Seven years ago, I began my adventure in cloth diapers. I was living on Fort Polk and there was a pretty sizable group of ‘crunchy moms’ that I was able to connect with very early on in my motherhood journey. (Crunchy Mom: coming from the term Granola Mom. Someone who uses natural parenting techniques) You would honestly be surprised how large and well connected the ‘Crunchy Mom Community’ is on Army posts.
Some of the moms in my local group were hardcore collectors. They hunted down exclusive cloth diaper & baby carrier prints like they were Louis Vuitton handbags! Mommas were more than happy to show off their ‘stash’ on our social media groups too.
Thanks to these passionate women, I found a local cloth seller nearby. She was a lady near the post that ran a cloth diaper store out of her home. I was fascinated by all of the products and a little intimated.
See, there are all kinds of ‘fluff’ for cloth diapers and just as many brands and styles to choose from. (Fluff: a nickname for cloth diapers) Deciding which one would be best for our family when I had never done this before was a little tricky. The cloth diaper seller was super helpful and I ended up leaving with quite a few different types of diapers to see which worked best before really investing.
Through trial and error and a lot of conversations with other cloth diapering families, I found that Pocket diapers with inserts were my favorite.
What I found interesting is my most expensive cloth diapers (i.e. Charlie Banana & Best Bottoms) ranging from $20-$35 a diaper fell apart the fastest while my cheapest diapers (SunBaby & Alva) held up the best and leaked less. You can really get into the intricacies of cloth diapering like whether cotton or bamboo inserts are best and etc. I used them for years and I am using them again on my 3-month-old baby.
I enjoyed success with cloth diapers without having to dive super deep into the finer details of it like a hobby. I think the details can really intimidate and turn people off from the idea. I’m here to tell you it doesn’t have to be difficult! But if getting really into cloth diapering is your thing, go for it!
Let me show you how simple it can be!
Some of the cutest laundry you will manage, other than adorable newborn clothes of course!
One of the biggest parts of Cloth Diapering your little one is learning how to properly wash your diapers. I will write a whole other post to really get into the fine details! I use a wet bag, pictured above, for my dirty diapers before cleaning. I wash the entire bag every other day. (I have A LOT of diapers, therefore I do not need to wash them Every day. You may need to if you have a smaller stash) I soak the diapers in oxi-clean, do a deep water wash. After that is finished, I pull all of the covers out and dry them in either the sun or on low heat in the dryer. While those are drying, I wash the inserts with HOT water with detergent again with a 2 rinse cycle. The inserts then get dried on high heat. As I said before, this can get extensive if I get into a lot of details. I’ll save the ‘Hows’ and ‘Whys’ for a post dedicated to how I wash cloth diapers.
Here is how I stuff all of my cloth diapers after washing them! Now, you could leave your diapers unstuffed and stuff them as needed. I know some families do this because sometimes babies need different inserts, i.e. if they will be heaving wetting during a long nap time. I prefer to pre-stuff so I have it all done and out of the way. If I need a diaper with more absorption, Ill just add an insert really quick before I change diapers.
I line up all of my inserts and organize them by type so I can easily pick and choose what I want to combine.
Some of my inserts lined up and ready to go. There are A LOT of different types of inserts that you can use!
In the photos above, I have a charcoal Alva insert with a lighter cotton insert. The Alva is pretty great at absorption! I put this one on the bottom because it is bulky.
Here is a trick I have learned! Baby girls wet more heavily towards the middle or back of their diapers while boys wet more heavily towards the front. You can fold a lighter insert like the one above for double absorption and place it where your baby may need it.
Stuffing the inserts inside the pocket diaper now that you have your inserts all ready to go, simply grab the front of them and pull them inside of the pocket diaper. Make sure the soft inner lining of the diaper is not hanging outside of the outer liner or being pushed past the outer liner by the inserts. This will cause wicking onto your baby’s clothes after they wet the diaper.
I just repeat these steps 25+ times with all of the clean fluff! Also, since my baby is only 3 months old, her diapers are set to the smallest size. Pocket diapers will grow with your baby! I used my pockets from the time my babies hit 2 or 3 months old until they learned how to use the potty by just adjusting the snaps and adding more inserts as they needed it.
Cloth Diaper Storage
When it comes to storing your fluff, there are a million and one ways to go about it! I have used several different ways, but currently, I find the tote in the above photos to be easy enough! There are over 35 diapers in this thing and they are all ready to go when I need them right by her changing area!
I can’t say for sure, but I feel like my oldest kiddo learned how to use the potty much faster because he was exclusively cloth diapered. He was using his potty with minimal accidents at 19 months old. I never forced him to use the potty, just provided a potty chair for him to use when he wanted to. I have spoken with many other parents that had a similar experience as well.
I think my child may have made this switch earlier because he felt the wetness of his cloth diapers much more than when he was wearing a disposable diaper. My son strongly disliked being wet, which motivated him to learn how to use the potty early. This is not meant to brag. Every child learns at totally different times! There are things that your children may excel at that he may have taken a long time to grasp and there is nothing wrong with that.
There is no one right way to learn a new thing.
That goes for adults too. I learned what was best for my family through trial, error, and research. You may learn in a different way than me and you may come to find cloth diapering easier in a totally different way than I do. That’s Great! Use this advice if you want or tweak it to what works best for your family! I would advise trying not to get too caught up in groups that reprimand you for not doing things their way. I have found a lot of these exist in the ‘natural parenting’ world.
Thank you so much for reading about how I go about cloth diapering my baby! Please feel free to ask any questions. I am here to answer them!
Jenni Jenkins – Sekine is an Oklahoma Bereavement, Birth, & Postpartum Doula and Child Birth Educator who serves her Central Oklahoma community. She is also a midwifery assistant with Holistic Birthing Services and began her journey as a student midwife with the Midwives College of Utah in 2022.
To learn more about Jenni, please click here.