Oftentimes we are asked 'how does it work exactly, these cloth diapers?' That's a valid question, as the process of diapering is slightly different than with a disposable. That is why we will give you a step-by-step 'how-to-guide' into cloth diapering. From a practical point of view. This will give you a clear view of which steps to take when working with cloth diapers and give you tips as to how to do this in the most efficient way.
Putting the diaper on
To make the changing of a diaper mess-free, you will need to use a liner in your cloth diapers. This is a thin layer of disposable material that will protect your diapers from poop. It will also make removing poop from the diaper rather easy. Before putting the diaper on your baby, you need to lay a liner on top op the diaper, directly against baby's bottom. Make sure the liner is neatly tucked inside the diaper when you have put it on baby.
Then you start putting the diaper on. How to do this, varies per type of diaper.
- All-in-One diaper: put it on like a disposable. Lay it under baby's bottom, pull to the front and fasten around baby using velcro or snaps.
- All-in-Two diaper: after you have clicked the inserts into place in the diaper, you can put it on just like an All-in-One or a disposable. It's easiest to prepare the diaper directly after washing and put them away, ready to use. This will save you time when your little one is in need of a diaper change.
- Pocket diaper: put the absorbing boosters into the pocket before putting the diaper on your baby. Afterwards, simply put on the diaper and fasten with snaps or velcro. It's easiest to put the boosters into the pocket diaper right after washing. That way, you'll have diapers that are ready to use when you change your baby.
- Two-part system: with this system, it's like putting on two diapers on top of each other. You first put the absorbant diaper around your baby. Fasten with velcro or snaps. Then put on the waterproof wrap. Simply place this one over the diaper and fasten. Make sure there are no absorbant part visible.
Changing the diaper
When baby is only wet
When changing a diaper that is just wet, it's basically the same as with a disposable diaper. You take off the dirty diaper, but instead of throwing it in the trashcan, you throw it in a laundry basket or pail liner. You can throw in the entire diaper or, which a two-part system, reuse the waterproof wrap. You don't even need to take out the 'disposable' liner, as this one can be washed and reused a few times too. Make sure you have a pail liner or a trashbag in your laundry basket. This will make it easy to remove the diapers and throw them in the washing machine. Simply lift it out and empty it in the washing machine. No need to touch the dirty diapers again!
- All-in-One diaper: needs to be changed completely. Dirty diaper can go into the laundry basket. With velcro, make sure these are closed, so it won't damage your other laundry.
- All-in-Two diaper: only the inserts need to be changed with this system. The waterproof wrap can be reused in most cases. Throw the dirty insert into the laundry basket and replace it with a fresh one. You can take a damp cloth to clean the inside of the waterproof cover before fastening the insert into the wrap.
- Pocket diaper: change the complete diaper. Dirty diaper can go into the laundry basket. It's not necessary to take out the inserts before washing.
- Two-part system: most of the times, only the diaper itself needs to be changed. Put the diaper in the laundry basket. The waterproof cover can be reused over a fresh diaper. You can wipe off the cover with a damp cloth to clean the inside inbetween changes.
When baby has pooped
Many people don't consider cloth diapers, because they think they can't deal with the poop. And yes, babies in cloth diapers poop too, that's just what they do. But that doesn't need to be a reason to use disposables! The mess is usually quite contained on the liner that you've put on the diaper. You simply lift the liner and the poop and throw it away. When you use a fleece liner, you simply hold the fleece over the toilet and dunk the poop into the toilet. Just throw the diaper into the laundry basket, without pre-soaking or whatever. If you want to, you can obviously pre-soak, but let's face it: why would you, when it's not necessary?
Poopy diapers are never a pleasant task, but the good news is that cloth diapers contain the mess far better than disposables do. So your days of cleaning your baby from head to toe because of one poopy diaper are gone!
Collect the dirty diapers: at home and away
As said before, you collect the dirty diapers in a laundry basket, until it's time to wash them. You can keep them dry, there is absolutely no need to soak the diapers in water. If you wash them every 3-4 days, the smell will stay minimal.
When your away from home, you can collect the dirty diapers in a wetbag. Wetbags are waterproof bags that are made to store dirty diapers without having them start to smell. Once you've used them, you can simply throw them in the laundry basket once you are home. The wetbags can be washed with the diapers and are made from the same materials as the waterproof covers.
How to wash the diapers
1) Once your laundry basket is full, you can do a wash.
2) Put the diapers from the laundry basket into the washing machine. The easiest way to do this, is by using a net or a garbage bag into the laundry basket. Simply lift the bag out and empty it in the washing machine.
3) First let the washing machine do a rinse-cycle. This rinse will take out most of the urine before you start the main wash. To take out most of the urine, it's important to have the machine spin at the end of the rinse-cycle, preferably with as many rotations/minute as your machine is capable of. Most often this is around 1400 rpm.
4) After the rinse-cycle, you can start the main wash. Just use the simplest program that your machine has and wash on 40 or 60 degrees Celcius. Make sure that you use enough detergent. Follow the instructions on the packaging for heavily soiled laundry. The detergent must meet 2 criteria: 1. it can't have fabric softener in it, as that will make the diaper repell water, and 2. there shouldn't be more than 5% soap in it.
Make sure your machine spins at a maximum rotations/minute at the end. This way, the diapers will be easier to dry.
5) Air-dry your diapers after washing or use your dryer. Either can be used for diapers. Waterproof wraps can only be air-dried!
If you want to know more about washing your cloth diapers and the do's and don'ts you can visit http://www.fluffloveuniversity.com/how-to-wash-cloth-diapers/
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