Mama Natural’s Cloth Diaper Setup

Mike is the man in charge of our cloth diapering, so I turned this video over to him 🙂

Our diapers

We use bumGenius 4.0s. This is a one-size diaper, meaning that it grows with your child from newborn right up to potty training.

We’ve got 24 of them, which lets us go four or even five days at a time before we need to wash them.

In our opinion, these are the best cloth diapers out there.

The bin

Most of the time when we change our son’s diapers, they’re just wet. In which case, we just dump them in the bin. (If you’re wondering about diaper rash and safe creams for cloth diapers check here.)

This bin is made by simpleHuman. It’s hands free and does a fine job of containing any stank.

We love most of the Simplehuman products.

The bin liner

Inside the bin we’ve got this liner, which is waterproof and also helps contain the smell.

We own two of these colorful liners, and we wash one every time we do diaper laundry.

w00t.

The sprayer

The lynchpin of our cloth diapering setup is this sprayer. It attaches easily to your toilet’s water supply, you don’t need a plumber or anything to install it. Got a little holder up here to contain the nozzle.

When you’ve got a poopy diaper, you turn on the water with this valve here, then spray down into the toilet to clean your diaper. Takes a few times to get the hang of it so you don’t spray the heck out of yourself. But this is poopy water we’re talking about, so you learn pretty quick.

Bac-Out

What do you need to get started cloth diapering? See our full cloth diaper set up - from the diapers to the sprayer - in this post!Almost as important as the sprayer is the Bac-Out. This is a natural, non-toxic, biodegradable spray with enzymes and whatever to help eat up odors and stains.

After I rinse a diaper, I’ll give it a few sprays of Bac-Out and drop it in the bin.

Done deal.

UPDATE: We’ve stopped using Bac Out or any similar spray. Just found that we didn’t need it, and that our washing machine and detergent got out all the funk on its own.

Laundry Time

When we’re down to a few clean diapers, it’s time to do a load. So we wheel the bin out to our high-efficiency washer and load it up. This is the nastiest part of the process, because I reach into each dirty diaper and pull out the insert before throwing them in. And these are diapers that have been marinating in pee for several days. But it only lasts a minute or two, so no biggie.

We use Method laundry detergent, because it’s natural and you don’t need to use much.

Then we do the load on “heavy duty” wash.

After the wash, we dry the inserts in the machine, and hang the liners on this bamboo clothes rack.

The inserts are super-absorbent, so you’ve got to dry them for a cycle and a half, or even two. And the liners dry quickly, in half a day or so.

That’s it

So that’s our cloth diapering setup. We’ve been at it now for about 8 months and got it down to a science, to the point where it really isn’t a big bother in our lives at all. And the benefits of cloth diapering are tremendous.

Interested in getting started with cloth diapers?

Here’s everything you need to know, including all the types of diapers, how many you need to buy, just how much they save you, and more. Enjoy!

What does YOUR cloth diaper setup look like?

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42 Comments

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  1. Hi!
    Love your website and all the posts! Im learning so much and feel super inspired to get going with the cloth diapers asap. Were expecting our first in a month! So Im wondering, have you ever tried the hybrid diapers? Like gdiapers or grovia? I understand you love the bumgenius 4.0, but Im under the impression that you must wash the entire diaper after each pea or poo. With hybrids it seems you can reuse the main cloth diaper through out the day and just clean the inserts. Im reading/researching as much as I can but haven’t really found the answer to that one, and from your perspective why bumgenius is truly the better option. Thanks so much for taking the time to read and answer this one!! Cheers!

    • I have no idea if this comment is actually recent or not, but I’ve been a happy hybrid user for four years now. Yes, you can reuse the shell multiple times, as long as it stays clean–that generally happens if you change the baby enough that the pee doesn’t soak through to the cover. I love the flexibility of hybrids–my favorite combo is Thirsties duo-wrap covers and Flip stay-dry inserts (which are made by the bumGenius people). I also like the Thirsties fitteds for overnights. The covers are 2-size rather than one (0 – 9 months and 10 – 36 months), so you have to buy twice as many, but they fit a lot better–the leg gussets are key in my experience. And of course, if you’re going to reuse them for siblings, they have more life left in them when you’re done–our size 1s are about to wrap Baby #3!
      P.S. Genevieve, why don’t you just pull the inserts out of the pockets before you put them in the diaper pail?? I’ve never been a fan of pockets because they seem really fussy, but our diaper source (Kelly’s Closet, great company!) gives them away as gift-with-purchase so we have a handful by now. I find them useful for overnight because they’re so absorbent, but the stuffing/destuffing routine wasn’t for me. But I do always unstuff them when I put them in the pail so I don’t have to remember to go back and do it later!

