New to Cloth?
Welcome to the wonderful world of cloth! Seriously, cloth diapering is a lot of fun and has become a hobby and fashionable tool for thousands of moms all over the world. It's a fantastic way to save money, reduce waste in our landfills, and make your baby's bum the cutest!
Care Instructions: This was one of my biggest concerns when I got into cloth diapering. How much effort does it take to wash them? I'm pleased to report: not much! Here's a basic idea:
- Cold rinse, no detergent
- Hot wash, 1/2 detergent
- Cold rinse if necessary, no detergent
- Machine dry or hang to dry
Claudia's Choices and other green detergents are not only great for cloth diapers, but the whole family's laundry needs!
- Here's a tip for pocket diapers: when you take the diaper off of your baby, pull out the insert. Lay it inside the diaper along with any cloth wipes you use. Then fold the diaper over and place into your wetbag or diaper pail. When it's wash time, it can just be dumped into the washer and you don't have to touch it all again! (Please refer to each product's description for specific manufacturer's washing recommendations.)
How many diapers should I buy? It depends on your child's age and how often you want to wash. Most parents prefer to wash every other day. For example, for a newborn, if you wash every other day, you would need 24-30 diapers.
- Newborns ~ 12-15 diapers per day
- 2-6 months ~ 10-12 diapers per day
6+ months ~ 8-10 diapers per day
These can include any combination of prefolds, fitteds, pockets, or All-In-Ones.
What's the best diaper? Again this is personal preference. I personally use AppleCheeks, AMP and Blueberry. My suggestion is this: unless you know for sure you want to use prefolds or fitteds, start with something as near to disposables as possible. They are all grandparent and babysitter-friendly and easy to care for.
These seem so expensive...how can I afford to use cloth? First, it's important to realize that the most expensive cloth diapering option, spread over 3 years, is still cheaper than the cheapest disposable option. (see Diaper Pin for a cost calculator.) And you can reuse cloth for your next baby or resell it. Many times, you can sell used cloth diapers for nearly what you paid if they're in really good condition. You get what you pay for. Buying a Made-in-Canada or Made-In-USA product comes at a higher cost because you are reflecting the fair wages, ethical materials, responsible labor practices and true pricing in those products.
There are so many options...it's all so confusing. I understand! When I started, I was completely overwhelmed at all the choices. Again, my advice is to start as simply as possible. Make it easy on yourself and buy a few diapers to try out or try our trial program. Because many are so similar to disposables, they're the easiest option. Later, once you've figured things out, then you can branch out and try different methods. And you'll pick everything up pretty quickly.
What if I don't want to use a wet pail? Then don't! In fact, these days we recommend you not use a wet pail. It's just not necessary, it's messy, and there's a danger of your child drowning in the bucket of water. Just use a regular trash can with a reusable, washable pail liner. Toss the diapers in and on wash day, dump it into the wash! It's so easy...there's no need to make things harder for yourself! There are also great options for hanging wet/dry bags and then you don't even need a diaper pail!
Do I have to rinse diapers in the toilet? Nope! When your baby is exclusively breastfed or formula-fed, the diapers can go into the pail just as they are. The baby popo will wash out with no trouble at all. Once your baby is on solid foods, a diaper sprayer is a great thing to have. Use it to spray poo off into the toilet. They're super easy to install and they work very well. Also, formed poops don't stick to fleece very well, so they will usually just roll of into the toilet and don't need anything else. A flushable, biodegradeable diaper liner can be used to easily remove and flush away poop. Liners that are only wet with urine can be rinsed, hung to dry and reused.
What are all these types of diapers? It's overwhelming! I know it's overwhelming at first, but you'll pick things up quickly. All of these descriptions are on the diaper pages, but in a nutshell:
- All-in-One - describes a diaper that doesn't need a cover or anything extra to make it absorbant. It's everything you need in one package...just like a disposable diaper. The easiest diaper to use for anyone changing your baby.
- Pocket Diaper - Like a cover with a pocket built in. Inside the pocket you'll slide the absorbant layer...an insert, prefold, etc. Once the diaper is stuffed, it's like an all-in-one. No extra cover is needed.
- Fitted Diaper - this is a diaper that will conform to your baby very well. It's diaper-shaped and has a closure, either snaps or velcro. These do not have a waterproof layer built in so you'll need to use a cover.
- Prefolds - a flat diaper that has been "pre-folded" for you. Similar to what our own parents used. These are economical and absorbant but do require a cover. I recommend using a Snappi to close them with.