Friday, May 7, 2010

Cloth Diapering - Bum Genius 3.0

Adventures in Cloth Diapering!
So as some of you may know I have been cloth diapering Ty since August 2009. My journey began when my friend Sarah was getting new diaper wraps (she loves Thirsties). Her hubby was giving her grief about needing a bigger size and how much they were going to cost (bla bla bla ;^). Well I did the math and with her using covers with gerber liners, she would pay them off in less than 2 months (that is in compared with disposables). That is when I became curious.

When you start to research cloth diapering, it is like a whole world you never knew about. There are SOOO many different kinds of diapers and fabrics and cute little names... It is totally over-whelming. I started with G Diapers using cloth inserts I made instead of the flushable liners. They were cost friendly and I got a really great discount on them. BUT I just didn't love them. The had too many steps - the cute outer layer had to (with difficulty) be snapped away from the water proof inner layer and then their was the insert which slipped down when it got wet and he often pooped on the water proof layer and I'd have to change the whole thing anyway... AND Ty seemed bothered by the fit and thus I went back to the drawling board. (However I do keep them in my emergency kit since you could stuff nearly anything in there in an emergency)

On some website I saw someone talking about pocket and all in one diapers (all in one means the absorbent part is stitched together with the water proof part. Problem is the take forever to dry and most PUL water proof fabric is NOT dryer friendly), comparing them to disposables as far as their use. That is when I found the Bum Genius 3.0 pocket diaper. There were other similar diapers, but that is what I ended up going with. I LOVE THEM. They do take some special care and so I will go over that in this post. But here is a picture of one (remember this diaper is 10 months old and it still looks new... well except the Velcro is slightly frayed but hey). I have 21 because it was a buy 6 get one free, so I bought 18 and got 3 free. It is enough for me. 24 would be better probably, but this way I have 3 of every color (minus girly colors) and well.... :)

I love blue but also have light blue, light yellow, light green, white, dark green, and dark yellow.

They go on just like a disposable. The Velcro tabs come around and meet the front to fit to your child. When not in use, they should be attached to the laundry tabs so they don't get stuck to each other and cause unnecessary wear. Some diapers have snaps. This appeals to me because like I said, mine would look new except the Velcro. But honestly, kids are so wiggly - Velcro is just fast. Doesn't it look so soft? It is :)
The back has a flap or pocket. This is where the absorbing liners are inserted.

Right now Ty is in size large meaning I have all the snaps un-snapped. I use both the regular liner and the newborn insert since he is going through a phase where he HATES having his diaper changed. The longer I can go the better. And we go at least 4 hours without a problem. Sometimes a bit longer. You could add more and go over night. I cheat and use disposables over night.

The Bucket

First thing is first after you buy diapers. You need somewhere to keep the soiled ones! I use a plastic 5 gallon bucket I had been wanting to use for food storage for 3 years but never had gotten around to using it. I bought it at Macy's grocery store when I lived in Utah (got the lid there too) I think you can get these buckets at Home Depot or Lowes too. I even had a special lid for it called the Gamma Seal lid.( As it is advertised on their site, it turns your bucket into an air tight container! Handy for food, but also for things that stink like diapers (and oh my you have no idea - pew!) They even come in a rainbow of colors. Mine just happened to be white.


Cloth diapers take up more space then disposables (but they are so much cuter!). I store mine in a dresser. It happen to come with the house and I actually hate it - I think it is so ugly - but I have two drawers for diapers, a drawer for wipes, and other drawers for other stuff that I don't have closet space for :)

You may at this point be asking yourself, "OK so I see that when baby pees you just take out the liners and throw the whole thing in the bucket. But what about #2..." First of all let's be honest. Poo is gross and it stinks but it is a part of life for anyone who eats. These diapers are made of a fabric called micro fleece (different then the stuff you get at Joann's). For regular poop, it will actually just fall off into the toilet (some times helped along a little by some toilet paper or I've heard of people using a spatula, but I figure I can throw the toilet paper in with it -easy). For the times when there is what I affectionately refer to as "goo-poo" more extreme measures may be necessary. Get a spray hose for ypur toilet. You won't regret it! My hubby made ours.

It is VERY IMPORTANT that you DO NOT store Bum Genius in a bucket filled with water. It is OK if the diapers are wet from a spray hose or being rinsed or whatever, but think about it. If you fill your bucket with water, now all your diapers are soaking in poopy water. Nasty. Not to mention you have to deal with that water. I have heard this creates smells in the diapers too. Just pile the diapers in. No need for anything else.

Bucket is full time for washing...


NOTE: Remember the need for a sealed lid? Don't breath through your nose while transferring your diapers to the washer. It is just a bad idea. Ammonia is a very powerful smell and I don't want to feel responsible for anyone passing out. Also, rinse your bucket in hot water with a little soap in the tub. Then dry with a cloth.

First soak you diapers in cold water. I am lucky, my machine has a setting for this. You can add 1 tsp diaper friendly detergent. Other detergents can void your warranty and even "earth friendly" detergents can have oils and perfumes in them (or like ALL free and clear - whiteners - you don't want those they will ruin your PUL and cause leaking). So I know I have the 1/2 tsp in the picture - my 1 tsp fell behind the washer. If you don't have a soak setting, start your machine for a cold wash, stop it after it is full of water, and let it sit for about 1 to 2 hours. The let it finish the cycle.

HOT wash. Next you will run a hot wash. This is soooo important because it is the hot water that KILLS the germs and bacteria that create smell. Don't forget to add 1 tsp detergent (or a little less). Also about once every 3 weeks, throw in some NON-chlorine bleach. This will help whiten and help with any lingering smell. If you can add a rise cycle, do it. You want all the soap to be rinsed out (that is also why it is important not to add too much soap and use the right kind of soap). NEVER use fabric softener.


Once the diapers are washed, you have to air dry the covers - no dryer for them. I hang mine very "chic-ly" on the posts of my dining room chairs (we are so fancy). This is of course because mine come out almost dry anyway. If yours come out very wet, I don't suggest this. Hang them some where like the bathroom or some ladies like to hang them out on the clothes line to dry. Whatever works for you. I throw my liners in the dryer and dry on high heat until they are entirely dry. NO fabric softener sheets. Fabric softener, FYI, reduces a fabric's ability to wick moisture. Anywho, if the inserts are damp when you stuff them, you may have issues with smell - bacteria grows in moisture.


Put the kids to bed. Turn on your favorite TV show or movie. Stuff diapers.

There is cloth diapering in a nut shell (ok, a really big nut shell). If you have any other questions, let me know.

Cloth diaper bum!

By the way, you get into cloth diapering and you will find yourself wondering where else you can save money. I recently made myself cloth pads. They are great - so breathable and very comfy. I will have a post about that another time. I have diapers to stuff.

1 comment:

Natalie said...

wow, what a great introduction to cloth diapering! I feel so informed. It's one of those things Kevin has said NO WAY about, but who knows. Hearing your account, it doesn't seem too bad. I love how you save so much money doing it, and it isn't as gross as I pictured it would be. Thanks for sharing this!