Home Laundering FAQ

Diaperkind provides weekly cloth diaper service to families residing in NYC. If you are outside of our delivery zone, or if you are fortunate enough to have access to a washer and dryer in your home or building, you may want to consider home laundering! It is not nearly as frightening as it sounds, and we can help you decide which style of diapers and products are best for your family, get you started with a laundering routine, and troubleshoot if you are struggling. You can attend a class, come to a support group or schedule a phone consultation.

  • What if this is my first time with cloth?
    • Most DK families start out as rookies - so you’re in good company.  Our philosophy is:  stock your arsenal using our Must-Haves guidelines, launder using our Recipe for Success, check out our How-To Videos and then dive right in.  You’ll be changing your baby approximately 10-12 times a day, so with all that practice you’ll be pro in a day or two.

    • If, at any point, you would like more assistance...

  • How do I choose from the myriad of cloth diaper options out there?
    • Here is our list, along with a little description, of the most popular cloth diaper styles. They are listed in order of our preference.

    • Prefolds with Diaper Covers
      Prefold diapers are a two-step system: a cotton rectangles is “folded” onto your baby (secured with a snappi) and then covered with a diaper cover (made of PUL or wool). Of all your cloth diaper options, prefolds are the most affordable, most absorbent, and if used properly, they leak or “blow-out” the least. Diapers get washed with every use, covers can be reused until smelly or soiled. We highly recommend having at least half of your diaper stash be made up of prefolds.

    • Fitteds (and/or Contours)
      Fitted diapers and Contour diapers can replace prefolds. Fitteds snap or velcro onto the baby, so no snappi is required. Contours are pre-shaped, so no folding is needed, but fastening with a snappi is still recommended. And in both cases, the diaper must be covered with a diaper cover (they can share the same covers as prefold diapers). The diapers get washed with every use, covers can be reused until smelly or soiled.
    • All-in-Twos
      It’s a two-step system just like the prefold/cover system, but this diaper does not need to be folded or secured with a snappi. It simply snaps right into the cover. Because there is no folding, AI2s are a bit simpler to use than a prefold. However, they are generally not quite as absorbent. Regardless, they are fantastic diapers and make a great supplement to prefolds. The diaper inserts get washed with every use, covers can be reused until smelly or soiled. Recommended brands of AI2s are Softbums and Grovia.

      NOTE: AI2 covers are specific to their insert and cannot be used with prefolds or with other inserts.

    • Pocket Diapers
      Pocket diapers are essentially similar to AI2s, except that the insert slips into a pocket inside the diaper cover (why?, we’re not entirely sure). What this means is that the cover must be washed every time you change the diaper. So if you’re using exclusively pocket diapers, you will want to have 20-30 inserts and at least 10-12 covers (and be prepared to wash the covers daily even though you will only need to wash inserts every 2-3 days). Additionally, the diaper needs to be "stuffed" before use and "unstuffed" (pull the dirty insert out of the pocket) before laundering. The most popular brand is Bum Genius.

    • gDiapers
      gDiapers can be used with either a cloth insert or a disposable insert. It is a three-step system. A cotton cover, a plastic insert that snaps into the cover, and then a cloth or disposable insert. People love them because they are super cute and easily sourced. People hate them because they leak. A LOT. And there are 3 pieces to put together and take apart for laundering. The gDiaper cloth inserts are trim, which is really nice, but they need to be changed pretty much every hour since they are not very absorbent. The gDiaper disposable inserts are made from the same SAP material that is in disposable diapers, so they are very absorbent. The disposable inserts are, technically, flushable, but you need to rip open the insert when it is soiled, dump it into the toilet and swish it around to break it up before flushing. Even when properly ripped and swished, some of the older plumbing in NYC has trouble with these so be careful! We do not recommend using prefolds as a cloth insert for gDiapers. Prefolds are too big for the plastic insert and will break the seal and cause leaking.

    • Diaper Material
      In addition to selecting your diaper style, you will also want to consider the material the diaper is made up of. We tend to prefer natural fibers (such as organic cotton, hemp and bamboo). They tend to be gentler on the baby’s skin and they hold up in the wash better than man-made materials like microfiber.

    • Diapering Accessories
      In order to familiarize yourself with the different diaper accessories that are out there (some necessary, some just for extra convenience) be sure to browse through our Shop Page. Each item has a detailed description and a little blurb about why we like it.

    • Extra Assistance
      If you find yourself wanting more assistance, consider attending one of our Cloth Diapering 101 classes where you can check out all of the different diaper styles and accessories in person and even see a demo of how to use each one.

      And lastly, if you cannot attend a class, you are welcome to sign up for a Phone Consultation and we can answer your questions and help you put together your diaper arsenal.

