Newborn Cloth Diapering – An Update

by jenna on June 23, 2014

 

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I’ve been so excited to write this post because of how much I’ve loved cloth diapering Grayson over the past month!

When we originally announced that we planned to cloth diaper, we had a few people sort of laugh and wonder how long it would last…but it’s going great so far! I can’t express enough how EASY cloth diapering a newborn is. Truly. I was intimidated at first, for sure, but after a few days it became second nature.  For the first week we had been using disposables at night but I found myself constantly changing wet jammies at 4am….not cool. Finally I had it and switched him to cloth full time. We haven’t had a leak since! I would never judge another mama for her diapering choices — that is totally up to you and what works best for your family. I’m definitely not a diaper pro or anything but wanted to share with you guys our experience so far. Hopefully this post can gently encourage you to try cloth if you’ve been debating — it’s so not as scary as it seems! Oh, and our water bill hasn’t changed due to the extra laundry either.

Even though Grayson was a big boy when he was born, we’ve still definitely use out of our newborn size cloth diapers. After three weeks, he was still fitting into them and only now am I transitioning him to size small.

We started out with 24 newborn workhorse diapers, 12 newborn prefolds and 5 newborn blueberry simplex. BY FAR, my favorites are the workhorse diapers! We got them snapless and use a snappi (or pins) to close and we line them with soft fleece liners {more on that at the end of this post}. They are soft, squishy and very cost effective at only $5.50 per diaper. He might have only worn these for a few weeks but they fit so well and we never had a leak or blowout. I think we definitely got our money’s worth and I’ll be saving our stash for our next kid!

The newborn prefolds did not work out for us, unfortunately, but made great burp clothes! They just didn’t fit Grayson’s big booty as well. :) I had grand plans of doing all those special folds I watched endless you-tube videos on while pregnant but in reality, when you have a wailing, squirming newborn on the changing table you just want something fast…you don’t want to be perfecting a certain cloth diaper fold. Hah. However, I will say again that they make awesome burp clothes! We have a few stashed all over our house.

The newborn blueberry simplex are AIO diapers, which means they are basically just like a disposable in that there’s a cover built in. We loved these for the diaper bag, especially. They are also very daddy friendly. ;) I thought I would love them for middle of the night changes but soon realized that it was far too much to deal with lining up snaps on a cloth diaper at 3am when your baby is crying and you’re dead exhausted. I’d rather just quickly slap on a workhorse, snappi that business shut and throw a cover on in 20 seconds or less. At five weeks, he has now grown out of these and I just ordered five more of them in one size since these are definitely Adam’s favorite diaper and ridiculously convenient. They aren’t the cheapest but should last us until potty training. I really love that the attached insert can be flipped over for a stay-dry option. They are the best.

In terms of covers, we have way too many. You really only need 7-8. I just became overzealous while pregnant and wanted to test them all out. We love Thirsties Duo Size 1. The aplix (velcro) is easy and fast. I also love Blueberry Mini-Coveralls, although he is quickly growing out of them. They are a soft material and stretch nicely to fit over squishy cloth diapers. Wool has been great, too! I especially loved the cover I bought from this Etsy shop. It’s adorable and completely leak-free. Disana wool is also great and very comfy.

Something I did not love was our diaper pail. We had a Dekor pail and it’s just not the best for cloth diapers. It fills up really quickly and is sort of a hassle to get the wet bag in and out of. About a week ago I just went out and got a regular old trash can and it works so much better! I wash the diapers every other day — one cold wash with a splash of vinegar only followed by a hot wash using Country Save detergent. So far, so good.

I don’t know if I mentioned that we are also using cloth wipes. It just made the most sense and I wash them right along with the diapers. I have a bunch of 7th generation wipes that I am saving for the diaper bag and travel. We bought 40 of these wipes and I’d definitely say it’s been more than enough. I “make” the wipes every other day by pouring about 2 cups distilled water in the sink, followed by 2 squirts of witch hazel and a few drops of Kissaluv’s Diaper Potion. I swish it all together well then add about 25 or so of the wipes. I drench them in the solution, squeeze them out gently and place them in our wipe warmer. Oh, and I highly recommend getting a wipe warmer!! I know it might seem extravagant and not truly necessary but it really does make diaper changes easier…especially in the middle of the night. Warm cloth wipes are nice and soothing for little bottoms! Grayson loves the warm wipes. Adam thought I was being ridiculous at first buying the wipes warmer but now he’s all about it!

