How to Use Cloth Diapers for Babies

Colourful cloth diapers

Cloth diapers can be a great alternative to the regular packaged diapers. They are more environment friendly and cost only a fraction of the use-and-throw variety. Traditionally, cloth diapers were the standard ones but in modern times, diapers have taken over because of the convenience they offer. These use-and-throw diapers are non-biodegradable and will take hundreds of years before they finally break down. They are also made from harmful chemicals that you might not be comfortable exposing your baby to. A final nail in the coffin for these type of diapers is that they end up in landfills just like the rest of your waste and rag pickers scour the landfill to find anything of value. The diapers expose them to disease and sickness.

Cloth diapers have come a long way and offer real solutions to parents who are environmentally conscious. If you are looking to make a more responsible choice and want to make the shift to cloth diapers for your baby, read on about how to use reusable cloth diapers.

Types Of Cloth Diapers

Printed cloth diapers

With more and more parents looking for ecologically friendly options, companies have started to make a wide variety of cloth diapers. Each type has its own benefits and learning what you will find most convenient is the first step towards choosing the right cloth diaper for your baby. Keep in mind that no one diaper will fit all your baby’s needs and you will have to try out a few in order to figure out which one suits your baby best and under which circumstances.

1. All-In-One Cloth Diapers

All-in-one diapers are a fuss-free option that comes with an absorbent pad already attached to the cloth. When the time comes to wash the diaper, the entire thing can be put into the washer. This option is a bit bulkier than other cloth diapers in the market and is more expensive. However, this option is ideal for when you want to take your baby out or when your baby is being looked after by a caretaker.

2. All-In-Two Cloth Diapers

All-in-two cloth diapers come with a removable absorbent pad that can be washed separately. The entire cloth diaper does not have to be washed and you can just reinsert a fresh absorbent pad into the diaper for the next use. These pads have a high absorption level making it ideal for the night time or for heavy wetters. This diaper gives you more flexibility for your laundry cycle because of its separate moving parts.

3. Prefold Cloth Diapers

Prefold diapers are essentially a big cotton rectangle that can be moulded by you to fit your baby’s unique shape. This is then secured by a cover. The cover and the diaper are two separate pieces and can be washed independently from each other. You can also only change the diaper cloth and use the same cover to hold the diaper in place. This type of diaper is one of the cheapest types of cloth diapers available on the market and the pack will contain information on how to use prefold cloth diapers.

4. Fitted Cloth Diapers

Unlike the prefold cloth diapers, fitted cloth diapers fit the baby’s curves better. The legs have gussets making the diapers leak proof. However, it is recommended that you use a cover on top of the fitted cloth diaper. This diaper is made from fleece and this material traditionally holds smells for longer.

5. Hybrid Cloth Diapers

This type of diapers is very similar to the all-in-two diapers. They have a slot for the reusable or disposable insert. However, with hybrid cloth diapers, these inserts are biodegradable and are chemical free ensuring the safety of your child. Hybrid cloth diapers are extremely good for the environment and if you choose to you the reusable insert, are pocket-friendly in the long run too.

Choose the Right Diaper

With each type of diaper comes its own advantages and disadvantages. When choosing a cloth diaper a simple factor that you must consider is the reason why you want to use a cloth diaper in the first place. If you want to use cloth diapers because you want to save money, then you should look into prefold cloth diapers. If the environment is your concern, then almost all of the cloth diapers help the environment in some way or form and using reusable inserts instead of the disposable type can go a long way in your cause.

Be sure to check if the diapers you are choosing to buy are labelled one size. This means that the diaper can be adjusted as your baby grows and you will not have to buy new diapers. In fact, these diapers can then be used for future siblings as well. In case the diaper type is not one size, then you will have to buy diapers to suit the size and age of your baby.

The ultimate factor is, of course, your baby and what suits her. You should try out a few types of cloth diapers and see what suits your baby’s needs and preferences. A heavy wetter will need a more robust absorption pad.

Easy Tips for Changing a Cloth Diaper

There are many things that you can follow in order to keep your cloth diaper experience positive especially if you are a newbie at the whole thing.

  1. Change the cloth diaper often: Babies are prone to getting diaper rash and this can be avoided if you change the diaper often. Typically, a baby will go through 10-12 diaper changes a day.
  1. If you suspect that your baby has got a yeast diaper rash, then you must seek help from the paediatrician to prevent any further complications.
  1. Use anything to make the diaper change easier for you and the baby. Keep her attention engaged on other things like toys, mirrors, or pictures.
  1. Make sure that you have enough cloth diapers on hand. This number will depend on how often you will be doing the laundry. If your laundry cycle is every day, then you should have 18 diapers on hand. For a laundry cycle that is every other day or once in three days, then you will need 2 to three dozen cloth diapers.
  1. Use a liner to keep your diaper bin fresh and free from leaking smells.

Washing Cloth Diapers/Nappies

Most parents are worried about how to store the cloth diaper before their wash cycle. The best way is to rinse the used nappy and then store them in a dry bin until you pop them into the washing machine. For the actual washing process, you can follow the steps below:

  1. Remove the insert from the diaper before putting it for a wash.
  2. Use the washing machine on the highest water setting.
  3. Do not add any detergent and give the diapers a cold rinse.
  4. After the rinse, you can wash the diapers on a regular hot wash setting with ¼ cup detergent. However, if you are using a detergent made specifically for cloth diapers, then follow the instructions given by the detergent.
  5. As the last step, give the diapers a cold rinse.

How Many Cloth Diapers would you Need for your Baby?

A newborn baby will run through 14 to 16 diaper changes per day. This number will reduce as your baby gets older. The number of diapers you will need will depend entirely on your washing cycle. If you are going to wash the diapers every day, then you will need 18 cloth diapers. If your wash cycle is once every two days, then you will need two dozen diapers and if you are doing your laundry once in three days, then you should have 36 diapers on hand.

You should try out all the different types of diapers available to find one that will suit your baby’s needs. Do not order the diapers in bulk as you don’t want to be stuck with 20 boxes of diapers that aren’t working for your baby. Some companies will even send you sample diapers for you to test out before you decide. You might even find that a couple of different types of cloth diapers will suit your various needs. You might pick one type for going out and another for the night time. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different ones. You can also talk to other parents who use cloth diapers for their babies. Ultimately, you will need to settle on the one that is most comfortable for your little one. If you baby acts cranky and is easily irritated with one kind of diaper, it may be time to look for the next option.

Also Read :

Cloth vs Disposable Diapers
Home Remedies For Diaper Rash