“Cloth diapers are hard to take care of and take too much time to wash.”
“They are messy and they leak. How do you travel with them?”
“Do you really put them in your washing machine? Is that sanitary?”
These are some things your probably think of and ask yourself when you think of using a cloth diaper. You may hear this if you mention to a friend or family member that you are thinking of using cloth diapers. But, you may be pleasantly surprised at how far cloth diapers have come since your mothers and grandmothers used them.
Gone are the days when the only available diapers were flats, flimsy Gerber prefolds and those horrible, pull-on plastic pants. Unlike the old, thin, prefolds, cloth diapers these days are absorbent, convenient, stylish and usually leak-free. These days you can buy almost any kind of diaper imaginable. Cloth diapers aren’t just a one-size fits all type of thing any more. You can buy sized diapers, any shape and style, all perfectly fitted to your baby.
The different types of cloth diapers available are flats, chinese and indian prefolds, fitted diapers, all-in-ones(AIOs) and pocket diapers. With flats, prefolds and fitteds, you will need a waterproof cover. There are many options for waterproof covers, such as Bummis Wraps and Thirsties covers. You can find these covers with snaps or aplix for closures, so you can customize your diapering as suited to you. Wool is also a great alternative to polyurethane laminate covers such as Bummis. You can buy wool fabric covers, such as wool interlock or you can knit your own covers. Wool is all natural and antibacterial so it is perfect for cloth diapers.
All-in-ones and pocket diapers are made with their waterproof outer built right in, so there is no second step while cloth diapering. Pocket diapers are made with a small pocket at the top or center where you insert the proper amount of absorbent material. These diapers make it so you don’t have too little or too much absorption, making for a perfect fit for your baby.
So you can find the perfect diaper for your baby, but how do you take care of them? It was once recommended to store your dirty cloth diapers in a wet pail, which consists of a large container filled with water. This information is outdated due to the fact that a large pail of water is a safety risk when around small children. Most people these days find that either a dry pail or a wet/dry pail works better for them. With a dry pail you just empty the solids off of the diaper and store it in a covered pail with no liquid inside. A wet/dry pail is rinsing the diaper off so that it is wet but then stored in a dry pail. After a little research and some trial and error, you will find what works best for your needs.
To travel with cloth diapers is very simple. A waterproof bag made out polyurethane laminate is best. Once you take the diaper off of your baby you do exactly what you would do at home; empty the solids out into the toilet and then place it in the bag. A bag with a zipper is best because it minimizes the smell of the diapers.
Washing cloth diapers is a very simple process. When the time comes that you need to wash your diapers all you need to do is throw them into the washing machine, just like you would with any other load of laundry. You start with a pre-wash of cold water. After the pre-wash is finished, a hot wash with ¼ of the recommended laundry deteregent of your choice (you can find a list of cloth diaper-friendly detergents here: http://www.diaperjungle.com/detergent-chart.html).
After finishing the wash, do a rinse cycle with vineger (optional), followed by a rinse cycle with no vinegar. Easy as pie! “Washing diapers seems like it would be unsanitary,” says your best friend or your mother-in-law. But, really, it isn’t. You wouldn’t throw out an outfit your child got sick on, or bedding your child had an accident on, so why throw out a diaper you can reuse? The mixture of hot water and soap in your wash routine is enough to kill any germs or bacteria that may be on your diapers. You can also use white vinegar as a freshener/fabric softener as well.