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What Is Microfiber And Do You Want It In Your Cloth Diapers?

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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

 
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.
 
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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

 
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.
 

Natural Fibers

 
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.
 
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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

 
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

 
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

 
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.
  • Babygoal Reusable Cloth Diaper Inserts Pack of 12
  • Best Bottom Diapers Microfiber Doubler Inserts

 

Microfiber Issues

 
While microfiber is a staple in everyone’s cloth diaper collection, there are a few things you should keep in mind.
 

Ammonia Buildup

 
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.
 

Closing Thoughts

 
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.

How To Clean Cloth Diapers – 5 Easy Steps

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How To Clean Cloth Diapers

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.

4. Rinse

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.
 
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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
 

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

 
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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.

Humbird Homemade Cloth Diapers Value & Indulgence

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All You Need to Know About HumBird

One of the most fun and exciting niches within the cloth diaper industry is the smaller batch handmade diapers. Unique and high quality, these diapers really transcend the standard. One such brand that has made a name for itself by offering gorgeous, unique, and functional cloth diapers, covers, and inserts is HumBird. Launched online in 2012 out of Ainring, Germany, HumBird prides itself in creating wool-based (no PUL!) diapers, covers, and inserts that are breathable, comfortable, and cute.

Besides awesome diapers, HumBird contributes to the community in more ways than one- they participate in the Great Diaper Exchange, sponsor Grace through PLAN International, donate to myclimate.org, and more.

Owner Dawn says the company’s slogan, “Keeps the Wet In,” is tried and true- HumBird diaper owners keep coming back again and again. They offer cloth diapers, but that’s not all- you can find handmade wool leggings, skirties, and clothing for moms as well!

What makes HumBird so great?

There’s just something special about quality, handmade items- but that’s not all HumBird has to offer. In addition to being totally unique and visually attractive, HumBird diapers have an excellent track record with consumers. They offer a huge range of cloth diapering products, from heavy-duty overnight diapers to flats, and they only use the highest quality materials. Since they don’t use PUL and instead rely on wool for waterproofing (and organic bamboo, hemp, and cotton for absorbency), HumBird diapers are incredibly natural and safe for use with even the most sensitive baby skin. Since they are all made by hand, they are made in small batches and sell out quickly. Here are a few of their most popular items:
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Supernova Overnight Diapers – “Wet sheets be gone”

These are seriously the holy grail overnight diaper. Boasting an almost perfect rating, sporting a 20″ rise and fitting up to around 40+ pounds (depending on the baby, of course), these diapers are here to do some serious work. With an organic bamboo-cotton shell, a cotton bamboo doubler, a cotton bamboo booster, and a bamboo velour flare soaker (whew!), the absorbancy on these babies is essentially unparalleled. On top of the heavy-duty absorbency, all of the fabrics used are CSPC compliant and have been safety tested for use with your baby. Since they are fitted diapers and do not contain a waterproof layer, they will need to be used with a cover- like, for example, one of HumBird’s wool covers!

Wool Diaper Covers

Here’s where HumBird can show off their creative side- these beautiful wool covers, available in eleven sizes from newborn to XL, are sewn from hand-dyed 95/5 wool, making no two batches, or even diapers, exactly alike. From rainbow stripe to a fun color block to stunning solids and even a Mars themed diaper, these are cute enough to show off- they don’t look like diapers at all. Like all of HumBird’s products, these cuties boast an almost perfect rating. It’s important to remember, however, that wool covers must fit snuggly, so they won’t fit for long before needing to size up. However, they don’t need to be washed often and, when properly cared for, work incredibly well to prevent leaks without getting stinky, so they are well worth it.

Hemp Fitted Diapers

If the Supernova caught your eye for overnight, check out HumBird’s Hemp fitted! Made from 55% hemp and 45% bamboo, these diapers are the best of both worlds- thanks to the quicker-absorbing bamboo, the hemp does not get crunchy when wet (as it tends to do in cotton-hemp blends). With two hemp/bamboo inserts that snap right into the fitted, these diapers come with excellent absorbency, but there’s always room for more. With three sizes made to fit from 8-40+ lbs, the HumBird hemp fitted is an excellent choice at any stage of your cloth diaper journey.

The Ultimate Insert

Okay- by Ultimate, HumBird literally means ULTIMATE. This three-layer insert is made to be used alone but can be combined a million and one ways to help you achieve maximum absorbency. With one layer of 100% organic cotton and two hemp/bamboo blend layers, you’ll be thrilled to discover how well these natural fibers work together to keep your baby dry.

HumBird Stretchy Flats

This was the product that first piqued my interest when I heard about HumBird. These hemp flats are stretchy, absorbent, and customizable- perfect under any cover and easily bulked with doublers or inserts for any amount of absorbency. These are not currently available on the HumBird website, but if you’re interested, check out their Buy Sell Trade page and keep an eye out!

But Wait, There’s More!

While they are probably best known for their diapers, HumBird doesn’t stop there. From wool clothing for adults and children to nursing pads to blankets and even wool slippers, HumBird does it all, making it a one-stop-shop for anyone looking for meticulously made high-quality wool/natural fiber goods. You can stock up on heavy-duty diapers and pick up a few goodies for yourself (or a friend) as well, and feel confident that you are getting sturdy, beautiful, unique items made by hand with love.

How can I purchase from HumBird?

Since handmade items take a little longer to create, purchasing HumBird goodies can be a little more of a challenge than your average Amazon diaper haul. They run monthly preorders on certain items, which you can read about here, sell some items (mostly adorable wool leggings and pants) made to order if you miss the preorders. Additionally, they restock some of their bestselling items a few times a year, but you’ve got to be quick- they are very popular and don’t last long!
If you aren’t interested in watching for preorders and restocks, you can always keep an eye out for secondhand items on their Buy, Sell, Trade pages (join on Facebook here). Since they are so well-made and Dawn uses such high-quality materials, you don’t sacrifice much by choosing to buy second hand. These diapers are made to last, making them well worth the investment, either new or used.
 

If your new to cloth diapering, start with our Cloth Diapering 101 article.

 

Free Cloth Diapers for Low-Income Families

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Free Cloth Diapers for Low Income Families

If you’re thinking about using cloth diapers, but you’re worried about how costly they can be, then don’t worry. Many feel concerned about finances while undergoing pregnancy and know that babies can be expensive. However, if you’re struggling financially, you’ll be relieved to know there are plenty of places you can apply for free cloth diapers.

Cloth diapers can allow new moms to save money. However, no matter what type of diaper you decide to purchase, you’ll wind up spending a large amount of money over time. However, there are plenty of other options out there for those who reach out to cloth diaper banks. We’ll cover what cloth diaper banks are, where you can find them, and how they can help you below.
 

What Is A Cloth Diaper Bank?

 
Cloth diaper banks provide free cloth diapers for low-income families either on loan or to keep. Most cloth diaper banks offer their services to families who might struggle with the costs related to using cloth diapers.

Currently, no public service programs exist to help financially strapped parents out with the expense of diapers. Many call this financial issue a “diaper need.” Since there is a lack of assistance providing cash-strapped new parents with diapers, many families approach the problem of diapers creatively.

Unfortunately, not all of these creative methods are healthy for the baby. Some of the innovative techniques used are going as far as possible between diaper changes. Some of these include re-using wet diapers after they are aired out, and dumping poop out of a diaper and putting it back on so a child can wear it again.