  2. Did you use the regular bum genius 4.0 diapers on baby when he was a newborn? If so, how was it with the umbilical cord? Do they adjust small enough for a newborn?
    I’m new to cloth diapering. I saw bu genius has a diaper specifically for newborns but I’d rather just have be one size and use that forever.

  3. Hi!

    Quick question – why don’t you pull the insert out right when you pull the diaper off the babe? Why wait until before you throw them in the laundry? I’m waiting for my cloth diapers to arrive from Amazon so this question comes from a place of pure ignorance!

    Thanks!

  4. Thanks for all your helpful posts!! What sprayer did you get?

  5. HI, I was wondering when you started cloth diapering your newborn. Some (i’ve heard) dont fit them when they are in the first few days. Did you do flats/prefolds with covers? did you do a newborn rental? buy them second hand?…I’m looking for the cheapest/easiest way to do it for the first few days until the baby grows into the bumgenius.

    Thanks for your advice!

    • With my first I did a 3 month rental. However, just like you mentioned, they did not fit properly. This lead to my husband not being on board to continue. The rental person was wonderful and switched out brands and let us keep them longer than normal but he was just so tiny (falling into the 5th percentile). I’m expecting number two and this time I’m buying prefolds and making my own diaper shells with just PUL to wipe and reuse (like Best Bottom brand). I’m determined to do it this time!

  6. Hello Genavieve,

    Are you still using Bac Out? I noticed that the formula has changed, and I’ve read complaints that it doesn’t clean as well as it used to. Any suggestions?

  7. Hi Genevieve! Thank you so much for all of the information you share! We have 5 children and I have never cloth diapered until now with number 5! We have really changed our way of living/eating and we are loving it!! I am really excited to cloth diaper! She is 9 months old and I am getting ready to purchase all the items you mentioned in your post/video. I was wondering though if you have trouble with build up in the diapers from the soap you use? Do you have to strip them often? And last question, are y’all still using Method detergent and Bac Out? Thank you so much! I look forward to hearing from you!

  8. I’ve been cloth diapering for 3 years now since our first was born, who potty trained 9 months ago and for our second since birth who is 10 months. Both children have been exclusively in cloth. I know we have hundreds of diapers and that sounds crazy but its not our logic really is sound. We have a full stash of small, medium & large prefolds, and some toddler… We have some muslin flats and fitteds to use with wool for a newborn and some newborn aios… We have all sized of wool and some thirsties and sweetpea covers we use over the flats we have in our travel stash which is onesize because its just flats and os covers. We have a stash of one size and large fitteds for once the snappi can be removed and my kids won’t home still and need to be snapped into diapers but still in wool and we have some grovia aios/ai2s to cover outings and play dates ( fast and trim and waterproof) accept anywhere there is a poly laminent we use natural fibers, no leaks and absorbs perfect… I rinse, power wash on warm with soap nuts, ( currently top loader was using a front for 2.5 years) rinse, rinse and spin, then I dry a few minutes and hang them up inside or out. I just toss them in a wetbag when wet and spray out dirty ones with the sprayer spray pal before they go in the bag. I wash every 48 hours max and I haven’t had any smells and only a few stains that will eventually sun out 😉 we love your videos you’re a riot…

  9. Do you use the recommend 4 pumps of the Method detergent when washing your diapers?

  10. oh i forgot to ask, if its better to have in all in one or do you like the inserts?
    thank you again 🙂

  11. hi there, what is a good number to start out with or how many do you think is good to have on hand? i have a 6 month old 🙂 thank you

  12. Hi Genevieve,
    Your video on cloth diapers is great (as is your video on stripping). I’ve been using cloth (prefolds / covers and now BG 4.0s) since the birth of our girl. I’m having a bit of a diaper rash issue with her so I’m going to strip them. She is only 3 months old so I’m not sure what’s causing it. We were using Molly’s Suds detergent and am not switching back to BG brand.

    Question: When washing, do y’all only wash on heavy duty? Do you do any additional soaking or rinsing?

    We just got a front loader so I’m trying to get things right. I’ve been doing:
    1. Rinse/Spin cycle
    2. Soak
    3. Whitest White.

    It takes nearly 2.5 hours just to wash.

    Also, do you put the 4 pumps of Method right into the dirty laundry in the washer?

    Thanks,
    Carolyn

  13. Thanks! I LOVE Method!

  14. Is Method detergent still working good for you guys? I am thinking of switching over to is as that is what I use on my clothes but I see that lots of detergent lists for diapers do not recommend it. Do you find it causes build up on your diapers or does it work well after long term use? Thanks.

    • It’s been fine for us. I’ve been using Charlie’s Soap lately to see if that works better and frankly don’t notice a big difference. The only thing I’ve noticed is that air-dried clothes do seem to be a bit softer using the Charlie’s Soap.

