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Are Cloth Diapers Right For Me?
Families considering cloth diapers are usually motivated by a unique combination of budgetary, environmental, health, and fashion considerations. When deciding if cloth diapers are right for your family, you will want to consider your family’s lifestyle and what kind of cloth diaper will best fit in it. Click on the link below to know more.Why Cloth Diapers
How Many Diapers Do I need ?
First of all you need to determine how often you will be doing laundry.
With that in mind, here are some reasonable estimates about cloth diapers you will need:
- Newborn to 4 months – 20 – 24 diapers
- Infant (4 to 10 months) – 16 – 20 diapers
- Toddler (10 months to potty training) – 12 – 16 diapers
Please note quantities are based on an average sized baby and if you wash every other day. More diapers will be needed if you go longer between washing.
How Do I Dry Cloth Diapers?
- Line or hang dry the diaper shells and covers when possible because we love the environment and do want to pay extra electricity bills.
- Liners can be heat or tumble dried but at a low to medium heat setting.
- Diaper covers or diaper shells should not be put in the dryer, if possible.
- When diaper cover or diaper shells are put in the dryer, do so at low heat.
- If both liners and diaper shell (diaper covers) are put in together to be dryer remove the diaper shells in 10-20 minutes as they dry out far more quickly.
How Do I Prepare Cloth Diapers for Use?
- Wash cloth diaper prior to first use to remove the residue left during production.
- Wash colors separately.
- It may take 6 washes or more for it to reach its maximum absorbency.
- Place the insert inside the nappy through the open pocket in the back. Pee will be absorbed through the inner layer of the nappy to the insert.
More than one insert may be used when sleeping or when necessary.
- Nappy should be changed every 2-3 hours, and when damp, to prevent nappy rash.
How Do I Wash Cloth Diapers
REMINDERS: Proper wash and care of cloth diapers is important to avoid damage and extend its usability.
Remove and rinse off the residuals (knock solids into toilet), then store in dry pail;
Do not store soiled nappies for too long it should be washed within 1-2 days after use;
Rinse diaper in cold water. Wash the diaper in cold water (use ½ the usual amount of detergent). Do an extra rinse, making sure that there are no detergent suds left on the diapers.
Use an all-natural, enzyme free detergent (Tough Love Detergent may be use). Laundry bar and detergent can leave a residue on your nappies, making them less absorbent. To eliminate chalk residue problem, wash inserts regularly at least once a month in hot water and rinse well.
Detergents to be used:
- NO brighteners
- NO dyes
- NO fragrance
- NO softeners
General diaper care no-no’s: Never use fabric softeners of any kind on diapers. Liquid fabric softeners and dryer sheets both leave a waxy residue on diapers which causes diapers to repel, decreasing the absorbency. Diaper rash creams can also have the same effect. If you do use a diaper rash cream, either place a small wash cloth on top of the fleece next to your baby’s bum, use a flushable liner or a fleece liner.
Thoroughly dry diapers in the sun, it save energy and bleach out stains. Line dry horizontally s as not to over stretch the side elastics. If you use a dryer, use the lowest temperature that successfully dries your diapers.
Troubleshooting Common Problems
There are three major problems that come up with cloth diapers: smell, wicking and repellency.
This is actually pretty common. You’ve been doing great with your cloth diapers and then all of a sudden you start to smell this funk from your child’s bum! And s/he hasn’t even had a bowel movement. And it happens immediately after they have peed for the first time in a freshly laundered diaper. What the heck can be the problem?
Answer: Detergent or mineral buildup. No detergent actually rinses completely clean. Most brands leave a residue behind that can coat the fibers in the diapers and this coating will begin to retain odors. This either leaves them smelly even after just washing them or causes the urine to interact with the residue thus releasing a funky odor.
Solution: Strip your diapers. (Please see reference below.)
This mostly occurs with diaper covers. Most PUL covers will naturally breakdown over time with every day use. The average life span of a PUL cover is approximately 100 washes, although some will last longer and some will not last quite as long. If you would like to lengthen the life of any diaper cover, don’t use anything that will break the material down any faster. Some things that are a sure fire way to break down the material include: bleach, large amounts of vinegar, excessive drying, and fabric softener. If your diaper cover is fairly new and already wicking, drying the cover on high heat a few times will re-seal the PUL and often solve the wicking problem.
Are your pocket diapers starting to repel urine instead of absorbing them? This is a problem that is fairly specific to the fleece layer of pocket diapers.
Answer: Detergent buildup, fabric softener was used or dryer sheet was used. The repelling is caused by a buildup of waxy substances on the surface of the fleece.
Solution: Strip your diapers. You may also want to try switching detergents if you suspect it may be the detergent. And STOP using fabric softeners or dryer sheets if one was used.