right into the wash, hung the cover to dry, and tossed the insert in the dryer for what I thought would be partial dry. It was completely dry in one cycle.
Have I mentioned this is the thickest insert I've ever handled
My heart rate went up a little. 
This is too good to be true.

Features:

When it was time for bed, I just had to put it together.
It's an all-in-two, like I mentioned, so the insert snaps right into the cover.
There's two snaps in the front (one on each side), four in the back.

And then these extra snaps, which I realized are for snapping the insert down in front if you need to (I didn't).
(You could even slip a booster in between the insert and cover if you need extra absorbency.)

FRONT SNAPS

Then it just snaps right on like an all-in-one. Easy.

I was so impressed with the fit, which initially had me nervous. It fit like a dream. This is the medium duo (for 18-27lbs) with the one-size night time insert, on Daxton (8 months old) who's between 18-20 lbs:


As you can see, he will be able to stick out this size for awhile. We are only going out on the waist snap on one side. 


The elastics fit nicely without being tight, with the bonus of having a belly elastic. I'm a BIG fan of belly elastics on diaper covers.

Then there's the trim, trim, trim butt:

Look at that print detail (heart eyes)

I was still skeptical at this point. Is this single insert going to last all night? 

I had a (disposable) diaper on stand-by in case I needed to change in the night.
I didn't.

When we woke up in the morning, I took my dear sweet time getting us out of bed, getting myself dressed and awake before I went and changed my happy, little guy.

It was just over eleven hours in the diaper before I changed him.
The insert wasn't even soaked through. There was a good few inches in the back that were still completely dry.

It's an easy-on, easy-off diaper. Unlike my other (failed) nighttime diaper attempts, which were bulky BULKY and a pain to fold, pin, take off, this is SO simple.
You can just change out the insert and use the cover again the next night.

Next up, toddler test time.
Graham is a tiny toddler, (23 months old) on the high end of weight range for this size cover (probably close to 27 pounds now).

The medium cover fit Graham great, he successfully wore it for twelve hours last night.
The insert was completely saturated for him with no leaks.
Wait, let me say that a little louder, NO LEAKS!

 

Overview: 
The Wizard Duo with the Night Time insert is a great option for a simple, absorbent nighttime diaper.

Pros:
  • Super thirsty insert: boasts 425-500ml, or up to 12 hours of absorbency. 
  • Trim fit
  • Simple design is so easy to use. Snaps on as easy an all-in-one.
  • Full coverage with extra fold-down absorbency in front for belly sleepers
  • Fast-drying insert
  • Sizes: comes in small, medium, large and OS cover options
Cons:
  • The insert is a synthetic material, which not all parents are fond of
  • Due to the snaps, the cover can only be used with Duo inserts. As a minimalist mom, I prefer covers to be multi-functioning
  • Cost: At $22 USD for the insert, and $16-$20 for the covers, it's not a super affordable option, especially between two kids, but are any nighttime diapers? (Pssst... coupon code at bottom of post)

Their new line of prints is so cute, I had a tough time even deciding which ONE I wanted. Now I need to choose another to order for Graham to use. I'm definitely a fan of nature prints!



Now let me take a moment to gush a little about this company.
Mother ease is a Canadian company created by a stay-at-home-mom, Erika. They've been around since 1991. So have I, actually.

They are an AMAZING cloth diaper resource, with tons of information on their site, a blog, and the encouragement to reach out directly with any questions. They even have a live chat available during regular business hours!

Their cloth diapers come with a crazy warranty, unmatched by any I've ever seen (from their site): 
"Lifetime Warranty on our Snaps + Elastics
1 Year Warranty on our Poly Urethane Laminate (PUL)
1 Year Warranty on our diapers against defects in materials and workmanship
6 Month Warranty on our diaper covers against defects in materials and workmanship"



I am SO happy I ventured into testing Mother ease. They are best known for their amazing fitteds, but this nighttime diaper is absolutely love for my family. They have gained a loyal customer in me. I am so unbelievably glad to ditch the nightly disposables once and for all!

Shop at Motherease (no affiliate).


Don't forget to follow me on Instagram and Pinterest for more cloth diaper tips and reviews!

For my cloth diapering system, check out my complete Guide to Cloth Diapering
I'll admit, using cloth wipes is one area of cloth diapering that I get really lazy about.

It's a little extra work, depending on how complicated you want to make it.
But really, if you're using cloth diapers, you may as well use cloth wipes. They are so easy!


This post may contain affiliate links. This means if you click on a link and make a purchase, I receive a small commission for my referral, at no extra cost to you. I'm saving up to buy myself a cup of coffee so I can keep this thing going. As always, I would never recommend something I don't stand behind and use myself!

