Diaper sprayers are the secret weapons in your cloth diaper arsenal. These weird shower-like contraptions make clean up a breeze. There are so many diaper sprayers on the market. It can be hard to discern the magic sprayer. You don’t want one that will break while you’re trying to clean a midnight slime special. What is the best diaper sprayer?
The best diaper sprayer is one that fits your needs. Some parents are looking for a sprayer that will last through all of their children. Others prefer a budget-friendly option. Our picks for the best diaper sprayers are:
* Aquaus SprayMate & Aquaus 360 Premium Diaper Sprayer for Toilet Bundle * Spray Pal Cloth Diaper Sprayer * Son Tiy Handheld Bidet Sprayer * SmarterFresh Diaper Sprayer
What is a cloth diaper sprayer?
Cloth diaper sprayers do all the dirty work of removing stool from your baby’s diapers. Initially, your baby will produce water-soluble stool if you are exclusively breastfeeding them. This mustard colored watery poo easily dissolves into your wash without extra steps. These early poops can stay in baby’s diaper without having to pre-rinse them.
Once your baby starts formula or solids, their poops will no longer be completely water-soluble. At this point, you will need to dump the stool into the toilet before you wash the cloth diapers. Usually, parents do this immediately after every diaper change. These poops don’t have the softer smell of newborn poop in the diaper pail. Accidentally leave these stools in the diaper, and your diaper pail will resurrect the dead.
Diaper sprayers make this chore easy by quickly washing off the poop. It can be done with as little finger contact as possible.
A cloth diaper sprayer is an attachment that fits onto your toilet. This attachment resembles a small hose with a tiny handheld sprayer. Similar to a bidet, the water is siphoned from the clean, potable water before it reaches your toilet bowl. A simple valve is attached to the water pipe and allows you to easily turn on and off the stream of water. Most sprayers come with clips so that you can mount the sprayer to the side of your toilet when not in use.
Is a diaper sprayer necessary?
Is a diaper bag necessary? No. Life is exponentially easier with one though. Once your sweet little one is out of those first few sleepy, breastfed months, the real poop begins. Babies drinking formula or eating solids need the poop removed from their diapers before the used diapers are tossed into the pail or washing machine.
There are parents that swear by the spatula method. A dedicated spatula is kept next to the toilet. When you have a soiled diaper, use the spatula to scrape/ pry off the stool. This is super easy if your baby has consistently solid stools. The stool will easily come off without much pressure. Goopy poops are trickier.
Other parents employ a dunk ‘n swish method. Hold one end of the dirty diaper. Dip the diaper into the toilet bowl and swish it around. This should remove the stool from the diaper. Again, if your baby has creamy poop that is slathered all over the diaper, this will require more effort.
When I decided to cloth diaper, I bought a diaper sprayer before I purchased my first cloth diaper. It was a worthwhile investment. My babies caught stomach bugs as easily as one catches cooties. The sprayer was a lifesaver for those awful diapers. It also made it more palatable for my spouse who would rather throw away the entire diaper if he had to swish anything around.
I found that diaper sprayers are able to get into the nook where the elastic scrunches the leg holes of the diaper. This area notoriously holds onto these little particles. Sprayers have the force to wash out anything that is smeared or stuck in these harder to clean areas.
Sprayers are stellar at getting the fine pieces out of your diaper fabric so the diaper is less likely to stain while it is waiting to be washed. Diaper sprayers cut down on these stains increasing the longevity of your diapers. If you are thinking about selling or donating your cloth diapers after, consider investing in a sprayer to keep them as clean as possible.
Diaper sprayers aren’t “necessary,” but they make the whole process run a bit smoother. Sprayers make cloth diapers are also an easier sell to hesitant spouses and grandmas
What to look for in a diaper sprayer.
If you’ve made it to this question, you’ve probably picked out your baby’s cloth diapers. When you searched for the right cloth diapers for your baby, there were most likely a few characteristics that you judged each contender on. When shopping for a diaper sprayer, you also want the biggest bang for your buck as well as a trusty cleaning companion. No chocolate fingers here!
Here are a few considerations to think about when choosing the best diaper sprayer for you.
Variable Water Pressure
When holding a diaper over the toilet, you want to be able to control the flow of water. Too much and you could send those poop particles flying into the air. Adjustable water pressure is ideal for cleaning diapers without a lot of mess. A bonus is that the adjustable pressure makes it convenient to use your diaper sprayer as a bidet too.
A reasonably priced diaper sprayer may be on your list. With so many things to buy when first starting to cloth diaper, you may want a decent sprayer that fits within your budget.
Your diaper sprayer will be in heavy rotation. Choosing a sprayer that has a warranty will ensure that you won’t have to replace it every few months. To keep your cloth diapering costs low, reliable equipment is a must.
Easy to Use
A sprayer that is intuitive to use is a prerequisite. The whole point of a diaper sprayer is to make your life easier. Not all sprayers are the same. Some have conveniently located knobs. Other sprayers come with their own spray shields.
The Aquaus 360 Premium Diaper Sprayer Bundle makes it on this list because it is the ultimate package for spraying your cloth diapers. It has a spray shield that sits on your toilet. You can clip your soiled diaper inside the shield and blast away poop without it splashing everywhere. This package even includes the clips and a plastic grabber.
