Home Laundering FAQ

Diaperkind provides weekly cloth diaper service to families residing in NYC and Hudson County. If you are outside of our service area, or if you are fortunate enough to have access to a washer and dryer in your home or building, we encourage you to consider home laundering! It's not nearly as frightening as it sounds, and we're here to help with everything from selecting which products you need, to perfecting your wash routine. For extra support as you get started, you're welcome to attend a class, come to a support group or schedule a phone consultation or shopping appointment with one of our diapering experts.

  • What if this is my first time with cloth?
    • Most DK families start out as rookies - so you’re in good company!  Cloth Diapering and self laundering are easy when armed with the right products and instructions. Read through these FAQs, peruse our online shop and if at any point you would like more assistance...

  • How do I choose from the myriad of cloth diaper options out there?
    • Here is a list, along with a little description, of the most popular cloth diaper styles. Our 2 favorite styles are Prefolds and Fitteds. We find that they function the best (no leaks!), hold up beautifully to repeated washing and, drying and they are the most affordable.

    • Prefolds with Diaper Covers
      Prefolds are soft cotton rectangles that get folded onto your baby to create a diaper. They are affordable, absorbent, and if used properly they're leak or “blow-out” proof. Prefolds are the absorbent part of a two part diaper system, you must cover them with a diaper cover to contain moisture. The Prefolds themselves require laundering after each use, whereas diaper covers can be reused over and over again until smelly or soiled. Prefolds are also incredibley versatile and make great spit-up cloths, changing pads, and a mat to lay out for tummy time. 

    • Fitteds (and/or Contours)
      Fitteds are similar to Prefolds in that they are the absorbent part of a two part diaper system. They require a diaper cover for moisture containment. Fitteds, like Prefolds, are absorbant, affordable, and leak or "blow-out" proof. Where they differ from prefolds is that they do not require fancy folding to be put on your baby. They are contour shaped and resemble a disposable making them a bit easier to use and get comfortable with.
    • All-in-Twos (AI2s)
      It’s a two-part system just like the Prefolds and Fitteds, but instead of putting the absorbent part onto the baby and then covering with a diaper cover, the absorbent insert snaps into the diaper cover and then that is put onto the baby. The downside to AI2s is that becuase the absorbent part does not wrap around the baby you will likely have to contend with a bit more mess either on the inside of the diaper cover or sneaking out of the cover. We find that AI2s "leak" in similar fashion to disposable diapers.

      NOTE: AI2 covers are specific to their insert and cannot be mixed and matched with other brands or systems.

    • Pocket Diapers
      Pocket diapers are similar to AI2s, except that the insert slips into a pocket inside the diaper cover. What this means is that the cover must be washed every time you change the diaper. So you'll need to invest in the same number of covers as you do inserts. Additionally, the diaper needs to be "stuffed" before use and "unstuffed" (pull the dirty insert out of the pocket) before laundering. 

    • gDiapers
      Diapers 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" around the legs 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 recommend natural fibers. They tend to be gentler on the baby’s skin and they hold up in the wash better than man-made materials like microfiber. Cotton is our favorite because it's easy to wash and dry and unlike bamboo and hemp, cotton gets softer and softer with repeated washing.

    • 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.

  • Great, so how many and what kind of diapers and accessories do I need?
    • The simplest way to ensure you have everything you need is to purchase our Home Laundering Starter Package  Or, if you prefer to shop a la carte, here are our recommended Must-Haves for 3 different Age Groups. All of which can can be found on our Home Laundering Shop page

    • Must-Have for Newborns to 6-9 month olds
      • 30 diapers total, a combo of Prefolds and Fitteds
      • Unless you are having multiples 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, purchase "Small" or "Size 1" diapers that will fit your baby from 7 or 8 pounds up to 15 or 16 pounds.
      • Don’t let anyone tell you different - Prefolds and/or Fitteds are your workhorses and should be the mainstay of your diaper stash. Pockets get a lot of good press, and AI2s look convenient, true, but all of these styles are expensive.  And, frankly, Fitteds and Prefolds work better in terms of leak containment!  Not to mention that they hold up considerably longer and are much easier to launder.
    • 3-4 Snappi diaper fasteners 
    • 6-8 Diaper Covers
    • A Clean Rinsing Detergent
    • A Cloth-Friendly Pail and Pail Liner
    • 24-36 Cloth Wipes and our Sudsy Bottoms Wipes Wash Kit
    • Semi-optional Items:
    • Must-Have for 6 to 18 month olds (when solid foods have kicked in)
      • Size up to Medium/Size 2 diapers (16 - 22 lbs) as needed. You’ll want to have 24 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
        • plunking that newly solid (or pasty) poo into the toilet is required now in order 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 Size 2/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 detergent I use? What is detergent residue and how do I strip our diapers or covers?
    • Using the wrong detergent can prevent your diapers from getting clean. You want to select one that is Clean Rinsing (aka Cloth-Friendly) 
    • Happily cloth-friendly detergents are also baby and family-friendly. So once you settle on your favorite, you can switch your whole house over.
    • Cloth-Friendly detergents are free of fragrance, softeners, and optical brighteners. The reason it's so important to avoid these ingredients is because their very purpose is to live on the surface of the fabric you're washing to do a job (smell nice, feel soft, reflect light to make clothes look brighter). But when washing fabric for diapering, you don't want anything left on the surface because those leftover molecules give the ammonia and bacteria something to bind to making it more difficult to get your diapers thoroughly clean with each wash.

