Welcome to the wonderful world of cloth! Seriously, cloth diapering is a lot of fun and has become a hobby for thousands of moms all over the world. It's a fantastic way to save money, reduce waste in our landfills, and make your baby's bum the cutest!
Care Instructions: This was one of my biggest concerns when I got into cloth diapering. How much effort does it take to wash them? I'm pleased to report: not much! Here's a basic idea:
- Cold rinse, no detergent
- Hot wash with detergent
- Cold rinse if necessary, no detergent
- Machine dry or hang to dry
Here's a tip for pocket diapers: when you take the diaper off of your baby, pull out the insert. Lay it inside the diaper along with any cloth wipes you use. Then fold the diaper over and place into your wetbag or diaper pail. When it's wash time, it can just be dumped into the washer and you don't have to touch it all again! (Please refer to each product's description for specific manufacturer's washing recommendations.)
How many diapers should I buy? It depends on your child's age and how often you want to wash. Most parents prefer to wash every other day. For example, for a newborn, if you wash every other day, you would need 24-30 diapers.
Newborns ~ 12-15 diapers per day
2-6 months ~ 8-10 diapers per day
6+ months ~ 6-8 diapers per day
These can include any combination of prefolds, fitteds, pockets, or All-In-Ones.
What's the best diaper? Again this is personal preference. I personally use WolbyBug All-in-Ones and WolbyBug covers with prefolds. My suggestion is this: if you're currently using disposables, then start with something as near to disposables as possible. All-in-One diapers are a great choice for beginners. They are all grandparent-friendly and easy to care for.
These seem so expensive...how can I afford to use cloth? First, it's important to realize that the most expensive cloth diapering option, spread over 3 years, is still cheaper than the cheapest disposable option. (see Diaper Pin for a cost calculator.) And you can reuse cloth for your next baby or resell it. Many times, you can sell used cloth diapers for nearly what you paid if they're in really good condition. In addition, prefolds and covers are a great way to start for a lower price.
There are so many options...it's all so confusing. I understand! When I started, I was completely overwhelmed by all the choices. Again, my advice is to start as simply as possible. Make it easy on yourself and buy a few diapers to try out. Later, once you've figured things out, then you can branch out and try different methods. And you'll pick everything up pretty quickly.
What if I don't want to use a wet pail? Then don't! In fact, these days we recommend you not use a wet pail. It's just not necessary, it's messy, and there's a danger of your child drowning in the bucket of water. Just use a regular trash can with a reusable, washable pail liner. Toss the diapers in and on wash day, dump it into the wash! It's so easy...there's no need to make things harder for yourself!
Do I have to swish diapers in the toilet? Nope! When your baby is exclusively breastfed, the diapers can go into the pail just as they are. The baby poop will wash out with no trouble at all. If your baby is formula-fed or is on solid foods, a diaper sprayer is a great thing to have. Use it to spray poop off into the toilet. They're super easy to install and they work very well. Also, formed solids don't stick to fabric very well, so they will usually just roll off into the toilet and don't need anything else.
What are all these types of diapers? It's overwhelming! I know it's overwhelming at first, but you'll pick things up quickly. All of these descriptions are on the diaper pages, but in a nutshell:
- All-in-One - describes a diaper that doesn't need a cover or anything extra to make it absorbent. It's everything you need in one package...just like a disposable diaper. The easiest diaper to use for anyone changing your baby.
- Pocket Diaper - Like a cover with a pocket built in. Inside the pocket, you'll slide the absorbent layer...an insert, prefold, etc. Once the diaper is stuffed, it's like an all-in-one. No extra cover is needed.
- Fitted Diaper - this is a diaper that will conform to your baby very well. It's diaper-shaped and has a closure, either snaps or velcro. These do not have a waterproof layer built in so you'll need to use a cover.
- Prefolds - a flat diaper that has been "pre-folded" for you. Similar to what our own parents and grandparents used. These are economical and absorbent but do require a cover. I recommend using a Snappi to close them with.
I know there are lots more questions. Email me and I'm happy to tell you more of my experiences with cloth.
When you're ready to know a LOT more about cloth, visit our blog, www.ILoveClothDiapers.com! We have thousands of posts detailing every aspect of cloth diapering.