Frequently Asked Diapering Questions
How you use a cloth diaper depends upon the kind of diaper. The main types of diapers are; All-In-One (AIO), Fitted/Shaped, Flat and Prefold.
AIO or Shaped/Fitted Diapers:
Lift baby's bottom up, slide the diaper underneath and fasten it around baby's waist with either Velcro, snaps or pins. With an AIO that is it but shaped/fitted diapers need a waterproof cover over top. A pull-on diaper pant is just pulled on over top of the diaper making sure all of the diaper is inside the cover. If you are using a snap pant or diaper wrap you will place it under baby's bottom same way as you did with the diaper and fasten around baby's waist making sure all of the diaper is tucked into the wrap.
Flat or Prefold Diapers:
If you are using a flat diaper how you use it is determined by what kind of cover you are using. If you are using pull-on or side snap diaper pants you will need to fold the diaper into thirds forming a rectangle with a fanned out wider end and a narrower end. The fanned out end goes behind the baby's back while the narrow end is pulled up between the baby's legs. You then pull the longer back ends up over the narrower front end and fasten with either pins or a Snappi. Next pull on or snap on the diaper pants making sure all of the diaper is inside the cover.
If you are using a diaper wrap you will fold the diaper into thirds and place it in the diaper wrap then slide the diaper/wrap combo under baby's bottom and fasten the wrap around baby's waist making sure all of the diaper is contained within the diaper wrap.
If you are using a prefold diaper it is very similar to use as the flat diaper. If you are using the diaper with a pull-on or side snap diaper pant you fold the diaper so it is narrow on one end and fanned out on the other. The fanned out end goes behind the baby's back while the narrow end is pulled up between the baby's legs. You then pull the longer back ends up over the narrower front end and fasten with either pins or a Snappi. Next pull on or snap on the diaper pants making sure all of the diaper is inside the cover.
When using a diaper wrap with prefold diapers you fold the diaper into thirds and place it in the diaper wrap. Next slide the diaper/wrap combo under baby's bottom and fasten the wrap around baby's waist making sure all of the diaper is contained within the diaper wrap.
The most common place to find cloth diapers to purchase is online or from catalogs. You can also purchase high quality cloth diapers and diaper covers from diaper services and from stores specializing in eco friendly clothes and toys. The cloth diapers and covers found as most department/chain stores such as Wal-Mart, Target, etc. are not the best available. Read more here
Most common reasons:
1. There's a bit of diaper sticking out from the cover. Make sure the diaper is completely contained within the diaper cover.
2. The diaper isn't absorbent enough for your baby's output. An easy way to fix this is to add a doubler.
3. The diaper cover or the diaper is too large or too small. When buying diapers pay close attention to the manufacturers sizing suggestions and buy the correct size for you baby.
4. Baby isn't getting changed often enough. Newborns need to be changed every 2 hours, older babies about every 3 or 4 hours during the day. For overnight you will need a thicker more absorbent diaper or use two diapers or add doublers to prevent leaks. I use my heaviest diapers and a pull-on diaper pant as prefolds and diaper wraps just don't do well overnight.
Every cloth diapering mom has a different system for washing diapers. This is mine.
1. Cold water wash normal cycle with only baking soda added.
2. Hot water wash, heavy was cycle with enzyme free detergent. (The free and clear detergents work great. Read the ingredients list to be sure enzymes aren't listed as they will give baby a horrible, painful diaper rash.)
3. Extra rinse with 1/2 cup white distilled vinegar to help remove any left over soap residue. It also works like a fabric softener and removes ammonia smell.
DO NOT use bleach, it will wear out the diapers before their time.
DO NOT use fabric softener, it will leave a residue on the diaper making them less absorbent and irritating baby's tush.
For more information see Washing Diapers
This depend on how often you will be washing and how many children you have in diapers. If you plan to wash every 3 days you will need approximately 3 dozen diapers per infant or about 12 diapers per day. If you have two toddlers you will need probably 2 dozen per child as toddlers don't need to be changed as often as infants thanks to an increased bladder capacity and less frequent poops. For more information see Getting Started