Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Cloth Diapering 101 : Getting started

Getting Started

How Many Diapers Do I Need?

This is a breakdown of approximately how many diapers your baby will need per day depending on age:
  • 0-6 Months: 10-12 diapers

  • 6-12 Months: 8-10 diapers

  • 12-24 Months: 6-8 diapers

  • Potty Training: 2-4 diapers

Most people wash their diapers every 2 or 3 days. So if you have a 3 month old and want to wash diapers every other day, you would need 20-24 diapers. If you wanted to wash every third day you'd need 30-36 diapers. If you are using flats, prefolds, or fitteds you will also need one cover for every 2-4 diapers, depending on how often you want to reuse the covers before washing. I use 2 covers until wash day(unless they have been pooped on) I just switch between covers during each diaper change and allow the other to air dry, then wash on wash day!

Trial Packs

Many cloth diaper stores now offer trial packs for you to try for a certain amount of time and then you keep the diapers you like and return the diapers you don't. The trial packs contain a variety of different types and brands of diapers. If you do an internet search for cloth diaper trial pack you can find a trial that works best for you. I've found that the diaper trial package from Jillian's drawers( ) is the cheapest trial package and one of the best, from what I've heard. There are stipulations but for $10, you get to try cloth diapering to see if it's right for you.



Quite a few cloth diapering families still use disposable wipes. We did too, until I realized how much easier it would be to use cloth wipes. First, I didn't have to worry about having a diaper pail and a trash can by the changing table. Most of the disposable wipes ended up in the diaper pail anyway! Second, I can use 1 cloth wipe on a mess that used to take me 3 or more disposable wipes to clean up. When the cloth wipes are dirty, I just throw them in the diaper pail and wash right along with the diapers. There are many other types to choose from:


Terry Cloth

One and double sided Flannel

Baby Washcloths

Or if you feel thrifty, remember those recieveing blankets? You can snip them into 8x8 squares and viola! Wipes. It's what I use. They frey in the first two washes, but stop after. Cloth wipes usually come in 8x8 in or 8x4 in sizes that makes them fit perfectly in disposable wipes cases. If you can sew, you can save even more money by making your own wipes. You can make your own cloth wipes solution(just do a quick google search, Zany Zebra has a lot of solution recipes however) or use a store bought one. I make my own(1tbsp of Dr. Bronners liquid castile soap to 1 cup water, and mix! Also good as baby shampoo, hand soap, etc) I keep a squirt bottle next to the changing area with the solution and squirt the wipes as needed. When we are out of the house, I premoisten the wipes and put them in a travel wipes case.

Diaper Rash Creams

Many compaines have started making cloth friendly diaper rash creams but you still need to avoid using some of the more well known brands such as A & D, Bordeaux's Butt Paste, and Desitin. If you want to buy a cloth friendly cream, look at the ingredients list of store bought cream and make sure it does not have cod liver oil(these creams are normally called “creamy”). However all creams should only be used with a liner (either disposable or flannel/fleece) because they can cause staining and repeling issues with your diapers. One of the big benefits of using cloth is that most people see less cases of diaper rash in their babies. If your little one does develop a rash, here are some cloth friendly creams you can use:

Angel Baby Bottom Balm

California Baby

Magic Stick

I personally use either pure aloe gel(from GNC) or coconut oil(you can find it in the international section of most grocery stores)

Diaper Sprayer

The Diaper Sprayer is a completely optional accessory, but it does make cleaning dirty diapers much easier! It attaches to your toilet's water line and hangs from a hook on your toilet tank. When you need to rinse a diaper, you just turn the sprayer on, hold the diaper over the toilet bowl, and rinse away. I got mine from E-bay for 20 dollars(shipping incl!)

Wet Bags & Pail Liners

Wet Bags are essential when traveling with your baby. They are made with a waterproof fabric on the inside to hold your soiled diapers. They are usually closed with a zipper, but some may have snaps or velcro. You can find wet bags in many different colors, patterns, and sizes and they are almost as addictive as the diapers themselves.

Pail Liners are used in your diaper pail at home. You can buy liners specifically made for diaper pails, you can use trash bags, or you can use laundry bags. I personally made mine with some PUL. If you are using a pail liner or laundry bag, you can just throw the bag in the laundry with your diapers.

Diaper Pails

There are specific pails made especially for cloth diapers, but most people just use a simple kitchen trash can. We use a white kitchen trash can with a flip lid for our diapers. And yes! While smaller than most diaper pails, if you have a diaper genie, it can be made into a cloth diaper pail! I have done so!

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