December 14, 2009

Getting Started with Cloth Diapers

How many cloth diapers will I need?

When beginning the foray into cloth diapering, CGB recommends experimenting. Try a few different brands/styles at the beginning and see which works best for you and for your baby. Cloth diapering is an investment and you want to be sure your investment is worthwhile. After all, you wouldn’t buy a few dozen shoes for yourself before trying them all!

With that in mind, please consider the following numbers when cloth diapering: 20-30 diapers, 2 wool covers and/or 4 cotton covers. When considering the amounts to buy, take into account the age of your baby. Newborns and infants will need 10 to 12 changes a day. Toddlers will need 8 to 10. And remember, most cloth diapering families wash diapers every 2 or 3 days.

How do I wash my cloth diapers?
  • Put wet, soiled diapers into dry diaper pail (CGB recommends 2 pail liners) and if you’re past the exclusively breastfed stage, shake any solid into the toilet.
  • Cold Wash (Place all your soiled cloth diapers in the machine with baking soda for a cold water wash) or Hot Wash (Add your wet cloth diapers to load, add detergent and baking soda and wash in hot water).
  • Rinse: Rinse cloth diapers with cold water and vinegar.
  • 2nd Rinse: Rinse cloth diapers with cold water.
  • Dry: To extend the life of our cloth diapers and covers, hang them dry. It is especially important for diaper covers to preserve their waterproofing ability.
NOTE: Remember to hand-wash all wool covers with wool shampoo.
NOTE: Don’t use Desitin or other diaper creams with zinc oxide, it will coat and strip the diapers of their absorbent qualities.

Which type of detergent should I use?

Stick with fragrance free detergents and be sure to avoid detergents with whitening enzymes, soap products, Borax, or bleach. These products are extremely harsh on cloth diapers and will break down their fibers and reduce their life. Also, they are rough against your baby's skin. CGB recommends Allen’s Naturally.

Tips & Tricks
  • Does your diaper pail smell? Try sprinkling baking soda in the bottom of the pail.
  • Not a fan of stained diapers? Put hydrogen peroxide or lemon juice on the stain and hang in the sun before moving from the washing machine to the dryer.

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