  • Great, so how many and what kind of diapers and accessories do I need?
    • Your needs will change up a bit depending on how old your baby is. Here are our recommended Must-Haves for 3 different Age Groups:
    • Must-Have Arsenal for Newborns to 6 months old
      • 30 diapers total
        • (Unless you are having twins or know you will be having a very small baby, we do not recommend investing in diapers or covers exclusively for babies under 7 or 8lbs. Your baby will outgrow them in a flash. Instead, stock your arsenal with "small" diapers that will fit your baby from 7 or 8 pounds up to 15 or 16 pounds.)
      • In a mix of Prefolds and Fitteds
        • Don’t let anyone tell you different - Prefolds and/or Fitteds are your workhorses and should be the mainstay of your first diapering arsenal.
        • (Pockets get a lot of good press, and AIOs, AI2s, or Contours are convenient, true, but all of these styles are expensive.  And, frankly, Fitteds and Prefolds work better!  Not to mention that they hold up consdierably longer and are much easier to launder.)
      • 3-4 diaper fasteners: Snappis and/or Boingo brand
      • 6-8 Diaper Covers
      • A Cloth-Friendly Detergent
        • Charlie’s and Oxy-Boost are our favorites.
        • But a google-search for “cloth-friendly detergents” can find you alternatives.
        • DO NOT BE TEMPTED TO USE A DETERGENT NOT LISTED AS CLOTH-FRIENDLY!
        • Read here for the horrors of Detergent Residue.
      • A Cloth-Friendly Pail and Pail Liner
        • Either the Ubbi or the larger Heavy Duty Diaper Pail are our favorites.
        • (see our notes regarding the importance of a cloth-friendly diaper pail here)
      • Disposable Wipes or Cloth Wipes
      • Optional Items:
    • Must-Have Arsenal for 6 to 18 months old (when solid foods have kicked in)
      • Size up to Medium diapers (16 - 22 lbs) as needed. You’ll want to have 20-25 diapers total.
        • You’re a seasoned veteran now, so tweak your Newborn quantities and styles based on what works best for you.
      • 6 Medium Diaper Covers
        • try out some Wool Covers! They’re great for any time, but especially handy for heavy wetters at nighttime.
      • Introduce Bio-Soft Flushable Liner and/or a Diaper Sprayer
        • plunking that newly solid (or pasty) poo into the toilet is required now to prevent staining, aid in getting your diapers clean in the wash, and to manage odor in your pail.
      • Incorporate Nighttime Stay-Dry Doublers
        • to help keep your baby dry during all 12 (!) hours of sleep.
    • Must-Have for 18 months to Potty Training
      • Everything stays the same, except...
        • Size up to Large diapers (20 - 35 lbs) as needed. You’ll want to have 15-20 diapers total.
        • 4-6 Large Diaper Covers as needed
        • Don't be tempted by Training Pants!
          • Click here for our Just Go For It method of Potty Training.
  • Does it matter what kind of diaper pail I use?
    • Yes, using the right kind of pail with cloth diapers is imperative. We’ve tried several diaper pails and the two that we offer are the only ones that we recommend for cloth. The reason: they allow enough room for air to circulate thereby alleviating anaerobic stains (read: mold!)
    • Important note:  if you’d prefer a pail other than the ones that we offer, just be sure that it is NOT a Diaper Dekor, Diaper Champ or another kind of pail that binds diapers in plastic bags. Cloth diapers simply cannot tolerate being bound in plastic.

      Instead, the best alternative is actually a simple lidded trash can or hamper bin with a 7+ gallon capacity.

  • Does it matter what kind of detergent I use? What is detergent residue and how do I strip our diapers or covers?
    • Using the wrong detergent can coat your diapers and covers in whiteners, fabric softeners and perfumes. These build up as “detergent residue” and residue does 4 things:
      • it makes your diapers and covers super stinky (even when they smell clean coming out of the dryer)
      • it make your diapers lose their absorbency and
      • it does the opposite to covers; it makes them lose their water resistance, called "wicking"
      • and, lastly, the residue can cause gnarly rashes!
    • Happily a cloth-friendly detergent is also baby-friendly and family-friendly too. So once you settle on your favorite, you can switch your whole house over!
    • In your hunt for a cloth-friendly detergent, do not be tempted or fooled: most "environmentally friendly" detergents or oxygenated bleaches are NOT cloth-friendly. And, too, stay away from any detergent with fragrance, softener, certain enzymes, and optical brighteners. Seventh Generation, Dreft and Mrs Meyers are particularly bad for diapers.

      Here are our favorites:

      The incredible thing about Charlie’s, and the reason we carry it over the others, is that it is incapable of causing residue. You could dump the whole bottle in there and nothing will happen to your diapers (though we don’t recommend it). With all other detergents, you must be sure to only use a small amount of soap. Generally less than what is recommended on the bottle.

      You can also find larger lists of cloth-friendly detergents by doing a google search for "cloth friendly detergent"

      If ever you encounter detergent residue on your diapers and/or covers, go see our tips for "stripping" your Diapers or Covers under the "Leaky Diapers or Covers" section below.

