Considering cloth diapers? Here are a few of our most frequently asked questions about cloth diapering.
- How do I wash cloth diapers?
-Really, the answer to this question is far too long for a simple paragraph. While they can be washed manually, a washing machine is recommended. Wash cycles vary by machine. Detergent is somewhat a matter of preference, though there are definitely types to avoid. I prefer Tide powder, but there are other options (and more natural options) available. Feel free to email, and I can send you links to websites with in depth information on machine cycles and detergent suggestions. As far as drying them, I prefer to hang dry my diapers. It better preserves the life of the elastic and PUL. But the dryer is fine, too, if dried on low. However, make sure you don't use store bought dryer sheets! Some of the products used to make dryer sheets will leave residue on your diapers, causing them to repel liquids and not absorb properly. If you want to use the dryer, I recommend investing in wool dryer balls. They help reduce static and drying time.
- Do I need cloth wipes, too?
-No. But if you're already washing your diapers, why not add them? They're super easy to add to your routine and are available in many different prints and sizes to fit your personal preferences. They're also a great way to support WAHMs if you want to take the time to find someone.
- What's so different about cloth diapers today?
-When you hear cloth diapers, did you immediately think of rectangles of fabric, rubber pants, and, the worst part, giant safety pins? Many people do. But no more! Today's cloth diapers offer easy snap or velcro closures! And if you still want to use more "traditional" cloth diapers with those prefolds and covers, there are convenient rubber closures with plastic teeth. No more stabbing yourself or baby! (Though watch the teeth. They're still a little sharp!)
- I can't convince my husband!
-Yes, the upfront cost is more than disposables, but in the long run, they are so much cheaper! There are adorable prints galore for everyone's tastes. And the number of diaper styles available means there's something that works for everyone. There are prefolds and pockets that require a little more effort, but All-In-Ones are used just like disposables that you then throw in the wash! Easy peasy!
- How many do I need to start?
-This can vary by MANY factors from how heavy a wetter your little one is to how frequently you plan to wash. If you plan to wash every day, you could probably get by with about 2 dozen, but I would recommend 3-4 dozen so you can have more wiggle room on washing routines. While you don't NEED more than that, you will likely find that you will WANT more than that anks to all of the amazing prints available.
- What other supplies are required?
-If you plan to use cloth only part time at home, you would be able to get by with just some larger wet bags (hanging or pail). At least 2, 1 to use while the other is being washed, but I prefer having at least 3. Multiply that by however many changing stations you'll have set up in your home. If you plan to use cloth while out and about, you'll also need some travel wet bags. Again, at least 2. But they have so many uses (wet swim suits, soiled clothes, etc), that you'll find you'll want more than just 2. You'll also need to make sure you have cloth diaper safe ointment available. Many commercial diaper creams leave a residue in cloth diapers that repels pee and keeps them from absorbing properly. If a non-cloth safe cream is needed, make sure you use a liner to protect your diapers.
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