I started going through a sickening amount of disposable wipes.
Like, we were flying through boxes.

Okay, maybe that's a little exaggeration, but it's really something to think about, when you see a whole box of wipes and realize, this is how much waste I'm creating.

When there's an easy alternative to something ending up in a landfill, not to mention literally throwing my money in the garbage, I like to take it.

Then there's the other benefits of cloth wipes, like;

They're softer,
They clean up better,
They don't contain ingredients I can't even pronounce,
They aren't as cold as the shady side of an iceberg.

Basically, it's like a spa day for your baby's bottom.

There was once upon a time where I used to make up some wipe concoction with filtered water, Castile soap, and coconut oil
But now, I keep it super simple: I wet them with warm water as needed.

That's it.
Wet with warm water, wipe baby, toss into the diaper pail with the dirty diaper.

There are all kinds of DIY cloth wipe solutions out there- along with ways to store them in spray bottles, squirt bottles, pre-saturating the wipes, ect..., but I'm all about simple.
And water is all that they really need.

Grovia wipes are my favorite, hands down. I highly recommend any kind of terry wipe.
A lot of people are fine with flannel, like Bumgenius, and Buttons wipes, but I just prefer Grovia for messes.


I've also used baby wash cloths, and cut up receiving blankets, per other's recommendations, but honestly if you can swing it for a pack of real cloth wipes- do it.
I found baby wash cloths too thin, and the receiving blankets have no traction, so they don't do so well in cleaning up the mess.
The Grovia wipes are thick + soft and get the job done with less.

There is one little cloth wipe tip I picked up from another mom, though:

When your baby poops, use toilet paper to get the initial bulk off so you don't need to worry about having to rinse/spray your wipes off or about getting poop in your washing machine.
The toilet paper can be flushed with the poop, or thrown away with the liner. (psstt...have you made fleece liners yet?)

Then the cloth wipe will get the rest of the nasty off, real good.

Do you have any cloth wipe recommendations? I know there are tons of awesome WAHM moms who make them. I think I may be in the market for some more, if only out of curiosity of what else is out there.

NEXT

I will be going over cloth diapering on the GO. I know I kind of already covered this in my Traveling With Cloth Diapers post, but more specifically, I will be talking about the day trips and grocery store runs.

Don't forget to follow me on Instagram and Pinterest for more cloth diaper tips and reviews!

For my cloth diapering system, check out my complete Guide to Cloth Diapering

Shop Diaper Junction:
The bomb post.


I feel the need to write a huge disclaimer at the top of this post. For some reason, nothing polarizes people more than the topic of washing poopy linens. All recommendations here are my own, what I stand behind, and has worked for my own family with zero issues.


This post may contain affiliate links. This means if you click on a link and make a purchase, I receive a small commission for my referral, at no extra cost to you. I'm saving up to buy myself a cup of coffee so I can keep this thing going. As always, I would never recommend something I don't stand behind and use myself!

So, first let's talk about your diapers. Your kids poop in them, and even though you're either flushing, tossing, or rinsing the poop away, that residual stuff that stays on them is still nasty. It's poop. Plus, these things are saturated with pee. They are the most heavily soiled laundry you will ever clean in your machine (I hope).

Okay, now that we've established soiled cloth diapers are dirty-dirty, let's talk detergent.

You need something that actually says "detergent". In the US, there are regulations on the word "detergent". If it says the word "soap" it's not detergent, it's soap. A lot of "detergents" specifically formulated for cloth diapers are just baking soda and washing soda. They are weak, at best, and will not carry the punch needed to clean your dirty, disgusting diapers.

Chances are, whatever you use on your regular laundry is safe and effective for cleaning your cloth diapers. As long as it does not contain fabric softeners or optical brighteners. DO NOT use any fabric softeners with your cloth diapers. You will need to strip them because they will stop absorbing.

I personally use Seventh Generation Ultra Power Plus (the citrus scent, not free and clear) liquid laundry detergent for my diapers. It's what I use for all my clothes, it's plant-based, but it's one of the strongest non-synthetic, and it doesn't make my kids' skin break out. Plus Target subscription services is amazing.


Between washing, I have an open garbage can with a Planet Wise pail liner in my laundry room. I (or a lot of times, my toddler) just toss dirty diapers in there after every change.
Leaving it open allows for airflow, which actually reduces stink. You can't smell the diapers unless you stick your head in there, and that'd be just plain weird.


When it's time to wash, the basic wash routine looks like this:

Quick wash (with a little detergent)
Long, heavy wash on hot/warm (with a lot of detergent (whatever is recommended for a heavily soiled load*))

It's seriously that simple.

