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The Ultimate Cloth Diapering Tutorial, Step by Step

Here is a quick tutorial on how to cloth diaper your baby, have an endless supply of clean diapers, even if you didn’t even know basics, like, that babies need diapers.


So, with no further adieu, A Step by Step Cloth Diapering Guide with pictures and tips to use cloth or reusable diapers.
Oh my gosh, stop!  Don’t roll your eyes, at least read!


(The following is the story of how the hubs and I came to cloth diaper and a cloth diapering tutorial.  To go right to a “How To” tutorial, click here)


Yes, I care about saving money, and I like our earth, but if cloth diapering were any much harder than disposables, I most likely would not be doing it.  Seriously.
Trust me, and just let me explain…. Truthfully, at this point, I love it so much, I might just be obsessed with cloth diapering!  (Where to even begin…)



When you hear the term cloth diapers, it may conger up images of some baby in the fifties, walking around with a soiled diaper drooping on one side down to his knee.  You might, with that image in your head, think, “that looks like a disgusting hassle.”  Oh yeah, that’s what I thought too, same image, same thought.


Until I found my brand of choice, and tried one day, one diaper:  BUM GENIUS!  (oh, and p.s. ONLY Bum Genius 4.0, I will explain why later, but omg, yes!)


Let’s start at the beginning.  There I was, pregnant, thinking about the 1,000 baby stuff that you have to make a decision on as my belly grew ever rounder.  Each day would be a new thought, such as, “We should get a glider,” and “Hmmm, I’m not sure I want to give birth,” and “Let’s extract every piece of dust in this house, while scrubbing the baseboards and under the dryer!” (Crazy nesting.  At least those things got done once in my life, I suppose)
I had heard about cloth diapers, but was uneducated and uncommitted to researching.  Then one day, I was purchasing re-usable snack bags for an adoption fundraiser for Reece’s Rainbow when I saw a link: “New Bum Genius 4.0 diapers set to come out in 2 months, they are awesome, preorder now!”


Ok, so I have never preordered anything in my LIFE!  But, I decided I would order ONE.  That way we could look at it and make a decision if we want to invest in this whole thing later, like much later.  Or, maybe probably not.
For my baby shower I was given a handful of packs of diapers.  We also, on the way out of the hospital grabbed all those tiny pampers under the bassinets on wheels. We were exclusively disposable diapering only for the first two weeks.


So one night while The Tiny was in his third week of life, we went to a friend’s house for a little party.  Everyone was oo-ing and ahh-ing over The Tiny, who mostly wide eyed stared back, or just slept as he was passed around.
“Uh Oh!” said friend #1, cradling him close  “I think he just pee peed on me!” As she stared at the wet spot on her shirt.  “Aww, that’s ok, it’s barely anything!”


“Oh my gosh!”  I said, as I sprang up.  “I am SO sorry!  I can’t believe that happened, oh jeez, that is so gross, I’m so sorry!”  I said as I put him on his shiny new diaper bag mat and changed all his clothes and diaper.  The moment was forgotten as he nestled into the next friend’s arms, and friend #1 dabbed at her shirt.


“Oh my gosh!” this is now friend #2.  “I think he just peed on me, too!  Hahaha!  He is a pee-er,” I hear about 10 minutes later!  It’s in these moments as a new mom that you are uber organized, so you for sure have 2 outfits in the bag, but still… “Are you kidding?” I said.  “No WAY!  Oh gosh, my little guy is just marking his territory I guess, just take it as a sign he likes you” I joked, hoping it would smooth over the fact that my child has now coated 2 people in his pee.
When friend #3 picked him up, I jokingly noted how there could not possibly be more pee in that little body, so you must be safe.  But oh, you must already know the punchline of this story.  Why would I even mention a friend #3, if this friend too did not in fact get pee on their nice shirt.


It was at this moment we left the party.  Hubby and I don’t usually leave parties early, and as we drove away we contemplated this whole thing called, “parenthood.”  But, we were determined to figure out a solution to this problem, cause I mean 3 friends?  3!?


That was the night I dug out that grasshopper green cloth diaper I had bought those few months ago when The Tiny still received his mail in my stomach.  It felt so soft and thick, we were willing to try it.  We put it on his newborn little body, and he instantly looked like a sumo wrestler.  We laid The Tiny down for the night and started to sleep.  When he woke up a few hours later, much to my surprise his pj’s were dry!  That morning when I told the hubby the news, “We’re ordering a full set!” he declared.