The sprayer itself is solidly constructed and has a 3-year warranty. The sprayer has a brass valve that helps to prevent leaks. The head of the sprayer has 2 different spray plates to customize the pattern of spray. An included spray head extender allows you to keep your hands further away from messes. This is the ultimate spray package if you want a minimal mess. You can read our review of it here.
Spray Pal Cloth Diaper Sprayer
If you like the idea of having a spray shield included with your diaper sprayer, the Spray Pal Cloth Diaper Sprayer and Splatter Shield bundle is a more budget-friendly option. The Spray Pal Splatter Shield is more compact than the Aquaus Spray Mate and folds to fit in your wet bag. The spray shield even includes a built-in clip.
The sprayer is made of stainless steel for a sturdy build. The company will replace your sprayer if there are any manufacturing defects.
Son Tiy Handheld Bidet Sprayer
The Son Tiy sprayer is a worthwhile investment for parents with multiple babies or small home daycares. It is built to last. Unlike other diaper sprayers that require you to turn off the T-valve at the base of the toilet after every sprayer use, you don’t need to touch this one. It won’t leak or damage the sprayer hose if you leave it on.
The body of the sprayer as well as the trigger cartridge is made out of brass. Your sprayer won’t break easily nor will the trigger stop working. Son Tiy even provides a generous 3-year warranty. The Son Tiy comes at a higher price point than most diaper sprayers, but you will get your money’s worth. A bonus is that it comes in 5 other colors.
Smarter Fresh Diaper Sprayer
The Smarter Fresh Diaper Sprayer is ideal if you just want to purchase a solid, long-lasting diaper sprayer without any accessories. This diaper sprayer will hold up through rigorous use. It is also very easy on the wallet.
This diaper sprayer is sturdy. It’s constructed out of stainless steel with a brass valve. The brass valve is a heavy-duty feature that allows the sprayer to be used longer than its cheaply made counterparts. In short, no leaking and a lengthy lifecycle. Smarter Fresh even has a lifetime guarantee on their sprayer. This will be the only diaper sprayer you will need to buy.
There are as many cloth diaper inserts as there are snowflakes in a blizzard storm. Well, not really. It just seems like it. With so many options, how do you pick as a new cloth diapering parent? What is the best insert for cloth diapers?
Hemp and bamboo inserts are the most absorbent inserts for cloth diapers. Microfiber inserts and cotton inserts don’t absorb as much, but they absorb faster. They are also more budget-friendly.
There isn’t one superstar insert, rather there is a best insert for your lifestyle. Inserts also love to be mixed and matched. Just like a fruit salad, inserts actually work better in combination with each other. An insert stash that can do it all includes a variety of fabric types.
The Best Insert for Cloth Diapers
The “best” insert depends on what you’re looking for and your budget. The Bentley of cloth diaper inserts is hemp. It’s soft, very absorbent, environmentally friendly, and super trim for baby’s diaper. These inserts are also expensive and slow to absorb. If you are going to cloth diaper multiple babies, this investment might be worth it.
To find the inserts that will work the best for you, first consider what you are looking for. Are you starting your cloth diaper journey from the newborn stage? Is your baby already walking? Each stage has different requirements. Younger babies may not be in their diapers long enough to need multiple layers. Older sleeping babies will only make it through the night with special nighttime inserts.
Consider these needs to help you determine your “best” insert:
* Type of diaper used: pocket diaper, diaper cover, etc. * Multiple children * Newborn or almost toddler * Budget
What is the most absorbent cloth diaper insert?
The most popular cloth diaper inserts: hemp, bamboo, cotton, and microfiber are each stars in their own right. When it comes to absorbency, there are 2 things you should consider:
1. The total amount of liquids an insert can hold. 2. How fast an insert can absorb liquids.
Older babies usually wear one diaper throughout the night and need to store a greater amount of liquids. A couple of nights waking up to a crying baby with a soggy bottom is enough to make you question cloth diapers. You really just need the right insert in the right combination.
Babies that are older, or who sleep in one diaper overnight benefit from inserts that are made from bamboo or hemp. These inserts are the best at storing large amounts of liquids. They are great for younger babies too, but they won’t really use them to their full potential because they get changed so frequently.
Hemp inserts hold the most liquid.
Hemp inserts, in particular, absorb about 8 times more liquid than pure cotton. These workhorses should be on the top of your list if you have a baby that sleeps through the night. Hemp inserts are incredibly trim for the amount they soak up. Your small baby will find it easier to move in these.
These inserts are pricier than cotton or microfiber, so many parents mainly use these at night. Another thing to note is that while they can hold a lot, it takes hemp longer to initially soak up moisture. In fact, most “hemp” inserts are a hemp and cotton mix. Microfiber or all-cotton inserts can be paired with your hemp inserts to quickly absorb urine and let it slowly soak into the hemp. Geffen Baby and Thirstie’s make hemp inserts that many parents swear by.
Bamboo inserts are right after hemp in terms of the amount of liquid they can hold. They are a little less pricey and extremely soft. This is another great option.
Microfiber inserts absorb the fastest.
Microfiber is designed to rapidly pick up liquids. If your baby seems to pee their weight in urine, microfiber will be your best friend. Microfiber is unique because the actual fibers that are used to make it are extremely thin. The fibers are split to produce tiny fibers a fraction of the width of your hair. This allows microfiber to have an effective surface area much larger than its actual dimensions.
This insert works well to catch a quick mess. It is unmatched in its ability to speedily soak up moisture. Unfortunately, microfiber is also prone to compression leaks. This is when your baby is sitting or laying on top of a saturated microfiber insert and the force pushes the pee out. It is just as messy as it sounds.