While all of these approaches do help save money, they aren’t healthy for the babies that incur them. Many of these approaches can cause health problems for babies like diaper rashes and urinary tract infections that are otherwise avoidable.

So, for new parents with a “diaper need,” cloth diaper banks offer a potential source to avoid health problems for their babies. Plus, these families will still get the diapers they need for free, or with a small shipping cost. Cloth diaper banks exist to help needy families so they can change their children as often as necessary to keep babies healthy.
 
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How Can I Find A Cloth Diaper Bank Near Me?

 
If you want to search around for a cloth diaper bank near you, we’ve got a great list to help you out. These cloth diaper banks will either start you off with a stash for free or give you supply on loan. Either way, you’ll be able to keep your baby healthy and clean with as many changes as necessary. Take a look at our list below to view cloth diaper banks that offer free cloth diapers for low-income families.
 

Share the Love ~ Free Cloth Diapers WIC

 
Share the love started in 2012 and was founded by the CEO of Cotton Babies, who manufactures cloth diapers. That particular CEO is familiar with the financial burden of cloth diapers and decided to help other needy families with their diaper needs.

This company is dedicated to providing cloth diapers to needy families. With locations found throughout the United States, this company won’t ship diapers. You can apply for them online , but you’ll need to pick up the diapers at a local site.
 
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GroVia Gives

 
GroVia manufactures cloth diapers, but also offers a lending program for financially strapped families. There is a small fee associated with these diapers, which is just the cost of shipping. Grovia Gives ships diapers that fit babies between ten to thirty-five pounds in weight.

You can apply online for your diapers, and GroVia will ship the diapers right to you. However, GroVia Gives only works with families living in the United States.
 
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One Diaper Canada

 
Located in Ottawa, Ontario, One Diaper Canada assists local families in need by offering complete cloth diapering kits. If you qualify for one of their packages, you’ll receive inserts, liners, detergent samples, covers, and other items so that you’ll have all that you need for your cloth diapering journey.

One Diaper Canada focuses on recipients throughout Ottawa and other local regions and works with social services. They do take online applications.
 

Cloth for A Cause

 
Started in 2011 by a single mother living in British Columbia, Cloth For A Cause can now be found throughout Canada. As a non-profit organization, volunteers handle the daily operations of this cloth diaper company. The volunteers work on sewing, sanitizing, and refurbishing used cloth diapers so that families in need have access to them.

You can apply to their services online, but you’ll need to visit a local chapter if you are accepted. There, you’ll get an education about cloth diapers. Also, these diapers are supplied on loan, so you’ll have to return them after using them.
 

Other Ways To Obtain Free Cloth Diapers

 

Cloth Diaper Giveaways & Sweepstakes

 
Cloth diaper giveaways and sweepstakes give you the chance to win cloth diaper prizes like cloth diaper starter packages, free cloth diaper accessories like diaper sprayers, free gift cards to cloth diaper and baby-related retailers, and much more.

Entering to win cloth diaper giveaways is super easy. Most only require you to comment on a blog post, pin an image on Pinterest, visit a web page or give your opinion on something. These type of promotions can not legally require you to purchase anything, so you have nothing to lose!

Are you interested in trying to win free cloth diapers? Visit this cloth diaper giveaway page.
 

A Diaper Registry

 
Your family and friends want to help you welcome the new baby. You’ve been trying to come up with what you need and not find yourself overwhelmed by piles of baby stuff you’re not really sure you’ll use. A diaper registry is the perfect solution. You know you’ll use these gifts for this baby and any future children, too!

Amazon offers a free “Welcome Box” just for creating a baby registry!
 
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No Longer Available

 

 

The Rebecca Foundation

 
Started in Maryville, TN in 2012, the Rebecca Foundation gave a free starter supply of cloth diapers to families in need. You were required to return those diapers then as you start saving money on disposable diapers, and start building up your supply.

Aside from cloth diapers, the Rebecca Foundation also offered education about cloth diapering to provide families with further assistance. These cloth diaper banks were found all over the U.S. and Canada. Also, if you couldn’t find a location near you, the foundation would ship you your starter package if necessary.
 

Giving Diapers, Giving Hope

 
Another great place to assist you with your cloth diaper needs was Giving Diapers, Giving Hope. Founded in 2011 by a single mother and her close friends, this organization was built to assist financially strapped new families. The goal of this organization was to alleviate the financial burden of cloth diapers for many low-income families.

This organization was made up solely of volunteers and supported by charitable companies like Kelly’s Closet and Thirsties. You could apply with this organization to have your cloth diapers shipped to you for just the cost of shipping. After that, you were required to send back the diapers and pay the return shipping costs.

Are Cloth Diapers Gross? 8 Helpful Tips For Diaper Dummies

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“Aren’t Cloth Diapers Gross? What Do I Do With Poop?”

Cloth diapers are not inherently more gross than any other type of diaper. Parents who use cloth diapers, however, might be left scratching their heads about to do with poop (after they wash their hands, of course).

The use of cloth diapers doesn’t have to require extra unpleasant work. Equipped with a comfortable fit, cloth diapers minimize the likelihood of squishy poop scenarios.

Diaper liners facilitate a quick “goodbye” to poop. Flushable liners are widely available, and there are other options of diaper liners on the market, with plenty of variety.

An excellent choice of diaper pail for storage of used cloth diapers can cut down on pre-wash prep time. There are two main categories of diaper pails: dry pails and wet pails. Wet pails pre-soak diapers before parents load them into the washing machine. This is a great tool when it comes to lessening the “strain” of cleaning poop.

If you’d like to learn more about my favorite diaper pail, start with our Dékor Diaper Pail Review article.

The use of cloth diapers is far from gross, and it doesn’t have to require strenuous, unpleasant work. Cleanliness can be stress-free. Employing some handy products and taking some helpful steps in the washing and caring for diapers can keep parents from feeling down in the dumps.
 

A Better Fit

 
Squishy poop seeping through diapers’ leg holes and up their babies’ back is a nightmare scenario for a lot of parents. Cloth diapers help eliminate this problem with their comfortable, fitted nature that is light on compression. With their flexible fit and strongly-secured elastic, cloth diapers thankfully lessen the “Uh-Oh” factor.

In the absence of splatter scenes, transferring poop directly from diapers to the toilet can be a breezy process. It’s not always accomplished with great ease; however, thankfully, some products mitigate poop-cleaning difficulties.
 
What Are Cloth Diaper Liners
 

Flushable Liners

 
Diaper liners serve as the lynchpin of the cloth diaper world. The most straightforward choice in diaper liners for some parents might be a flushable liner option. Flushable liners go right in the toilet for easy disposal.

Diaper Junction is a great and affordable resource for flushable liners made from naturally-derived fibers. These are made from 100% unbleached bamboo viscose rayon, and a web of other natural fibers. Soft and non-irritating to the skin, these diaper liners are a welcome aid to poop-weary parents.

There is a wealth of unique diaper liner options on the market.
 
Dekor Diaper Pail
 

Diaper Pails

 
There are two main options when it comes to storing dirty cloth diapers until washing time. Dry diaper pails and wet diaper pails have their own distinct advantages and disadvantages.

