Are you ready to make the switch to cloth diapers? These cloth diaper TIPS will make your life a lot easier!
Cloth diapering can be as simple or as complicated as you make it. There are loads of different cloth diaper brands and styles, several different names for the exact same products and there can be conflicting information everywhere you turn. These Cloth Diaper Tips for Beginners will make your switch or choice to use cloth diapers a whole lot easier!
Cloth diaper rash creams are a must-have! Rashes happen, whether due to something you ate that baby reacted to via your breastmilk, detergent sensitivities or diarrhea caused by illnesses and medications. No baby is immune to diaper rash, whether they're in cloth or disposable diapers. Be prepared for your child's first diaper rash while cloth diapering by making sure you have a cloth-friendly rash cream or preventative on hand. I recommend Grandma El's Rash Remedy & Prevention or Eco Sprout's Coconut Stick. Avoid any creams that contain zinc-oxide like Desitin.
Invest in at least a half dozen prefolds! Even if you've made up your mind that you have no interest in “old school cloth diapers,” prefold cloth diapers should be a staple for every cloth diaper stash in my opinion. Prefolds can be used as a diaper if you run out of clean diapers or have a laundry malfunction. They can be tri-folded and used as an extra insert or absorber inside a pocket diaper or diaper cover system like Flip Diapers. They're great for when you really do need to slather on a non-cloth diaper friendly rash cream and don't want to ruin your expensive diapers and they can be used as burp cloths, changing pads and for cleaning.
Wash your cloth diapers every other day or when you have a full load, whichever comes first. Imagine this, your kids pee all over their clothes and/or blanket or you have a bunch of dirty wet towels and bathing suits. Would you throw them in a laundry basket and plan to wash them in 2, 3 or 4 days? Nope! So why on earth would you do that with your soiled and urine soaked cloth diapers?
If you're cloth diapering one child full-time then you'll likely have enough for a whole load of diaper laundry within 24-48 hours depending on their age, so why would you wait to wash them? Mold and odor issues can sneak up on the best of us. I can't tell you how many times I have seen a post with photos of moldy diapers and a mama pleading for help. The mama did nothing different, her 2-3 day wash routine suddenly resulted in mold growth when it never had before. Why risk it? Not to mention ammonia odors get stronger and stains can occur when diapers are left to sit too long making cloth diaper washing that much more difficult and labor intensive.
Don't stress out over detergents! First ask yourself a few questions.
- Does my child have sensitive skin or eczema?
- Do I care about possible exposure to toxins, chemicals and fragrances?
- Do I care if a detergent is environmentally friendly or biodegradable?
If you answered no to the above questions and would like to use a detergent you can find at your local grocery store then you should try Tide Original. *Just make sure you avoid detergents that contain fabric softeners.
Try a few styles and brands before you buy all of one brand. Each brand has a different fit, is made of different textiles and performs a little differently. I suggest you buy a cloth diaper sample package or try a handful of diapers from different manufacturers before you invest all in one brand.
Connect with your local cloth diapering community or create one! You are not alone, trust me. With the popularity of Facebook Groups and Craigslist, cloth diapering families are popping up on each other's radar. Where moms used to feel like they were the only one in their area to use cloth diapers, now parents are connecting online and finding local support.
Consider cloth diaper accessories! Wetbags, diaper sprayers, spray shields, flushable liners and diaper pails all make cloth diapering easier in their own ways, however lots of cloth diapering families still make do without them. Everyone's priorities are different so it's up to you to decide if certain accessories will be worth the added expense.
Utilize Youtube videos and reviews! Cloth diaper review videos and demonstrations are plentiful on Youtube and are a great way to get to see products in person before you buy.
Beware of bad advice! As I mentioned before, virtually every person, mamas especially, who use cloth diapers become an expert in their own mind. The problem is that what works for some might not work at all for another. I recommend you put more weight into the advice you receive from stores, brands and media personalities who have something to lose by giving you the wrong advice. Taking the advice of a stranger online that resulted in you ruining your cloth diapers will leave you feeling high and dry. Consult your favorite store owner or brand operated cloth diaper chat groups for advice and troubleshooting tips before you trust someone with absolutely nothing to lose which would leave you with no recourse.
Well folks, this is it in a nutshell. My best advice and cloth diaper tips for those getting started with cloth diapers or just beginning to make the switch to cloth diapers!
*This post does contain affiliate links. Thank you for supporting my work-at-home mom owned business. <3
I'm Julie, a former cloth diaper retailer who discovered a passion for the industry. Now, instead of selling cloth diapers, I advocate them and promote small businesses I love who sell and manufacture them.
I'm the wife of a fireman and mother of three. I have a daughter and identical twin sons.