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How to Use Cloth Diapers

by Judy Roy • April 14th, 2016

There are many reasons to choose cloth diapers, and today’s options are incredibly easy-to-use.

They save money. The savings will depend on what type of cloth diapers you choose, but whichever style you go with , there will be a savings with your first child and a huge savings with subsequent children as you can reuse the same diapers.

The environment. By not contributing to the enormous amount of disposable diapers that end up in land fills each year, you are ensuring your little pumpkin will live in a cleaner world.

Having natural products against your baby’s skin. Protecting my baby’s tender bum from the chemicals in disposable diapers was my reason for choosing cloth.

There are also a multitude of options for cloth diapers. Chose the one that fits your lifestyle the best!

The most economical is to use a diaper-service-quality Chinese or Indian cotton prefold. You can use the newborn size for roughly three months then switch to the regular size until your child is out of diapers. These need to be used with a diaper cover. It may be helpful, but not necessary, to use snappi’s or pins to secure the diaper to help prevent blowouts. These diapers need to be washed three times before their first use. Word to the wise: wash diaper covers in the regular washing machine but hang them to dry, and they will last much longer. Also, covers do not need to be changed at every diaper change. Good sources of Chinese or Indian cotton prefolds are clothdiapers.com, thegreennursery.com, and amazon.com.

Pre-fitted, all-in-one and pocket diapers are a more expensive option, but are as easy to use as disposables. Some need covers and others do not. They come in many sizes, fabrics and colors. It is wise to stick to gender-neutral colors/patterns so they can be used again. Turn all-in-one and pre-fitted diapers inside-out before drying. The one-size-fits-all diapers really do not work well until your baby reaches at least 12 lbs., but then work wonderfuly until baby reaches 35 lbs.

To wash cloth diapers, follow these easy steps:

  1. Rinse poop from diaper with a sprayer attachment. Leave it wet until washing – it reduces stains.
  2. Wash 12-18 diapers in your machine on the highest water level with a cold pre-rinse with no detergent.
  3. Then run the hot cycle with Tide or special diaper detergent. (Don’t use Tide Free.) Do not use fabric softeners, and use bleach sparingly as it breaks down the fibers.
  4. Dry diapers by line (preferable) or machine.
  5. Still on the fence? Try a company that rents starter packages so you can see if cloth diapering is for you. Modernclothdiapers.com, kissedbythemoon.com and earthycrunchymom.com all offer this service. Some companies offer packages which can be more economical or customized. Check out Greenmountaindiapers.com, clothdiapers.com, cottonbabies.com and borntolove.com.

Want to learn more about cloth diapering and see your options first hand? Sign up for a class at The Diaper Lab in Somerville, MA. Go to their website for class dates and to register.

For more information on caring for your little baby and their bum, check out one of our newborn care classes! We hope to see you soon!


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