WHAT DO I NEED TO GET STARTED?
- 2-3 dozens of cloth diapers, more for younger babies, less for older ones. We recommend trying out a few different styles before purchasing a large quantity of one style. From personal experience I prefer contour diapers for a younger baby:
no snaps or velcro strips to irritate tender skin,
as your baby grows, very adjustable contour diaper "grows" with him,
less bulky, especially on smaller babies.
Snap-ins and fitteds with lots of snaps for different size adjustments are good too, because they can fit a much wider weight range, meaning you will need less of them.
- diaper covers: 6-8 covers for newborn/infants, 4-6 covers for larger sizes.
- gentle wool wash with lanoline for wool diaper covers.
- 10-20 inserts or doublers, depending on which type of diaper you use.
Some diapers are so absorbent, that you won't need any doublers unless for overnight use or if your munchkin is a very heavy wetter. Doublers and soakers with fleecy top lining are better for overnight use because of that stay-dry feeling. Otherwise many babies would wake up during the night because of the cold and wet feeling to their skin. The quantity depends on individual preferences. I have about 10 soakers, which I use on Max at night for extra protection.
- diaper pail. Any large square or round plastic container with a tight lid will do.
- diaper pail liner. A water- and odor-proof bag for wet and soiled diapers. Make sure it fits well over your diaper pail.
- diapering accessories such as: 2-3 wet bags for travelling, flashable liners & cloth wipes .
HOW MUCH MONEY WOULD I NEED TO INVEST IN CLOTH DIAPERING?
It all depends on the type of diapers you choose. The average investment would be between $400 to $1200-$1400 incl. two extra laundry loads per week. Comparing this to over $2,000 in disposables for a two-year period you will save quite a bit of money, especially if you plan to cloth diaper your subsequent children too!
HOW OFTEN WILL I NEED TO CHANGE MY BABY?
It is not recommended to leave your baby in wet diaper for over two hours due to increased risk of infection, so do check her often. At least every 1.5 to 2 hours. Due to the nature of cloth diapers, many cloth diapered babies are potty trained a lot sooner then the ones in disposable diapers.
HOW DO I WASH MY DIAPERS?
Keep your wet and soiled diapers in the diaper pail and wash them every 3-4 days, depending on how many you have on hand. Cloth diapers should be washed on hot cycle with any detergent that does not contain bleach or fabric softener. Add a couple of drops of tea tree or eucalyptus oil to your detergent to boost the antibacterial properties.
DO I NEED TO WASH CLOTH DIAPERS PRIOR TO USE?
Yes, your cloths diapers need to be washed before use in order to reach their maximum absorption capacity. Wash in a full cycle, using hot water, and your non-bleach household detergent. Bleach is very harsh against your baby's skin and may damage the diaper's fibers and elastics, reducing its lifespan. Your cotton diapers and liners will arrive sort of stiff and flat, but will fluff up and soften wonderfully just after one wash!
HOW DO I GET THE STAINS OUT?
If your diapers got stained we recommend to hang wet diapers in the direct sun outside for a few hours to dry. You can also squirt it with a little lemon juice before the sunshine "treatment". The stubborn stain should come right out after this.
CLOTH VS. DISPOSABLES
Apart from the obvious environmental reasons, there are great economical and health reasons to why switching to cloth diapers is better for you and your baby.
It's a money saver. In two years from birth to potty training each baby needs an astonishing 6000 diaper changes. Choosing cloth can save you up to $2000! Even with extra laundry to do. The savings will be even bigger if a family chooses a more affordable cloth diapering option such as contour diapers or prefolds.
Disposable diapers are made with polyethylene and polypropylene plastic with bleached paper pulp, AGM (a gelling substance), petrolatum, sterile alcohol, cellulose tissue, elastic, and perfume. Many of the chemicals used in the production of disposable diapers are direct health hazards. Some scientific studies have linked disposable diapers and their harsh perfumes and toxic substances to the increase of asthma in small children. Now think about that your baby could spend at least two years of his life in those diapers and you will see the picture.
Cloth diapers, on the other hand are what they are - cloth. Organic cloth diapers are even better, because the fabric or yarn they are made of have never been treated with chemicals. We applaud you for considering cloth for your little one! Once you've tried it - you will never want to use disposable diapers again.
Natallia. Organic Mom and Founder of Organic By Nature company