Compression leaks may not be as big of an issue during the day if you change your baby frequently. At nighttime, microfiber has a harder time holding up on its own. Pair it with a natural fiber insert to do the bulk of storing. One thing to keep in mind is that microfiber should not touch baby’s skin directly. Microfiber is very drying. You will need to place a liner on top of the microfiber or stuff it into a pocket diaper.
Cotton also absorbs faster than bamboo or hemp and holds its moisture without as much compression leaking. This is another option if you need an insert to absorb quickly. It’s not as fast as microfiber, however.
What is the longest-lasting/ most durable insert?
I hear you cloth diapering mama. You want your inserts to last you through all of your future babies. This is a great question to ask. It seems like some cloth diapers retail for $4 while others are for $50. If you invest in pricier diapers, you need to know they will last.
Hemp or bamboo inserts make great long term investments.
Generally, natural fabrics tend to hold up the longest. Instead of outfitting your stash with mostly cheap (but absorbent) microfiber, try hemp, bamboo, or cotton. Hemp and bamboo in particular last long. The fibers in these fabrics are durable and easily cleaned. If cared for, you should be able to reuse them with future babies.
Microfiber just doesn’t hold up over time. The price reflects this. Microfiber is still a worthwhile addition to your stash, but it probably won’t last past the current child you are cloth diapering. The tiny fibers that work so well to absorb liquids also hold on to minerals and funk. Over time you will notice the inserts becoming harder and stinkier. This means their life cycle is coming to an end. Cotton has a longer life but may start to fray if used consistently.
What is the best insert on a budget?
Microfiber will keep your wallet happy. So will cotton.
The cheapest inserts to buy are microfiber. All cloth diaper retailers sell these because they’re wildly popular. They also come standard with many pocket diapers, all in ones, all in twos, and diaper covers. These economic inserts are ideal if you want to build your stash quickly and don’t want to save up for their more expensive counterparts.
Microfiber could be the best insert for you if you know that you’ll only use them with one baby. By the time your bundle of joy is graduating from diapers, these inserts would just be reaching the end of their life cycle. More expensive inserts will bring your initial investment price up. Parents who are looking to save as much money as possible using cloth diapers opt for these inserts. Babygoal has popular microfiber inserts sold in a 12 pack.
Cotton prefolds are the cheapest option if you pair them with a simple diaper cover. Cotton prefolds are rectangular and folded into thirds for absorbency. If you’re looking for cotton inserts, however, they tend to be much pricier than simple prefolds. Stick to prefolds or flats to keep your price down. Osocozy prefolds are a staple for many parents.
Ask ten different parents what the “best” insert is, and you will get ten different answers. The best insert is one that fits with your budget and diapering needs. Sometimes the best insert is a combination of two working together to better keep your baby dry.
You’ve decided to make the transition to cloth diapers. You have a few bolts of flannel or a few flannel shirts laying around. Can flannel even be used for cloth diapers? You’re in luck!
Flannel can be used to make cloth diapers. Flannel is used in diaper covers, inserts, and wipes. A few layers of thick flannel can be sewn together to create inserts to go in the flannel covers. You can also make baby wipes out of flannel.
If you have extra flannel on hand, it really is a versatile material for DIY’ers. Keep reading to discover how you can turn your old Christmas pajamas into a coordinated diaper set for your little one.
Flannel for Cloth Diapers
Flannel is an excellent choice for cloth diapers and the environment. Flannel is 100% cotton. Baby’s bottom will love this because it allows airflow which disposable diapers do not. I find that the more airflow my babies have in their diapers, the less prone they are to diaper rash. The natural material makes them landfill friendly. Your diapers won’t exist when we first fly to Saturn.
This material choice is super soft on your baby. Sharp tabs on disposable diapers tend to scrape the skin on the hips of my babies. Cloth diapers, especially ones made out of extra soft flannel, never leave these terrible scrapes.
Flannel Diaper Cover
Used flannel shirts and pants are easy (and cheap) sources for material. You can also visit your local fabric store if you don’t already have your own stash. If you’re not sure how to DIY your own diaper cover, you can follow this tutorial to walk you through the basic steps. Triple up and use 3 layers of flannel for the outside of the diaper. Add velcro or snap buttons for a sturdier fit.
One thing to keep in mind is that flannel is not a waterproof material. You will need to make an absorbent insert to soak up baby’s urine. A flannel diaper cover is better for younger babies or babies that are not heavy wetters.
Inserts are the absorbent part of the cloth diaper. These are placed inside the diaper cover. In this tutorial, flannel is used to make an insert. Four layers of flannel are sewn into a large square. This essentially makes a prefold. The flannel square is then folded into thirds and provides 12 layers of fabric.
If the flannel prefold seems a little intimidating, you can make flannel flat diapers. Flat diapers are simply large pieces of cloth. This cloth is a single layer that is folded around baby to make an absorbent diaper. It is then fastened and a diaper cover is put on top. The flannel isn’t waterproof, so you will need a moisture blocking cover. These are the old school cloth diapers that our grandmothers used.
Flat diapers are the easiest to launder because they have only one layer. The messes and stains easily come out. They also dry lightning fast. To make simple flannel flat diapers, cut a piece of flannel into a 28 by 28 inch square. You can finish it with a rolled hem or use pinking shears with a zig zag stitch. An old flannel sheet is ideal to make these large flat diapers.
