Friends and family often refer parents interested in cloth diapers to me. There really aren’t that many people who cloth diaper where I live, or that I know, so I’ve gotten pretty comfortable being an advocate for cloth. It makes me happy to help others learn about something that has been beneficial for my children and my family.
Here are my top tips for using cloth diapers. After you learn all these easy hacks, get entered to win a $100 Gift Certificate for and sponsored by Kelly’s Closet. Make sure you check out all the useful diapering tips offered by the other bloggers as well!
- Start slow. There is A LOT of information about cloth diapers out there. There are also many types of diapering systems available. My best advice is to first educate yourself on the different types. You don’t have to try them all, just know what features are most appealing to you and go for it. Cost, ease of use, etc. This page is an excellent resource for getting started.
- Get a diaper sprayer. While I feel like many cloth diapering accessories aren’t a necessity, a sprayer is something I don’t think I could cloth diaper without. I’m sorry, but poop is the WORST part of parenthood to me. I tried cloth diapering without a sprayer for two months…it wasn’t for me. We use the bumGenius sprayer and it’s still making my cloth life easier over two years and two kids later.
- Make sure you are using a cloth diaper safe cream. When we started cloth diapering, I brushed this one off. I thought, yeah okay, whatever and I continued to use our store-bought cream. I ruined a handful of diapers this way. After a few months, they repelled and no amount of scrubbing or soaking stopped it. I now have several swim diapers…but, I would have preferred to keep them in our regular rotation. My favorite cloth diaper safe cream is CJ’s BUTTer.
- If you MUST use a cream that isn’t cloth diaper safe, use a fleece or disposable liner. Trust me, I learned the hard way. Just don’t flush the disposable liners. They have a known tendency to clog toilets so they are better thrown away.
- Make or buy some of these babies to apply diaper rash cream. You can buy spray diaper potions as well, but I prefer creams and just love these reusable cotton rounds. They’re good for all sorts of things from nose bleeds to small scrapes, even quick breast pads. You could also apply rash cream with your cloth wipes.
- Buy sample size diaper creams for the diaper bag.
- AIOS are great for on-the-go cloth diapering and babysitters.
- Skip the cheap diapers…It is so tempting to buy those $5 and under diapers from Ebay. I think most of us have early in our cloth diaper journey. But they just aren’t worth it. I’m sad to admit, we tried them too. None of them lasted more than a few months and they did not fit my babies very well. We learned all about wing droop and delamination through these diapers. Trust me, spending a little more on a quality diaper that will last through one or more babies is a better investment. If you need budget friendly diapers, there are lots of resources available. I’ve done several posts on them that can be found here:
*Flour Sack Towels and Covers
*Diapering With Common Household Items
*Investing in Cloth
*Cloth Diapering on a Budget
- Do not, under any circumstance, get caught up in crazy wash routines. Diaper laundry can by far be the biggest nemesis of cloth diapering parents – but it doesn’t have to be. Most cloth diaper companies will state which detergents are ‘safe’ for their diapers. Using their approved detergents keeps you from voiding your warranty. I will say this…(please take it with a disclaimer that you should always try and keep your warranty by following the manufacturer’s instructions…when feasible)…I have successfully used ‘mainstream’ detergents with no problems. As long as the detergent doesn’t have fabric softener or bleach, it has worked well for us. We have used Xtra, Purex, Sun, Tide, Era, and All. I have also used Soap Nuts and while they work well for our cloths, they did not get our diapers clean enough. If you have hard water, look into a softener. Just don’t start the crazy stripping, bleaching routines UNLESS there is a problem like stink, leakage, or rash.
- Try cloth wipes. They’ll save you money and it actually just makes cloth diapering easier. You don’t have to separate the diaper from the wipes when you’re throwing the diaper into your wet bag or pail. Even novice sewers can make them or you can use baby wash cloths. We have a full sewing tutorial on them here.
- Re-purpose disposable wipe containers and use them for your cloth wipes. They make potty training and cloth diapering on the go much easier.
- If you wet your cloth wipes and they tend to get musty smelling, try filling up a squirt bottle of water and cleaning solution to spray on the individual wipes or directly on baby’s bottom. This way your wipe solution won’t sour and there’s no chance of mold growth. It also makes it easy to leave dry wipes in the diaper bag or car.
- Get yourself a good wet bag…or a few. They make holding dirty diapers easy and hassle free. And they’re good for swim suits and transporting snacks or medicines.
- Mini wet bags are GREAT to throw your cotton rounds, sample size creams, and small spray bottle in for on the go cloth diapering.
- Don’t be afraid to try something different. I started with snapless fitted pocket diapers. To put it simply, they require more work than most diapers. You have to stuff them, pin/snappi them, and then put a cover over them. They were the most economical choice for what I had to work with at the time and they performed great for my heavy wetting children. As finances got a little better, and my time got a little less with two children, I switched to mainly pockets. I’ve used all sorts of diapers on our little journey from flats, prefolds, pockets, and my new favorite AIOs. If one system doesn’t work for you, it doesn’t mean another won’t. All babies are shaped differently and most brands offer slight variances in fit. Don’t be a cloth diaper snob, it’s okay to try and love a new brand!
- The biggest cloth diaper tip I can give is to find a support system. You will be amazed at how many people try to talk you out of cloth. Most people who haven’t tried cloth diapers in the last few years don’t understand just how modern cloth diapers are. Cloth diapers have come a long way and these days, they are pretty easy to use! There are tons of blogging communities and facebook groups dedicated to cloth. There are many people out there willing to troubleshoot problems and offer encouragement and advice when needed.
Need some help getting started on your cloth diaper journey? Click on the giveaway and get entered to win a $100 Kelly’s Closet Gift Certificate: Kelly’s Closet Rafflecopter Giveaway. Open to US residents over the age of 18 yrs old. Must enter by June 30th, 2014 to be eligible to win.
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