  • Great! Now how do I launder the diapers?
    • Be sure to use a cloth-friendly detergent to prevent pesky residue buildup on the diapers and covers. We highly recommend Charlie's Soap for a detergent and Oxy Boost for your oxygenated bleach.

      Plan to wash your dirty diapers and covers every 2 - 3 days. 

      Run one cycle on warm with a tiny bit of detergent (1/4- 1/2 the recommended amount on the bottle you are using). This cycle does not have to be long. If your washer has a Quick Wash setting, that will do the trick. The purpose of this first wash is to flush away the surface matter on the diapers and covers.

      Once that cycle is done- keep the diapers and covers in the washer and add the full recommended amount of detergent and a pure oxygenated bleach (optional). Now run a full cycle with the water temperature set to hot. If your washer has customizable options, you will want to select high water levels (sometimes referred to as Water Plus), Heavy Soil and High Spin.

      Dry your diapers ans covers either in a dryer on medium heat or out in the sun.

  • I purchased brand new diapers. Is there anything I need to do to prepare them for use?
    • If you purchased used diapers they are good to go. We recommend giving them one good wash in the cloth-friendly detergent of your choice just to make sure they are clean and ready for use on your baby.

      If, however, you purchased brand new diapers, they will need to be prewashed in order to bring them to their maximum absorbency.

      Each diaper manufacturer will have their own instructions on how and how many times to prewash the diapers before use.

      If you purchased new diaperkind prefolds, they will need to be washed 5 times before first use to ensure all cotton oils are removed and your diapers are absorbent. For each of the washes, use hot water and a small amount of detergent. The diapers DO NOT have to be dried in between each wash. 

  • Any tips for dealing with meconium?
    • Meconium will wash out of your diapers. It just might take a few washes for the yellow stain left behind to completely disappear. If you have the option to hang your diapers out in the sun, the sun will blast away the discoloration in a few hours. If not, just keep washing them as you normally would and you will notice the stains fading and eventually disappearing. Adding Oxy will help too.

      Meconium is sticky. And messy. To help get meconium off your baby’s bottom, we recommend massaging coconut oil onto your baby’s skin with each diaper change. You can even use some coconut oil to wipe off the meconium when changing a dirty diaper. This will help the meconium glide off your baby’s skin.

  • How often do I change my baby?
    • Figure that you’ll average one diaper change every 2-ish hours for the first several weeks.

      • On the short end: change a diaper right away whenever you detect poo.
      • And on the long end:  don’t even think about changing a diaper during nap or sleep time (unless poo is detected, that is.)

      Then, when a feeding schedule begins to present itself, you’ll ease into doing diaper changes (generally) with each feeding:

      • every 2ish hours in the first few months
      • every 3ish hours when when solid foods are making up more of the baby’s diet
      • every 4ish when it’s 100% solid foods
      • and then you’ll begin... potty training!
  • How do I care for my Diaper Covers?
    • PUL Covers (Bummis, Thirstie's, Flip, etc)
      Except for needing to use a cloth-friendly detergent, covers are super forgiving as to how, when and how often they're washed.
      • pee-pee covers: In between diaper changes, just wipe it down with a baby wipe and set it aside to dry. Use a fresh cover for that change. And at the next diaper change, switch back to the first cover. And so on until one gets soiled.
      • poopy-covers: Will need to be laundered, either with a quick hand-scrub in the sink with a bit (only a drop or two!) of detergent or by including it when washing your diapers. You can expect to encounter poopy covers with newborns. This is totally normal. The cover is there to catch and prevent any messes from hitting clothing, bedding, etc.
      • Check your covers’ care labels, but most covers let you wash your covers right along with your diapers in the washer.  Remember to only ever use cloth-friendly detergent!
      • At any point in the above, you can add a bit of Oxy-Boost to help keep the covers (and diapers) "fresh".
      • Warning: if you use a detergent that’s not cloth-friendly, you WILL encounter leaking due to detergent residue.
    • All in all, once you get past those first several poo-a-minute weeks, it's totally normal to be swapping out the same 2 covers throughout the day except for when one gets gusset-soiled.

    • Wool Diaper Covers
      You will need to lanolize your wool covers before first use.

      You will want to use Lanolin Oil. Some people claim that you can use Lansinoh, but we have never had much success with getting it to distribute evenly across the cover.

      • In your bathroom sink, dissolve a pea size amount of lanolin oil in about 2 quarts of very hot water. (just let the hot water run from the faucet)
      • Soak the wool cover in the sink overnight (or for at least an hour).  You can do multiple covers at a time, just add a bit more lanolin and water for each additional cover.
      • Squeeze out excess water (it helps to roll and press the covers in a towel) and hang to dry.
      • For brand new covers, repeat this process 4 times to make sure they are fully lanolized. (you do not need to dry them in between, just give them a good squeeze to remove excess moisture).
      • You will then want to re-lanolize every 4 weeks (or sooner if the cover begins to lose its water resistance).
      • For regular care, let your cover air dry in between uses and wash it weekly (or sooner if it smells stinky when dry*) with a Wool Shampoo**.