I was so excited!  We both were!  (It’s funny, the things you and your hubby start cheering for when you first become parents…)We found the solution to our pee problem within hours of discovering the problem!  (I guess pre-ordering wasn’t so crazy after all!) We shopped online and bought 12 more diapers, 2 wet bags, and Bum Genius detergent.  I think our bill was in the mid 200’s, and we gulped when we hit “order” but also felt good about it.
Since then, it’s been cloth diapers only.  And. We. Love. It.


How to Cloth Diaper,
(Cloth Diapering for Anyone, in numbered order)
(Even of you don’t care about the environment, saving money, or having cute little colored diapers, you’ll see how awesome it is)
1. Time for a diaper change, so change your tiny’s diaper.



2. Take out the insert, stack it on the diaper with any wipes you used and roll it up!


3.  Place in your diaper pail (Extra bonus is having a reusable bag so you don’t have to buy more of these either! I like this one.  I never even really wash it)



4. Once you see you only have a few diapers left, start the washing machine!  I do a small load on cold with one scoop of detergent.  Take your bag and dump out the diapers into the water!  (All your diapers, wipes, travel wetbags)  No need to touch them, soak or rinse them.  Breast fed and formula fed baby poop is water soluble.  BONUS!


5.  Go do something fun.


6.  When the washer is done, take everything out, put the inserts in the dryer, put cloth wipes back in tupperware, and put the diapers on a line.  You can string a line anywhere, indoor or outdoor.  Outdoor on a sunny day is best because the sun actually bleaches the stains out to a bright white.  Cool, huh?  Cloth diapers, natural bleach, you are oh so au natural right now!


7.  Go do something fun.


8.  When everything is dry, slip the inserts back into the covers, and stick ’em back in the drawer, ready to go.  No trips to the store, no grand total.  If your baby is napping, just let them nap, instead of waking them to go to the store.  You can do everything you need for clean diapers at home.


Plus, they are so darn cute!  Here’s the tiny rocking a t-shirt that matches his cute Bum Genius’.



Why I love Cloth Diapering The Tiny
1.  It’s Flippin’ Easy:  When I told people I was thinking about cloth diapers, I got many eye rolls, and “No, you don’t want to do that, what a hassle,”s.  But, as you saw in my tutorial, your baby spends more time napping, and you spend more time doing what you want.  With the Bum Genius snaps, it’s just like putting on a disposable, and throwing them in the washer is easier than taking out the trash.  Hanging them to dry is easier than driving to the store.


2.  It saves major flow:  Andrew and I are sold out to the Dave Ramsey way of life.  (More on this in another post) We took ‘Financial Peace University,’ use cash only for our purchases, don’t buy anything extra and put every extra penny we can at the end of every month towards whichever ‘baby step‘ we are working on at the time.  Low and behold, by the time The Tiny came around, we had just graduated to baby step 5– College Funding.  So what totally boggles my mind is the fact that the money we save each month on diapers, actually gets put into his college fund.  Let me just say that one more time, because I can’t quite believe it myself…
The money we save each month on diapers, actually gets put into his college fund.
I’m going to have to remind him of this when he’s wearing his cap and gown.  😉  There is an initial investment upfront, but these diapers not only last until The Tiny is using the potty, but I plan on using these same ones for all my kids.


3. It saves you time:  No last minute trips to Costco or Wal-Mart (which I think saves us money that we don’t end up going to those places and getting extra purchases) , no hefting out diaper genie bags to the dumpster.  You have everything you need right in your home.  We change his diaper, roll it up, put it in the diaper champ, just like with any disposable.  Putting the inserts into the covers takes the most time, but I think it’s still faster than taking diapers out of the plastic and putting them in the drawer.
Cloth Diapering Lingo:


Insert:  The soft white rectangle material that goes into the colorful cover and soaks up the pee pee.
Wet Bags:  Cute waterproof bags that you keep in your diaper bag for putting a soiled diaper into when you’re out and about.
Cover:  Colorful and water proof, comes with snaps or velcro and grows with your baby.Bum Genius 4.0:  Our brand and type of choice.  It has snaps, as opposed to velcro, and it’s a one size fits all diaper.  It snaps across the waist and down the front to grow with your tiny.  I like it better than velcro or “hook and loop” as they call it, because the velcro gets all messed up in the washer, and begins to loose it’s hold.   Also, as your tiny grow, and begins running around, the snaps keep the diaper snug, without fear of the coming off.  No one wants a poo show.  Well, maybe your tiny.