Dry diaper pails, even with the use of disposable liners, sometimes require a little scraping. Not all baby bowel movements are created equal. Sometimes, a slight shake right into the toilet is all it takes. Other times, it’s not that easy.

Getting as much poop into the toilet as possible leads to fewer odor problems and easier washing. For parents seeking even less dirty work, wet diaper pails are the answer. A wet diaper pail is essentially a hard pail filled with water. They allow cloth diapers to soak until parents are ready to toss them in the washing machine, and stain and odor eliminators can be added. The drawbacks to a wet diaper pail include the necessity of a top-loading washing machine and the added water weight to the dirty diaper laundry load.

The choice of either a dry diaper pail or a wet diaper pail comes with distinct advantages and drawbacks, but a wet diaper pail, by design, takes out some of the manual work.

The Natural Baby company boasts a simple and effective dry diaper pail in their inventory. It is designed to hang from a clothes hanger for convenience easily and is 100% water-resistant and machine washable. If you want to look into more information about this pail, you can find it on The Natural Baby company website here.

Amazon has a great wet diaper pail, the Munchkin Step Diaper Pail Powered by Arm & Hammer. It features a patented self-sealing system designed to eliminate odors whether the pail is closed or open. The Good Housekeeping Institute awarded it the 2020 Best Overall Diaper Pail. You can find the Munchkin Step Diaper Pail on Amazons’s website here.
 

If you’d like to learn more about my favorite diaper pail, start with our Dékor Diaper Pail Review article.

 
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Pre-Soaking

 
For parents going with the dry diaper pail option, a good pre-soak is essential for a clean, fresh diaper. Cloth diapers aren’t gross or dirty, but they require a little maintenance to give them a long lifespan and keep them stain-free.

Some good news: breast milk poop is 100% water-soluble. Dirty diapers from breast milk can be placed in the wash, right from the diaper pail without any kind of pre-soaking or scrubbing. As little ones start on more solid foods, things can get a bit messier, but nothing a little pre-soak can’t fix.

Diaper liners and a quality wet diaper pail for dirty diaper storage abbreviate the amount of pre-wash work. Even with both of these in play, pre-soaking can be a good idea. Utilizing a long pre-soak in cold water, then draining before the wash cycle, pays dividends. Even the most unruly diaper loads, like after a meal of sweet potato purée, can be dealt with without too much fuss.
 

If you’d like to learn about cloth diaper cleaning, start with our Cleaning Cloth Diapers Properly – Super Easy, Super Helpful Guide article.

 
Diaper Washing
 

Removing The Cloth Diapers Gross Factor

 
For cloth diapers, parents will want a reliable cleaning agent that is still gentle on precious skin — Amazon stocks Charlie’s Soap. This excellent product manages to be eco-friendly yet incredibly effective. Even better, it’s hypoallergenic and doesn’t cover scents with unnatural perfumes. Using a high-quality detergent, combined with drying cloth diapers in the sun after a light spritz of lemon juice, will significantly reduce unsightly stains.

Diaper sprayers are an option for parents who aren’t too keen on rolling up their sleeves to prepare cloth diapers for the washing machine. Admittedly, the idea of scraping or hand- scrubbing cloth diapers to get them ready to wash isn’t very appealing.

Luckily, there are plenty of affordable options available through vendors like Amazon for parents’ convenience. A diaper sprayer will take a lot of manual work out of an already less-than-pleasing process. If you’d like to check out the diaper sprayer I use, be sure to read My Cloth Diapers Toilet Sprayer And Shield article.

The regular use of chlorine bleach is not recommended. Aside from possible skin irritation, cloth diapers’ fabric will break down a lot quicker. The monthly addition of 1/4 cup of bleach to the wash cycle is plenty to keep diapers fresh and sparkling without degrading the integrity of the diapers. Fabric softeners are not optimal either, as they can harm diapers’ absorbency.

Instead of machine-drying, hanging cloth diapers out to dry overnight is preferred. Part of the attractiveness of cloth diapers to disposable diapers is cost-effectiveness. An initial investment in cloth diapers can save parents a lot of money versus years of purchasing disposables. Proper cleaning and care maximize this investment.

Cloth diapers are not “gross” by any means. When it comes to any kind of diapers, whether cloth or store-bought disposables, poop comes with the territory. In comparison, the 20 million or so disposable diapers that get dumped into U.S. landfills yearly sure sounds like a big, avoidable pile of poop.

How Much Cheaper Is Cloth Diapering?

how much cheaper

How Much Cheaper Is Cloth Diapering?

There has been much debate over how much cheaper cloth diapering is. It may seem expensive upfront, but when you really do the math, it will save you a lot of money.

Cloth diapering will save you roughly $1,374 for your first child and $1,644 for your second. Disposable diapers cost $2,220 over 3 years. They are about .20 cents per diaper. Your child will use around 7,000 over the course of 3 years. It is about $1,400 to use disposable diapers plus wipes ($700) and diaper pail refills($120). Cloth diapers cost $576 to wash over 3 years. These diapers have an upfront expense of $480 plus wipes ($72) and wet bags ($30).

Cloth diapering can be a money saver. If you take into account all of the disposable diaper accessories most people forget to add into the equation, cloth diapering is a real winner.
 

How long will my baby wear diapers?

 
Your baby will wear diapers for about 27 months, or a little over 2 years. Most children continue to use pull-ups until at least age 3. Pull-ups or diapers are then used 2-3 times per day during nap times and through the night. This is an average. Some babies are potty trained at 18 months, while others are trained at 3 years old. Remember potty trained doesn’t mean your child won’t wet the bed while they are sleeping.
 

How many diapers will my baby use?

 
In your baby’s first year she will use 2,500 diapers. In the second year, baby will wear around 1700 diapers. In the third year, your toddler will use about 2-3 diapers or pull-ups daily during naptimes and bedtime. In total, over three years your baby will use 7,000 diapers. This may be more for boys who tend to potty train later.
 

How many wipes will my baby use?

 
Your baby will use approximately 2 wipes per diaper change. Pee diapers usually only need 1wipe, while poop diapers need a few more. If your baby uses an average of 2 wipes per change and 7,000 diapers in total, you will need 14,000 wipes. This is a very conservative number. Leaky poop diapers usually increase this average. You may also use baby wipes to clean little hands and mouths also. Baby wipes average around .04 cents a wipe. If you buy in bulk, they can be as little as .02. Chemical and eco-friendly wipes can be in the .06 to .10 cent range. If we use .05 cents per wipe, you will spend $700 in wipes over the course of three years. Yikes!
 

How many diaper pail refills will I need?

 
The internet is flooded with diaper pail refill hacks for a reason. Diaper Genie refills average $15 for a 3 pack. Your baby will use about one refill every two weeks over three years. The cost for a 3 year supply is $120.
 

Disposable Diaper Cost

 
Disposable diapers will cost about $1,400 to diaper your baby until 3 years old. This is assuming an average of .20 cents per diaper. If you consistently use cheaper diapers this could be less. If you use premium or eco friendly diapers, this price will be substantially more.

Wipes will be at least $700, if you are very conservative. Refills for a traditional diaper Genie will be around $120 for three years. This assumes you are using an average of two refills per month.

In total for three years of disposable diapering, your costs will be $2,220 conservatively.
 