I talked above about the fleece liners. We discovered that Grayson needs a stay-dry diaper or else his booty gets a rash. Fleece liners solve that problem easily! We have these and love them but you can easily just go to a craft store, buy a bunch of fleece and cut up your own.  Only the workhorse diapers need the liners since they are 100% cotton and get soaked instantly when wet.

Phew! Well I think that about covers everything. I apologize that it’s taken me this long to post again but man, I haven’t had a second to do anything in the past few weeks! Grayson is going through a fussy period and I’m lucky if I get a quick shower in during the day. Hopefully I will be back to posting recipes and more regularly soon, but right now he needs my sole, undivided attention.

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{ 58 comments… read them below or add one }

Hillary | Nutrition Nut on the Run June 23, 2014 at 1:18 pm

those cheeks!! :)

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Julie June 24, 2014 at 4:33 pm

That’s what I was thinking too! I just want to pinch them. Adorable. Jenna, where did you get the jellyfish outfit? It’s too cute. The fussiness will get better, just keep being the awesome mama you are.

And cloth diapering is easy! When do you think you’ll be in you one size?

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jenna June 24, 2014 at 4:47 pm

The outfit is from Gap! And he fits into the one size now (6 weeks). He fit into them earlier but the fit is much better now.

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Julie June 24, 2014 at 9:20 pm

Just ordered one! My baby is enormous (3mo and 15 lbs), so I got the 6-9m. And where did you get your top? It’s cute too. lol. I would have a field day in your closet.

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Lindsay June 23, 2014 at 1:23 pm

I’m surprised at how easy this sounds! I would have thought using cloth diapers would be harder. I’ll have to file this in “things to remember” once I start having babies!

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Laura June 23, 2014 at 2:22 pm

we waited about a month before starting cloth diapers (we had soooo many disposables given to us!) but now that we started using them, i love them! i bought all bum genius freetime aio, partly for their simplicity and partly for their pretty and bright colors. i actually love the process of washing them and putting them outside to dry! haha

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Gretchen June 23, 2014 at 2:25 pm

Great recap! So glad you’re doing well with these! One thing we always say about cloth diapers is that if its your first child you really don’t know the difference in the extra work vs. disposables. It just becomes your norm! Currently cloth diapering my second baby, one tip I would have is that the velcro on some of the covers seems to wear out over time, and I wish we’d gotten a few more with snap closures. The snaps are also tougher for them to take of themselves, which is a good thing! Totally agree on the fancy diaper pail, too. We just have a couple rubbermaid bins that lock closed and they work great!

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Betsy June 23, 2014 at 3:19 pm

I love your baby posts! About the fussiness — there’s a certain enzyme that their tummies don’t produce until about 3 months – for some babies, that’s the source of the fussing. For others (like my oldest), there simply is no identifiable reason and it is just SO HARD. All that worked for me was marathon nursing sessions – I would lay down in bed and plop baby Vivian down to nurse…and then watch Netflix! Keep your chin up Mama you’re doing great!

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Dana June 23, 2014 at 3:50 pm

First off, that is a beautiful photo of mama and baby. What a wonderful picture to add to your baby book. Secondly, thank you so much for this post. I’m almost 5 months along with my first baby. I’m a little scared. I just found your blog and I like your updates. I’ll be following along!

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Kristi June 23, 2014 at 5:35 pm

I wish you would’ve included pictures of the items instead of (affiliate?) links. I CD my toddler with bumgenius AIO and have never had or needed any other styles. I would be interested in the newborn sizes for any subsequent kids but I don’t understand what you mean by a stay dry option? I’m also impressed that you’ve never had a blowout – we used disposables for the first 8 weeks or so and there were many leaks and blowouts! I can count on one hand the leaks since using cloth. I will say toddler poops are a whole other ball game!!!

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jenna June 23, 2014 at 7:08 pm

Your bumgenius diapers are stay-dry. That just means there’s a layer of fleece or, in your case, microfiber, that absorbs all the wetness and wicks it away from the baby’s bum….just like a disposable. Oh, and I meant I never had a blowout with cloth! We had a MAJOR “situation” when Grayson was in a disposable and I was wearing him. Let’s just say we both needed an outfit change after that one. Yikes.

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Emily June 23, 2014 at 5:56 pm

Aww, what a squishy little baby face!

