A Simplicity Approach to Cloth Diapers

Want to cloth diaper? Feel overwhelmed? Same here. I had a baby in 2008 and cloth diapering then seemed so much simpler than for my second one in 2013. The amount of cloth diapers available and their prices rose drastically. During our cloth diapering the last three years and by observing many fellow cloth diaper families, for me, the key to successful cloth diapering was: SIMPLICITY.

  • 14- 18 cloth inserts (both refolds and flat)
  • 4-6 soakers (thicker style liners for night time use)
  • 5-6 covers
  • homemade laundry detergent
  • a laundry stand
  • sunshine
  • willpower

First off I think you should choose to cloth diaper for the right reasons. Cloth diapering will be messy and will smell and its important that you remind yourself of why you do it.

Its  great trend, but it wont be if you start collecting diapers, get upset if your baby poops into the $65 custom diaper, and forget to wash your diapers every week.

Its a great choice for the environment especially if you line dry your diapers and don’t use a dryer.

We lived in Hawaii from 2012-2015 and cloth diapered both our son and daughter full time. We only used disposables on trips and even then sometimes used a simple liner and cover technique for travel.

I am not going to go into much detail on different diapers and covers. I think there are amazing websites, blogs, and shops out there who do that.

However, I urge you to follow your heart on this. Don’t use pretty but use quality. Don’t buy new but research used, buy simple flat diapers (dry faster) and pre-folds (take a bit but thicker). Furthermore, we used a mix of covers. G diaper covers worked great for us in warm Hawaii so did wool and covers that work from 3 months – 3 years.

All our diapers fit into a reusable cloth bag.

Below is  a routine that I kept going while staying at a friend during our travels before leaving the island. It wasn’t much different than when we lived in our home. We didn’t have much money so cloth diapering was the only option. I didn’t want to spend money on pretty diapers but rather on good food for our family or fabrics to make clothes. I sold the few pretty diapers I had from my son for enough money to buy all I needed to cloth diaper simply.

My simplicity routine:

Day 1: use 5-6 diapers (rotate 2 covers / air out)

Day 2: use 5-6 diapers / wash in afternoon (12 diapers, 3 covers) / line dry

Day 3: use 5-6 diapers (line dried or left in stash) (rotate 2 covers / air out)

Day 4: use 5-6 diapers / wash in afternoon (12 diapers, 3 covers) / line dry

Day 5: and so on…

you wash diapers three times a week

Tips on washing:

  • make your own detergent (search pinterest) this worked great for us
  • use tea tree oil while storing or washing diapers
  • use a setting for small load or weighed load
  • 1 pre-rinse
  • wash all cotton diapers in hot water
  • rinse in vinegar

if you have more than three days worth of cloth diapers you will likely accumulate so many diapers that your routine will become unbalanced.

Tips on Drying.

  • use diapers as soon as they are dry off the line
  • dry close to a heater or in a warm place in your house
  • shake and detangle diapers (unbutton soakers with many layers)
  • use flat diapers during winter which dry faster
  • dry diapers in the sun during the afternoon (faster drying)

I hope these tips help you to make you cloth diaper journey a success. It worked great for my husband and I and we quickly got the washing every other day routine done and saved a ton of money.



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