Cloth Diaper Cost

 

Cost of washing cloth diapers

 
Aside from the initial purchase price, each cloth diaper has washing expenses. Fortunately, The cost to wash a load of cloth diapers at home is a little less than $1 including detergent. If you wash every other day, It is only $4 a week. The total is $576 for 3 years. If you divide this by 7,000 diapers, this is about .08 cents per diaper

Cloth diapers can vary greatly in start-up costs. Unlike disposable diapers, cloth diapers come in many different styles and fabrics. Each style comes with a different price tag. You can even buy used cloth diapers to decrease the startup price. These diapers are made to last. If you can acquire cloth diapers as a gift, you can bring your startup cost to zero. It only takes 24 cloth diapers to fully cloth diaper your baby. It’s much easier to request these diapers as gifts as opposed to requesting all 7000 disposable diapers.
 

Prefolds – The Budget-Friendly Option

 
how-much-cheaper-Prefold cost
 
Prefold diapers with covers are the cheapest startup. Prefolds are rectangular pieces of fabric that have multiple layers of fabric sewn together. Prefolds are the absorbent part of the diaper. They are folded and placed on baby or are laid in the diaper cover. Diaper covers are a waterproof shell that is put on top of the prefold to contain moisture. 24 prefolds are about $2 each. A waterproof PUL cover is roughly $15. To cloth diaper full time, you will need to invest in 24 prefolds for $48 and 8 PUL covers for $120. The total for this style of cloth diaper is $168.
 

Pockets – An Easy to Use Mid Range Solution

 
how-much-cheaper-pocket cost
 
Pocket diapers are popular because they are easy to use. Pocket diapers are waterproof covers with a layer of stay-dry material sewn in. This extra layer of material creates a pocket where you can stuff absorbent inserts. Pocket diapers average around $20. For a full stash of 24 diapers, it would be $480.
 

All-in-ones – For Parents Who Like Eco-Friendly Disposable Diapers

 
how-much-cheaper-aio cost
 
All-in-one diapers are an excellent choice for parents who usually buy more expensive biodegradable diapers. All-in-one diapers are great for these parents because they are the most similar to disposable diapers. You don’t have to stuff or fold them before use. The absorbent inserts are stitched onto the waterproof covers. All-in-ones are extremely easy to use.

All-in-ones come with a higher upfront price for new diapers. Keep in mind this can always be offset by buying used diapers or requesting these as gifts. You only need 24 cloth diapers to take your baby through potty training. All-in-ones average around $25. The total for this style of cloth diaper is $600.
 

Wipes

 
Cloth wipes are extremely economical. These can be tossed into the laundry along with your cloth diapers. You only need to buy or make 48. Each wipe is about $1.50. For three years, you can use these wipes for $72.
 

Wet Bags

 
Skip the expensive diaper pail altogether. Cloth diaper wet bags can be hung on doorknobs or the backs of doors. Wet bags are made of a similar material as cloth diaper covers. They function as waterproof laundry bags for your cloth diapers. To cloth diaper full time, you only need two of these. Wet bags are about $15 apiece. For $30 you will not have to buy any diaper pail refills.
 

Buying & Reselling Used Cloth Diapers

 
What I love about cloth diapers is that there is a market for used cloth diapers. When you are finished cloth diapering your children, you can recoup some of your money spent on cloth diapers. You can recover about 25% of your original investment.

Another way to cheaply get into cloth diapering is by buying a used stash of cloth diapers. This drastically cuts down on the upfront cost and keeps cloth diapers out of landfills. Also, once you’ve used your stash of cloth diapers on your first baby, they can be reused on your second child. Now you won’t have any upfront costs, except if you need to replace a diaper or two.
 

The Numbers

 
Disposable diapers, wipes, and refills will cost you $2,220. Cloth diapering with prefolds and covers will save you $1374. Pocket diapers will give you an extra $1062. All-in-ones will save you $942. Baby number two will save you $1,644 on all styles of cloth diaper if you reuse your entire stash. Cloth diapering can be a simple way to reduce your expenses for baby. If you commit to all cloth, including wipes, your savings will be substantial.

What’s The Best Budget USA Made Cloth Diaper?

USA Made Cloth Diaper

It can seem like a second job trying to figure out which cloth diaper to use for your baby. Which are USA Made Cloth Diaper? Which ones are affordable?

Thirstie’s cloth diapers are the best choice for families on a budget that want cloth diapers made in the USA. Thirsties diapers source most of their materials from the USA and manufacture their diapers in Colorado. Thirsties Duo Wrap covers are known for their high quality and affordable prices. Pair these with inserts or prefolds to complete the cloth diaper.

Thirsties is a clear winner since they are fully made in the USA and for their price. There are a few runners up that are also worth looking in to.
 

Why USA Made Cloth Diapers?

 
Cloth diapers are made all around the world. Why would you want to only buy diapers USA made cloth diapers? There are actually a few important reasons for parents to choose this.

 

Support Local Economies

 
When you purchase USA made cloth diapers, you support local jobs along the entire chain of production. Some of these cloth diaper companies source their raw materials from the US. Farmers supply manufacturers with cotton to make the fibers that are used in inserts and prefolds. Factories or work from home moms assemble these cloth diapers. Last, you support local stores and businesses by buying these cloth diapers.

Through this one decision, you can secure jobs for many Americans participating in different parts of our economy. When you are shopping for your diapers, check to see where your diapers were manufactured and where their source material comes from.
 

Protect the Environment

 
The United States has stricter environmental regulations than many other countries. Some of these countries that are popular to outsource manufacturing to don’t have as many rules protecting the environment. Also, other countries that produce materials for cloth diapers may not have the same regulations regarding disposal of factory wastes.
 

Ensure Fair Working Conditions

 
We all love a great deal. Unfortunately some of the dirt-cheap cloth diapers you find online create further income inequality. New cloth diapers can only be sold at rock bottom prices if someone along the chain of production is underpaid. Many times, factory workers in other countries aren’t paid a living wage. Their working conditions could also be dangerous. Factories in the USA have regulations to ensure safe working conditions.
 

Safe Materials

 
You could be taking a gamble when you buy cloth diapers made in other countries. There is no way to know if they contain hazardous chemicals. USA made cloth diaper whose materials are also sourced from the USA are free from troublesome materials and chemicals.
 

Types Of Diapers

 
Cloth diapers come in many styles. Certain styles tend to be cheaper because of their construction. When searching for cloth diapers, it’s important to take into consideration your family’s lifestyle as well as your budget.
 

Prefolds/ Fitteds and Covers

 
Prefold diapers with covers are generally the most budget-friendly option for cloth diapering. Covers are waterproof outer shells that contain the contents of the diaper. Prefolds are rectangular absorbent cloths that soak up and hold liquids. Unbleached cotton, hemp, and bamboo are popular choices for these workhorses. They are divided into thirds and their middle third has extra layers for absorbency. Prefolds are wrapped around baby and secured with a fastener or are folded and placed in a waterproof cover.

Covers can also pair with inserts for an easier diaper change. Inserts function and look similar to menstrual pads. They have a few absorbent layers of material sewn together. These inserts are simply placed in covers and switched out whenever they become soiled.
 

Pocket Diapers

 
Pocket diapers have a waterproof shell with a piece of fabric sewn in to hold inserts. The pocket is usually made from a fabric that wicks away moisture from baby’s bum. These diapers fit trim on your baby. Pocket diapers are generally a little pricier than covers with inserts or prefolds. They can be prepped ahead of time for daycare or grandmas.
 

