Cloth Diapers What your Grandmother never told you

Posted by Kim Leo on

When your parents or grandparents hear the words “cloth diaper” they think of pins, plastic pants and wet pails.  Long gone are the days of the labor intensive cloth diaper.  Today’s modern cloth diapers are easy to use and care for.  When your grandmother used cloth it was probably flat diapers and pins.  This required you to fold each diaper to properly fit the baby.  Now flats still have their use and paired with modern diaper covers and either Snappi, or boingo (new easier diaper fastener); they make a great option for a true one-size diaper.  


Types of diapers

There are a few different styles of modern cloth diapers; Prefolds, Fitteds, All-In-One’s, Pocket and Hybrid diapers... oh my!  Then you can start looking at all of the brands that are out there and it can get overwhelming quickly!  I like to break it down into ease of use and price for new parents.  



The easiest to use are All-In-One diapers (AIO). They are all sewn together and one piece.  AIO diapers are the most similar to disposable diapers for the ease of putting on the diaper and washing.  AIO are generally made from either organic cotton or micro suede topped microfiber. 



The next easiest to use are pocket diapers.  They are made with an outer waterproof layer, a middle layer for absorbency, and the stay dry pocket.  Most of these diapers are one size to fit from birth to potty training.  The absorbent layer can be many different types of material including prefolds, microfiber, hemp or bamboo.  The beauty of the pocket diaper is the ability to choose what you want for an insert and to be able to adjust absorbency as needed.  



Prefolds and flats take a bit of practice to learn how to use, but they are a work horse of a diaper stash.  Prefolds can be folded in multitude of ways; trifold, jelly roll, angel wing, and bikini twist.    Here is a great link that shows the many folds that you can do with a Prefold.





Hybrid diapers are a combination of disposable and reusable diapers.  They have the option to have disposable insert that can be composted, flushed or thrown out.  Or they have the option to be used with a reusable washable insert.  



One of the most common hang up’s for people starting cloth diapers is “what do I do with the dirties?!?”  The answer to this is two options!  You can use a diaper service that will wash, dry and bring them back to you clean; or you can wash them yourself.  


Diaper Service

A diaper service does all of washing for you!  With newborn babies all you have to do is put the dirty diaper into the pail.  Once the baby gets a little older and they start getting solid food then you would dump any formed solids into the toilet.  You can also use a diaper sprayer at this point to remove any solids from the diaper.  With a diaper service you will receive a week’s worth of diapers at a time.  Once a week they come and pick up the dirty diapers; leaving you enough fresh and clean diapers for the following week.  The size and age of your baby will determine how many diapers are delivered to your door.  Once a month you also receive a citrus scented  deodorizing disk to go into your diaper pail.   With diaper service; all that you have to wash yourself is the diaper covers.  


Wash your own

If you wash your own diapers you will be washing every other day or every 2nd day.  The typical routine is as follows: cold rinse, hot wash with detergent and an extra cold rinse.  Many get better results using a warm rinse to replace the cold rinses.  Be sure to follow your diapers’ manufacture’s recommendations for safe laundry soaps; so that you do not end up with buildup that can cause your diapers to lose their absorbency.  Washed diapers can either be line dried or put into the dryer on low to medium heat.  Line drying will lengthen the life of your diapers.  Do Not Use fabric softener or dryer sheets on your cloth diapers as this will cause repelling issues.  


Diaper Accessories

The world of cloth diapers has become so much easier with all of the accessories that are available for use today!  Snappi’s and Boingo fasteners replace pins, no more sticking yourself or your baby while putting on a diaper.  Out and about with a dirty diaper?  No problem!  You have a wet bag!  This contains any wet mess into a waterproof bag.  These bags are great beyond potty training as well.  Wet bags are great for wet bathing suits, shoes, laundry and so many other things.  

Diaper sprayers are a wonderful addition to any cloth diapering household.  It is like a spray nozzle for your kitchen sink but attached to the toilet!  No more dunking, flushing or swishing of dirty diapers!   

Cloth diaper-safe diaper cream is a must when using cloth diapers.  Some of the many that are available are GroVia Magic Stick, Thirsties Butt balm, Lanolin, Coconut Oil, Burts Bees, and California baby.

This is just a short snip-it about cloth diapers and all of the available options.  Stop by the store to see, feel and touch the many  cloth diaper options. I am always happy to answer questions and help you find the best solution for you and your baby. 

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