Do people really still use cloth diapers?
Yes! As a matter of fact, modern cloth diapering is rapidly growing, especially among environmentally conscious and/or budget minded parents. All of the new choices in cloth diapers has made them as easy to use as disposable diapers.
How many do I need?
A newborn can easily go through 12 or more cloth diapers in one day or 84 in one week, so we recommend purchasing 30-36 cloth diapers to get you started if you plan to wash every 2-3 days. If you are using a diaper requiring a cover, about 6-9 covers for a newborn would be sufficient and for an older baby about 4-6. An older baby doesn't need quite as many diapers, but you should still plan for about 8 diaper changes per day and something for overnight. If you are washing diapers more frequently (about every other day), 18-24 diapers would be sufficient. Once you've picked out your diapers don't forget to get a wet bag like FuzziBunz or GroVia to put your soiled diapers in at home and a smaller one for away from home!
What else do I need to buy?
In addition to your diapers, most parents find it helpful to have a couple full sized wet bags for home and a couple small wet bags for travel. You will need a safe detergent to wash your diapers. Some parents like to use flushable liners or a diaper sprayer to clean up messier diaper changes. It is also recommended to have some extra doublers or inserts for night time and possibly some fleece liners if you use prefolds to keep the moisture away from the baby at night. Some parents also like using a changing pad (like FuzziBunz) that can be just placed in the wet bag to wash with your diapers when soiled. Cloth wipes are always a great idea when using cloth as they can be used and tossed right in with your diapers. We recommend about 24-36 wipes.
What about overnight diapering?
Many factors go into finding a successful overnight diapering option. The number of hours your baby sleeps or whether they sleep on their front or their back can have an impact on a diaper's functionality. Some parents find a pocket diaper combined with two or even three inserts for heavy wetters to boost the diaper for night-time use is a great way of using cloth diapers for overnight. Trading micro-fiber inserts for a Hemp insert or a prefold works very well. Some parents also like to use a fitted diaper with a wool diaper cover.
How do I use cloth diapers when away from home?
Cloth diapering outside the home such as day trips or vacations is relatively simple. If you are only going to be away for a day or a weekend, you should be able to take your diapers with you with no problem and wash when you return home. For vacations, if there is a washer or dryer available, it's simple...take the diapers with you. If there is no washer or dryer available, you can simply purchase some biodegradable inserts for your diaper covers. If you are committed to using 100% cloth all the time, some find using flat diapers and handwashing is a viable option when traveling. Flat diapers dry very quickly and are a great option for travel.
My baby is in a daycare center. Will I be able to cloth diaper?
More and more daycare centers are open to the idea of using cloth diapers. The best thing to do is bring a diaper with you when you ask, then show them just how simple they are to use. Pocket diapers or all-in-ones are so similar to disposables functionally and are easy for other people to use even if they are not familiar with them. Simply take a small wet bag in with all the clean diapers the baby will need for the day and take it home with you with all the dirty diapers at the end of the day when you pick your baby up. In fact, we were the first parents to request to have them used at our day care. They report that they love using them and remark about how easy they are wishing they used them on their own children! So don't be afraid to ask questions, to search around and maybe even being the first to request using them!
Will my house smell like a diaper pail?
You shouldn't have any more odor than you experience with disposable diapers. There are many diaper pail sprays or powders on the market today to help with particularly stinky diapers. The best way to combat diaper pail odor is to keep them covered and to wash cloth diapers frequently!
Do I have to buy all of the same kind of diaper?
Not at all. Some parents choose to use one brand/type of cloth diaper exclusively. Then there are some parents who choose to have a very versatile stash. There is no right or wrong way to choose cloth diapers for you baby. All cloth diapers work similarly and surprisingly can be used interchangeably.
If you do not find your questions answered here, please don't hesitate to give us a call. you can reach me on my cell phone at 315-719-4498 at any time.