Have you heard the saying “These are not your mama’s cloth diapers”? Well, it’s true! Modern cloth diapers don’t require pins, or rubber pants! There is no soaking, bleaching or dunking! In fact taking care of your modern cloth diapers is as easy as putting on a regular load of laundry.
Why todays parents are choosing cloth diapers:
Infants go through 8,000 to 10,000 diaper changes before entering potty training.
On average, disposable diapers will cost you between $2,8000 (for 8,000 diaper changes) and $3,500 (for about 10,000 diaper changes) per child.
You can purchase your start-up set of cloth diapers for under $300. This could save you an average of $1,500 over the course of your infants diapering years! And the bonus is you can continue to use those same diapers on a second and third child!
When you finish using disposable diapers with your child, all you have left is a huge mountain of trash. Even worse, a disposable diaper normally made out of plastics takes around 500 years to decompose, and more than 18 billion disposable diapers are thrown out in North America each year. That is more than 100,000 tons of plastic and 800,000 tons of tree pulp. Disposable diapers also contain dioxin- a by-product of bleaching pulp which has been linked to cancer.
Washing cloth diapers takes the equivalent amount of water as flushing a toilet 5 times a day (even less if you have a front loader), which once your child has toilet trained will occur anyway.
What to buy to begin cloth diapering:
- Enough cloth diapers to last through a 24 hour + period (the length of time will depend on how often you have decided you want to wash your cloth diapers)
- Cloth Diaper safe detergent. We recommend Allens Naturally or Wonder Wash
- A cloth diaper pail or somewhere to store your soiled cloth diapers until wash day
- 24-36 cloth wipes or 2-3 cloth wipes per cloth diaper
These items are not essential but are nice to have:
- a wetbag to store your soiled cloth diapers in during outings
- 2 cloth diaper pail liners (these are not essential, however without th
- wipes cubes- add your dry cloth baby wipes to a plastic container, a wipes warmer and just pour the solution overtop,
- 6 cloth diaper doublers- not necessary for
- 6 cloth diaper liners- Cloth diaper liners may extend the life of
- Diaper sprayer- to spray off solids into the toilet. This is not needed if you are using cloth diaper liners.
- A large diaper bag. Cloth Diapers take up more space than disposable diapers do, so if you plan to be out for a while you will need a large diaper bag to hold them.
Where to store your dirty diapers until wash day
Dry Cloth Diaper PailKeep your wet and dirty diapers in a covered diaper pail. We recomment you use a dry diaper down the fibres of your diapers over time. Wet diapers are also more prone to developing hard to remove offensive odours.
Using a waterproof bag as a diaper pail liner is an excellent option to help seal in odours between washings and make emptying the diaper pail more convenient. If the diaper pail gets smelly, you can add a pail pals , some fluff dust or a few drop of tea tree oil (a natural antiseptic and disinfectant) to your diaper pail.
Dont forget that if you dont use a liner or waterproof bag, you will need to wash out the diaper pail with soap and water to keep it smelling fresh.
WetbagThe perfect waterproof tote for soiled diapers. Wetbags can be machine washed with your soiled diapers and air dried. Most wetbags are made from PUL (polyurethane laminate). Some will have 2 layers: PUL on the inside and a more decorative cotton outside. Some are made with drawstrings, others have zippers, and they come in many sizes.
Washing Your Cloth Diapers
How often should you wash your cloth diapersDepending on the amount of diapers you own you will need to wash every 2-3 days. If you decide to go much longer than that you will find that your diapers will be harder to clean.
Shake off the solids into the toilet or flush the disposable liner down the toilet. Re-fasten applix straps and place the dirty/wet diaper into a dry diaper pail. If the diaper cover also gets dirty you can add it to the pail. If your diaper cover only got wet, let the cover dry and re-use it a few more times.
Washing is Easy!
- Pre-wash (cold water, no detergent, high water level)
- Main Wash (longest cycle, hot water, Add detergent, high water level, 2nd cold rinse)
When washing diapers it is very important to have an idea about the quality of your water- if you have hard water, use less detergent and run your diapers through a hot wash without detergent after a regular wash cycle every month or so. In hard water the detergent does not rinse well and your diapers can start smelling if you use too much detergent or do not rinse well enough.
- Dry (put your diapers in the drier or lay them in the sun to dry)
- Done! your diapers are clean and ready to use!
- Pre-wash (cold water, no detergent, rinse and spin cycle)
- Main wash (longest cycle, add detergent, hot water, 2nd rinse)
- Dry (put your diapers in the dryer, hang or lay them in the sun to dry)
Done! Your diapers are clean and ready to use!
A word about detergentsAny detergent containing fabric softeners, optical brightners and stain protectors include substances and oils that will coat the fibres and prevent your diapers from being absorbent causing them to leak.
Allens Naturally and Wonder Wash are detergents that seem to work well with all diaper products, no matter what the fabric.
If you notice that your little one is developing rashes, or that your pocket diapers are starting to leak or that they have a persistent smell, you will need to do a special cleaning called Stripping.
How to Strip your Diapers
- Fill your kitchen sink/laundry tub with warm-hot water.
- Add your clean dry cloth diapers to the hot water.
- Use an old brush or toothbrush and with some Dawn or other grease fighting detergent scrub the surfaces of your cloth diapers and inserts.
- Once you have scrubbed all surfaces of your cloth diapers place them into your washing machine.
- Run your regular cloth diaper wash cycle, DO NOT ADD ANY DETERGENT.
- You may need to do several extra rinses to remove any remaining suds.
- Dry your diapers as you normally would
Additional ResourcesStill confused? Feel free to contact me with any cloth diaper questions you might have or visit our websites.
Always refer to the care instructions provided with your diaper purchase for specific instructions from the manufacturer.