There are so many kinds of diapers! What works best?
The options and designs are practically endless. So, before you get overwhelmed with all the variations, here’s a brief explanation of the main types of cloth diapers.
Absorbency Options (the part that holds the urine).
Insert or Soaker Pad- Usually a narrow rectangle shaped pad that attaches to or slides into a diaper.
Prefold - A wide rectangle shaped cloth with more layers in the center (picture a 3 lane highway with a thicker middle lane), that can be folded in many different ways. Must be held in place with pins, Snappi or a cover.
Flat Fold – A thin, single layered and large rectangle of cloth that you can fold many ways.
Doubler – An additional Insert that can be attached or layered with an Insert, Prefold or Trifold for extra absorbency.
Diaper or Fitted – Shaped like a disposable but made from cloth and fastened with hook & loop or snaps.
Contour Diaper – A Diaper with or without elastic around legs and no snaps or hook & loop for fastening. Needs pins, Snappi or cover to hold it in place.
Liner – A thin layer, usually of microfleece, that lays next to baby’s skin and makes cleaning up poopy super easy.
Moisture Resistant Options (the part that keeps baby’s clothes and bedding dry)
PUL Cover – A cover that fastens with snaps or hook & loop, made from fabric laminated on one side (hidden in the diaper) to prevent leaks and usually lined with microfleece or suedecloth. Used with any of the absorbent configurations.
Wool Cover – AKA Longies, Soaker Shorts. These can have snaps or hook & loop but are most often pull on style. Wool used is naturally moisture resistant, breathable and soft!
Pocket Diaper – A PUL cover fashioned with an opening between the outer and inner layers (the pocket) so that an Insert can be slid inside.
AIO – All-In-Ones are most similar to disposables because there is no assembly required. The absorbent part is sewn into the diaper along with the moisture resistant barrier for one piece.
AI2 – An AIO except the Absorbent part detaches from the main body, allowing for much better cleaning and faster drying time.
One Size – As the name implies, you only need one diaper size from birth to potty.
What about washing them? Isn’t it gross?
Washing cloth diapers can be as simple or as complicated as you make it, in my experience. I know moms who have a multi-step system involving bucket soaking, etc. With 4 kids, I don’t have much time, and the thought of a bucket full of soaking dirty diapers makes me shudder.
So, here’s what I do:
Dump poop in the toilet. Use toilet paper for wiping most of it off the diaper.
Store the dirty diapers in a dry pail. Wash every 2-3 days.
Cold rinse with 1C white vinegar. (strips the uric acid – pee smell – from the diapers)
Normal wash with hot water and eco-friendly soap.
Second wash with 1/2 the amount of soap.
Sun dry or Dryer.
Every 3rd wash, I insert step 3-B. Soak diapers in warm/hot water with BioKleen.
How do you store dirty diapers while out of the house?
A wet bag is a bag especially made to safely carry damp, smelly things. They come in many sizes and colors to make them fun. Some have a zippered opening to “lock in” smells, while others just have a drawstring.
After 10 years of cloth diapering, I am still enjoying it! Yes, I will be very glad when I don’t have to change any more diapers, but knowing I am putting comfortable, organic diapers on my baby’s bottom…knowing I am doing my small but important part to care for Earth…and knowing I saved a good bit of money by using cloth, makes me happy.
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