While you are designing your baby’s flannel cloth diaper collection, consider making wipes too. Cloth wipes are the easiest thing to make. Since you will already have dirty cloth diapers in your diaper pail, cloth wipes can be easily tossed in. Dirty cloth diapers and wipes can be washed together. A bonus is that you’ll never run out of wipes as long as you keep a few washed.
To make flannel wipes, you can cut eight-inch squares from your fabric. Use pinking shears to help the wipes keep their shape. Stitch the edges of the wipes with an overlock stitch or a zig-zag stitch.
For newborns, arm yourself with at least 50 wipes. Newborns poop frequently and their poops are notorious for their liquid consistency. If you’re making the switch to cloth wipes during toddlerhood, you can get away with making 20. Babies in between these ages can get away with around 35 wipes, depending on the frequency of their bowel movements. Fortunately, these wipes are easy to make if you need to quickly add to your stash.
Other Fabric Options
While flannel can make many parts of your cloth diaper, you may have other materials in your closet that could further expand your stash. Fleece is another popular fabric for cloth diaper DIY’ers. Fleece that is found in cheap baby blankets can make water-repelling diaper covers. These covers aren’t waterproof, but they will repel more moisture than your flannel diaper cover. Plus, it is also very soft on baby’s skin.
If you have an old outdoor sweater made of microfleece, don’t throw it out. Microfleece makes one of the best cloth diaper liners. It is much thinner than regular fleece. Microfleece breathes and wicks away moisture from baby’s skin while transferring it to the absorbent layers below. These would upgrade the performance of your flannel inserts.
Old car or kitchen microfiber cleaning cloths can be repurposed into inserts. Microfiber terry is a popular choice for insert material because it is much cheaper than bamboo or hemp. A few layers of the microfiber terry will help keep baby’s pee contained in your flannel diaper.
You’ve carefully picked out your cloth diapers. The changing table is ready for your new baby to arrive. As you proudly admire the nursery, you wonder “where will I put baby’s dirty cloth diapers?”
You can store dirty cloth diapers in a wet bag or in a diaper pail with a cloth pail liner. Plastic laundry baskets with holes also work if you need a storage solution immediately. These storage containers should be kept in cool dry areas. Breastfed baby diapers can be put straight in without any storage prep. Babies eating solid food should have their poop knocked into the toilet, then the diapers can be stored in these containers.
It really is easy to store your dirty cloth diapers without the accompanying stink. After we demystify a few cloth diapering terms, the thought of dirty diapers won’t be so scary.
Where to Store Dirty Cloth Diapers
Each parent has their own favorite way to store dirty diapers. There isn’t one right way to do it. You can use what you have on hand, or purchase something that better fits your needs. With each of these options, it’s as simple as tossing your diapers in.
Wet bags are the swiss army knives of dirty diaper storage. These bags do the duty of a traditional diaper pail and the disposable garbage bag. These wet bags usually hold 12 to 24 dirty diapers. They are made to be mostly waterproof. PUL, or polyurethane laminate, is the material used to keep the moisture in the bag.
Wet bags typically have a zippered top and a loop to hang them over doorknobs. This is a great choice if you are limited in floor space. They are also easily moved from the nursery to the living room for convenient diaper changes. You only need 2 to store dirty diapers full time.
Diaper Pail with a Diaper Liner
A more traditional option is to use a diaper pail. Diaper pails are excellent for keeping in the stink and easy for other caregivers, like grandparents and babysitters to use. Instead of using disposable diaper pail garbage bags, opt for the cloth version. You will save tons of money reusing your washable cloth pail liners.
Cloth diaper pail liners are made out of PUL like their wet bag counterparts. The difference is that pail liners usually have a drawstring opening so that they can fit around the rims of diaper pails.
Not every diaper pail, however, seamlessly works with cloth liners. In general, diaper pails that have a sizable capacity and that don’t use single-use bags are a prerequisite. Some pails that can be easily used with cloth diaper liners are Dekor Plus, Ubii diaper pail, and the Safety 1st diaper pail.
Sometimes the easiest option is to just use what you have on hand. Plain kitchen garbage cans are a great substitute for expensive diaper pails. Simple Human garbage cans are stellar at containing smells and are easy to clean. Use a cloth pail liner for these garbage cans.
Plastic laundry bins are also very inexpensive to use. They wipe clean and you don’t need a liner. The downside is that they don’t contain smells well. These are ok if you have nothing on hand, but you will later want to upgrade to a more permanent solution.
How do I keep my cloth diapers from smelling?
Even though cloth diapers are easy to use, there are a few things you need to consider before storing your dirty cloth diapers. This will ensure that your diapers aren’t stinky enough to raise the dead.
Prep Diapers Before Storing Them
Poop should never go into your wet bag or diaper pail. For babies eating solid food, you can shake the poop into the toilet. To make this even easier, consider getting a diaper sprayer. Diaper sprayers attach to your toilet and have a small shower head nozzle to help clean baby’s diaper.
Diaper liners also make cleaning easier. The liners are a thin piece of fabric that you can lay inside the diaper to catch poop. Poop slides off these liners like butter. If you are traveling, disposable diaper liners are the way to go. Lay them on top of the diaper. Once baby has a bowel movement, remove the liner with the poop on it and flush. Your dirty diaper can now be stored sans poop.
