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Cloth Diapering 101 - For the Newbies

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
Tell me everything I need to know.

My MIL has already volunteered to be my 'laundry service' since I lamented there weren't any here in Atlanta. She is pretty 'pro cloth diapering'. I know nothing about it.

We both worry a bit that if this kid is anything like my husband or myself, WOOL may not be a great idea. We're allergic.

So what are the options. What are the staples...methods etc...

We are both knitters/crafters - so we can easily take on any making of covers or whatnot. Got any good patterns, recommendations? Dish all please!

I'm looking for a one-stop resource for cloth diapering basics for a first time mom!!!
post #2 of 26

me too!

awesome thread..

I need advice as well in this department, first timer, and many friends looking at me like I am CRAZY for even considering CD. What about for someone who can't knit or sew (but willing to learn!!)
post #3 of 26
I agree... this is a great thread! I can only knit scarves so let's just say I can't knit either. I plan on doing the washing myself though. I am seriously considering cloth diapering and I don't know anyone who's done it before. Where do we start?
post #4 of 26
I would definitely recommend checking out the cloth diapering section! Way more info there than you could ever want.

I think it actually comes down to preference much of the time, so it's hard to really tell someone what system they should use. Last go around, I had a set of fitteds and fuzzi bunz. This time I'm planning on using flats and covers. It all has to do with the budget I have, plus the amount of time I want to spend washing, etc. I'm wanting to keep things as simple and inexpensive as possible now.

I think for a newbie, it might be nice to have a selection of pockets, prefolds and covers, plus a few AIO's to see what you end up reaching for most. It's also kind of nice to have a few different types because you may prefer AIOs when you're out, etc. Then when you size up you can just buy or make your faves!

The only pattern I have ever used is the darling diaper pattern (which works for AIO, fitteds and covers), and it's a great pattern. Oh, and I don't think it would be much concern if you want to avoid wool - I didn't use any wool on DS, just made covers out of fleece and PUL.

If you have specific questions definitely post! Otherwise I would say just start browsing in the CD section!

Erin
post #5 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by zenproof View Post
We both worry a bit that if this kid is anything like my husband or myself, WOOL may not be a great idea. We're allergic.
This would be the very first assumption I would question. Many people find that they're not actually allergic to wool, it's the chemicals used to process wool that triggers reactions. Try finding some organic wool or I believe it's Disana that has the high quality and see if you react to that. If you do, then you know it's truly wool, but if you don't then you know to be careful about the type of wool. I could never dream of wearing the average wool sweater, but the wool I've been using to make covers doesn't bother me at all.

If you sew, you might want to check out diaperkits.com, it's run by an MDC mama, and they sell the diapers precut and ready to be sewn.

Do you want to go with prefolds or fitteds? There's quite a bit of research to do here, and I agree with the pp, check out the diapering forum for details.
post #6 of 26
This might help, I wrote it up awhile ago:

http://talula-fairie.livejournal.com/tag/cloth+diapers

ETA: One post is about cloth basics, one has links for where to buy the diapers. HTH
post #7 of 26
In keeping with the DDC guidelines, I'm moving this to Diapering.
post #8 of 26
I just taught a Cloth Diapering 101 class to local folks going through their birthing classes! If you would like me to email you a copy of the handouts I wrote for the class, just PM me. They cover the different styles of cloth diapers, including pros and cons for each, washing tips, and helpful resources. I love spreading the love about cloth diapering and would be happy to help!
post #9 of 26
My signature has some useful information, and you can feel free to PM me if you have any questions.
post #10 of 26
if there's one thing I've learned over the past 4 1/2 years of cloth diapering my two younger girls, it's that simple is better. Simple diapers, natural fibers, simple wash routines. Synthetic materials hold stink. Occasional light bleaching or hot washes are sometimes necessary and are good. Prefolds or flats are not hard and they are the easiest system. Elastic and snaps wear out over time and don't make the high cost worth it. Complicated wash routines are just that. . . .complicated. Not worth it. Try the same detergent as you normally use on clothing and cut it by half and do a normal wash with an extra rinse. See if it works and go from there. It's not worth it to run 2-3 extra washes and rinses and spray the poop with this and store in 2-3 different pails and wash on the waning moon of the 3rd week in November with an infusion of such and such. . . .. . . . . . . . it just wastes water. The best system I've come up with is flats and prefolds with wool interlock soakers or pul covers.:
post #11 of 26
You know, it really depends. I've diapered two children for over 3 years. I don't like flats and the thought of using prefolds and wool alone makes me want to cry. Poop always gets on the wool cover and it's awful scrubbing it off. I don't even own bleach. I think there are other more environmentally friendly ways to get rid of diaper stink. Synthetic materials are no more likely, ime, to hold stink. I've had plain ol prefolds hold stink just fine. If you use the right detergent and a good washing routine, however, that can be avoided.

