Cloth diapers a la bambina

Even before we found out that the bambina was on her way, we knew we were going to use cloth diapers.  I did a lot of research about the different kinds of cloth diapers and all variety of wet pail/dry pail laundry systems for them.  In the end, this is what we came up with.

All of the bambina’s diapering supplies are organized in the top drawer of her dresser.  (I had to snap a picture – it’s so rare for so many of her diapers to be clean at once!)

We have 12 one-size pocket diapers (BumGenius 4.0 and Swaddlebees, with microfiber inserts), 4 shells (sized Thirsties and one-size Best Bottom and GroVia), 20 prefolds (Gerber), and 20 flatfolds (Gerber).  Our pockets and shells are a mix of snap closure and Velcro closure.  I definitely prefer the Velcro as it gives a more customized fit around bambina’s waist.  Velcro is also much easier to fasten at 3:00 in the morning when I’m bleary-eyed and the bambina just wants to eat and fall back asleep.  I realize that the Velcro will get fuzz and other crud stuck in it over time, but I’m ok with that.  For now, I just pick out the bits of fluff when I see them.

As for wipes, we have 20 washcloths (the super-soft baby ones, all white for cleaning purposes).   I store them pre-moistened in a tub that previously held disposable wipes.  Cleaning the tushie occasionally requires a little more than just the water that’s already in the wipes, so a spray bottle of California Baby Diaper Area Wash also lives close by.

Finally, a small toy serves to distract the bambina during longer changes.  Right now, it’s a little stuffed duck, which inspires a couple of different songs that we sing during diaper changes.  The drawer also holds her one swim diaper, a spare changing pad cover, and a couple of gallon-size zippie bags (because you just never know).

At changing time, anything that is microfiber or PUL (the pocket diapers and shells) goes in the big blue tub, while anything cotton (wipes, prefolds, flatfolds, and changing pad cover) goes in the small tub.  (This makes for a double dry pail system, I suppose.)  They get sorted like this because that’s how I do laundry.  Keeping the cotton separate limits the amount of lint that ends up in the Velcro as well as keeps the microsuede inner lining of the pocket diapers smooth.

I do one or two loads of diaper laundry a day.  The PUL pockets/shells and microfiber inserts get washed every day,  following this routine:  cold rinse, hot wash on either regular or heavy-duty cycle (depending on how poopy they are) with BumGenius detergent, double cold rinse.  At the beginning of the month, I do a super wash with the intention of de-staining and de-stinking:  cold rinse, hot wash on regular with BumGenius detergent and 1/2 cup of bleach, cold rinse, hot wash on regular with BumGenius detergent, double cold rinse.  Microfiber stuffers go in the dryer on hot, while anything with PUL gets hung to dry or laid out in the sun.  The cotton load goes through the laundry every other day, generally getting a hot wash with double cold rinse using BumGenius detergent, then into the dryer for a hot spin.

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