Breastfed poop is the easiest to deal with. This poop is actually water-soluble. It will completely dissolve in your washing machine. This mustard-like poop isn’t as smelly as poop from babies eating solid food. Toss these diapers into your wet bag without pre-rinsing them.
Have a Regular Wash Routine
The easiest way to prevent your house from smelling like a ripe landfill is to wash your cloth diapers regularly. Cloth diapers should never go beyond 3 days without being washed. A washing routine of every other day should clear up any issues of ammonia build-up or stench. You might be able to push it to every 3 days.
You will sense that ammonia is building up in baby’s diapers because the Windex like smell is unmistakable. This also causes problems when the ammonia isn’t properly rinsed out of the diapers. The remaining ammonia dries in the “clean” diaper and is reawakened with the tiniest bit of moisture. In short, don’t slack off on your washing routine.
Store in a Cool, Dry Place
The last tip is to keep your dirty diapers in a cool, dry location. Your sunroom in Florida is not the most ideal spot for your diaper pail. A relatively cool spot helps to reduce bacteria growth. You don’t want to provide optimum conditions for all sorts of other life forms to grow on your diaper. This will just make laundering them harder. The cooler the location, the longer you can stretch the time between your washing days.
Dirty cloth diapers already come with an abundance of moisture. Your job is to keep the outside conditions as dry as possible. Mold and mildew won’t have a chance to grow if you can do this. Discovering moldy, mildewed diapers is a fast way to receive unwarranted advice from well-meaning in-laws.
What do you do with dirty diapers when traveling?
Purchase a smaller, travel-sized wet bag. These smaller wet bags hold 2-4 dirty diapers. Keep at least one of these in your diaper bag to change baby on the go. In addition, consider buying disposable liners to make clean up in a public restroom easier. You won’t miss your diaper sprayer if you equip your diaper bag with this secret weapon.
Follow the same tips above to keep your travel wet bag decent smelling. Remove any solid poop. Try to stay as close to your wash routine as possible. You might have less room for error while traveling. In your suitcase, you can pack a regular-sized wet bag to store dirty cloth diapers when you have reached your destination.
Remember to place the wet bags in a cool, dry place. Your diaper bag wet bag should be washed each time it receives a dirty diaper. Dirty wet bags will stink up your entire diaper bag if left there overnight.
You’ve taken your baby to a pool party only to have their diaper expand to an unimaginable size. Once you plucked them out of the kiddie pool, all its contents dripped out. You need to try a swim diaper.
Swim diapers are specifically made to contain stools while worn in the water. They stop bacteria such as E. coli and cryptosporidium from spreading into public pools and beaches. They are typically worn by incontinent young children and adults. These diapers can be worn under swimsuits. You can pick from reusable swim diapers or disposable ones.
If you’d like to learn more about swim diapers, start with our favorite Swim Diaper on Amazon. Read the excellent feedback from moms just like us!
Swim diapers keep you and your baby out of sticky situations. Do you want to be the parent dropping more than just your kids off at the pool? Luckily there are a few options to prevent this embarrassing situation from happening.
What are swim diapers for?
Swim diapers are usually mandatory for small children and babies at waterparks and public pools. If you were trying to book tickets for a waterpark and stumbled across this requirement, this article is for you.
Your little one doesn’t automatically stop pooping when they’re submerged in water. A swim diaper ensures that if accidents happen, you won’t have a muddy trail behind your baby. Bacteria is easily spread through water. Public swimming areas are especially vulnerable to bacterial outbreaks. Public swimming facilities may have to close down pools for hours or days if they find a stool. You do not want to be the reason for this happening. Swim diapers keep everyone safe by not allowing stools to easily escape.
Are swim diapers different from regular diapers?
Regular diapers are made to absorb and store every drop of moisture that your baby makes. While these diapers are excellent for everyday use, they make terrible swim diapers. Disposable diapers quickly expand with pool water to create flotation devices strapped to your child. The cloth version has layers of absorbent material that will feel heavy and bulky once they are soaked.
Cloth Swim Diapers
Most cloth swim diapers are more permeable than traditional cloth diapers. They are permeable so moisture and pool water can pass through. While this may seem weird, the CDC explains that swim diapers don’t need to be leakproof. Urine can freely pass through the diaper. The important part is that they delay bacteria from stool getting into the water. Before stool leaks out, baby’s diaper should be changed. The CDC recommends that diapers are checked every 60 minutes to prevent things like cryptosporidium from escaping into public swimming holes.
Cloth swim diapers have an outer layer that could be completely permeable, or it could be constructed from PUL. An inside layer, usually made from mesh, helps to catch and hold the stool. Most cloth swim diapers don’t have an absorbent layer that would hold extra pool water. You don’t need to buy any extra inserts
Cloth swim diapers are a smart choice if you frequently take your baby to the pool or beach. They are reusable and easily washable. If you are traveling out of the country, buy a couple of cloth swim diapers ahead of time, so you won’t have to risk not finding disposables at your destination. Or worse, taking up precious carry-on real estate.
Disposable Swim Diapers
Disposable swim diapers are similar in style to pull-ups or training pants. Many disposable swim diapers close from the sides or simply pull up. One thing to note is that most disposable swim diapers don’t start from a newborn size. You might have to use a cloth swim diaper for those early months.
Newborn breastfed poop is notoriously watery. Your baby will produce liquid-like stools. In addition to this, these stools are water-soluble. This makes them no match for swim diapers that allow water to flow through. It’s easier to wait until baby is a little older to fit into disposable swim diapers.