      *The cover will smell from a wet diaper, but this odor dissipates as the cover dries; the lanolin in wool actually neutralizes the urine in the cover (amazing!). If, however, it’s still stinky once it’s dry, then it’s time for a wash.

      **Using a Wool Shampoo/Wash that contains lanolin helps to extend the time between re-lanolizing.

  • I am considering cloth wipes. What is the simplest way to do this?
    • What you'll need
      You will want to purchase or make approx 30-40 wipes that are sized at least 6” x 6”.

      In addition to wipes, you will need some sort of liquid to wet the wipes for use.

      • some folks use plain water and that works great for the first week or two
      • some prefer a pre-made wipes solution or concentrate
      • and others decide to make their own solution (see some recipes below)

      While plain water is perfect for brand new newborns, to ensure that you get that bum properly cleaned, we recommend the use of a solution once the baby is 2 weeks old.

    • Once you have your wipes and preferred cleaning liquid, what next?
      There are several different ways to store and apply cloth wipe solutions. The best thing to do is experiment a bit and find which method works best for you…
      • Use a squirt bottle to dribble the solution onto your cloth wipe just before each use (this is our recommended method).
      • Use a spray bottle to apply the solution directly on to baby’s bum, and then simply wipe it dry with a cloth wipe. Or alternatively, you can use the spray bottle to moisten a dry wipe, and then use the wipe to clean baby’s bum.
      • Place the solution into a traditional baby wipes container and dip a clean cloth wipes into the solution with each use. If you choose this method, we suggest adding a small amount of tea tree oil to your solution to prevent bacteria growth & mildew if your solution does not already contain this ingredient.
      • Place cloth wipes in a traditional baby wipes container or wipes warmer and pour solution over wipes so they are already damp and ready to go. If you choose this method, we suggest adding a small amount of tea tree oil to your solution to prevent bacteria growth & mildew if your solution does not already contain this ingredient.
      • For on-the-go, put a few pre-moistened cloth wipes into a reusable sandwich bag, a mini wetbag or a ziploc and toss them in the diaper bag.
    • How do I make my own cloth wipes solution?
      The main ingredients that make up most all cloth wipes solutions are:
      • Oil: helps the wipe slide across baby’s skin and also helps keep the skin nice and soft. Be sure to only use plant-derived oils like olive, almond, etc. Never use mineral oil!
      • Soap: cleanses the skin, helping remove both "liquid and solid matter".
      • Essential Oils: offers both antibacterial & aromatherapy properties.
      • Water or Witch Hazel: is the base of every cloth wipe solution and helps dilute the other ingredients so they aren’t too harsh on baby’s delicate skin.
    • Basic Wipe Solution

      Adapt this recipe to suit your needs by choosing the type of soap & oil you like best.

      • 1/2 cup oil
      • 1/2 cup soap or baby wash
      • 2 cups water
    • Baby Wash Solution
      • 2 tablespoons baby wash
      • 2 tablespoons olive oil or 1 tablespoon calendula oil
      • 2 drops tea tree oil
      • 2 cups water
    • Anti-Fungal #1

      Great for preventing & treating yeast diaper rashes

      • 1/2 cup white vinegar
      • 1 tablespoon calendula oil
      • 5 drops lavender oil
      • 5 drops tea tree oil
      • 1/4 cup 100% aloe vera gel
      • 1 cup water
    • Anti-Fungal #2

      Great for preventing & treating yeast diaper rashes

      • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
      • 1 tablespoon calendula oil
      • 5 drops lavender oil
      • 5 drops tea tree oil
      • 1/4 cup 100% aloe vera gel
      • 1/2 cup water
    • Simple Anti-Fungal Solution

      Great for preventing & treating yeast diaper rashes

      • 2 cups (16 oz) water
      • 2-5 drops Tea Tree oil
      • 2-5 drops Lavender oil
      • 1 teaspoon of your favorite baby wash (optional)
    • Castille Soap Solution
      • 1 tablespoon apricot oil
      • 1 tablespoon Liquid Castile Soap
      • 2 drops tea tree oil
      • 1 drop lavender oil
      • 1 cup water
    • Witch Hazel Solution
      • 1 cup witch hazel
      • 4 tablespoons aloe vera juice
      • 1 tablespoon olive oil
      • 1 teaspoon vinegar (White works best)
      • 1 cup water
    • Tea Tree & Lavender