I hear you on the wipe warmer. It seemed like a superfluous purchase, but Squish was so soothed during the nighttime changes. I don’t blame him; I don’t want a cold rag on my bum in the middle of the night!

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Katie sB June 23, 2014 at 5:59 pm

Can you give us more info about the laundry part? My mom cloth diapered all three of us kids and that’s what I would do but do you just throw the poopy diaper straight in the washer as is or do you have to rinse it out first? Thanks for the post! Great info.

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jenna June 23, 2014 at 7:06 pm

Yep! You just dump everything in the washer and that’s it. Breast milk poop is water soluble so the initial cold rinse gets it all off…then the hot wash with detergent cleans and the extra spin/rinse makes sure all the detergent is gone. Now when we are on solid food it will be a slightly different story, but for right now it’s so easy!

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Emily @ Fit as a Mother... June 23, 2014 at 6:12 pm

Love the photo!

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Mary June 23, 2014 at 6:21 pm

I’ve started diapering my baby as well. we had to use disposables at first, because she was so tiny.we did not buy any newborn size,so we had to work with our one size diapers. I’ve also been really enjoying using cloth. The laundry isn’t difficult, even with a high efficiency machine. It’s actually rather fascinating to see the Sun bleach out any spots. We do still have disposables, and my husband usually uses those at night. The one challenge I have found with cloth is finding clothes that fit over her giant, fluffy bum.

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Alisha June 25, 2014 at 9:19 am

Just curious what your wash routine is with a high efficiency machine?

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LO July 5, 2014 at 5:51 am

We use bumgenius 4.0 pockets and have a HE washer. Every machine is different, but I have mine set up to run with a pre-wash (cold rinse), a hot water cycle on the highest soil setting, and an extra (cold) rinse. I have it programmed to a special “my cycle” button, so I just throw the cloth in, and a scoop of BG laundry detergent, and press the button. They are done about 2hr15m later.

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Amy Walters, A DESIGN DOCK June 23, 2014 at 8:14 pm

I think it’s so wonderful that you’ve gone the cloth diaper route. The idea has always seemed intimidating to me, but you’ve made it seem a little less so. Glad it’s going so well for you guys!

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Mari June 24, 2014 at 3:07 am

Don’t listen to those cloth diapering naysayers in your life. :) We’ve been CDing our son for 22 months now, and have loved it. In fact, it’s been a hard realization that we might have to stop soon be cause our FuzziBunz One Size Elites aren’t fitting our giant toddler well anymore. If we do have to quit, we’ll miss it. Cloth diapering is great!

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Michelle June 24, 2014 at 5:14 am

I feel you about the fussy period! My little one had reflux and colic! The fussiness with colic should go away by 3 or so months. It seemed like the minute he turned 3 months he was already changing and happier. In the mean time we used baby probiotics and it seemed to help with the colic. Good luck mama! You are doing great! Everything gets easier with time, cliche but true :)

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Meagan M June 24, 2014 at 5:52 am

I’m so glad you are enjoying cloth diapering!! When I first told people we were going to use cloth most laughed and rolled their eyes. 20 months later we are going strong and I still enjoy it :-) people think I’m nuts when I say I actually like it but it’s not hard or “nasty” like most people assume. Plus, it’s saved is a ton of money.

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Adriane June 24, 2014 at 6:48 am

Can I just say that I am nowhere near having kids but I LOVE reading your pregnancy and baby posts and I’m fascinated by the cloth diapering. I’ve always assumed it was a lot of work but you have made it seem much more doable! When I eventually have kids I’ll be referencing your blog!

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Maryea {happy healthy mama} June 24, 2014 at 7:05 am

Cloth diapering doesn’t sound easy to me….but I give you kudos for doing it!

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Kelly Mitchem June 24, 2014 at 7:30 am

love the update! love his cheeks :)

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Jillian @ Reshape Your Life June 24, 2014 at 7:53 am

Thanks for posting about this! I’m currently 19 weeks pregnant and SUPER interested in cloth diapering, my husband is not. How did Adam feel about cloth diapers before vs. now? Any change? Any suggestions for getting my husband on board??

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jenna June 24, 2014 at 4:52 pm

I think he was intimidated by cloth diapers before but went along with it because he could see how into it I was…now (after 6 weeks), he’s totally into cloth and prefers it over disposables. He definitely prefers the “all in one” cloth diapers though! I suggest getting one of those and showing it to your husband – he will be able to see firsthand how easy it is to use and how it’s really just like a disposable!