All-in-Ones

 
All-in-One diapers function just like disposables. No prepping, snapping or stuffing. The inserts are sewn into the cover of the diaper. They are hands down the easiest, but also come with a higher upfront price.
 

Flag Photo by Luke Michaelon Unsplash
Flag Photo by Luke Michaelon Unsplash

 

Best Budget USA Made Cloth Diaper: Thirsties

 
Thirsties wins this competition. Their diapers are fully made in the USA. The materials are sourced from stateside vendors and they manufacture their diapers in Colorado. Thirsties are then carried by many cloth diaper American businesses. Whatever your reason for USA made cloth diapers, Thirsties has you covered.

Many other companies may make parts of their diapers in the US, but outsource other pieces for cost. Additionally, some are only designed in the USA but completely outsourced for manufacturing. Thirsties are actually made in the USA, be wary of other claims.

Thirsties Duo Wrap covers are a staple in every parent’s cloth diaper collection. The covers are so versatile and easily wipe clean. You can pair these covers with prefolds, fitteds, or inserts.
 

Close Contenders

 
Thirsties are the number one pick, but there are a few other diaper brands worth checking out.
 

Covers

 

Best Bottoms

This is a company you want to support. Best Bottoms are conscientiously made in the USA. Their employees come from their community and neighborhood. They pride themselves on flexible working hours and the ability to bring your children to work any day. Personally, I love their diaper covers because they are made from sturdy material and have double gussets. This extra material around the legs is perfect for catching watery poop. They are a bit pricier than Thirsties, but well worth it if you can splurge a bit.
 

Prefolds

 

Lil’ Darlin’s Baby Shop

Lil’ Darlin’s Baby Shop on Etsy, makes hemp inserts that are 55% hemp. The high ratio of hemp to cotton makes these prefolds very absorbent and durable.
 

Fitteds

 

Twinkletoes

The Etsy setter Twinkletoes handmakes their hemp fitteds. Their fitteds are a hemp and cotton mix. They have an inner layer of Zorb. Zorb is a material made from bamboo, cotton, and polyester fibers. Zorb fabric was created to make cloth diapers just as absorbent as disposables. These fitteds would be great for keeping your little one dry through the night.
 

Inserts

 

Green Mountain

Green Mountain sells affordable hemp inserts that are made in the USA. This insert combines organic hemp and cotton for maximum absorbency. Green Mountain employs a work from home grandma to stitch their inserts.

Geffen Baby

Geffen Baby started out as a textile company then shifted into the cloth diaper industry. They make their own fabric which is 60% hemp and 40% cotton for ultimate absorbency. Their inserts are made to be used with any brand of diaper. Whichever, cover you choose, be sure to pick up a few of these very affordable inserts and support home-based manufacturers.
 

Pocket

 

Sassy Cloth

These diapers make it super easy to support homegrown businesses on a budget! The Etsy shop Sassy Cloth diapers have unique prints and are all handmade in the USA. If you have given up on pocket diapers because of their price, check Sassy Cloth out. Their inserts are also generously priced.

Blueberry

This brand is committed to producing healthy diapers free of allergens and chemicals. They source most of their fabrics from the USA and have a factory in Arkansas. Blueberry produces premium quality diapers and is excellent to put on your registry or birthday wishlist. This larger brand is beloved by many parents.
 

All in one

 

Bottombumpers

This company actually employs stay at home moms to make their diapers from home. Buying these diapers directly supports other moms in the USA. Even though these diapers are All in One, they are competitively priced to fit within your budget. Bottombumpers AIOs come with an additional snap-in doubler for nighttime use.

Clover Cloth Creations

These diapers are custom made for you. If you want to splurge a bit, these are the best prints you can find. Browse their catalog to decide on a print. Then you can choose an AIO, AIO with a pocket, AI2, pocket, or cover. While they may be a small company, you can get the customization that isn’t available elsewhere.

A few smaller mom and pop shops

Chelory

– You can add ruffles to your diapers

Babee Greens

KB Wonders

– Personalized Diaper Embroidery

30 Unbelievable Celebrities Who Cloth Diaper

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Celebrities Who Cloth Diaper and Why Does It Matter?

If you look online for celebrities who use cloth diapers, multiple sites will give you the names of celebrities and even cute pictures of the celebrities’ babies; in fact, one site listed over 90 celebrities who have chosen cloth diapers. But is there more to celebrities using cloth diapers than lists?

The New Star-Studded Movement Embracing Cloth Diapers

There are traditionally two camps on who uses cloth diapers. Some think poor people use them because they cannot afford disposable diapers and some think parents “going green” use them to save the environment. Now there seems to be a third camp: a fresh cloth diaper movement led by affluent celebrities who are seemingly “going green.” They can afford either type, but they are choosing the more environmentally friendly cloth diapers. Is their choice that simple? First, we will look at who is using cloth diapers, and then we’ll look at why.

Which Celebrities Are Using Cloth Diapers?

Here is a representative list of some of the stars who have decided to use cloth diapers:
 
Celebrity Cloth Chart
 

Do Celebrities Using Cloth Diapers Indicate Anything Else?

Celebrities are known for being style-conscious and it seems they can’t resist some of the cute new diaper digs that adorably match other baby attire. People are so obsessed with some of the designer baby gear that websites sell out in minutes and everyone is posting tips where the treasures might be found. Designs like “Audrey,” named for Audrey Hepburn (known for her sense of style), by BumGenius, kept bouncing from being on a waiting list to being in stock for 5 minutes to being on a waiting list. Pssst, we found the “Audrey” back in stock here.

As long as there have been celebrities, there has been a powerful urge to know and copy what the stars are doing. Society often thinks — with their wealth and influence if they choose it — it must be the “thing” to choose. But are the stars making all the “baby item” choices on their own, is this a true movement of environmentally friendly celebs, or is something else potentially going on in the advertising world?

Are Celebrities Using Cloth Diapers the Same as Star Ad Testimonials?

It is almost impossible for us to know what truly motivates a star to use cloth diapers unless a superstar is interviewed and declares a personal and honest endorsement. We do know it carries a different impact when famous people add their voice to this new movement than the average parent. As for paid testimonials, there is one famous example, even though the diaper is not the focus of the ad. Are there any other advertising techniques being used to subtly promote cloth diapers through celebrities?

Testimonials

This selling technique relies on the consumer recognizing the star using the product and believing if the star supports the product, it must be a valuable endorsement. With so many brands to choose from, companies need to guide you to their products, so they hire a star who represents their product well and who will attract the type of consumers who would buy the product. For example, if a company wants you to buy its hair products, it selects a star whose hair epitomizes what the product promises to do with your hair. Mariska Hargitay, hired for a Got Milk? ad because she is a new mom, is photographed with her son, August Miklos Friedrich, but also appearing to promote cloth diapers.
 
celebrities-who-cloth-diaper
 

Old-Fashioned Bandwagon Technique

Bandwagon, as a selling technique, relies on the old, low-level psychological persuader we’ve heard since we were kids: “Everyone has one, don’t be the last on the block to get one!” Or as one writer chose to put it, “If all these celebrities are choosing to not use disposable diapers, what are you waiting for?” This technique is really popular and most adults know when it is being used.

