Before you dive into the world of cloth diapering, chances are you have dozens of questions. Here are answers to the five most common questions about our beloved eco-friendly poop cloths.
I started cloth diapering eight years ago with the birth of my first child, when cloth diapers were less common than they are now. Lucky for you, with the popularity of cloth diapering on the rise, you have access to more resources, information, and options. However, as you search the internet, all the information out there can be truly overwhelming — Should I use this brand or that brand? This style or that style? Then, you have to figure out how to make it work for your family.
When someone finds out that I use cloth diapers, there are several questions I am immediately asked. Here are my answers:
1. What Do You Do With the Poop?
Inevitably, the first question is about poop. I get it! Parents encounter poop, especially blowouts, way more than we want to discuss. Disposables allow you just to roll up the diaper and forget about it. Cloth diapers mean you have to deal with the stinky mess.
For breastfed babies, most cloth diaper users just throw the diaper into the dirty bag and the washer. It is considered water soluble and washes away very easily. For formula fed babies and older infants, a diaper sprayer is an easy attachment to make to your toilet. It allows you to spray off the fecal matter right into the toilet. Easy!
2. How Do You Store the Dirty Diapers?
There are several ways to store the dirty diapers until wash day. The most common choice is a dry pail of some sort. Most cloth diaper stores sell liners for trash cans or zippered bags (often called wetbags) that can hang on a hook or a doorknob. All you need to do is put the diapers in the bag and wait until wash day!
3. How Often Do You Need to Wash Diapers?
I get it! I have three kids, and I feel like I have a relationship with my washer. There isn’t a time when I don’t have some laundry that needs to be washed. Who wants to add another huge commitment? Laundry isn’t exactly an enjoyable task.
How often you need to wash your cloth diapers will depend on how many diapers you have in your stash. If you want to wash diapers every three days, you should plan to have 36 diapers for a newborn and 24 or more for older infants. If you want to wash every two days, you can plan to have less than that. So, that means I can expect to wash diapers twice or three times per week.
4. How Do You Wash Cloth Diapers? Is It a Special Setting?
You don’t need a special washing machine to wash cloth diapers! Top and front loaders work just fine. I’ve always had a top loader, but I know plenty of families have front loaders and use cloth diapers.
Washing cloth diapers does require a few more cycles than a load of towels. My routine has stayed the same for almost eight years. First, I run a rinse cycle on my diapers. This rinse cycle gets all of the nasties off of the diaper and starts the cleaning process. You don’t want to put soap on top of poop!
After the rinse cycle, I use the hottest, longest cycle my washer has available with soap. The type of soap you could use varies (you might want to use soap created just for cloth diapers). After this long cycle, I either do another rinse cycle or the shortest cycle on the washer. If my toddler had a few extra poops, I might select the cycle rather than a rinse. The main purpose is to ensure all of the soap is out.
That’s all you have to do! You can use a dryer or hang the diaper on the clothesline. Sunning the diapers outside gives you the bonus of getting rid of stains. I use the sun as often as I can, just like I do with clothes.
5. Can You Use Cloth Diapers While On the Go?
Chances are you won’t stay home 24 hours a day seven days a week. You need to take this baby places! Cloth diapers can go with you too. The only thing you need to do is purchase a wetbag. I mentioned those earlier for storing dirty diapers at home. Most cloth diaper stores sell them in several sizes, so purchase a smaller size to put in your diaper bag.
All you need to do is put your clean, cloth diapers into your diaper bag as normal. When it is time to change your baby, put the dirty diaper into the wetbag and change your baby as normal. When you get home, remember to put those dirty diapers with the rest for wash day. That’s it! Taking cloth diapers on the go is just as easy as using them at home.
Using cloth diapers can seem intimidating at first. You imagine the diapers your great-grandma might have used with pins. While those are still available, cloth diapers have changed over the years. The materials are more absorbent, and the prints are adorable. Chances are you will never look back once you take the dive!