Want to give cloth diapers a try? Make it work for you and your baby with our valuable tips! Read on to find out more.
In this article:
- Test It Out
- Change Often
- Wash Properly
- Figure out the Right Fold
- Consider Cloth Diaper Covers
- Avoid Using Regular Diaper Creams
- Get Other Accessories
- Use Cloth Wipes
- Buy More Than What You Need
Cloth Diapers 101: The Basics of Washable Diapers
1. Test It Out
You’re probably excited to switch to cloth diapers, but before you buy the whole store, calm down! There are lots of options for cloth diapers, and it’s best to really do your research before deciding which type to try. Here are some of the popular cloth diapers right now:
- Flats are probably the oldest type of cloth diapers. This type is a thin fabric which you can fold in many ways.
- Pre-folds, like the flats, are rectangular fabrics but require minimal folding. It’s already thick in the center for maximum absorption.
- Contour is a lot like pre-folds except you won’t have to fold it at all since it’s already shaped to fit the legs. It doesn’t have its own closure so you’re going to have to pin it.
- All-in-ones are a lot like disposable diapers since there will be no need to fold or pin. You can simply snap them into place.
2. Change Often
While cloth diapers have great absorbency, it is still a good idea to change the diapers frequently. Changing times depend on how much your baby pees or poops, but it’s best to change as often as every two hours. Cloth diapers can get pretty warm and moist down there, which can be a breeding ground for a yeast infection. Change often to prevent diaper rash.
3. Wash Properly
Just like with any of your baby’s other clothes, you have to wash newly bought washable diapers. Use mild and non-fragrant detergents to make sure it won’t harm your baby’s skin. Keep in mind that some materials need to be washed several times to achieve maximum absorbency.
For instance, a newly bought cotton diaper needs to be washed around 4-5 times before you can use it. Hemp needs to be washed at least 8-10 times, and 2-3 times for bamboo. In the succeeding months, you have to continue washing the cloth diapers properly, otherwise, the odor will build up.
Tip: You need to strip diapers every three or four months. Stripping is a process where you wash cloth diapers that are stinky or are already less absorbent.
4. Figure out the Right Fold
Transitioning to baby cloth diaper can be a bit confusing at first. There are a couple of folds you can make, especially with flat-type ones. You can simply try different folding techniques to find the right one for you.
Tip: Flats are great cloth diapers for newborns since they pee and poop a lot, especially if you’re breastfeeding. These are easier to wash and dry, which is really helpful since you’ll be changing nappies more frequently during this time.
5. Consider Cloth Diaper Covers
What makes regular disposable diapers convenient, aside from the fact that you can just throw them out after use, is that they can be put on easily and quickly. There are diapers with easy adhesives or even pull-ups which can be put on in under a minute.
It’s a different story with cloth diapers, though. The need for pins or snaps makes diaper changing a more tedious task and takes up more time. If your reusable diaper doesn’t come with its own Velcro or other closure, consider using diaper covers for more convenient changing.
6. Avoid Using Regular Diaper Creams
Once you start going for cloth diapers, you’re going to have to opt for different creams, too. Some regular creams that work for disposable diapers contain ingredients that clog a cloth’s fibers. So, check out the cream options that will work on your baby’s bum. Desitin and Drapolin are the usual go-to for cloth diapering moms.
7. Get Other Accessories
Aside from diaper covers, there are other things you can use to make cloth diaper changing easier. For one, you can use a diaper liner to protect the diaper from the cream you use. Getting a wet bag or diaper pail (wet and dry) can also help you organize your laundry and make sure it doesn’t mix with the baby’s clothes. A bidet also comes in very handy when rinsing a dirty diaper.
Tip: Having a wet bag is helpful when you’re going out and need to change the baby’s diapers. Simply put the used nappy inside to avoid mixing it with the clean ones. By the way, there’s also a proper way to wash it.
8. Use Cloth Wipes
Since you’re already getting into cloth diapers, it will be a good idea to use cloth wipes, too. It doesn’t add much work since you can wash it along with the washable diapers. You can buy these wipes from the store, or you can try and make them yourself.
9. Buy More Than What You Need
You wouldn’t want to get caught in a situation where your baby needs to change, and you realize they’re all in the laundry, right? The number of cloth diapers will depend on your baby’s changing needs, but it’s always a good idea to have a couple of extras. Note that newborns need around 10 to 12 diaper changes a day, while toddlers change about 8 to 10 times. Invest in the right amount, so you won’t be to do the laundry too often.
For more tips on cloth diapering, check out this video from Nolan & Amber:
Cloth diapering can seem intimidating and sound like a lot of work at the beginning, but transitioning to cloth diaper can not only help you save money, it helps the environment, too! Just imagine the amount of trash you help prevent by using reusable diapers. In the long run, washable diapers are also going to cost you a lot less than disposable ones.
Have you transitioned to cloth diapers yet? Any tips on making it work? Let us know in the comments section!