The Basics of Cloth Diapering

Are you considering cloth diapering or have just begun?  You’ve come to the right spot!  Today we will walk through all the details of cloth diapering to help start you off on the right foot.  Hopefully you will get questions answered, learn something new, and be excited about cloth diapering!

First, let’s discuss a few ways that cloth diapering has evolved.  Many when thinking of cloth diapers might imagine generations long ago washing by hand and using safety pins and rubber pants.  Though this was the only option for a time before disposables; things have changed quite a bit.  You will find it easy to cloth diaper today due to more types of cloth diapers on the market, modernizations in accessories, and laundry improvements.

Let’s break that down a little further.

More Cloth Diaper Options: Traditional cloth diapers are called prefolds and flats.  These cotton pieces of cloth are a popular option today and even have many uses beyond a diaper: rags, burp cloths, and more.

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Cotton Prefold with Snappi.  Various folds hold the diaper on well with the fastener.

The prefold and flat require another layer, a cover, so the cloth when wet does not leak on everything else.  The covers come in all colors and sizes making the diaper more fashionable than ever.

Today there are modern cloth diapers which are diapers that can be made of synthetic fibers and are another option from the prefold.  The major difference is the absorbent layers are attached or sewn to the cover of the modern diaper making it more conveneint than a prefold/fastener/and cover system.  There are many styles, but the main categories are All-in-Twos, All-in-Ones, Hybrid, and Pocket diapers.  Each of these diapers vary slightly, which allows for interchanging types of cloth and finding what works best for you.

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bumgenius All-in-One.  It’s one step: snap on and snap off.

Modernizations in Accessories: Cloth diapers today have snaps and velcro which make changing easier.  As mentioned before diaper fasteners like the Snappi are easy to use and are not sharp like the safety pins of old.  Additionally, there are wet bags and other items, which make cloth diapering while out and about a breeze.

Laundry Improvements: If you are washing at home, depending on your washer and type of diaper there are many good washing routine suggestions.  Make sure to keep an eye out for cloth diaper safe detergents.  But if you prefer, use a diaper service!  Let someone else do the dirty work for you.  Cloth diapering can be even easier when you have weekly drop off of fresh diapers and pick up of the dirty.  Plus, Green Diaper Babies in Chicago in particular is the only cloth diaper service offering both prefold and modern cloth diapers.  More information on them is here.

Finally a List of What You Need

-Pail and liner to hold your stash of diapers

-Wet bag

-If laundering at home; a diaper sprayer for your toilet as well as good cloth safe laundry detergent

-Snappi and covers if using prefolds

-Storage for your supply of diapers

-Cloth diaper safe rash cream, olive oil, or coconut oil for rashes (if needed)

-A stash of diapers (80/week for a newborn; 50-60/week for 1 year old; 30-50/week for toddler)

Thank you for reading and making a difference for the environment, and also giving your baby’s bum the softest, safe, and natural option.

Make sure you stay tuned for washing science and tips in upcoming blogs