Now you know how to cloth diaper!  It’s fun, it’s easy and you save mula.  Plus reusable nappies are so cute.
And now, all the info you need to use cloth wipes and make your own wipes solution.  You are such a frugal and natural mama right now! Your bebe’s tush will thank you, it’s oh so nice!
 Now send this link to your spouse or friend who you think should try cloth diapering.
If you have any questions, ask me, I’m happy to answer any cloth diaper question you may have!
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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Jayma Malme April 9, 2011, 6:50 pm

    Amy, I tweeted this post cuz I love it so much. You convinced us to give cloth diapering a try when we were at your house after Fin was born. Now we just need Baby Malme! PS you need to get on twitter. Your hilarious sense of humor is perfect for tweeting and mommies on twitter will love your blog. Plus, @melissagaare & I (@jaymalew) are on there! Miss you. Mwah!

  • The Whites April 10, 2011, 1:30 am

    Amy…You are an amazing mama.
    I love your pictures and step by step instructions. You convinced me…maybe for my other children i will give cloth diapering a try again.

  • The Tiny Team April 11, 2011, 3:23 am

    Yes lovely ladies! Give it a try, maybe start with one like we did 😉


  • sksympson April 11, 2011, 5:19 pm


  • kriswelch16 April 22, 2011, 1:57 pm

    I’m prego with baby girl #4 and could use some money saving techniques! And…the idea of no having two kids in disposable diapers is great! Anyhow, how many diapers would you suggest having at home?

  • The Tiny Team April 26, 2011, 6:54 pm

    Hi Kris! We use a minimum amount, we have 17 and think it’s great! I think companies suggest something crazy like 30, but I’d say anywhere from 15-20 should be just perfect!

    BLESSINGS to your new baby!!!

  • Beauty and the Green May 10, 2011, 7:46 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing. My sister is considering cloth diapers for her newborn but needs more info and options….I will surely pass this on!

  • Bethany G July 4, 2011, 1:57 pm

    I LOVE that you use cloth diapers!!! I’m not a momma yet… but when I am, we will definitely be going cloth all the way!

  • juliecache July 21, 2011, 4:42 am

    Love that you included “go do something fun” more than once! Thank you for joining our Frugal Tuesday Tip. Maybe we’ll see you next week? http://juliecache.com/2011/07/18/frugal-tuesday-tip-and-a-winner/.html

  • UntrainedHairMom July 27, 2011, 10:15 am

    Thanks for the info…I have my first cloth diaper on its way to try out (I’m excited too, lol)

  • Olah Momma! July 28, 2011, 4:52 am

    Lucky you got to use that diaper. First investment can be expensive, but it would turn out to save you a lot, plus good for the environment.

    Following your lovely blog. I am also inviting you to visit http://olahmomma.com/momlounge where you can add your blog ( http://olahmomma.com/momlounge/node/add/blog-list ), express yourself, and meet and be seen with more mom bloggers.
    Thanks and have a great day!

    Olah Momma!

  • Rhe Christine July 28, 2011, 4:45 pm

    totally loving your blog!! and this is a great post! I am pregnant with baby #3 and going to begin my cloth diapering journey. I’m super excited! Glad to be a new follower 🙂

  • Chloe August 4, 2011, 8:28 pm

    Love cloth diapers. 🙂

    I’m your newest follower from the hop.

  • Eco-Mom August 5, 2011, 1:25 am

    I’m a bit obsessed with it too. Seeing all those BGs in the top drawer made me smile, that’s where we keep the BGs too! (Also in a white dresser!) You have a great blog here! I’m following and very likely stealing your button. Please feel free to stop by my blog and say hi!

    All the best!