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Lori June 28, 2014 at 10:14 pm

My husband was never into it, so we went with the agreement of: whoever changes the diaper gets to put on the diaper s/he wants. Since I did most of the changing, she was in cloth most of the time. No arguments or anything. Worked pretty well.

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Laura July 1, 2014 at 6:43 am

that’s kind of how it is for us, too. right now we have a lot of disposables that were given to us. i use cloth, the husband tends to use disposables. that’s fine with me! it’s not the end of the world and the disposables need to be used eventually before she outgrows them anyway.

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piper. June 24, 2014 at 8:01 am

fuzzibunz are great AIO cloth diapers for when he gets bigger/starts walking and moving all around, if you’re looking for any others to try. i’ve used ours through two babies (the little one is 18 months and still in them), and they will totally make it through another kid if we have a third. also, i’ve loved rockin green detergent specifically for cloth diapers, if the country save quits working for you :). great job with the cloth – it only gets easier from here on out!

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Sarah June 24, 2014 at 10:04 am

You’re a champ! I went the easy route and did all AIO diapers. We liked them a lot, but it sounds like there are a lot of other great options out there if I feel more adventurous next time! :) Do you know about stripping diapers? I learned the hard way that you have to strip them once a month or so, or they start getting really skunky and less absorbent.

And, yes, the wipe warm is a must.

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Stephanie @ Whole Health Dork June 24, 2014 at 10:25 am

Wow! Thanks for all the info! Glad to know cloth diapering works for you. It’s definitely something I want to be able to do. Do you think you’d be able to do it if you worked away from home?

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kescle June 24, 2014 at 11:23 am

I’ve never posted before but just wanted to add that once my kiddo started eating regular food, and the poops didn’t wash out the same way, we started using the Bumkins flushable diaper liners and that has made cleanup SO easy. Best of luck! Grayson is gorgeous.

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Karen June 24, 2014 at 11:35 am

Here’s how I found I can use cotton directly on baby’s bottom without getting redness:
Add some 20 Mule Team Borax to your hot wash with your Country Save (using the full amount of detergent or more – this is your dirtiest load in the house so use enough detergent) but not as much Borax as the box says. Just a teaspooon or 2 in a front loader and a Tablespoon or 2 in a top loader. It will soften the water and disinfect, too.

Rinse twice and for the second rinse (or both if you want to), fill your fabric softener dispenser with vinegar. This will help rinse out the detergent and borax and it will also bring the pH of the diapers down. Skin likes a lower pH environment, but detergents, that are needed, are high pH, so using vinegar, even a lot of vinegar, in the rinse water will make the moist cotton environment acceptable by the skin without the high pH redness. Liners work great, especially at night, but if you can skip them, it’s just one less step. Grayson is so adorable!

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Karen June 24, 2014 at 12:17 pm

So nice to hear from you, Jenna. Glad things are going well…miss you! Grayson sure is a cutie pie – love that photo!) Take your time, we completely understand and support your mama priorities.

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brittany June 25, 2014 at 7:09 am

So glad you are posting about the cloth diapers. I don’t have any babies at the moment, but when I do we are cloth diapers all the way. I have a friend that introduced me to it and she had similar feelings as you…so easy.

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Natasha June 25, 2014 at 8:34 am

Wow! Are you holding Grayson whilst typing these bum-wrapping tricks on your laptop? I cannot tell from the photo, but if you are in fact multitasking at this level, you’ve got my vote for supermom! Wtg!

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Geri June 25, 2014 at 10:00 am

Good for you! I’ll keep this in mind for our next little one. Thanks for sharing!

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Lindsay June 25, 2014 at 10:41 am

Thanks for some insight as to what you’re doing with CD’ing! I’m due in 7 weeks and have my diaper stash ready but have been researching products to use for cloth wipe solution. What brand of Witch Hazel do you use? I’m finding a lot of them contain alcohol and haven’t found any recipes that state whether they use alcohol-free witch hazel (assuming this is even available). Thanks Jenna!

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Nicole June 25, 2014 at 3:47 pm

Great post! Do you think in the near future you can do a post on the wraps you’ve used? I’ve seen you use the Solly and a woven wrap thus far!

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Lori June 27, 2014 at 1:54 pm

Yes, I’d would love a post on the wraps, too!

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jan June 26, 2014 at 6:06 am

Glad you’re loving it so much! I adored cloth diapers. In fact, putting disposables on when we were traveling out of town, etc., really grossed me out.

