Saturday, May 1, 2010

The Quick and Dirty

There is a lot of good information out there about the basics of cloth diapering. When you are new to it, all the different kinds of diapers and how to wash them can sometimes seem overwhelming. I am nowhere near an expert on the subject, but since I'm new to it I think I am poised to give a short, basic lesson in cloth diapering. This lesson is by no means extensive and there is a lot  more to know, but it will give you a basic start.

So here's the quick and dirty:
  • Cloth diapers are better for the environment than disposables. Yes, it uses more water. But water is a renewable resource. Disposable diapers sit in landfills, it is thought for 200-500 years. All the chemicals in them also seep into the ground.
  • Cloth diapers may help keep babies' bottoms rash free.
  • Toddlers may toilet train early.
Myth: Washing diapers is difficult and time-consuming.
Fact: I hate laundry and I find it very easy. I wash every other day with the following cycle:
  1. Cold rinse on highest level of water
  2. Hot wash, cold rinse cycle on highest level of water with basic Tide powder detergent (only 1/4 of regular amount).
  3. Dry on low. If there are stains I put them out in the sun to dry and it bleaches them right out.
Basic Types of cloth diapers:
  • Prefolds - also called flat or chinese prefolds. These are like your grandmother used, but you don't need pins anymore. They are often secured with snappis, and then a cover goes over them.
  • Fitted - often goes on like a disposable, and then a cover goes over them.
  • Pockets - has a stuffable pocket where the absorbent layer goes and can be customized for absorbency. No cover needed.
  • All-in-one (AIO) - No stuffing, no cover. Just the diaper.
Sized - Sized for specific weight ranges
One Size (OS) - Adjusts through various ways so that you use the same diaper, birth to potty.

Preparation - You do need to prep your diapers. Depending on the type of fabric, some just need one wash, while others need several washes, separately from other diapers. All diapers gain absorbency the more you wash them. If they do not come with instructions, check the manufacturer's website.

There is much more to know and learn, but I think this will get you started. Most of the online stores provide extensive information, as do many other blogs.

Happy Cloth Diapering!


Mama to 3 Blessings said...

Hi, I am following you from Cloth Diaper Blogging. I invite you to please follow back. My husband & I just found out we are expecting our 4th baby. To celebrate I am having a pregnancy party / baby bash event from May - Nov. I will have LOTS of cloth diaper giveaways! The 1st one will be next week!
Thanks! Nicole

Jessica said...

Hi Cynthia, I'm happy to see it's going well! It's addicting, isn't it? We're getting a new washer delivered today, a high-efficiency top-loader. I wonder how this is going to change my wash routine.


Anonymous said...

Bac-out was sooooo important when it cam to washing my diapers. You can get it at most co-ops and health food stores, it is inexpensive and if you add about a 1/4 to each load of diapers you will be left with clean and stain free diapers. I couldn't live w/o it!

The Wife said...

Nice overview

Following from CD Bloggers.