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Sunday, March 21, 2010

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Daily Diapers-Just the Plain Ol' Basics

When you make the decision to use cloth diapers, it can seem very overwhelming. Until now, the daily diapers that your baby wore were an afterthought, and something that didn't take a whole lot of effort. Besides the different brands, there wasn't really a whole lot to learn. With cloth diapers, the options seem staggering. Below you will find some frequently asked questions about purchasing, using, and caring for your cloth diapers.

How many daily diapers do I need?
The answer to this question will depend largely on the age of your baby. For example, newborns use more daily diapers than toddlers. A newborn baby may need to be changed as many as a dozen times per day, especially if you are breastfeeding. Older babies may only require you to change them 4-6 times per day. To determine how many cloth diapers to purchase, decide how often you will want to wash. For example, if you have a newborn, and only want to wash twice a week, three or four dozen diapers are recommended.

What type of cloth diaper is best for me?
There are four main types of cloth diapers. A prefold diaper is the old fashioned type that needs to be folded and pinned. These require a separate waterproof cover. This type of diaper is best for those on a budget, being the most affordable. A fitted diaper is shaped like disposables, with elastic and the legs and waist. These also need a separate waterproof cover. These types of daily diapers are best for those who want more leak protection, while still offering affordability and a quick dry time. Pocket diapers include an absorbent insert that fits into an outer waterproof shell. These diapers are best for those that want the convenience of an all-in-one design, without sacrificing customized absorption. Finally, an AIO diaper is built just like a disposable, but you can wash it after each use. Absorbent layers are sewn in, or attach with snaps. This type is best for when changing daily diapers is shared with dads, sitters or daycare workers.
How do I wash my daily diapers?
It is very easy to wash cloth diapers. While many parents still rinse and soak their cloth diapers, it's not always necessary. Solid waste can be shaken into the toilet and the diaper placed in the pail until wash day. Daily diapers should be washed in hot water, using a detergent like Rockin' Green Cloth Diaper Detergent. Use a double rinse cycle if it is available on your machine. For stains, the best remedy for washing your daily diapers is to hang your cloth diapers outside, on a sunny day.


Anonymous said...

I wish I had been more educated before I started cloth diapering and tried different kinds. I didn't know the proper detergent to use and had some repelling. This is a very useful article for beginners!!

Michelle B

mommyagain said...

I'm amazed at how well and how quickly a little sunshine will remove stains. I have fleece, microfiber and organic cotton. The sun gets it all out!

Savannah said...

This comment is totally off topic, but I had to share. As I got to the website just now, I remembered a dream I had last night. I dreamt that I got to meet Kelly, and I was SO excited in the dream! It was like I was meeting a celebrity! I guess that's a sign I'm a true CD addict, huh? haha!

Great advice in the article too! :)

Mrs. Yoder said...

Thanks for the information! A newbie can never have to much.

K8tmama said...

I agree that there are way more choices when cloth diapering vs using disposables. I like your answers to frequently asked questions..I think they are helpful and concise (THANKS :) !).
I have to say, I like that there are lots of options, since what works for one person doesn't always work for all (babies come in all shapes/sizes and parents have different diapering wants/needs).

Owen's Mom said...

Great post! I wish I had read that 3 years ago. All the types can be overwhelming. I started with 6 AIOs and a Bummis starter package of covers and prefolds. My stash has grown and I wouldn't recommend AIOs to start out with... but definitely encourage the prefolds as a good "filler" for a growing stash.

Crystal said...

This is great info for beginners - I will definitely refer friends to this blog who are thinking about cloth diapering. And I agree that the sun is the most amazing stain remover ever!

Anonymous said...

Very useful indeed. Our baby is due in just 3 1/2 weeks, and I am getting everything in order. I am starting out with 2 dozen fitted (handmade by a friend for her baby) and some homemade wool covers. I will order the rest of my stock once Baby gets here, and we know baby's gender! I am leaning towards Gro baby's, I guess that is a hybrid of a fitted and pocket?

Thanks for the article!