Do you wear a diaper under a swim diaper?
You could wear a regular diaper under a swim diaper, but there really is no point. Once you submerge your baby, the regular diaper will swell uncomfortably with pool water. The pee will most likely leak out anyways. You could keep the regular diaper under until you are ready to put baby in the water. Then you could just slip the diaper out while leaving the swim diaper on.
On the other hand, beware of keeping your baby in a swim diaper for an extended period of time before you get into the water. If you were holding your little one outside of the pool you could end up with a stream of pee running down your arms. Swim diapers are made solely to contain poop. They will not stop urine from leaking out. On your way to the waterpark, you might want to put your baby in a regular diaper, then change them into a swim diaper once you have reached the poolside.
Remember, regular diapers will swell with pool water if you put them under swim diapers. They won’t prevent pee from leaking out because they aren’t meant to work in water. Swim diapers take the place of a regular diaper. Swim diapers can be worn on their own or under a swimsuit.
Cloth swim diapers, in particular, make great swimsuits on their own. They usually come in cute colors and prints. The cloth fabric gives the diaper a more upscale look compared to its disposable counterpart when worn alone.
Nageuret Reusable Swim Diaper: This cloth swim diaper can fit your baby from 3 months old. This same diaper can be used until your toddler is 3 years old. The Nageuret swim diaper has sizing snaps on the front and opens on the sides. It has a PUL outer shell with a mesh fabric inside to catch poop. These diapers can fit small babies that are still producing breastfed poo. However, once your breastfed baby poops, you will need to take them out of the water immediately to stop the poo from completely disintegrating.
Wear on the Way to the Pool Cloth Swim Diaper: i play Swim Diaper
i play Swim Diaper: This swim diaper is great for busy parents who don’t want to worry about changing their baby or toddler poolside. In addition to the waterproof cover and stool catching mesh, this swim diaper features a middle absorbent layer that doesn’t expand when wet. This is helpful for those in-between moments where you don’t want your little one leaking. One thing to note is that these swim diapers aren’t one size. You will have to buy your baby or toddler’s current size.
Easiest to Use Disposable Swim Diapers: Pampers Splashers
Pampers Splashers: Pampers Splashers are a popular disposable choice because they are easy to take off. These diapers can be torn along the sides for quick removal. The waistband stretches on all sides for a snug fit. The leg openings have double leak guards to prevent any accidents from joining your pool party.
An Adjustable Disposable Swim Diaper: Huggies Little Swimmers
Huggies Little Swimmers: Little Swimmers lets you adjust the diaper to 3 different sizes. The reclosable aplix on the sides are easy to get on and off. This is also where you can size the diaper for your baby.
While you’re thrilled to start cloth diapering your baby, you’re also less than enthused trying to decode the cloth diaper lingo. What is microfiber? Is it worth it having in your diapers?
Microfiber is a synthetic material that is made up of many tiny strands. It is the quickest absorbing fabric for cloth diapers. It is 40x more absorbent than cotton. Microfiber is used as a part of many inserts, pockets, all-in-twos, and all-in-ones. This is a cloth diaper staple.
Microfiber is the bread and butter in the cloth diapering world. This fabric speedily soaks up liquids to keep your baby dry.
What is Microfiber?
Microfiber is made of polyester and nylon. It is then split to produce smaller fibers that are thinner than silk. The tiny fibers allow it to soak up to 7 times its own weight. In addition to holding a lot of moisture, it absorbs quickly.
Microfiber is a popular choice for the absorbent filling of cloth diapers. It takes the place of the Super Absorbent Polymer or SAP in disposable diapers. Microfiber is generally used for loose inserts in diaper covers or pocket diapers. Microfiber inserts are also sewn into all-in-ones.
One thing to note is that microfiber should never be placed next to your baby’s skin. Since it absorbs moisture efficiently, it will suck the moisture from your baby’s skin. Place a fleece liner on top of your microfiber if it doesn’t have a stay-dry liner.
Unlike other natural materials, microfiber doesn’t have to be prepped. Prepping natural fiber diapers involves washing them 8- 12 times before they reach their maximum absorbency. Microfiber is easy, to begin with, because it requires zero prepping before use. If you’re new to cloth diapering, this might be an easy way to start.
Microfiber is beloved by many cloth diapering parents because it is relatively cheaper. You can build up your cloth diaper stash for a relatively low cost. Microfiber is a man-made material that doesn’t require growing and harvesting.
Microfiber Compared to Other Fabrics
Microfleece is also a synthetic material like microfiber. The main difference is that microfleece wicks moisture away from the skin. It doesn’t absorb and store moisture. Microfleece is usually used as the top layer in pocket diapers and all-in-ones. Loose microfleece liners are also used to top microfiber inserts that are used with covers. Many parents make their own microfleece stay-dry liners because they will keep their shape without sewing.
Microfleece is used for outdoor sweaters for its insulating qualities and moisture-wicking abilities. Microfleece is made from Polyethylene terephthalate or PET. It is the lightest weight of all the fleeces and breathable.
Microsuede has a similar use to microfleece. You’ll find these sewn into pocket diapers as the top stay dry layer. It also wicks moisture away from your baby’s skin. It is made out of polyester and mimics suede leather. It doesn’t stain easily and will keep your baby dry. It keeps baby cool and breathes.