      Great for preventing & treating yeast diaper rashes

      • 1/8 cup olive oil
      • 1 tablespoon Liquid Castille Soap
      • 5 drops tea tree oil
      • 10 drops lavender oil
      • 3 cups water
    • Essential Oils Solution
      • 3 tablespoon jojoba oil
      • 1 teaspoon tea tree oil
      • 1 teaspoon chamomile oil
      • 1 teaspoon lavender oil
      • 1 teaspoon geranium oil
      • 3/4 cup witch hazel
  • How do I avoid leaky Diapers and Covers?
    • If you find that your diaper system is blowing out or leaking, here are some Tips and Troubleshooting to get you out of the woods.
      • Diaper Size. Check the size range of your diapers. It might just be time to move up in size!
      • Cover Size. Check the size range on the tag of your cover to see if it’s time to purchase larger ones!
      • Prefold Folding Technique. We recommend the Angel Wing or Jelly Roll from the videos above. They are the best "containment" folds out there by far.
      • Snappi or Boingo. Make sure you are using a diaper fastener.
      • Wicking. If any of the cotton from a diaper is peeking out from the cover, wetness will "wick" into your babies clothes and bedding. Make sure that every last bit of cotton is tucked inside the cover.
      • Do not tuck the prefold inside that inner flap on the cover. That flap is an extra water barrier where the velcro has been stitched. Tucking your diaper in here will dramatically reduce absorbency.
      • Nighttime. Most diapers need an extra boost in order to last a full 12 hour night without any leaking.  So, when you begin to encounter nighttime leaking, check out the Nighttime Solutions section for tips on how to stay dry through the whole night.
      • Boys. Make sure you point his penis downwards. This can seriously make the difference between a ton of leaking and zero leaking.
      • Detergent Residueon your diapers and/or covers.  It is imperative that you use only a cloth-friendly detergent for washing your diapers and covers.  If you use any other kind of detergent, your covers will get leaky and smelly.

        If ever you encounter Detergent Residue, here’s how we recommend "stripping" your diapers. You can let us take care of it for you by ordering our Diaper Stripping Service or Cover Stripping Service. Or, you will need to wash diapers on super hot (the hotter the better) with a high water level and NO DETERGENT. Repeat this process 2-3 times. Check final rinse of the 2nd or 3rd wash to make sure it is free from suds. Continue washing the diapers this way until not a single bubble is visible in the final rinse cycle. Adding a 1/4 cup of chlorine can help cut down on the number of washes needed.

      If all else fails and you are still struggling with stains or residue, consider booking a Phone Consult with us and we can try our best to help you get to the bottom of it.

  • How do I avoid staining my diapers?
    • Our washing guidelines paired with a cloth-friendly soap is a perfect recipe for babies and the organic matter that they produce.

      BUT, some families may encounter yellow discolorations. These are just nutritional stains that vary in intensity depending on what supplements breastfeeding mom and/or baby are taking.

      Happily, there are three ways to contend with these yellow stains:

      • Ignore the stains. Your diapers are perfectly clean and ready for action, they just have the added bonus of some yellow “diaper art”.
      • Hang them in the sun. Sun is somewhat hard to come by in NYC, but if you’re lucky enough to have access to some, sit your diapers in its rays and watch the magic happen.
      • If you are nursing and taking any supplements, considering experimenting with a different brand to see if that is causing the staining. We have found that often times DHAs derived from Fish Oil (taken by breastfeeding mom or in formula) will stain diapers. If you find this to be the case, consider switching to a non-fish oil option:  we recommend and carry a vegan DHA as well as a great non-staining prenatal vitamin

      Some stains are harmless and just colorful, but here are some stains that will RUIN your diapers beyond repair. These perma-stains are caused by the 6 culprits listed below.

      • Do not let diapers go longer than 3 days without laundering.
      • Do not collect dirty diapers in plastic sacks or in the plastic sacks that come standard with conventional diaper pails.
      • Please ONLY ever use diaper creams that are deemed “cloth friendly”
        • You can trust the ones that we carry on our Shop page.
        • Or you can safely enlist 100% Olive Oil or 100% Almond Oil.
        • Avoid the use of ALL other diaper creams.
        • The reason: Most creams (and we mean 99.9% of them) are made with petro or animal byproducts. And these ingredients don’t wash out of the diapers. Ever. Which results in permanent stain damage. And even if you find a cream free of those ingredients, certain combinations of beeswax and oils will leave stains on your diapers.
        • (You can, of course, do a google search for "cloth friendly diaper creams", but we don’t recommend it... We have seen creams labeled as cloth friendly take out entire sets of diapers!)
      • When your baby begins eating solids, be diligent about plunking the poo into the toilet. See these Tips for how to most easily do this task.
      • Never use the diapers for household purposes.

      If all else fails and you are still struggling with stains, consider booking a Phone Consult with us and we can try our best to help you get to the bottom of it.