      Our favorite detergent, and the one we wholeheartedly recommend for home laundering is our Diaperkind Washing Powder. We formulated it specifically for washing diapers and it's perfectly powerful enough to get them clean while remaining gentle on baby skin and our planet. Win-win all around! A close runner up would be Rockin Green detergent.

      If ever you encounter residue buildup on your diapers from not using a cloth-friendly formula, 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 as mentioned above. We highly recommend our Diaperkind Washing Powder.

      Plan to wash your diapers, covers and accessories twice per week.

      Washing diapers is a 2 step process. The first cycle is the shortest. Load all of your diapers and accessories into the washer and add 1 scoop of Diaperkind Washing Powder. Set your water temp to WARM. Run the shortest cycle your machine will allow (sometimes called Quick Wash). The purpose of this first wash is to flush away the surface soil on the diapers.

      Once that cycle is complete, it's time for your Main Wash. Keep the diapers and accessories in the washer, add 2 scoops of Diaperkind Washing Powder (and chlorine bleach, if desired*). Set your water temp to HOT and choose the heaviest duty setting your machine will allow.

      Dry your diapers and accessories either in a dryer on medium heat or out in the sun

      *We find it helpful to add 2-3 oz of chlorine bleach to your Main Wash to refresh and santiize your diaper laundry. It'll also knock out any stains! You can do this with every load, once a week, once a month- or never! Use only as desired.

  • 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 2-3 ounces of chlorine bleach to the main wash cycle will help as well.

      Meconium is sticky. And messy. To help get meconium off your baby’s bottom, we recommend massaging our Diaperkind CocoBalm into your baby’s skin with each diaper change which will help prevent the meconium from sticking to the skin making it easier to wipe off. 

  • How often do I change my baby?
    • You want to change a wake baby every 2-3 hours, or immediately if poop is detected. It's common to time diaper changes with feedings, especially in the beginning.

  • 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 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.
      • dirty covers (poop on them): Will need to be laundered, either with a quick hand-scrub in the sink with 1/2 - 1 scoop of Washing Powder 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 them right along with your diapers in the washer.  Remember to only ever use cloth-friendly detergent!
    • 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?
    • Cloth Wipes are fantastic. Not only do they enable you to get your baby clean in ways that disposable wipes couldn't dream of, but they are also amazingly affordable. For $20 you will have all the wipes you need through potty training. And they get washed right along with your diapers so they're super easy to care for! You'll want to purchase approx 30 wipes and a wipe wash solution or concentrate like our Sudsy Bottoms Kit.

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

  • 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 Fastener. 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 that penis downwards. This can seriously make the difference between a ton of leaking and zero leaking.
      • Detergent Residue on 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, there are two ways 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 1 scoop of Diaprrkind Washing Powder and 4 ounces of chlorine bleach. 

      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 wash instructions paired with our Washing Powder 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 things like diet and supplements a 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 like Spectrum DHA for Pregnant and Nursing Moms.

      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 4 days without laundering.
      • Do not collect dirty diapers in plastic bags.
      • 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 nut or vegetable oils like Olive Oil, Almond Oil or Coconut 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 blended with cheap and heavy waxes. 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 easily do this task.

      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 cheap heavy waxes. And these ingredients don’t wash out of the diapers. Ever. Which results in permanent stain damage.

      • For prevention and everyday, or if you see a rash coming onCocoBalm- 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: 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 creates a barrier allowing the skin to heal without being further aggravated by continuous pees and poops.
      • 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)
        • When treating yeast you want to be sure to add 4-5 ounces of chlorine bleach to the main wash when washing your diapers to prevent recurrance.
      • The unavoidable newborn rash: 
        Babies require changing every 2-3 hours, or immediately if poop is detected. Problem is, sometime they poop just a teensy tiny bit and we don’t know about it. Their poop is so acidic that irritation forms very quickly. And then they continue to poop throughout the day which further aggravates the already irritated skin. And the cycles goes on and on. This red angry newborn rash shows up right around the baby's anus in the crack of their bum where a tiny bit of undetected poop sat against the skin and now won’t heal because it continues to be pooped on. To treat it you will need to clean and dry the area thoroughly at each change. Then apply a nice liberal layer of the Rash Relief Cream to the affected area. Use the rash cream until the skin is healed. And rest assured, this is a "newborn” problem. As he gets older, those secret poops become less and less common and when he does go, you’ll know it!
  • 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 at the baby's waist so that the back "wings" don’t have to reach so far around to overlap with the front.. 
  • 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 prventing the diapers from getting clean!
    • Phase One - Liquid Poo
      From birth all the way until solid foods are being consumed, 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 Liners.

    • 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.  Some families continue to use the Bio-Liners while others find it simple enough to just shake the solids off the diaper over the toilet.

  • 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.pdf which 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 and Fitteds to function better than any other diaper; disposable or otherwise. No joke. They are "blow out" proof!


      • 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!

        Wouldn't we all rather be swaddled up in cotton as opposed to sodium polyacrylate gel, wood pulp fiber and plastic?

        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 their way. The generations of us who were cloth diapered before them can attest to this.

      • And a note on squirminess:

        Some baby’s will reach an age when diaper changes are so boring! And they 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!