Tips for Cloth Diapering Intro
If you have decided to cloth diaper your baby, the benefits will be great. You will reduce the risk of rashes, help the environment, and save a lot of money. However, using cloth diapers might seem a bit daunting at first. Fortunately, the learning curve is mild, and you will be a pro in no time.
If your new to cloth diapering, start with our Cloth Diapering 101 article.
The Must-Haves of Cloth Diapering
There are several must-haves when it comes to cloth diapering.
- Diapers. If you just have one child that will be in cloth diapers, it is a good idea to have 24 or more diapers. This will help to ensure that you have plenty of diapers in between washing. If you have more than one child, you will want to have at least 48 diapers on hand.
Babies will typically go through at least 12 diapers a day. There are many options out there to the style and type of diaper. Do your research on which one you would prefer to use. Take into consideration your child’s size, the material used, and whether or not your child is a heavy wetter.
Make sure that you have two inserts per diaper so that you are always prepared when you need to change your baby. You can find a multitude of cloth diapers on Amazons’ website here.
- Cloth wipes. Store-bought wipes can be just as bad for your baby and the environment as store-bought diapers. Reusable cloth wipes can be found at just about any store, or you can make your own.
You can use plain water with baby soap, or you can make a homemade diaper wipe solution to use on your baby. Using cloth wipes will help you save money. You can find one of my favorite brands of cloth wipes on Amazons’ website here.
- Diaper pail. You will want to make sure that you have a diaper pail to put soiled diapers in. Consider lining your bag with a reusable bag that can be used over and over again. I prefer the Dekor Diaper Pail. If you’d like to learn more about my favorite diaper pail, start with our Dékor Diaper Pail Review article.
- Wet bag. A wet bag is a good idea to have on hand when you are out of the house. You will just store the soiled diapers in it until you get home. If you’d like to compare prices on wet bags, the top two places are Amazon here and The Natural Baby Co’s Grovia website here.
Routine Care for Your Cloth Diapers
One of the most important things you will need to remember about using cloth diapers is to make sure that you wash them properly. You cannot just throw them in the washer and then in the dryer. They will quickly become ruined.
Your Washing Routine
The very first step in washing your baby’s cloth diapers is to make sure that you scrape out any solid waste. If you have a breastfed baby, their poop is water-soluble, so you should not have to do any scraping at all. As your baby starts to eat solid foods, their stool will get firmer. You can scrape the stool out into your toilet by using a toilet sprayer or rinsing the diaper out while you flush the toilet. You will want to make sure that you get all the solid waste out before putting the diapers in the washing machine.
To properly wash your cloth diapers, you will want to put them in a rinse cycle with no soap to start with. After the rinse cycle is over, you will want to add your laundry detergent and run the cycle with hot water. Make sure that you do not use any fabric softener, as this can cause issues with the fabric. The best way to dry your diapers is to line dry them. Over time, the dryer can ruin the fabric, which will ruin the fit of your diapers. It will also cause the absorbent material used in the creation of the cloth diaper to become less absorbent.
If you wash your diapers and notice that they do not smell fresh, it is time to strip the diapers. You will want to wash them in your washing machine to start with. After this, you will want to let them soak overnight with dish soap, preferably an eco-friendly detergent. After that, you will want to follow up with another wash and then air dry in the sun. You can also add lemon juice or vinegar during the overnight soak to help remove stains and smells.
If you’d like to learn how to properly strip your cloth diaperrs, start with our Stripping Cloth Diapers – How To Strip Deep Clean Your Cloth Diapers article.
Choosing the Right Laundry Detergent
If you go down your laundry aisle at your local grocery store, you will be amazed to see a variety of different options. To wash your cloth diapers, you will want a soap that does not contain any kind of fabric softeners. This included using baby brands like Dreft. If you want to know the best type of detergent to use for your cloth diapers, read the manufacturer’s instructions that came with the diapers.
Remembering that your Baby is Unique
Your baby is unique, and what worked for one cloth diapering parent may not work for you. For example, your child may need to use double inserts if they are a heavy wetter. Even if you have twins, you will see that their diaper needs are not the same. Remembering this will help you learn what your baby needs when it comes to cloth diapering.
Dealing with Overnight Diapering
As your baby begins to sleep through the night, you will need to double or triple the inserts to make sure that your baby does not get wet. Look for a microfiber insert that will wick the urine away quickly. You can also take a look at hemp fibers and microfleece to keep baby dry during those overnight hours.
If you’d like to learn more about overnight diapering, start with our Overnight Diapering – Quick-start Guide To Longer Sleep! article.
Making Sure you Have the Right Size Clothing
When you cloth diaper, you will need to make sure that you clothe your baby in the right style of clothing. Onesies are adorable, but they are also notorious for riding up the edge of the diaper and causing leaks. A good idea to prevent this is to purchase clothing for your baby that is one size up. Also, consider getting diapers with a double gusset to prevent leaking.
The learning curve to cloth diapering is small. Once you choose the correct diaper and learn how to care for the diapers, it will be a breeze. You will never look back to those disposable diapers.