New to the cloth diapering world? Need a refresher course? Looking for a simplified guide? First, WELCOME! Second, breathe....here is a quick-start guide made to help!
Why Choose to use Cloth Diapers?
- You can SAVE major moolah, dollars, dinero, $$$, cash money (upwards of 1000's PER baby)!
- Save the environment (Cloth keeps disposables OUT of landfills, oceans, nature...you get the idea)
- It's SAFE and chemical-free (who wants harsh chemicals on their precious baby's tush anyway)?
- You MIGHT just find a sense of community, of hip-ness, and a new degree of awesomeness you never knew existed!
- There are not many things as adorable as a baby, but a CLOTH DIAPER wearing baby? Look out, adorable takes on a whole new meaning!
Cloth diapers are a diverse crew, here are the main types:
- Flat Diaper: A giant single layer of cloth that you fold and use as a diaper. A diaper cover is required if you don't want a wet lap.
- Prefold Diaper: Someone took a giant Flat-Diaper (see above), folded it into layers and sewed it up to create the popular "Prefold" Diaper. Though it has the name "prefold" you will still have to do some minimal folding (It's easy-peasy, we will walk you through it). Again, if you aren't looking for a wet lap, a diaper cover is required.
- Fitted Diaper: Elastic, snaps or hook & loop have been added to a prefold then the fabric is sewn into a diaper shape. Diaper cover still needed to keep laps dry.
- Diaper Cover: The waterproofing element for all off the above diaper styles. Diaper covers do not absorb any liquid, but cover the diapers to prevent leaks.
- All-In-One Diaper: A fitted diaper and diaper cover sewn together, the AI1 is a complete cloth diaper. AI1s are essentially the same as a disposable, but instead of throwing it away after a change, you wash it.
- Pocket Diaper: A diaper cover plus a stay-dry fleece layer sewn inside (if fleece gets wet, the moisture goes through, but the fleece feels dry to the touch...pretty neat in our opinion!) and a "pocket"opening to stuff an insert into (the insert provides the absorbency factor in a pocket diaper). A pocket diaper is like an envelope, and the insert is like the letter.
- All-In-Two Diaper: A diaper cover with snaps on the inside where you can snap an insert in, covers can be reused after a wet insert is removed and replaced.
Washing Those Diapers---too gross to handle?!
We don't think so, actually many people find washing their cloth diapers to be very easy. You really won't need to do much work, as the washing machine takes care of the hard work for you! There are many suggestions "out there" on how to wash cloth diapers, here's a good starting place to find what works best for your family:
- Dump solids (ahem, the poo) into toilet and put the soiled diaper into dry diaper pail (if baby is exclusively breastfed, you can skip this step. If you choose to use a biodegradable liner you may either flush or discard).
- After 2-3 days (or when your pail/wet bag is full) put soiled diapers into your washing machine (This step should take a few seconds, and is probably the most time you will need to invest in the actual washing).
- Use a plain cold water pre-rinse or light cycle, no detergent (Exactly as it reads, this step will pre-rinse any remnant yuckies to where they belong and leave the cloth diapers ready for their wash).
- Change washer settings to a HOT water wash, highest water lever, and longest (heavy) cycle length. Use 3/4 the amount of detergent you would normally use. If using a cloth-diaper specific detergent, follow the manufacturers instructions.
- Choose an extra rinse cycle at any temp.
- Tumble dry (we like LOW heat) or line dry
- You're finished and ready to use those cloth diapers all over again!
*Do not use bleach, fabric softeners, homemade detergents, or diaper creams without a barrier as these will leave a layer on your cloth diapers that will reduce absorption ability of your diapers (think leaks).