Stars Speaking Out on Issues They Find Important

Some stars are outspoken about causes that are close to their hearts. In some cases, they support a cause for only a brief moment and in other cases, they remain long-lasting supporters.

It is interesting to click on an attached link of celebs speaking out for using cloth diapers and the links are no longer active. For example, Maggie Gyllenhall’s brother Jake discussed using cloth diapers on People, and Tori Spelling talked about her thoughts on FuzziBunz and neither link connects to the conversations anymore. Did People Magazine and FuzziBunz remove them, did the stars request the links to go inactive, or is it simply a website glitch?

Some entertainers like Dave Matthews — who was interviewed by People magazine and reported by Good News Network on July 13, 2007– still have links connected. We can still be influenced thirteen years later by reading how he chose to exclusively use cloth diapers for his new son.

A Combination of Testimonial and Speaking Out

Some companies who find a celebrity inspirational, reach out to create a relationship in which the company and the individual start a new product line. The company believes there is an alignment between what the company represents, what the chosen individual represents, and what the consumer wants to represent.

The best example of this is when Tula (seen here) collaborated with Bethany Hamilton in 2016 to create a new baby carrier design. Tula comments, “We celebrate the passion, determination, and loving spirit that Bethany’s story embodies and hope that ‘Soul Surfer’ will help Bethany and other families keep doing what they love. Using her Tula Baby Carrier has become an essential part of her parenting and we decided to collaborate to create a carrier that spoke to her personally. “ Was it all inspirational, was Tula considering the 2 million followers of Bethany’s that would see their product and connect the two or was it a little of both? When Bethany promotes her baby in certain cloth diapers on Facebook, is that the same thing as collaborating with Tula?
 

celebrities-who-cloth-diaper-twitter
@bethanyhamilton

 

The Newest Form of Advertising – Gift Advertising Examples

It is almost impossible to know — unless you are close enough with a star and dare to ask — if the products they are using are ones they actually bought or if the products are gifts from specific companies. Many baby supply companies “gift” their products, and in return hope the star might tweet or put a candid on Instagram with the free diapers or whatever products were gifted? Below are two examples with Bethany’s baby being in a certain brand of cloth diapers. The question is, were these Bethany’s own choices and she paid for the products, or did she receive some diapers and happen to have those diapers on her baby when pictures were snapped and posted on Facebook and Instagram?
 
bethany-celebrities-who-cloth-diaper
 

Chris Helmsworth and Elsa

There is also the example of Chris Helmsworth and his wife using carriers in an Instagram picture on the beach. One site comments about the photo that the twins are, “comfortably being worn by their parents in LÍLLÉbaby Carriers.” (seen here) This is score time for baby-product companies for two reasons. One, Elsa’s 3.7 million followers are all “catching” her using a cool-looking carrier and asking, “I wonder what brand of a carrier that is?” and two, advertising research shows that people in the diaper-buying generation trust sources more if they are coming from social media. Companies are finding people in the market for cloth diapers or baby carriers on – Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok.
 
Chris Helmsworth and Elsa
 

Jillian Harris

Sometimes these companies are proud to give gifts and state how they are helping a star out, notice the post below:
 
Jillian
 
Jillian Harris, a former Bachelorette and an interior designer on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and Love It or List It Vancouver, is above all else an adoring mom to Leo and Annie. Before Annie was born, Jillian mentioned on Instagram that she wanted to try cloth diapers and Lil Helper Cloth Diapers commented, “…we reached out to make sure that she started her journey with the best (and easiest) system possible.” Jillian then mentions in her social media stories that she appreciates that her Lil Helper Cloth Diapers are easy to use and environmentally friendly. There is nothing wrong with a star receiving gifts from companies; it is just important that doting followers understand that the baby items they are seeing might be items gifted for the explicit purpose of product promotion.

Alyssa Milano

Shortly before her son, Milo was born, Alyssa tweeted the following:
 
Alyssa
 
We just need to recognize the power that celebrities have to bring whatever idea they are supporting front and center for thousands to millions of people. In media terms this is called “agenda-setting,” and it used to be under the control of mainstream media.

Researchers, in the book Contemporary Ideas and Research in Marketing, found that 85% of surveyed individuals said endorsements enhanced consumer confidence in and preference for a product. They will be initially attracted to a brand because of a celebrity but they will quickly pull away if the product does not perform. It’s the quality of your product that will keep consumers coming back, not a celebrity link. This is demonstrated in a comment a young person left on Bethany Hamilton’s page, she says she got the new Bethany Hamilton carrier, but she wants to know where she can find more information about how to use the carrier and basic carrier information.

More Minor Examples & Statistics

Jennifer Berson, while watching the Mother’s Day special taping of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, was ecstatic when Ellen Degeneres mentioned Little Giraffe baby blankets. A public relations firm had worked overtime to get her Berson’s Little Giraffe on the show and today was payday. The owners of My1st Years.com, Jonny Sitton and Daniel Price, specialize in gift hampers for babies and reach out to celebrities who have recently had children. They sent Dannii Minogue a hamper after the birth of her son Ethan and the e-commerce site secured millions by growing its celebrity clientele, with the likes of Dannii, Binky Felstead, and Elton John.

“Mel C was Mama Designs first celebrity endorsement,” explains owner Keira O’Mara. “She visited the Baby Show where I was exhibiting and I had the opportunity to gift her with a Mamascarf. Later I asked her agent whether she liked it and the answer was ‘yes’, in fact, Mel loved it and wrote me a testimonial to use in my marketing.” Melissa Cassera, a publicity expert at Cassera Communications explains, “If someone is looking at your product for the first time and hasn’t heard much about it, they might be on the fence in terms of buying, but if a consumer sees that a celebrity likes your product, it can give the validation you need and can skyrocket your sales.” Statistically, a recent Nielsen report found that people 65 and over only have a 2 % interest in celebrity endorsements compared to Millennials 14% and Gen Z’s 16%. People in the market for baby products are the ones who are online reading what their favorite celebrities have been doing and using for celebrity babies which translates into a profit for those companies being promoted.

Influencer Marketing

In the media, there is a concept that famous and rich people have the best they can afford before everyone else gets to have “it.” Because the celebrities and affluent people possess it, the average person desires it. Once the average person can afford and get the item, famous people have already moved on to the next thing. Just like celebrities and companies aren’t wrong in gift advertising, the model above is not wrong – it is just how it is.

Famous people are called influencers and this style of advertising is called influencer marketing. According to Eleanor Stancliffe, influencer marketing spends rose through 2019 and continues to rise in 2020 with Instagram remaining the preferred way to reach an audience, but with TikTok starting to creep into the market.

Brands can get their products into the hands of celebrities through gifting, getting a super response at a small expense. Gifting items in exchange for digital acknowledgments in some form of social media is a popular and successful way for influencers and brands to work together. As long as social media remains the standard for how we communicate and learn what is best for our babies, I agree with Stancliffe that this type of marketing will be around to influence us.