I prefer elastic/snaps. They do wear out eventually just like everything else, but I think they can be cost effective. I never needed a complicated washing routine, and half the amount of regular detergent is about twice as much as you should use on cloth imo. I don't think one wash and an extra rinse is enough once your baby is on solids, especially if your babe is a toddler. I'd rather wash my diapers thoroughly in the first place than use bleach. JMO.
post #12 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by justmama View Post
if there's one thing I've learned over the past 4 1/2 years of cloth diapering my two younger girls, it's that simple is better. Simple diapers, natural fibers, simple wash routines. Synthetic materials hold stink. Occasional light bleaching or hot washes are sometimes necessary and are good. Prefolds or flats are not hard and they are the easiest system. Elastic and snaps wear out over time and don't make the high cost worth it. Complicated wash routines are just that. . . .complicated. Not worth it. Try the same detergent as you normally use on clothing and cut it by half and do a normal wash with an extra rinse. See if it works and go from there. It's not worth it to run 2-3 extra washes and rinses and spray the poop with this and store in 2-3 different pails and wash on the waning moon of the 3rd week in November with an infusion of such and such. . . .. . . . . . . . it just wastes water. The best system I've come up with is flats and prefolds with wool interlock soakers or pul covers.:
Couldn't have said it any better!

We LOVE our prefolds, If you feel like you are a bit intimidated my them try getting some simple cotton contours or prefitteds with doublers.

And i would suggest imse vimse covers, or any other kind you can find with gussets.

And yes of course wool.

Also if you "have" to have some CDs i woulds suggest getting 100% cotton ones. We use kushies, which allot of people complain about, but they are great for the lazy says and they are cheap. They work just as good if not better than most pockets that i have tired, and they dont stink.

Best of luck!
post #13 of 26
I will be using prefolds and was wondering of you would recommend cotton or hemp? I think I have heard that hemp is not as soft but is super absorbant?

Also, what are flats? Are they the same as prefolds?

Thanks!

btw - justmama - your post made me laugh out loud!
post #14 of 26
I would go with cotton personally. I had 1 hemp one that i used as an insert, and it was way to thick and itchy to use every day. If you want more absorbency maybe try getting a few hemp doubler to add in the prefold.

Flats are the same as prefolds, just ......not pre folded. So its basically a large piece of cloth that you use as a diaper.
post #15 of 26
Prefolds are flat diapers with a center core that is thicker than the outside edges. Flats are just that...one large, thin, flat diaper. You have to fold it yourself to get the same effect as a prefold. Prefolds are prefolded, hence the name

http://www.gumbush.com/ is a great website all about flats.

I prefer cotton prefolds. I tried a hemp flat once I think and I wasn't a fan, but, I don't love flats that much. They're alright and they work, but they're not my favorite. I'm lazy. I like whatever is easiest.

The nicest thing about prefolds (though I do prefer fitteds, personally) is that they are cheap and they last FOREVER.
post #16 of 26

worried about cloth diapering

Hi everybody I am new to this site as well as cloth diapering.
How did yall come about starting cloth diapering?
Ill tell you my story.
I had always used disposables on my son and had contemplated cloth diapering several especially due to the much cheaper cost compared to the disposables. I bought a pack of swim diapers for him and they broke him out terribly. I figured that the cloth mite work better with his rash vs the disposables. I started using the prefolds with diaper pins and vinyl covers. Since muy son is so sensitive right now I worry about using something wrong on his diapers. Also iam looking for some diaper covers. That won't break the bank.
Also does anyone have advice on getting daddys to change cloth diapers?
post #17 of 26
As you can see, every mama/family likes something different! When I first started with cloth, I bought 4 different pocket diapers to try, and a day's worth of prefolds, with a snappi and 2 covers. I liked them all right away and they all worked well. I started sewing some more, bought a few more brands, and now my favorites are fitted diapers with a nice cover! My suggestion is always to try a few different things so you can get a feel for what you like before you invest a bunch of money in just one brand or one kind. So far I like Thirsties covers the best and my favorite pocket is Tiny Tush. I make my own fitteds. : )

So, shop around. Ask lots of questions, and dive in! I love cd'ing and I will never go back!

