This may seem like simple part of cloth diapering, but to me the process was SOOO confusing. How do you change them? What do you do with the diaper until you wash it? There's really no right or wrong way to to do this. I'll tell you how I do it and then other thoughts or things I've learned about it. A lot of this may be way basic information, but for me I was still interested.
So once the baby has soiled or wet his current diaper-it's time to change. Plan on changing at least every 2-3 hours at first until you know how your baby is doing with the wetness. Each diaper will wick wetness away from the skin differently so this will depend on which diapers you choose. You can adjust the time once you're more familiar with the process. I'm still changing about every 3 hours.
Some people have a changing station, changing table, etc. We're not that organized. We ditched our changing table once our boy got rolley polley on us. We change on the floor now with a fold-able pad. I have a drawer in our coffee table that I keep all the diapers, inserts, dry wipes and wipe water. You can set up your changing station in the babies room, the bathroom-really anywhere. I keep my wet bag in the bathroom next to the toilet.
As for the actual changing, lay the baby down, un-secure the diaper, and then depending on if it is a wet or dirty diaper decide if you need to use a wipe I don't wipe every time. I don't like to add extra wetness if it isn't necessary. If he's been in a wet diaper a while and I want to make sure all ammonia is wiped away, I'll use a wipe. Of course if it's a dirty diaper I'll use a wipe as well. We are in the process of changing to cloth wipes. I was using disposable, but it's just messier. I had to throw the dirty wipe away which is gross to keep in the garbage. It also adds to waste so as we are reducing waste with diapers, we may as well reduce wipes as well.
For wipes I got 24 wipes from www.Cottonbabies.com but really any cloth works, even ripped up t-shirts. I use a peri bottle I got from the hospital fill it with one squirt baby soap(about a teaspoon or less), 1 T melted coconut oil, and warm water. The coconut oil helps grab onto waste a little more. I squirt the cloth with the water and wipe the bum. I roll it all up in the diaper, put the new diaper on and done!
So a few notes:
1. I pre-stuff all of my diapers. I like having it done, especially since my hubby or my nanny could be the next one using the diaper. Some people stuff right before they put it one the diaper. This is good if you alter your absorbency (meaning how many inserts you use).
2. Some people pre-wet their wipes and keep it in a container or wipe warmer-this sounds good to me, but at 13 months my LO doesn't have a ton of dirty dipes and I think the wipes can get moldy if not used soon enough.
3. With the wipe water using the bottle it lasts for about a week. It doesn't stay warm but my LO is fine with that.
4. I'll talk more about it later, but be careful about diaper creams. Usually they're aren't diaper safe, but I'll go into this more shortly.
Spraying and Storing
Let's talk about 3 different kinds of diapers here:
Wet diaper only: Just put it in your diaper pail or bag. Done! Some people will separate the pieces at this point, I like doing that as I put it in the washer. It's just preference.
Younger baby without solid poop: Okay time to get a little yucky, but because of the consistency of baby poop, there's no need to spray off or put in the toilet. The cold rinse on the washer will get rid of everything and put it down the drain. For me this was hard to accept but after talking to a lot of moms, the washer stays clean. The other clothes don't smell like poop and all is peachy keen! Then place in the diaper pail or bag*.
Older baby with solid poop: You'll want to shake or plop the poop in the toilet. If anything is left on the diaper (or wipe) grab your diaper sprayer and spray into toilet. I just makes sure to get any pieces off. Anything else the washer will take care of. Once done, place it in the diaper pail or bag*.
Items you'll need:
Diaper Sprayer: I diaper sprayer is must for us. No more dunking and scrubbing diapers in the toilet. just grab the sprayer, spray off any waste and done. This can get water on the toilet so I just grab some TP an wipe off the seat. I got mine off of Ebay for about $30.
Storage: After you spray off the diaper you'll want some storage method until it's time to wash. Most people use a diaper pail. This can be any trash can, the white plastic ones work great. Some people buy liners for this as well which could help prevent you from having to clean it too often. My choice of storage is actually a large wetbag. I have the Planetwise Large bag that comes with a handle that can be hung on the door. Our bathroom is small, so this is a much better option for us than a large garbage can. The other awesome thing about a wet bag is it's water proof and keeps the smell in the bag really well. Even better, it can be just thrown in the washer with the diapers! I would suggest getting 2, so while one washes-the other on is in use.
Here is a great changing guide, step by step: How To Change Modern Cloth Diaper
*I use a product called Bac-Out from BioKleen on my diapers before I put them in the bag. This is a live enzyme spray that starts working on the poop and getting rid of the bacteria. After I spray the diapers. I do a quick spray of Bac-Out and then put the diaper in the bag. I'll talk more about this later in the Additives section.
Okay that's it on the process. Next up-The Wash!