How To Cloth Diaper

I am not an expert at this and have found a way through the maze of cloth diapering that has worked for our family. I am cloth diapering because 1) I am cheap. 2) I like our planet. 3) They are cute. 4) I am cheap and Lyla's blowout-caused, cute outfit destroyer poops decreased 800 fold when we went to cloth. 5) I am disorganized and would run out of disposable ones I am sure of it. 

Since I get asked quite often how we cloth diaper, I figured a post would be helpful! 

If it isn't clear by everything else on this blog, I pass no judgment on mommas who have found that disposable diapers work for them. Work it out mommas. Life is hard enough without worrying about how you have decided to contain your child's poop. ;)

The first thing you will need are supplies and I get that the initial investment adds up. It just does. But once you've got your rhythm going, it's pretty simple. I have only ever used the Bumgenius diapers. I have amassed about 30 of them. They are adorable, easy to use, and truly idiot proof. They fit from about 8 pounds all the way until the kid is potty trained. We've used Lyla's for about 5 months now and they mostly function as good as new. These are the exact ones that I use:

Once the diapers are amassed here are the other things you will need:

So here is how all this works in practicality for us. 

0-6 Months (i.e., pre-solid foods)

During this boot camp phase of baby life, cloth diapering is the easiest thing. Essentially, you put the liners into the stainless steel garbage can and when baby has made a lovely surprise for you, you take the dirty diaper and drop it right into the large garbage can. It doesn't matter if it is the biggest poop your breastfed/formula fed baby has ever made. No extra steps, just take it off and drop it in there. 

A note about wipes: we use disposable wipes because it seemed easier to us. So we have a separate garbage can for disposable stuff in her room. 

For on the go, you will use the wet/dry bags just as if they were the liners in the large garbage can. Put dirty diaper in there, and then transfer the diaper to the large garbage can when you get home. If the wet/dry bag gets gnarly while out and about, I drop the bag into the large garbage can with the rest of the messy diapers. 

After about three or four days (or whenever your supply is getting low), you will follow these wash instructions:

  1. Grab the liner out of the garbage can that has all the dirty diapers in it. 
  2. Put the whole bag just as it is into the washing machine. 
  3. Run the machine on a quick cycle, cool wash NO SOAP
  4. Once done, add a scoop of the Charlie's soap and run a load on whites/hot, heavy soil
  5. Last step is to pull the liners that didn't come out in the wash out of the diapers and put those and the garbage can liner into the dryer on low.    Then air dry the cloth diaper "shells." If you can dry the shells outside in the sun, it basically bleaches them. MAGIC. 

Once a month you will take the garbage can liner bag full of cloth diapers and sprinkle a bag of the laundry stripper on top before you follow the same wash instructions above. That's it. 

6 Months Onward: Solid Food Phase

Well team. You made it. Your baby can now eat some solid foods. YAY! What a fun time! Now the only thing that changes about cloth diapers at this stage is deal with more solid turds. And "solid" is a loose term (such a bad pun). The turds are just more ... difficult let's say. Anyway, you will want to do two things to save your cloth diapering butt.

  1. When you put a new diaper on the babe, use a flushable liner. That way, whatever surprise is lurking there, you can lift out and flush right down the toilet. 
  2. For the times you forget to use a liner, and for the real tough turds, you will need a sprayer that attaches to your toilet. 

The washing instructions remain the same even though the poop game has changed. I hope that I never write a post so much about poop again. ;) 

You got questions? I got answers! Let's get into it. 

How to Stencil a Wall

Alright folks! Hang on to your hats, stockings, shoes, and coats: today I am going to hit you with a "tutorial" on stenciling your wall. As you might remember, we started with a room that looked like this: Laundry Room

And our to-do for the basement looked like this:

Then we painted it...IMG_4074

And I last left you with it looking like this...IMG_4080

When we bought this house almost a year ago, I bought this stencil:


I figured that this relatively small space would be a good one to take this puppy for a spin. I spent Christmas Eve stenciling and then a few hours the weekend we got back. Here are my thoughts on this adventure in a VERY specific order:

  • This is not a one person job.
  • There will be mistakes on every single section and you will have to go back through and touch up nearly all of them.
  • Doing it on a textured wall is NOT recommended.
  • Use BEN by Benjamin Moore paint for the stencil (that is the brand I got for the white and it was definitely the way to go).
  • Just buy this kit with the roller, stencil brush and level when you buy the stencil.
  • Pack your patience.
  • Start on a random spot on the wall where you can do a whole section of stencil.
  • Don't try to wash the stencil. Once you notice that it has too much wet paint on the back of the stencil, just let the paint dry on the stencil and either go straight back to stenciling or peel the paint off (I did the former).
  • I love the way it turned out but I will never do this again. In fact, I might do a giveaway of the stencil if any of you want it.

So let's get on with more of the how to do this.

The picture below was taken after I got through doing nearly all of it but the top section. LB had to help with the sides. Just as the rest of this project has gone, we tapped off the ceiling and the side walls the night before and when I came down to finish it up... the tape had de-taped from the ceiling.


Zoomed out it looks almost respectable, but when you look/zoom closer...IMG_4217

Spatters of mockery are EVERYWHERE. IMG_4218

I just kept telling myself to keep ignoring them until I was all the way done because there would be a TON that I would have to touch up.

I promised some more directions and here they are. First, attach the level to the stencil and then tape it up with obnoxious painting tape that you will hate by the end of this project.


Once you have done your one whole section on any area of the wall that you choose, the stencil will just need to be lined up with the previous stencils, leveled and taped. Here I am trying to do the corners by myself (hahahahahaha. Nearly impossible). As I mentioned above, you need to tape off the ceiling and the side walls. You then grab a paint tray, dip the roller in, and then clear off as much paint as possible before you touch it to the wall. Use the I-basically-have-no-paint-left-on-me small roller to roll out as much of the stencil as you can. Then for the edges, you will need to use the stencil brush and press the stencil securely to the wall/into the corner and apply the paint using the stencil brush.  IMG_4220

Here is an example of how the stencil interlocks with itself. IMG_4221

After a LOT of using 8 hands we didn't have, we got to this point: we were done using the stencil! Praise the LORD. It looks almost great here... again... illusion until you zoom in...IMG_4223

So janky. The ceiling was WAY harder than the corners. But luckily for me, I have quite a few people with serious paint brush skills in my crew. Sam was hired and she came and fixed it all right up by using a fine tipped paint brush and the Hale Navy paint to cover up the CRAY CRAY white spots. IMG_4224

And here she is! All done! Old washer and dryer gone.


"What is happening?!?" - Skipper IMG_4231

Now that this room is functional again we are back to washing everything in our house! Two weeks without a washing machine meant that I had 9 LOADS of laundry to do.  Thankfully, our new washer and dryer are great. I will post my review on them in another post, but I am so happy with how the stenciled wall really allows these beauties to be featured. So crisp, so clean, so fresh, so much better than where we started:

Laundry RoomIMG_4233

Tomorrow, I'll update ya on the design we went with for some storage needs in the laundry room. Who wants the stencil? Who likes it even though it took a ton of work?

How to Stencil a Wall