Welcome to part 4 of my Cloth Diapering series. We’ve talked about why you should try cloth, what the options are and what other bits and bobs you might need. Let’s talk about how I (as in me, Heather) cloth diaper as well as the basic How Tos for the Average Cloth Diaper-er.
Ok, so this is it. You have everything you need. It’s time to get started.
- Organize your cloth stuff somewhere where you will be able to easily access it during diaper changes. Stuff your pocket diapers, have your snappies and wipes within reach. Basically, be ready for a baby bum.
- Take one diaperless or stinky-butted baby or toddler and bring them to where ever you have gathered your diapering stuff.
- Remove clothes and diaper you wish to replace. Cloth diapers that are soiled go in wet bag. If baby is eating solids, be sure to scrape/shake/spray poop into toilet first.
- Pick the cloth you want to use.
- Put it on the baby.
- Smell something funky or hear complaining baby, start back at step 2.
About twice a week, take your wet bag of diapers to the laundry area of your choice, wash and dry. Start back at step 1.
It’s pretty simple, really. Oh, you want more details? Well, sure! I’ll do my best to take some pictures without flashing you poor Mason’s bits.
Prep Your Diapers
- Wash all of your diapers, whether they are new or used. Follow the instructions provided by the brand for washing. Make sure to wash all of your like fibers together. So, hemp is washed with hemp, cotton with cotton, etc… This is important because hemp and bamboo have natural oils that may cause issues for your other materials after washing.
- Prefolds needs to be prepped before use. This means washing them a few times or boiling them in a large stock pot. This opens up the fibers and makes them more pillowy and absorbent.
What I do: For new all in one or pocket diapers, I do one warm wash with an extra rinse, with detergent. I then do a dry in the dryer on medium or low, anything still damp goes out in the sun. For new prefolds, I boil them (like fiber with like fiber) and then toss them in the dryer. For covers, I wash them on a regular cycle with detergent and put them up outside to dry. Make sure when washing anything with velcro/hook and loop that all tabs are folded in so as to not catch and damage your diapers.
For used diapers, I do a bleach soak to sanitize. I fill my bathtub with water and add a very small amount of bleach. I then soak the diapers for a few hours. I then ring them out and run them through my regular wash routine.
- Stuff your pocket diapers with whatever insert you want to use. Remember that if you want to use boosters or need to fold your inserts that boys need extra absorbency in the front and girls need it in the middle.
- For Hybrid diapers, attach one of the inserts so that the diaper is ready to go. Have extra inserts near by for the following change.
- Sort your prefolds by size
- Snap your diapers or covers if you need to size them (ie: if you are diapering a newborn, you will need them snapped to the smallest setting. If you are diapering a toddler, make sure all the snaps are undone). One size diapers may have elastics in the legs that need to be adjusted as well.
Organize Your Space
Make sure your diapering station is all set to go. Everyone does this differently. Do what whats for you.
What I do: My diapering area is in the family room, where we spend most of our time. I have one large bin for all of my diapers, one small bin for my extra inserts and bits and bobs. The pack and play has an attached organizer, in which I have wipes, bum cream and snappies. My wet bag is hanging near by and my diaper genie (for disposables diapers and wipes) is right there.
Put the Diaper on your Baby
- As I mentioned up top, this is the straight forward part. Put the diaper on your baby.
- All in Ones go on just like a disposable diaper if they are velcro, otherwise you just have to do the snaps to whatever size works for your baby.
- Pocket diapers go on like disposable diapers, assuming you’ve already stuffed them. If not, do so.
- Fitted Diapers are a two step process. First, put the fitted diaper on your baby (much like a disposable diaper). Once on, put the cover over top the same way. It will be quite bulky but super absorbent.
- Hybrid diapers need their inserts snapped or tucked in (depending on the brand), and then you put them on baby
- Prefolds can go on in a bunch of different ways. I suggest checking out this site for a few options. After the prefold goes on, put on your cover. Here’s a couple ways I do it:
With all of these, make sure that the insert covers all the parts it needs to cover, and that none of the inner fabric or fleece is peeking out the leg holes or out the top.
Go About Your Life
- Yep. Dress your baby and do your thing. You may find that you have to size up pants for them to fit on your kiddo’s adorable fluffy bum. They also make snap extenders for onesies that you can get.
- You may find that you need to change your baby more often. Babies feel wetness in cloth, where as in disposables the diaper falls away from their body. That said, you may find you need to check baby more often too, as the tell tale diaper sag doesn’t happen with cloth.
Change Your Baby
- When Baby is dirty, it’s time to change that diaper. Unsnap or undo the hook and loop and the snappi if in prefolds. You can reuse the cover if the binding is unsoiled. Simply wipe the PUL or lining. If the binding is wet or has poop, throw it in the wet bag. For pocket diapers you need to remove the insert before washing, so I try to remember to remove it before putting it and the diaper in the wet bag. For Hybrid diapers, just unsnap the insert and reuse the cover if its clean.
- Wipe with either a disposable wipe or a cloth wipe.
- If you need bum cream, be sure to use just a tiny bit of cloth safe cream, like Eco Chic Movement or Substance.
- Put on another adorable cloth diaper.
There you have it, folks! The basics on how to cloth. I hope this series has been able to help demystify cloth diapers for you. Please let me know if you have any questions or a theme for another post in this series (or another series entirely!) Thanks for reading!
The rest of the Baby Basics Series: