First-Timer’s Guide to Cloth Diapers

cloth diaperingCloth diapering is an affordable way to diaper your child while reducing your impact on the environment, but in a culture where most people use disposable diapers, many people won’t have answers for you. Now that you have decided to go with cloth diapers, you should arm yourself with some basic information. Here are a few questions first-time cloth diaper users ask.

How many cloth diapers will I need?

Generally, you will want enough diapers to last two to three days. You will want enough diapers to make a full load and then a few extra for the time period you’re doing laundry. Newborns go through the most. 24 to 36 diapers is a good sized stash for newborns. As your baby gets older, you won’t need as many.

Which brand should I choose

That’s entirely up to you. What some people love, others hate. The best option you have is to buy a few singles and try them out. See which ones you and your baby prefer. Also, the type of diapers you prefer may change as your baby gets older and starts moving around. Body shapes change over time, so you might need to switch brands.

Sized diapers or one-size-fits-all?

One-sized-fits all diapers are great (and cheap overall), but they aren’t suitable to tiny infants. There’s a lot of bulk involved and you have to work to get them off and on. Again, you’ll have to try a few of each to make the decision for yourself. Many people prefer to used sized diapers for the first six months and then switch to one-size-fits-all. You’ll get use out of the one-sized-fits-all for at least a year, probably more while you work on potty training.

How much does cloth diapering cost?

There is a wide range of cost of cloth diapers. Some are as cheap as $2.00 each, while others (fitted diapers with pockets) can be as much as $30.00. It’s likely that you’ll have a mix of different types of diapers for different purposes. The average child costs about $3000 for disposable diapers over his/her life (from birth to fully potty trained), but only about $350 in disposable costs. Even with increases to your electric and water bills because of the additional washing, you still will save a significant amount of money.

Are cloth diapers hard to wash?

Not at all. It’s little more work than doing laundry. Before your child eats solids, dirty diapers can go straight into a trash can lined with a regular kitchen bag. After solid foods begin, you may have to shake or spray off feces from the diaper into the toilet. Add a little baking soda to the bag to kill any odor (but there won’t be much). Every two days you’ll want to prewash with cold water to cleanse away any matter, and then hot wash for sanitization. Rinse and dry.

What type of detergent should I use?

Ideally, something safe and made for sensitive skin. Rockin’ Green makes excellent laundry soap for babies. Never use fabric softeners on diapers; they can cause rashes.

organic baby toddler clothingWritten by Holly MacLean from Wee Urban

As a new mom, Holly was driven to start Wee Urban™ to offer the modern family a unique and fresh collection of eco-friendly baby gear and accessories that goes beyond the conventional and explores the exceptional! Tired of traditional pinks and blues and cute motifs, we offer sophisticated designs, “conscious” organic alternatives, practical functionality and superior quality. Using our custom certified organic cotton blends, low-impact dyes, and other trendsetting fabrics, we hope to inspire families to be make better choices and of course- do it all in urban style!

Beyond our organic cotton and azo-free dyes, Wee Urban uses 100% post-consumer packaging and tags for our Wee Dreams™ Sleep Bags. Our distinctive screen-printing is done with 100% eco-inks and are all phthalate free.

We also recycle our remnants and donate as much as possible to local elementary schools to help with arts and crafts programs.

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