  15. Hi, I’m also looking for a homemade bac-out recipe– I googled it and stumbled upon this page. 🙂 I bought some about 2 weeks ago and I’m already about out. At $9 a bottle this is kind of an expensive habit! Thanks!

    • Never use Bac out and my cloth diapers do not smell. We use vinegar in the first rinse cycle. I second that BG 4.0 are the best cloth diaper . I have Charlie Banana also and hate the snaps now that baby is on the move (9 months ).

      • Can you share more about using vinegar during your rinse cycle? Also, do you have hard water? We have been having stink issues (ammonia) every few months and trying to tweak my wash routine with each strip. Trying to decide if I should give vinegar a try– we use cotton prefolds and PUL covers. I’ve heard vinegar is not good for PUL and can react and can sometimes cause more stink issues with harder water. Share your experiences with it if you will:)

        • Leah, what u could do is when u change the child diaper wash off the feaces, so when wash it wont be hard to get off, and u can soak them in vinegar and lemon water before u put them in washing machine

    • I’ve discovered a lot of other BG users who skip the Bac-Out and have no problem… and since it’s an enzyme, there’s some worry that it could void the warranty (and potentially decrease absorption). I am thinking of putting mine back in the closet until my little guy starts on solids and starts making nasty poops. I also came across someone who diluted it by half. I haven’t tried that so can’t attest to its success, but it would definitely make the Bac-Out cheaper!

  16. Hi! Just curious how essential Bac-Out is to the process… Also, have you come across any homemade version? I ask because I like in Korea and I’m not sure I could find something like Bac-Out, and I have a feeling Amazon.com won’t ship it! Thank you.

  17. I second Maggie’s question. We will be having our first in August and have chosen bumGenius 4.0 diapers as well. I am curious as to how well they fit newborns. I know Griffin was over 7lbs when he was born, so did you just use the one size on the smallest setting? Or did you get some of their newborn diapers as well?

    • Hi Alyssa! See my repose below:

      We used the BG 4.0 from newborn till now at 20 months old. They are fully adjustable and I just set to the smallest size. Griffin was 7 lbs 13 oz and they worked great. Sure, they’re a little bulky at first but they definitely fit.

  18. Thank you, thank you, thank you for this info! I’m expecting in October and fully committed to cloth diaper. I’m debating getting the BG newborn size diapers – did you do so? You showed one in your video, but I wasn’t sure if you got them and if so, how many you need. Thanks!

    • We used the BG 4.0 from newborn till now at 20 months old. They are fully adjustable and I just set to the smallest size. Griffin was 7 lbs 13 oz and they worked great. Sure, they’re a little bulky at first but they definitely fit.

  19. Hey! I make my own wipe solution with water, a squirt of baby oil, and a squirt of baby shampoo. Put it all on a spray bottle and you’re good to go!

  20. Thanks so much for the amazing videos! We just found out (Thursday) that we are expecting our 1st little sprout in October! Since I am vegan, I am extremely keen on being a natural mommy (even though I am terrified) and the cloth diapers seem to be a no brainer. However, I was wondering what you do about cloth diapers when you are out & about. Thanks again for all of your help- your blog is so encouraging!

    • Hi Kourtney, Congratulations! We carry a diaper bag with extra cloth diapers and a little bag that is insulated so we can put any type of mess in there :). Works great. When we travel overnight, we use disposables. XOXO.

  21. What do you do for wipes/wipe solution?
    We have a pile of homemade wipes that we’re slowly adding to but we aren’t sure what to use as the wipe solution once the little one arrives.

    • Hi Becca! We use Tushies Baby Wipes. They are the only disposable diaper with natural, non-chlorine bleached woodpulp
      blended with cotton. We love ’em.

  22. I wanted to ask what other cloth diaper brands you tried before deciding. Glad you’re going to do a follow-up post on it!

  23. Have you tried fuzzibunz? Why do you like BumGenius better?

    • Hi Courtney, stay tuned to Tuesday’s post and we give the details on how we picked BumGenious. I have heard good things about fuzzibunz too.

  24. Did you use the Bumgenius diapers when your son was a newborn? I am looking into cloth diapering for our little one due in October, and wondered how these diapers work with little ones!

    • Yes, Elizabeth, we started using BumGenius when Griffin was 10 days old. We wanted to be sure that there was no more meconium. Congrats on your baby to be!!! YAY! Are you going to find out sex?

      • Thanks! We are not going to find out the sex…keeping it a surprise for the big day!

  25. My husband also picked out the bumGenius 4.0 diapers to use and we LOVE them. Instead of waiting until laundry day, we pull out the inserts before putting them in the bin and then just dump it all in the front loader without having to touch the diapers a second time. 🙂

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