Conclusion

What the heck does all this have to do with cloth diapers, baby carriers, and other specialty items? You are a specialized market and most of you are online and interested in testimonials. Just be an informed consumer when companies work through celebrity “followers” to market their products. Understand that some brands are taking advantage of your relationship with celebrities by utilizing celebrities’ social media communities, especially with younger demographics. Some celebrities, like Kim Kardashian, can be paid $20,000 for a 140-character tweet. On the other hand, some celebrities are just supporting the cloth diaper movement, embracing a healthy environment, and matching those adorable new posh-style diapers because they’re just so darn cute. Ultimately, it is the brand/company that must convince consumers why to buy their products, not a celebrity. Make them the ones who need to provide you advice and help you, and not the celebrity. So, ask for the list of celebrities using cloth diapers, but don’t get all “pinned” into one brand or another; it is just for entertainment and only one of many indicators that cloth diapers are the “in” thing to do.
 

If your new to cloth diapering, start with our Cloth Diapering 101 article.

 

8 Essentials Before Baby Arrives Plus Bonus Buys

ESSENTIALS BEFORE BABY ARRIVES
Kelly Sikkema @kellysikkema

Preparing For Baby: Essentials Before Baby Arrives

 
Hello, new cloth diapering mama! Congratulations and welcome to motherhood. The overwhelming amount of things you need to prepare before baby gets here is enough to bring on a contraction. If you’re considering cloth diapers, think of this as your easy stockpile checklist. We will go over the number of diapers and wipes you will need, as well as must-have diaper cleaning supplies. There are also a few extras thrown in, so you’ll be prepared like a pro. These easy essentials will allow you to coast through those first newborn months of cloth diapering.
 

Diapers for the Newborn Phase

 

  • 20 – 24 Diapers

While you can go crazy and buy diapers for all the phases of your baby’s diaper journey, I find it easiest to just start out with a newborn stash. Once your baby is a couple of months older, you can start to build your cloth diaper collection.

Newborns have different needs compared to older babies and even toddlers. To begin with, your sweet little one will come home with a freshly clamped umbilical cord. We have to be extra careful with these. You’ll need a diaper that gives this sensitive area enough space to heal. Newborns also have the tiniest legs, making larger, one size fits all diapers a gamble in the first few months.

This article discusses three easy options for newborn diapering. We’ll discuss below how many of each option you’re going to need to stockpile. In general, newborns will wear 8-12 diapers per day. (Don’t worry, this will decrease as they get older.) 24 diapers in your stash will allow you to have a full day of diapers while you wash and dry the other set. If you want to increase the days between washes, just add 10 – 12 more diapers.
 

Easy All in Ones

 

  • 20 – 24 All In Ones

The easiest way to start are all-in-ones or AIOs. They are the most similar to regular diapers. If you plan to have extra help from grandma, or if your husband isn’t sure about learning new diaper folds in the early days, this style is ideal. However, these do tend to be more expensive. Once this diaper is soiled, it has to be washed before it can be worn again. For this reason, you will need to buy around 24 individual diapers if you wash every day. To increase the time between washes just add 12 more for each day. (Although I wouldn’t go beyond washing every third day.) The Lil Joey AIO cloth diapers are a popular choice since they fit babies as small as 4 lbs and can be found on Amazons’ website here.
 

 essentials-before-baby-arrives-cover
Jamie Coupaud
@jlcoupaud

 

Moms’ Newborn Favorite: Fitted Diapers with Covers

 

  • 20-24 Fitted Diapers
  • 8 Diaper Covers

Fitted diapers with waterproof covers are another easy option. They are popular because you put the fitted diaper on, similar to an all in one, then just put a cover right over. If you use waterproof covers, you can even wipe them out between diaper changes and reuse. These would also be easy for other caregivers to use. If you want to increase the days between washes, add 10 – 12 fitted diapers and 4 more diaper covers per day. Sustainablebabyish makes super absorbent fitteds and you can take a peek at them over at Happy Baby Company website here. You can pair these with Thirsties covers available on Amazons’ website here.
 

Budget-Friendly Prefolds

 

  • 20 – 24 Prefolds
  • 8 Diaper covers
  • 1 pack of Snappis

Prefolds are the workhorses of the cloth diaper world. They can do and be absolutely everything. These are the most economical option if you’re looking at the prices of those other options and gasping. Even if you decide to go with another option, having a cheap stash of prefolds on hand are great in a pinch. * Bonus points* Prefolds are the best newborn spit cloths you will ever find. Put one over your shoulder each time you burp baby and you will never feel a tidal wave of half-digested milk roll down your back. To cloth diaper with prefolds, you fold the prefold, secure with a Snappi, and finish with a waterproof diaper cover. Aplix (velcro) diaper covers are the easiest to handle in those early weeks. Snappi fasteners, available here on Amazon, are the modern-day version of diaper pins, sans scary needles. OsoCozy unbleached prefolds are a cloth diapering staple, also available on the Amazon website here.
 
Zero Waste Cloth Wipes Rainbow
 

Wipes

 

Cloth Wipes

 

  • 48 Cloth wipes


If you are already using cloth diapers, cloth wipes take very little effort. Yes, they can be thrown into the diaper pail with soggy cloth diapers. When you are ready to wash, they get tossed in at the same time. No extra effort needed. To keep up with washing every other day, I suggest having 48 thick cloth wipes. Use this as a minimum. It won’t hurt to have more though.

If you would like an easy option to put on your registry, premade cloth wipes are a great choice. These GroVia wipes, available here on Amazons site, are the perfect size to fit in a diaper warmer or dispenser.

If you’re feeling the need to get crafty while decorating the nursery, you could also make your own cloth wipes for a cheaper and more personalized solution. This is a low budget alternative to explore different materials and textures. Personally, I preferred a thin cotton t-shirt material with a light spray for my babies. Some moms prefer thicker terry cloth or flannel. Before you commit to buying cloth wipes, you could try these out, or even use these to supplement your premade stash.

Another option if you’re still a bit unsure about the cloth wipes route, is just buying a few packs of eco-friendly disposable wipes. Babysitters and relatives might be a bit more comfortable using these. There are bamboo options, like these Caboo wipes on Amazon, that biodegrade so you won’t have to feel guilty about throwing away your baby’s disposable wipes. Plus you can always add a premade pack of wipes to your registry to give them a try when you’re ready.
 

Wipe Solution

 
To help clean the baby’s bottom and keep her fresh, you can use a wipe spray. These are great for soaking the dry wipes in or spraying the dry wipe before use. To get ready for your newborn, you can buy natural, premade solutions. This is probably the easiest route to go if you are both new to cloth diapering and this is your first baby.

The Baby Bits Wipes Solution, seen here, puts together all the ingredients for you in a solid cube that you just dunk in water. It can’t get any easier! If you’re feeling adventurous, you could also try out a DIY recipe.
 
My Cloth Diaper Sprayer New Uses
 

Diaper Cleaning Supplies

 

  • 1 Diaper Pail
  • 2 Diaper Pail Liners
  • 1 Diaper Sprayer
  • 3 Cloth Diaper Safe Detergent Bottles
  • 1 Drying Rack

You don’t want to be caught with a pile of stinky diapers and no way to wash them. This list will ensure you’re ready for those first dirty diapers.
 

Cloth Diaper Friendly Diaper Pail

 
While there are many diaper pails on the market, there are only a few that are cloth diaper friendly. The Diaper Dekor is not only cloth diaper friendly, but it also has its own custom washable liners. Buy 2 of these liners to get started.
 