  • Can you tell me everything you know about diaper rash and diaper creams?
    • Our recommendation is to skip the use of any creams or oils unless you see redness coming on. So long as poopy diapers are changed right away, a baby’s skin is usually a-okay going au natural.

      If, however, you find that a daily moisturizer or rash preventer is helpful or you have a rash coming on or persisting, please use only the few proven cloth-friendly creams that we carry on our Shop page (descriptions below) and avoid the use of ALL other creams.

      The reason: Most creams (and we mean 99.9% of them) are made with petro or animal byproducts. And these ingredients don’t wash out of the diapers. Ever. Which results in permanent stain damage.

      Fortunately, the three creams that we carry are fabulous!

      • For prevention and everyday, or if you see a rash coming on: Coconut Oil - is our recommended cloth-friendly daily cream. It’s naturally anti-fungal (yeast/thrush) and has antibiotic properties too. It’s also super rich, moisturizing and soothing. 100% Coconut Oil, Olive Oil or Almond Oil make great cloth-friendly daily creams as well.
      • For a full-blown rash: For help in identifying the cause, check out the Dr. Sears’ diaper rash page.

        Be double sure to change poopy diapers right away.

        And while the redness/rash persists, you’ll want to change pee-pee diapers more often than usual too.

        Then, to help heal the rash while repelling moisture, try one or both of these two:

        • Diaperkind Rash Relief Cream - if you notice a rash coming on, it’s time to bring in the zinc ointment. It is an all natural, petroleum free, cloth-friendly alternative to Desitin.  The zinc oxide in this cream will heal inflammation, promote healing and ease discomfort.
        • Alba Un-Petroleum - if you think your baby has particularly sensitive skin and needs a stronger moisture barrier than the coconut oil, try out the Alba Un-Petroleum Jelly.  It is a petro-free alternative to A+D, Aquaphor or Vaseline.  It is super thick and will do a bang-up job at protecting your baby’s bum from any diaper wetness.
        • Insider Tip! If you mix the Alba and the Diaperkind Rash Relief Cream together, you are essentially making a natural, cloth-friendly alternative to Triple Paste or Butt Paste.
      • And if the rash persists: It’s time to go to the Pediatrician and rule out Yeast (Thrush). If your doctor does diagnose yeast as the culprit, here are some tips to get you through:
        • A doctor will usually prescribe either Clotrimazole (sold over the counter, usually as Lotrimin) or Nystatin (prescription). Happily, if you purchase the "cream" version of these medications, they are water soluble.  So you’re all clear to use them with the cloth diapers. Avoid purchasing the "ointment" version of these, and it is a petro oil base and is not cloth friendly.
        • Be sure to use the prescription medication for the full length of time prescribed. (usually 10 or more days)
        • For some blog tips from Bummis on treating yeast rash and how to change up your laundry routine, head here.
      • And for post-circumcision protection: Alba Un-Petroleum Jelly - is a cloth-friendly alternative to Vaseline, A+D, and Aquaphor, etc.
  • I need sleep. Can you give me some Nighttime Solutions, please?
    • Once your baby starts sleeping in 6 to 12 hour stretches at night, you may need to change up your nighttime diapering system to stay dry until morning.  Here are some Nighttime Diapering solutions to try:

      • Doublers: A doubler is a long narrow pad that you layer in your diaper to give it a boost. Our favorite is the Nighttime Stay-Dry Doublers doublers that we carry . The Stay-Dry doubler is made up of a combination of super thirsty hemp topped with a built-in layer of stay-dry fleece.
      • Wool Covers: Wool Covers are regularly suggested for use at nighttime to aid in absorbency and alleviate leaking. They can store up to 30% of its own weight in water and yet remain dry to the touch. Even while absorbent and waterproof, wool still allows circulation around baby's bum which helps prevent diaper rash.
      • Double-up your diapers: Granted, it makes for a big ol’ bum, but it also makes for a dry and sleep-filled night.  Give it a try!Some folks literally layer one diaper over the other and fold and fasten them two-as-one.

        Other families prefer to tri-fold the second diaper and use it as a "doubler". The easiest way to do this is to place the trifolded diaper into the cover itself (rather than on the baby). So that it’s sandwiched between your diapered baby and the cover.