Kevinsmom - congrats on starting with cloth! Keep hunting around here and I'm sure you'll find lots of great info as far as styles, brands, washing routines, etc. Welcome to MDC!!
post #18 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinsmom08 View Post
Hi everybody I am new to this site as well as cloth diapering.
How did yall come about starting cloth diapering?
Ill tell you my story.
I had always used disposables on my son and had contemplated cloth diapering several especially due to the much cheaper cost compared to the disposables. I bought a pack of swim diapers for him and they broke him out terribly. I figured that the cloth mite work better with his rash vs the disposables. I started using the prefolds with diaper pins and vinyl covers. Since muy son is so sensitive right now I worry about using something wrong on his diapers. Also iam looking for some diaper covers. That won't break the bank.
Also does anyone have advice on getting daddys to change cloth diapers?
I started using cloth when a lot of my friends were doing it. It seemed cheaper, better for the environment, and cuter. Now that I have diapered my kids for most of their diapering lives I can say that the cost is only slightly less than disposables, but would be considerably less if I stuck with prefolds only.

This link talks about what detergents are best:
http://pinstripesandpolkadots.com/de...glancepspd.htm

Some babies are sensitive to certain things, like enzymes or brighteners, others are fine with them. My kids never seemed bothered by a specific detergent, although I did usually use the natural ones.

Some babies also need covers that breathe more than vinyl, mine did better with wool. Just FYI in case you get mysterious rashes you can't get rid of.

You're using probably the hardest system to master, prefolds with pins. If you really want your husband to do some of the diapering, you may want to invest in a snappi, a little device that holds the prefold closed without pins and is easier to use. Better yet, you can get a fitted, pocket, or AIO diaper (All in one, used just like a disposable), but those are pricier.

Cottonbabies has a good selection of cheap covers: http://www.cottonbabies.com/index.php?cPath=36
I personally like Bummis Super Whisper Wrap or Super Brite (same cover really) or Thirsties diaper covers.

I also wrote up some helpful info about cloth diapers
http://talula-fairie.livejournal.com/tag/cloth+diapers
post #19 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by levans View Post
I just taught a Cloth Diapering 101 class to local folks going through their birthing classes! If you would like me to email you a copy of the handouts I wrote for the class, just PM me. They cover the different styles of cloth diapers, including pros and cons for each, washing tips, and helpful resources. I love spreading the love about cloth diapering and would be happy to help!
I would love to be able to get the handouts from you. I am new to this site and pregnant with my fifth child. I have never used cloth diapers before, but thought they would be both better for the baby and better financially. Although, upon research it seems that cloth diapers/covers are pretty expensive. I really dont want to use just prefolds and I would like to use some that are simple so that Daddy and siblings can help with changing from time to time.
Can you please advise on how to get the handouts and also what I would need to use cloth diapers, how many of each item you would recommend and where a good place to purchase them is?
I have looked at Thirsties, Jilllinas Drawers abd Fuzzibuns. Thank you so much for any info you can pass on!
post #20 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Momof4kids View Post
I would love to be able to get the handouts from you. I am new to this site and pregnant with my fifth child. I have never used cloth diapers before, but thought they would be both better for the baby and better financially. Although, upon research it seems that cloth diapers/covers are pretty expensive. I really dont want to use just prefolds and I would like to use some that are simple so that Daddy and siblings can help with changing from time to time.
Can you please advise on how to get the handouts and also what I would need to use cloth diapers, how many of each item you would recommend and where a good place to purchase them is?
I have looked at Thirsties, Jilllinas Drawers abd Fuzzibuns. Thank you so much for any info you can pass on!
I have all that info in the links I posted, including brands to get, types of diapers, and websites to purchase them at I'm sure hand outs would be helpful too. Everyone is going to have a different opinion when it comes to where to get diapers and which ones to buy.
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