Microfiber is different from natural fabrics used in cloth diapering because it is completely man-made. Natural fibers that are typically used in cloth diapers are cotton, hemp, and bamboo. Natural fibers are also popular because they are environmentally friendly and can last longer than microfiber. They do come with a higher price point.
These natural fibers are used for the absorbent part of the diaper in prefolds and inserts. Since these are plant fibers, they come with plant oils fully intact. To enjoy the full absorbency of your prefolds and inserts, you may need up to 8 hot washes where they are completely dried in between. Unlike microfiber, they do require a large amount of prepping. Although, they don’t hold onto smells and ammonia, like microfiber. Their fibers are considerably larger.
Cotton can actually absorb more liquids than microfiber. Once it absorbs them, it also contains the liquids better. Microfiber is prone to compression leaks. This is when a full microfiber insert receives pressure from the baby’s bottom, and the liquids are squeezed out. On the other hand, microfiber rapidly absorbs moisture where cotton may take longer to absorb. Cotton is primarily used in prefolds and in inserts as a cotton blend.
Hemp is an all-star absorber. It holds 2.5 times more liquids than microfiber. The caveat is that it absorbs slowly. For this reason, parents pair it with microfiber on top to quickly absorb the baby’s pee, while the hemp slowly absorbs and stores over time. This is also a great nighttime solution. Did I mention it’s also antimicrobial?
Bamboo is another absorbent choice. You can find inserts that are made from 100% bamboo. It stays ultra-soft over time and isn’t prone to detergent build-up like microfiber. It also requires the least amount of prepping compared to the other natural fibers. You can also find bamboo insert blends with rayon and polyester.
Popular Microfiber Inserts/ Diapers
If you’re looking for some tried and true cloth diaper inserts, here are a few popular ones:
Rumparooz 10 Pack Microfiber 6R Soaker – This pack comes with smaller, contoured newborn inserts and larger one-size inserts.
While microfiber is a staple in everyone’s cloth diaper collection, there are a few things you should keep in mind.
If your baby takes a few shaky steps over and it smells like she just cleaned some windows, it is an ammonia build-up. Ammonia build-up can be tricky to get rid of. In addition to moisture, the tiny fibers trap ammonia. Ammonia is more of a problem for older babies. Younger babies are usually changed more frequently. Older babies who wear one diaper overnight and who are eating solids tend to produce these stinky diapers.
Ammonia is a big issue because ammonia fumes are toxic to inhale. If there is leftover ammonia in the microfiber inserts after they are clean, when your baby wets their diaper, the ammonia will come in direct contact with their skin. The ammonia against your baby’s skin will cause an ammonia burn. Ouch! These burns look like red, flat rashes.
To get rid of the ammonia, you will need to treat your microfiber with bleach. Add ¼ cup of bleach to your wash. You can do this once a month to keep the ammonia away. This may become trickier if the microfiber is in an all-in-one. Bleaching diapers with waterproof PUL may void their warranty.
You may also need to strip your diapers before adding the bleach. Aside from ammonia, microfiber traps detergent. Stripping your diapers will allow the detergent to completely come out of your microfiber. This will stop it from holding stinky smells.
Even if you prefer using natural fibers, you should always keep a few microfiber inserts on hand. They always pair nicely with hemp or bamboo at nighttime to rapidly soak up moisture while the natural fiber insert takes its time to absorb and store. Microfiber is also relatively cheap to buy, so you won’t have to skimp on inserts.
Picking out cloth diaper prints for your baby is thrilling. Then you bring them home, and the reality hits. How do I clean these stinky cloth diapers?
It’s actually very easy to clean cloth diapers. First, knock solids into the toilet. Toss all of your diaper covers, inserts, cloth wipes, and diaper pail/ liner into the wash. Do one cold rinse to wash most of the remaining solids out. Add cloth diaper safe detergent and wash on warm with as much water as your machine will allow you. End your wash with a rinse or two to get out any remaining detergent. Hang those cute, clean diapers to dry and put your feet up. You’re done!
It really is that simple. There are only a few tips and tricks to becoming an expert at washing cloth diapers. It’s similar to separating lights from darks or remembering to put your hand washables on a gentle cycle.
How To Clean Cloth Diapers At Home
1. Spray poop off diaper
Cleaning cloth diapers doesn’t require any prep if you can pick up a few easy habits. These habits will cut down on the gross factor when wash day comes around. After you change baby, immediately spray poop off of the diaper with a diaper sprayer. This handy tool will remove large chunks of poop and pieces that get stuck in the creases. I personally use the Aquaus SprayMate & Aquaus 360 Premium Diaper Sprayer for Toilet Bundle Combination found on Amazon here.
You can skip this step with breastfed poop if you want. Breastfed poop is water-soluble and will completely disintegrate in the washing machine.
Next, remove all inserts from diaper covers and pocket diapers. If you can remember this habit, it will save you from having to touch a whole diaper pailful of these icky 2-day old inserts.
Now we are on to washing! This is what you will actually do on wash day. You can choose to wash each day, or you could wash every 2nd to third day. For me, the sweet spot seems to be every second day. You could wash every third day, depending on your climate and preferences. The more humid and hot your indoor environment is, the closer your wash days will be.
2. Cold Rinse
First, empty all your diapers, inserts, covers, wipes, pail liners, and wet bags into your washer. You will want to run one cold wash. The first cold wash rinses out any particles. It is also excellent at stopping your diapers from getting stained. This is an important first step, so your diapers won’t contain any more chunky bits.