      • A "Sleep Change": One last thing that can help with even the heaviest wetters is the "Sleep Change". Most wetting happens within the few hours after that last pre-bedtime feeding. So, if you’re still awake a few hours after that (and if you think your babe will stay good and groggy), slip in and do a stealthy diaper change. You’ll find that you’re changing a super soggy diaper, but that the dry one that you put on will last you the rest of the night!
  • Am I ready to Size up my prefolds?
    • Here are the prefolds’ general size and weight guidelines (please note that this only applies to our prefolds. Different brands have different dimensions and therefore different weight ranges).
      • Twees Fit babies from 4 - 7 or 8 pounds
      • Smalls Fit babies from 7 - 15 or 16 pounds
      • Mediums Fit babies from 15 - 20 or 22 pounds
      • Larges Fit babies from 20 pounds to potty training
      So that your diaper fits comfy for its entire weight range, start to “fan your fold” for the last few pounds:
      • Use the Angel Wing Fold
      • Then, fan out the center pad of the diaper so that the back "wings" don’t have so far to reach. (see pics bellow)
        • No Fanning
          for the low end of a size
        • Some Fanning
          for the mid range of a size
        • Full Fanning
          for the top end of a size
  • My baby is eating Solid foods. Now what?
    • Not plunking pasty and/or solid poo into the toilet and leaving the goods bound in the diaper is a double whammy: it causes seriously gnarly stains that will NEVER come out AND it jams up your washer!
    • Phase One - Liquid Poo
      From birth all the way until solid foods have been introduced but still make up only a small percentage of your baby’s diet, the resulting poo will be fully liquid and no plunking or rinsing is needed. (this includes meconium: no plunking or rinsing is needed for meconium.)
    • Phase Two - the Pasty Phase
      Then, between 6 and 12 months, as solid foods start making up a larger and larger % of your baby’s diet, you’ll notice that the poo consistency will become, well, pasty. And that’s when plunking becomes imperative.

      During the Pasty Phase, we recommend taking the easiest route and using Bio-Soft Flushable Liner or reusable Bummis Reusable Fleece Liners (5-pack).

    • Phase Three - the Solid Phase

      Then, between 12 and 18 months, when solids begin making up the majority of your baby’s diet, you’ll be out of the Pasty Phase and into the Solid Phase.  This is when the poo will be much easier to simply, well, “plunk” into the toilet.  And, for plunking, here are the four choices:

      • Flushable Bio-Liners/ Fleece Reusable Liners.
        • We really think that liners are the easiest way to go. They take the ick-factor out of plunking.
        • You can go with either the flushable bio-liners which come in rolls of 100 and you flush them after each use.
        • Or Liz’s preferred method:  reusable fleece liners.  Which are easy to wash and don’t require monthly purchasing.
      • Diaper Sprayers
        • Neither Liz nor Sarah used a sprayer as part of their at-home plunking routine.  But lots and lots of families do and love it!
      • Scraping/Dunking
        • Sarah went the scraping and dunking (in the toilet) route.  It’s the cheapest way to go if that sort of thing doesn’t faze you.
        • All you do is enlist a castaway kitchen utensil, swish the diaper around in the toilet and knock yourself out.
      • A Combination of the Above 3
        • Usually families end up with a routine that combines all (or some) of the above.  Enlisting the liners for trips, daycare and babysitters while saving the scraping and/or spraying for mom and dad time (or if you find yourself short on liners).
  • How can I use my diapers at Daycare
    • Contrary to common belief, the Department of Health does not prohibit the use of cloth diapers in Daycare Centers.  In fact, according to the DoH, Daycare’s are meant to be amenable to the parents’ choice! With that... here’s a Cloth Friendly Daycare.pdfwhich contains:
      • Our current running list of Cloth Friendly Daycares
      • The official NY State Department of Health’s guidelines and link.
      • and our recommendations on coordinating the day to day cloth/daycare routine (please email us if you know of a cloth-friendly Daycare that we can add to our list!)
      And, here’s a good article with tips on introducing cloth to a first-time daycare center. Convincing Your Childcare Provider to Use Cloth Diapers
  • Our baby is ready to potty train (we think....). What now?
    • Here's the DK-recommended potty training method. Which, in our no-time-for-potty-training-busy-lives, skips the daytime training pants step. However, diapers will still be needed for NAPS/NIGHTTIME for awhile longer...

      Disclaimer: We're all meant to "wait until our kid shows signs of readiness/excitement". The only problem: Does anyone really know what that means?  So, start feeling it out around 18-24 months. And then go to Step 1 when you're ready.

        • Step 1 (Week 1)

          Pick a full week designated to (daytime) potty-training and nothing else.

          • stay close to the house
          • commit to 100% undies. NO DIAPERS ALLOWED.  (except at night/naps)
          • so go nude-y or undies-only.
          • there will be lots of accidents.
          • but after a few days of pee-running-down-the-leg, he/she will be on board.
          • continue nighttime/nap diapering as usual (covers + prefolds + doublers, if used)
        • Step 2 (Weeks 2 to 4 +/-)
          • venture further from the house
          • have every accessible potty mapped and plotted
          • wear ONLY undies or lined training pants.
          • pack a change of clothes.  and socks!  and shoes!
          • continue nighttime/nap diapering as usual (covers + prefolds + doublers, if used)
        • Step 3 
          • venture even further
          • ditto to everything above, but slightly more leisurely
        • Step 4 (potential regression)
          • lots of kids can regress for any number of reasons.
          • if this happens, you're meant to pretty much start over at either Step 1 or Step 2.
        • Step 5 (Night time/Naps!)
          • a lot of people say don't even bother until your child is 3+
          • regardless of age, though, continue diapering at night/naps just the same (cover + prefolds + doublers, if used) right up until you've witnessed 1-2  full weeks of him/her waking up with a dry diaper.
          • at which point, undies can kick in for nighttime/naps too.
          • (warning:  you may encounter a toddler, as Liz did, that wakes you up every 2 hours to use the potty.  We haven't figured this one out yet...)