  • Lindsay Elizabeth August 6, 2011, 8:48 pm

    awww such a cute baby!!

    i found you from thankful for friends thursday and i’m now following. i would really appreciate it if you could check out my block and maybe follow back! thanks 🙂

    lindsay @ http://lindsayelizabethm.blogspot.com

  • Ubermom August 25, 2011, 10:40 pm

    I saw the discussion about how to actually diaper the baby, with your cutie in the pic, and I realized that I forget that some people are totally foreign to CD! My mother CD’d her brood and so I had experience, I continue to CD my ten kids so the older kids have all changed cloth. But I think I am the minority! I am glad you posted such a frank post and hope it helps others.

    By the way, I have found that Bummis training pants are really fabulous and seriously absorbant, even overnight. Sometime, faster than you can believe, your little one is going to need to toilet train!

    Congrats on your sweetie!

  • CB September 1, 2011, 5:52 pm

    Visiting here from gnowfglins. 🙂 Great article. I hope many will read and try cloth!

    I started cloth diapers with Bum Genius too. I think they were the 3.0 then. Fantastic diapers.

    However, with this new baby, I’ve gone really retro and use flats and Flip covers (by Bum Genius). This is a great option … you still get the great BG fit with the covers, but can use the inexpensive flats which are a cinch to wash and dry.

  • Heather September 3, 2011, 9:53 pm

    I sew, and diapers are easy sewing, so we home-sewn fitted dipes & wool covers–some that I knit & more recycled from rummage sale wool sweaters. We’re on our 3rd cloth-diapered baby, ad, while I do need to make some replacement dipes this time, due to some being plain worn out, he’s wearing a lot that his big sister and brother wore, too. I did use velcro, because I got a monster wheel of it at a rummage sale for $2. There is a very useful gizmo called a GripClean the sole purpose of which is to clean lint, etc out of velcro so it keeps sticking. JoAnn Fabrics has it online. I like to have about 3 dozen diapers–but making them seriously cuts that initial investment.

  • Shreela September 5, 2011, 2:38 am

    You’re all so cute ^_^
    I don’t know anyone personally – or online – that’s done this, but it seems possible, as long as there’s no stressing:
    http://pottytrainingearly.com/adventures-in-potty-training-my-first-experience-with-early-potty-training/ If it does work – even just partly, I imagine you’d save even more $

  • Melissa September 21, 2011, 3:18 am

    YES! Bum Genius 4.0 all the way!! Love your blog!! From one crunchy momma to the next =))

  • cleanfreak October 14, 2011, 4:04 pm

    I am ordering my supplies to start cloth diapering next week hopefully–My baby will be 8 weeks old… I am REALLY excited but could use some tips on detergent (what do you use?) and storing those diapers. Is a wet bag hanging in the closet ok? And do I need to rinse the poop off before hand-And if I do then in the toilet or laundry room sink?
    SO much information out there that it is overwhelming–SO happy to have found this site!

  • Nicolette March 9, 2012, 3:07 am

    Great post, so informative. I’m considering cloth diapering my second baby and this was very helpful. What is your favorite detergent?

  • Stephanie March 19, 2012, 10:54 pm

    Beautiful baby and lovely diapers. I used cloth on my 2. They are now 7 and 11. I sure do miss those big CD’s booties. So dang cute!

  • MEL [V] DESIGNS September 5, 2012, 5:17 pm

    What type of diaper pail would you recommend?

  • Izzy.mitchem June 25, 2013, 6:05 pm

    Hi Amy! I’m a friend of Mandy Felland’s and have come across your blog through her; you’re hilarious and always so positive!

    I’m 28 weeks pregnant now, and am 99% sure I want to try out cloth diapering–still have to convince the hubby that it’s a fabulous idea too!

    I can be kind of impulsive and dive right into things at times, so I’d like to order the bumgenius 4.0s in a set rather than trying one diaper out at a time. Do you still love them as much as you did when you first bought them?!

    If I’m going for it, I want to make sure that my source is still a believer!!

    Isabel Mitchem

    • The Tiny Team June 27, 2013, 3:32 am

      We still do! But we don’t use the diaper champ, it has saved us TONS, especially now with two toddlers using them. We HAVE had some friends start and quit, but we love it 🙂

    • Izzy.mitchem August 31, 2013, 4:27 pm

      Thanks so much! I ended up receiving a couple of starter bumgenius diapers as a gift (so excited to try them out!). I’m in the final stretch at 37 weeks, so as soon as our little bundle arrives and reaches 8 lbs, cloth diapering begins!!