There's a few important notes I would like to make:

1. READ YOUR WASHER'S MANUAL. I know, groan, grumble, eye-roll. But your manual will most likely give the most accurate usage instructions. It will tell you how full the washer should be with laundry. Hint- most are most effective at at least 1/2 of the way full.

2. If you have hard water, like I do, adding borax  (or Calgon, but borax is way cheaper) is a must. When you wash with hard water, not only will your detergent not be as effective (ESPECIALLY plant-based), but the minerals from your water will build up on your diapers and will cause issues down the road. Some people add 1/4 cup, some do 1/2. I do 1/2 cup. My water sucks, ask my hair.

3. Do not do any extra rinses. You should not do extra rinses unless you have extremely soft water and your diapers still feel slimy with just one rinse. If you are doing extra rinses with hard water, you're depositing more minerals on your diaper without anything there to help break them away. Extra rinses can actually cause more problems if you have hard water.

4. It may take some time to tweak your wash routine to perfection. The biggest part of getting your routine down is knowing how your washer works best, and which load size is going to be optimal. For example, when I started washing when my diaper pail was 2/3 of the way full instead of almost completely full, my diapers started smelling so much cleaner. Try more/less diapers or detergent until you find the sweet spot.

5. Note about HE machines. I see *so* many recommendations about trying to "trick" your machine into using more water if you have an HE machine. Most of these tips are actually ineffective, and beside the fact, HE washers are MADE to wash with less water. HE washers (especially those without an agitator) work solely by having the clothes agitate against each other to get clean. With less water, the clothes will be agitating together much more than with extra water. THIS is how they get clean. Make sure you are filling your machine to it's recommended level. Most HE machines are most effective at 1/2 - 3/4 of the way full of laundry. I have effectively used both types of machines.



This is my exact routine:

I put in half a cap of my laundry detergent, shake in some borax. I dump the diapers directly into the washer from the pail**
I put the washer going on a light wash, cold water, medium-sized load.

When the pre-wash is done, I peel the diapers off the sides, pour in a cap of detergent (more than what is recommended for a heavily soiled load, since plant-based is weak, and my water is HARD), and measure out 1/2 cup of borax.
I put the washer going on the super heavy wash, with hot water.

** I only wash my pail liner every few washes, as needed.

When the washing machine is done, I separate my covers, toss the inserts (mainly FST) into the dryer for 30 minutes (or less, they dry FAST).
I air dry my covers.
 
I used to put everything in the dryer, and you can, but I definitely feel like air drying the covers extends the elastic life so much, it's worth the few extra minutes it takes to separate and hang.

Want a free, customizable wash routine printable?




For the rest of my cloth diapering system, check out my complete Guide to Cloth Diapering
Okay, folks, today we are going to learn how to put a diaper on your baby.

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Now that I covered what you need to cloth diaper, lets see these guys in action!

Cloth diapers, especially the way I cloth diaper (pad-folded inserts and covers) comes with a very slight learning curve to make sure you have a snug, comfortable fit. But it quickly becomes second nature.

I'm going to show you how to pad-fold a flour sack towel. This is considered the "boy fold" but, wha-ever, I'd still use it if I had girls because it's a fold I could do in my sleep.

1. Lay the flour sack flat and fold it in half.

2. Fold one edge one-fourth of the way down.
*side note- FST do shrink a little over time, so I do a little less so it's long enough for my boys*

3. Fold in half again, so the part you just folded is now flush with the edge.
*again, I now do just below*

4. Fold into thirds towards the center

5. Ta-Dah! Repeat 65 times for all your flour sacks while catching up on your favorite Netflix show.
Or maybe that's just me.

6. Into the cover it goes.


I know it seems pretty simple to get this on the baby, you just lay in the cover and put it on, right? That's what most people do, but there's a slight variation I do and showed my husband that makes it just that much easier, in my opinion;

1. Lay the padfolded FST down so it is lined up with the back of the diaper. Doesn't matter what the rest is doing.  

2. Holding it in place on the back of the cover, slide it under baby's bum, slightly lower than you'd do a disposable. Fold only the insert up over baby. Hold.

3. Pull the cover up and around the insert.

4. Snap each side.

5. Adjust between legs. Tuck in any insert that might be outside the elastic, make sure diaper is sitting well into the leg creases.

6. Pull up back of diaper, if necessary.

7. Not pictured, but totally necessary: stand back admire your cute lil fluff butt.

Folding the insert up, then forming the cover around makes for a very snug fit that keeps the insert in the perfect position. I do prefer to use more snug covers (Buttons are my favorite), so this is an easier way to me than just lying it in the cover and not have it lay very well where it needs to be in the front.

When it's time to change, I open the diaper, pull the FST out, fold it in half on itself (the back is usually dry so I lay it like this right next to me), put a new one in, then toss the wet FST into the diaper pail.