      There are, of course, a gijillion books and methods out there on this topic that might be better/smarter.  But we like the Just Go For It aspect of the above.  (and used it for our kids as well.  So far, so good!)

  • Why is it that we chose cloth diapers again?
    • Let’s face it: parenthood is a giant, new undertaking that can sometimes be, well, downright hard. And every so often, you encounter hurdles or new phases that make you want to “simplify”. And sometimes your choice to cloth diaper gets the axe in the process.

      So we’ve included this section anytime you’d like a reminder that:

      • your choice to cloth diaper matters
      • cloth diapers aren’t hard, life is hard
      • and phases pass

      All that said, here it is in black and white: why is it that we choose to cloth diaper?

      When choosing a diaper, it always boils down to these 5 things:

      • Fit
      • Function
      • Convenience
      • Cost (Monetary and Environmental)
      • Comfort
      • and, for some, Fashion ; )

      With that, here’s the breakdown:

      • Fit:

        That’s an easy one. Cloth diapers, of course, fit great.

        The one difference that you’ll notice between the fit of a cloth diaper v. the fit of a disposable: bulkiness.

        Yep, cloth diapers are bulkier than disposables. That’s just part of the program: all natural materials up against baby’s skin vs. Super Absorbent Polymers.

        The only setback that we’ve ever witnessed from that poofier bum? Your cloth-diapered baby will not, I’m afraid, fit into newborn skinny jeans. ; ) But all other clothes will fit just fine and if you really want those skinny jeans, just buy them one size bigger.

      • Function:

        That’s an even easier one. We’ve found Prefolds to function better than any other diaper; disposable or otherwise. No joke.

        Prefolds (when properly folded, fastened and covered) won’t blow-out past the cover onto bedding or clothing. Ever.

      • Convenience:

        Now here’s the category that tends to hold the key: Convenience.

        • There’s a little bit of a folding learning curve up front. But that’s nothing.
        • And there’s the extra step of putting a cover and fastener on. But that’s nothing.

        So, the main difference between a cloth diaper and a disposable is: laundry

        And the time spent laundering? You kind of time it right along with your family/baby laundry. And then it just feels like an extra load here and there. (I know that sounds oversimplified. And maybe it is. But the point: it’s really not that much extra work!)

      • Cost (monetary and environmental):

        And here’s where it all becomes worthwhile. Monetary and Environmental costs are best compared on this .pdf where you’ll see that...

        • Home laundering is, by far, the most economical. Big time.
        • As for Environmental costs, well, cloth wins by a landslide (no pun intended). Because what it all comes down to is Waste.
      • Waste:

        You will change your baby over 3,000 times per year. So, for disposables, envision a stack of 3,000 diapers. And, for cloth, you will re-use what equates to 30 diapers.

        And that’s just one year! Figuring that you’re in disposables for as many as 3 years (or more)!

        And disposables take over 500 years to decompose. Which, in our lifetime, our baby’s lifetime and his children’s lifetime and a few children’s lifetime after that, means... those diapers will still be, well, waste.

        So here’s the thing: You’re using one item for 2-3 hours and then it sits in a landfill for 500+ years!

        The math is beyond comprehension.

      • Comfort:

        Back to the fun stuff!

        This really comes down to a baby’s individual disposition. But, in general, we’ve found that babies don’t care one iota between one style of diaper vs. another.

        Most babies have fewer rashes in cloth because there are no potentially irritating chemicals to anger their sensitive skin.

      • A note on mobility:

        Remember how a cloth diaper is bulkier than a disposable? Well, some parents worry that the bulkiness might hinder their babies "rolling over", "crawling" and "walking" milestones. Trust on this: if walking is in your baby’s cards, a poofy bum will NOT get in his way. The generations of us who were cloth diapered before him can attest to this.

      • And a note on squirminess:

        Some baby’s will reach an age when diaper changes are so boring! And he may go to great (rolling, wrestling, spirited) lengths to avoid them.

        This is true with disposables or cloth. And you will find many a blog for ideas on what to do if you find yourself faced with this phase. Do a quick google search for ideas and bear through - the phase is a short one!

        We like to say that this is the first of many power struggles you will encounter with your child. Decide now who gets to win ; )

      • Fashion:

        Saving the most fun for last - fashion.
        This one goes without saying - cloth and cloth accessories are soooooo much cuter!

.. Diaperkind