How to use Cloth Diapers | Best Cloth Diaper for Kids | Guide

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Read our guide to learn more about the different types of cloth diapers and how to use them properly.

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Cloth Diapers

a) Types of Cloth Diapers

Cloth diapers have come a long way, with nearly a dozen types available in the market today. Here’s what you need to know about the most popular options.

1. Prefold Cloth Diapers

Pre-folded diapers are the fabric rectangles you think of when you think of old-school cotton diapers. They have been folded and sewn with more layers in the middle to create a thicker center. Pre-folded diapers come in a variety of other fabrics, including bamboo and hemp, and a variety of sizes. Pre-folds are the foundation of your most affordable cloth diaper option.

You still need cloth diaper covers, the waterproof outer layer to hold in moisture, and the clutter of the inner pre-fold. The most popular covers mimic the shape of disposable items, wrapping the pre-pleat and closing around the baby’s hips with a series of snaps or Velcro rather than tape. They usually consist of a mixed fabric with a waterproof laminate inside and are available in all possible colors and patterns.

When it is time to change the diaper, you can replace the soiled pre-fold with a new one and the cover (if necessary, to ensure that the pre-folds stay in place, you can use separate one-piece stretch fasteners in addition to the press studs or Velcro fasteners called Snappis. Before going to bed, many parents double the pre-creases or add fabric inserts, so-called lower cushions, so that they can get through the night without leaking.

2. Hybrid Cloth Diapers

Hybrid diapers are designed to combine the benefits of fabric with the simplicity of disposable items. They consist of a waterproof outer shell and two absorbent inner layers: a fabric insert or a disposable insert. Fabric inserts are basically rectangular runners that are made in a variety of fabrics including cotton, microfiber, and/or hemp. Some of them are filled with ultra-absorbent microfiber, Disposable inserts are the single-use version; the idea is that like single-use items, they’re handy for on the go, but generate less waste than their big cousins. As a rule, they are low in chemicals and some cases even biodegradable. You can also reuse the diaper covers with hybrids.

3. All-in-One Cloth Diapers 

Allinone (AIO) diapers get their name from the fact that they offer both an absorbent layer and a waterproof outer layer in one piece. There are no inserts to be filled and you can throw anything on your clothes if they are dirty. As with the pre-folded covers, they are attached to the hips with Velcro or a series of snaps.

4. Pocket Cloth Diapers

Pocket diapers are similar to AIOs, but have a built-in inner pocket made of absorbent material and contain a removable absorbent insert. You can adjust your absorbency by trying different inserts or filling the bag with two require less drying time than thicker AIOs.

5. One-Size Cloth Diapers

You can adjust the size with Velcro or press studs, and increasingly larger inserts adapt to the changing absorption requirements.

b) How Many Cloth Diapers Do I Need?

Regardless of the type of cloth diaper you use, know that babies generally need 10 to 12 diapers a day. Young children generally live between six and eight years of age, and children who do potty training usually only need up to four diapers a day. Changing cloth diapers is easier if you invest in a few accessories: a diaper pail to catch debris before washing, a waterproof “wet bag” to store soiled diapers on the go, disposable diaper liners, and a spray bottle of diapers to rinse solid waste from diapers and put it in the toilet. Diaper-proof cloth detergent is also a must: To maintain the absorbency of the diaper, you should choose a product that is free from fabric softeners, stain repellants, and oils.

c) How Much Does Cloth Diapering Cost?

Of course, the price depends on what type of cloth diapers you choose, where you buy them, and how many you get.

d) Are Cloth Diapers Better for the Environment?

Disposable diapers clog landfills; no one denies they don’t.

Cloth diapers are not perfect either: washing consumes energy and water and chemical detergents are released into the environment. Those who use less water than house laundry to operate in large quantities need gas-powered cars, which adds to air pollution. Neither option is perfect from an environmental point of view; choose the one that suits you best.

e) How to Wash Cloth Diapers?

Follow these basic steps to wash cloth diapers:

  • Remove the inserts from the pocket diapers.
  • Always use the highest water level your washing machine allows.
  • Start with a cold rinse, no detergent.
  • After a cold rinse, do a regular hot wash with 1/4 cup detergent. If you are using a cloth diaper detergent, follow the instructions on the package.
  • Then perform another cold rinse to ensure that all detergent residues are completely rinsed out.
  • Dry hot.

You don’t have to be a hardcore cloth diaper user, except for nothing. Some parents use disposable diapers for the first few weeks after their child is born and then switch to cloth diapers. Others wear diapers at home but travel with disposable items which combine the best of both worlds: a washable cover that never comes into contact with body fluids (except for occasional blowouts), plus a biodegradable disposable liner that doesn’t stay on the planet as long as a disposable diaper Choose the option that is best for your family and doesn’t hesitate to ask your pediatrician for help.

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