*If there's poo in the diaper, it needs to be removed prior to being put in the diaper pail, unless your baby is exclusively breastfed. You can use liners, dump it into the toilet, or spray. Read all the poop removable options here. 

NEXT
I will be covering how I wash my cloth diapers. Arguably the most overwhelming part of taking on cloth diapering. Spoiler alert! It's actually very easy! 


Don't forget to follow me on Instagram and Pinterest for more cloth diaper tips and reviews!

For my cloth diapering system, check out my complete Guide to Cloth Diapering

Shop Diaper Junction:


There is an overwhelming amount of information out there on cloth diapers.
Seriously overwhelming.
I know, because two years ago, I was a pregnant mom, trying to figure out what on Earth I needed to do once I had a little bum that needed to be diapered.

If this is you, breathe.
Then, jump in.
Once you start cloth diapering, everything will just. make. sense.

After over a year and half of cloth diapering, and two babies, and my laziness reaching it's height, this is the system I have fallen to.



This post may contain affiliate links. This means if you click on a link and make a purchase, I receive a small commission for my referral, at no extra cost to you.. As always, I would never recommend something I don't stand behind and use myself!


I use covers with flour sack towels, which I think is the easiest way to cloth diaper after all this time, with two in cloth currently (I originally thought pockets would be).

(Psst... I have some of the benefits of using flour sacks here)

I like to keep things simple.

I like to keep things easy.

I also like to keep them cheap, but that has been an unexpected bonus to accomplishing the above.


Most of my routine and recommendations do apply to whatever cloth diaper system you choose, but I will be going very specifically into what I personally do.

Firstly, I want to go over what you need to cloth diaper.
Simply.

You need waterproof covers.

This in itself is beyond overwhelming because the brands out there are overwhelming, and if you haven't cloth diapered before, you won't even know what features you'd like.

I personally like a snug fit and double gussets, so Buttons are my favorite covers.
I also have Best Bottoms, Lalabye Baby, Grovia, Smart Bottoms and Thirsties (and have tried quite a few other brands).

You can see my complete budget brand cover post here.
Or my review list here.


You need something absorbent go in the covers.

I use flour sacks.

I buy the packs of ten from Walmart for $7.88. I've tried the Target brand also and I cannot tell the difference between the two whatsoever.
It's recommended that you have 3 inserts per cover, since your cover can be used multiple times. I think this is a really good rule of thumb, though I will be honest and say I went a little overboard buying FST every time I ran out and now I have half a million.
So I need a few more covers. Hee.

You can use prefolds, flats, fitteds, or even snap-in inserts if you buy a diaper like Buttons, Best Bottom, Lalabye Baby, or Grovia.




You need somewhere to put dirty diapers.

I use an open garbage can with a large Planet Wise pail liner.
Some people just use a plain 'ol laundry basket, but again, I'm lazy, so I prefer something that can just be tossed in the washer when it needs to be washed.
If you leave your house, ever (I rarely do, but I still use them), travel wetbags are nice to have. Though I do tend to forget anything that is not a baby, so I've used plastic bags in a pinch.

You need laundry detergent.

Real laundry detergent. 
Diapers are the dirtiest, most disgusting (hopefully) laundry you will do. You need something that has surfactants, preferably with enzymes. This is what I use and love.
If you're thinking "what the heck is this lady even saying?" Chances are -you can just use whatever laundry detergent you use on the rest of your clothes. As long as IT DOES NOT HAVE FABRIC SOFTENER.

I REPEAT, NO FABRIC SOFTENER NEAR YOUR FLUFF!


There's the optional items I use and recommend:


Cloth wipes are nice to use in place of disposables.

Snappis (or another closure) work awesome if you will do anything but pad- fold (that's all I generally do because -lazy

I highly recommend you make fleece liners for your diapers.
If your baby is not exclusively breastfed and you don't want to dunk 'n' swish your diapers or get a diaper sprayer, this is the easiest way to deal with poop once your kid's is no longer washer-safe. DID I MENTION I'M LAZY??

*Another optional supply is a WATER softener, like Borax, if your water is hard.
Mine is. Hard water doesn't clean the diapers as well, especially since I use plant-based (AKA weaker) detergent.

That's it. Diaper covers, diaper inserts, wet bags, and laundry detergent. Fleece liners, Snappis, cloth wipes, optional.

NEXT!
I will be walking through the actual diapering process. The folding, putting it on baby, with a few fit tips I've picked up over time.


Don't forget to follow me on Instagram and Pinterest for more cloth diaper tips and reviews!

For my cloth diapering system, check out my complete Guide to Cloth Diapering