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Chels June 26, 2014 at 11:46 am

Will you do a post on all your favorite baby gear/products!?

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Traci June 27, 2014 at 10:09 am

That is so informative! We didn’t cloth diaper with our first and probably won’t with this next one I’m having in two weeks, but I always find it so interesting and really enjoy reading about people’s experiences. And by the way, love your sweater (adorable. cozy. I need one) and your skin is glowing and looks fabulous post baby! So glad everything is going great for y’all!

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Lori June 27, 2014 at 1:50 pm

We’ve been cloth diapering for about 17 months – I agree that it’s great! But, even this far in, I still find parts about it confusing! For instance, we started out with Bum Genius All In Ones, and the drying instructions are so specific. I think with any AIOs, you have to be careful of the drying temp. And the thing for us was, they took so long to dry! I don’t know if it was the detergent or the drying temp and time, but after about 8 months they started to shred to pieces! I’m much happier with the prefolds we use now. But even on Green Mountain Diapers, which I love, she says you don’t have to use any special detergent with prefolds, but then goes on to say don’t use detergents with fillers and don’t use detergents with caustic ingredients (baking soda), which bums me out because I want to use my homemade laundry powder, but I’m afraid it will shorten the life of the diapers. There are so many websites with contradictory info!

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Kaley June 27, 2014 at 4:59 pm

If you’re ever up at night and you need a good laugh check out my sister’s blog http://www.smashleyashley.com she is hilarious!

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Lauren at Keep It Sweet June 29, 2014 at 1:55 pm

I’m currently debating cloth diapers… everyone makes it sound so overwhelming but I’m relieved to hear that you are finding it pretty easy. How many loads of diapers do you think you are washing each week?

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Lauren at Keep It Sweet June 29, 2014 at 1:56 pm

Also, do you have any favorite blogs or resources you read before starting?

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jenna June 30, 2014 at 3:49 pm

I wash diapers every two days…so I guess, on average, about 3-4 loads a week. It’s really not bad! I actually like washing and putting them all away!

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Lani June 29, 2014 at 3:19 pm

Jenna our boys are almost the same age- how often is G feeding on average? Seems my guy eats every hour or do when awake which makes doing other things pretty tough.

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jenna June 30, 2014 at 3:48 pm

He eats every 2-3 hours during the day. It’s hard when you feel like they are attached to your boob! :)

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rachel June 30, 2014 at 1:56 pm

I was wondering if you have a front loading/HE machine. I am due to have our 5th baby at the end of the month but getting cloth diapers in our HE machine has been a challenge. I’ve never tried your method but wonder if you’re using an HE machine? If so, which cold and hot cycles do you use?

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rachel June 30, 2014 at 1:58 pm

oops, i meant to say getting our cloth diapers /clean/ in our HE machine has been a real challenge.

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Linda July 1, 2014 at 5:55 pm

I would have loved a wipe warmer! We would run hot water in the sink and had washclothes that were only used to warm up baby wipes. After getting the water hot, which, in the middle of the night seems to take forever, we would wrap it around a baby wipe. This would warm the wipe up and provided a clean water wipe after using the baby wipe. Since we live in Wisconsin, the house is pretty cool in the middle of the night – a baby wipe warmer will be on my gift list!

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Anna July 5, 2014 at 2:37 pm

Which cloth wipes have you found work best? We just switched over to cloth diapers with our 9 week old and want to use cloth wipes, as well! Thanks!!

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Liz Ford July 14, 2014 at 8:15 am

Hey Jenna! I shared your post with my little sister (due in less than a month) and she hadn’t heard of the workhorse diaper option. She wanted to know if you had looked into the wet/dry hanging bags with you were picking out which to use. That’s what she was initially going to use, but is intrigued by your diaper pails. Thanks :)

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Brittani July 16, 2014 at 12:35 pm

I find myself constantly referring to this post! My little guy is 3 weeks old and while we are using cloth diapers as well, he keeps getting a sad little rash. I’m glad I just re-read this post to see that you had the same problem and found a solution with the fleece liners. I will be buying and trying those for sure!

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jenna July 16, 2014 at 12:57 pm

What type of detergent are you using? A lot of time rashes are caused by diapers not getting clean enough. Are you doing a final rinse/spin cycle after the hot wash? Hope you get it worked out! Try CJ’s BUTTer in the meantime – I use it all the time as a preventative barrier on his tush.

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