3. Hot wash with detergent
Add your cloth diaper safe detergent. This is where the bulk of the diaper cleaning will happen. Do a full wash cycle on warm or hot. The hot wash will help to clean the smells and bacteria. Make sure your load has adequate water. You may need to set your washing machine to heavily soiled. Or if you have a HE washer, you can add a soaked bathroom towel in to trick your washing machine into using extra water.
Your cloth diapers will need an extra rinse at the end. The rinse at the end of the wash cycle removes any extra suds. This will maintain the absorbency of your diapers.
5. Hang to dry
Cloth diapers can be hung to dry instead of putting in the dryer. Hanging your diapers will cut down on the washing expense. Diaper covers and diapers with PUL built in such as All-In-Ones, pockets, and All-in-twos, are best kept out of the dryer. The high dry heat degrades this material over time. If you need to dry these quickly, tumble dry them on low. Inserts, liners, and prefolds can be put in the dryer like regular clothes or also hung to dry.
That’s all there is to cloth diaper washing. No rocket science needed.
How To Clean Cloth Diapers After Starting Solids
Your wash routine won’t actually change that much once the baby starts solids. The key to remember here is that poop from food acts a little differently than exclusively breastfed poop. Breastfed poop is water-soluble. This means that if you simply add water, the poop will dissolve. Poop that is from food or formula is not completely water-soluble. Therefore, you will have to remove most of it before it is washed.
If the poop is solid, it can usually be knocked off into the toilet. If your baby’s stool reminds you of a youtube slime video, a diaper sprayer will be your best friend. Simply hold the diaper over the toilet and spray it to your heart’s content. This is the main modification to make once your baby takes her first bite.
How To Clean Cloth Diapers Without Sprayer
What if you don’t have a diaper sprayer? Don’t panic; there are a few simple tricks. Some parents keep a dedicated spatula on hand to scrape off creamy poos. It’s like the opposite of icing a cake. There is also the dunk and swish method. Hold both ends of the diaper, so the dirty side faces outward. Dunk the diaper into the toilet and vigorously swish. This should take the majority of nastiness off of the diaper.
How To Clean Cloth Diapers With Hard Water
Hard water isn’t a big issue for cloth diaper lovers. You just need an extra ingredient in your wash. Hard water is the amount of dissolved minerals in your water. These minerals love to stick to the absorbent layers in cloth diapers. The minerals then prevent the diaper from absorbing as much moisture. These little minerals also hold onto ammonia smells.
Hard water ranges from just above 60 parts per million (ppm) to very hard, which is over 250 ppm. To remedy this, you will need to add a water softener to each wash cycle. Borax works great up until 250 ppm. Calgon can be used for hard water over 250 ppm.
In your initial rinse cycle, use ¼ cup of the softener. In your second hot cycle, use ½ cup. If you have very hard water (250 ppm or higher), use ½ cup of water softener in each cycle.
Cloth Diapers Spot Cleaning
One of the easiest ways to remove stains from a diaper is sunning. Similar to a tourist in Cancun, your diapers will want to lay out in the sun every now and then. The sun helps to lighten stains. Place your sunny diapers outside or near a sunny window to absorb the rays.
If those pesky stains refuse to come out, try lemon juice. Squirt some lemon juice onto the stain and place your diaper in the sun. You will have to rewash your diapers to remove the lemon juice. Don’t forget this step. The acidic lemon will burn your baby!
To target a specific spot, try the Buncha Farmer’s Stain Removal Stick. This all-natural stain remover can be directly applied to the stain. Wash as you normally would.
Cloth Diapers Cleaning Solutions – Problem Solving
My diapers Stink!
If you are washing every third day, increase your frequency of washing days. Ammonia can build up while your diapers are waiting to be washed. Also, your diapers may not be getting clean enough. Maybe you need to increase or decrease the amount of detergent. Double-check that your detergent follows the cloth diaper rules. See our 40+ best cloth diaper laundry detergent choices chart.
You can also try a hot vinegar soak overnight to remove stinky buildup. If all else fails, deep, clean, or strip your diapers. This will allow you to reset your diapers.
My baby has a rash.
Make sure you are changing your baby regularly. Use a liner in your diapers to wick away moisture. Review the cloth diaper washing routine to ensure you are properly cleaning your diapers each time. Detergent might have built up in your diapers. Ensure your diapers are coming out of the wash completely clean and detergent free.
My diapers are leaking.
First, check that your baby’s diapers fit correctly. Is the prefold the right size? Are the snaps correctly placed? If everything is sized correctly, check if the PUL is broken. Your diapers could be leaking because they are repelling moisture. Have you checked if you have hard water? Remember to add a softener if you have hard water.
Cloth Diapers Cleaning Service
Are you still hesitant about washing cloth diapers? If you love the idea of cloth diapers and would like the convenience of someone else doing the laundry, try a cleaning service. A cloth diaper cleaning service will deliver clean diapers to your house each week. They will take your dirty diapers and wash them for you.
Take note that most of these services only include prefolds and covers. If you love prefolds, this can be a great option for you. A cleaning service is more expensive than buying and cleaning the diapers yourself. However, it still might save you a bit of money compared to disposables.
Diaper cleaning services are generally local to your area. A quick google search will help you find businesses nearby that offer this service.
Cleaning your cloth diapers can be as simple as washing your clothes. Sure there are a few things to keep in mind, but overall the process is straightforward. If you’re still on the fence, consider a cloth diaper cleaning service.