Diaper Sprayer

 
Initially, when your baby is born and exclusively breastfed, her stools are safe to leave in the cloth diaper until it is ready to be washed. However, if baby is formula-fed, then you should rinse the stool into the toilet before storing/ washing the dirty diaper. For this, a diaper sprayer is a must. Set this up ahead of time to ensure it will be ready to clean up any extra diaper messes baby makes.
 

Detergent

 
To ensure your baby’s diapers continue to soak up moisture and smell fresh, it is important that you buy the right type of detergent. The detergent should not contain bleach, fabric softeners, soap, brighteners, dyes, and enzymes. Especially for that first couple of weeks, it’s easier to have a stockpile of cloth diaper safe detergent you can rely on. For cloth diapering, you will wash about every day for a newborn if you have around 24 diapers.
 

Drying Rack

 
These are especially handy if you live in an apartment or a more compact arrangement. Diaper covers with waterproof layers will need to be air-dried to last and remain effective. While not necessary, drying racks are a great way to guarantee that diapers will dry quickly and are close at hand.
 

Sweet Extras

 

  • 1 Box of Diaper Liners
  • 1 Tube of Cloth Diaper Safe Diaper Cream
  • 2 Mini Wet Bags for the Diaper Bag


 

Diaper Liners

 
Diaper liners are a great option to have when you want the easiest cleanup. I liked to use diaper liners when I took my babies out of the house. If you need to change baby’s diaper while out, you can throw away a soiled diaper liner, and easily stow the dirty cloth diaper in your diaper bag. Diaper Junction liners are made of unbleached bamboo and can biodegrade.
 

Diaper Cream

 
Just in case your little one gets a diaper rash you can be prepared with cloth diaper safe diaper cream. Diaper rashes are not as common before solid foods and are even less common in cloth diapered babies. However, it never hurts to be prepared.
 

Mini Wet Bags for On the Go

 
Where do you store used diapers when you’re out with your baby? In your mini wet bag. These are the same waterproof liners you use in your diaper pail, except these are much smaller and zip at the top. You will not want to leave the house without these! The Alvababy 2 zippered pocket travel wet bags here are perfect to put in the diaper bag

5 Ways to Sell Your Partner On Cloth Diapers

When you’re planning for the arrival of a new baby, you and your partner have to make an overwhelming amount of decisions. People don’t often consider cloth versus disposable diapers when they first see those two pink lines on a pregnancy test, but it’s an important thing to think about that will impact the first three-plus years of your child’s life.

Many people have hesitations about using cloth diapers because they may believe they are stinky or unsanitary, but that is simply misinformation. There are many benefits associated with using cloth diapers, and it’s essential to approach conversations about the topic with facts and logic. Here are some great talking points to show your partner why cloth diapers are the right choice for you and your baby.
 

Cloth Diapers Save Money

 

If your partner is a human, they probably like saving money. One of the biggest reoccurring costs associated with caring for a baby is diapers. Let’s say that baby will need 7,200 diaper changes before they are fully potty-trained. If you’re using brand-name diapers, disposables will run you about $3,200. And if you care about the environment and use eco-friendly disposables, you’re looking at spending closer to $4,000.

In comparison, a middle-of-the-road set of cloth diapers costs around $700 with laundering expenses sitting at about $20 per month. Using exclusively cloth diapers will ring somewhere around $1,420 which is an average savings of $1,780! Although your partner may only see that using cloth diapers means spending a good chunk of money upfront, they will love the return on investment which especially kicks in if you use the same set for multiple children. If you reuse your first child’s cloth diapers for your second baby, you are only paying for laundering supplies. It will definitely be tough for your partner to refute these savings!

Tip: If you want to save even more moolah, ask around to see if you can purchase cloth diapers second-hand from another parent. Not only can you get the diapers for less, but this is even more environmentally sustainable than buying a new set!
 

If you’d like to dive deeper into the cost of cloth diapers, start with our Are Cloth Diapers More Cost Effective article.

 

Cloth Diapers are Better for the Environment

 

We teach our children not to litter or waste resources, but a chunk of the country’s landfills are occupied by soiled diapers. An estimated 20 billion disposable diapers are put into American landfills each year which generates nearly 3.5 tons of rubbish. That’s roughly 4% of all landfill contents! Also, a report from the EPA shows that diapers add pathogens into the air from the solid human waste left over. Each disposable diaper can take as long as 500 years to break down, and while doing so, they release harmful gasses like methane.

On the other hand, cloth diapers have a long and multipurpose product lifecycle. Since most cloth diapers are one size fits all for babies weighing 10-35 pounds, they can be reused until a child is fully potty trained, and they will often last long enough to be used for multiple children. And did you know that many cloth diaper laundering services pass along their stained but clean products to car washes to be used for detailing vehicles? The fact is that cloth diapers are undoubtedly more sustainable and environmentally friendly than their disposable counterparts.
 
Sell Your Partner On Cloth Diapers
 

Cloth Diapers are Better for Baby

 

Many disposable diapers contain harsh chemicals and fragrances that can be very irritating, especially for newborns and babies with sensitive skin. Key ingredients in most disposable diapers include wood pulp, plastics, tissue paper, dioxins, and adhesives. The World Health Organization has even noted that exposing newborns to these chemicals can cause long-term health conditions later in life.

Also, disposables are frequently made with bleach to achieve their bright white hue. Cloth diapers, though, feature Velcro or snaps and are made of microfiber or natural fibers which can be blends of cotton, hemp, or bamboo. This means no chemicals, no plastics, and no fragrances. Your partner will almost certainly agree with these benefits because nobody wants to put their baby’s health at risk for their own convenience.
 
Whats The Best Cloth Diaper For Me
 

Cloth Diapers are Comfier and More Absorbent

 

Most people would not be too happy about having a soiled, wet wad clinging to their bum while they are trying to sleep. Neither is your baby! The absorbency of cloth diapers depends on the type of insert you use. Microfiber inserts can absorb liquid very quickly, they are relatively low-cost, and they do not take long to dry. The drawback to microfiber inserts is that they work more like a sponge and will release their moisture if they are squished.

Another popular type of cloth diaper insert is made of cotton. These are super-duper absorbent and will hold 2.5 times the amount that microfiber inserts can! Also, cotton inserts are all-natural, so they won’t irritate baby’s delicate skin, and they are quite slim which cuts down the bulkiness of cloth diapers.

Cotton inserts come at a significantly higher price than microfiber ones, though, and they can be a bit slow to absorb baby’s waste. Both types absorb moisture better than disposable diapers, and they keep baby’s skin healthier by reducing the risk of diaper rash. This is because using cloth diapers helps improve airflow which helps keep the skin dry. If your partner is still not onboard with using cloth diapers, make them wear a disposable diaper for a few days and see how their hiney feels!
 
changing table photo
 

They’re Pretty Darn Adorable

 

Have you ever seen a baby in a cloth diaper? It is quite a precious sight! They come in such an array of colors and prints so every parent and baby can find something they love. Having a cute pattern with ladybugs or dinosaurs will most certainly make changing a poopy diaper more enjoyable, and knowing you’re saving money and reducing waste is a bonus!

Starting the cloth diaper conversation is the first step to get your partner on board with ditching disposables. The most important thing to remember is that it’s not you versus them, you both want to do what’s best for your baby. They may not agree immediately, but with time, facts, and communication, your partner will see why using cloth diapers is the better option.

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