Here are some of the most common Q&A in regards to cloth diapering. If you have any questions you would like to see here, please leave a comment and I will add it ASAP.
- Q: Why Should I Go Cloth?
- A: This is such a broad subject that it needs an entire post of it's own. Lucky you that I have one. :0) Please see my Why Go Cloth post.
- Q: How many cloth diapers do I need to start out?
- A: This varies depending on your personal needs, the age of your baby, if you are doing cloth part time or full time, (some families choose to use sposies during long trips, at night, or while their child is in daycare, many of which do not accept cloth diapered children.) how often you want to do laundry, etc. Below is a good estimate for what you will need per day depending on the child's age. Again, keep in mind that this varies based on you and your child's individual needs.
Newborn~6 Months: 10-12 Diapers/Day
6~12 Months: 8-10 Diapers/Day
12~24 Months: 6-8 Diapers/Day
Potty Training Child: 4-6 Diapers/Day
- Q: Can I use Cloth diapers in my daycare?
- A: This depends completely on your daycare, and the only way to know would be to ask. If the answer, as is the case in many daycares, is no, don't let that discourage you off of cloth diapering completely! There is no great cloth diapering goddess that will strike you down unless you cloth diaper 100% of the time. It is always an option to use sposies during the hours your child will be in day care and then use cloth diapers while you are at home/on the weekends!
- Q: What kind of cloth diapers are there?
- A: Lots! There are cloth diapers for almost every taste and lifestyle out there. In fact, all the different types can be a reason that people are scared away from cloth diapering to begin with. It is a little overwhelming. I have a detailed list of different kinds of cloth diapers here. Only you can decide what type will be best for you and your family!
- Q: I don't understand! What do all the different acronyms (AIO, AI2, DSQ, etc.) mean!!!
- A: I hear you! When I first started on this journey, I felt like I was swimming in acronyms that I couldn't begin to guess the meanings of! There is a list that might help you in my Terminology post!
- Q: What about swimming with cloth diapers?
- A: There are actually several brands of cloth diapers specifically made for swimming! Bummis makes a diaper for swimming that it has dubbed the Swimmi. Konfidence, who specializes in child swimwear, has a reusable swim diaper too. Imse Vimse has a swim diaper out as well, and these are only some of the options you have in reusable swim diapers! There are even diaper suits for little girls! I also know many CDing mommies have their baby just swim in a normal, every day cloth diaper, though it is suggested that you have one that you designate for swimming and nothing else.
- Q: What should I do when I'm out and about or on long trips?
- A: Long trips or vacations can be a concern for a cloth diapering family. After all, unlike sposies, which can be thrown away after every use, cloth diapers have to be washed! The thought of a messy cloth diaper bouncing around in your diaper bag can be a daunting and, quite frankly, disgusting one! Luckily, there are resources to prevent this. Many cloth diapering families have wet bags with them at all times. These are sealable, waterproof packs that you can put your cloth diapers in until you are in a place where you can take them out and wash them. (There are also wipe bags for cloth wipes.) Of course, if you are going on a super long trip or you find cloth diapering on the go to be inconvenient, you can always use disposables while out and about and use cloth while you are at home, short trips, and on the weekends.
- Q: Do I need special detergents?
- A: This is one of those things that every person will have a different opinion on, much like the debate on whether you should use a separate detergent for your infants clothes and bedding. Different brands of cloth diaper will have different suggested cleaning methods, and some companies even recommend a specific brand of detergent that works best with their diapers. Find out what the proper care procedures are for your brand/type of cloth diapers and then make the choice that is best for you. Almost all brands suggest the use of dye, bleach, fabric softener, and fragrance free detergent when washing your cloth diapers. In the end, it is up to you, though following the brand instructions will ensure that your diapers have the longest life possible.
- Q: How should I wash my cloth diapers?
- A: Most brands will have their own, specific washing instructions. To ensure the life of your diapers, (and so you don't void any warranties you might have) you should follow the washing instructions for whatever brand(s) you are using. If you are using generics or a brand without specific washing instructions though, there are some basic steps that can be followed. (I found many sites online that have very similar washing instructions.)
- Wash diapers, liners, wet bag, etc. in cold water with no detergent. You can use baking soda or vinegar to help with stains or smell if you want. (Sometimes the liners and soakers can hold onto smell after a lot of use.)
- Wash it hot water with detergent.
- Do an extra rinse on cold. You might want to do two if your baby has a problem with rashes or irritation.
- Dry in the dryer if you like, though many parents recommend line drying if that is a possible option. Not only will it help extend the life of your diapers and the PUL (which the heat of a dryer can break down quicker), but the sun is an amazing tool to help get rid of any stains you might have. Liners and inserts can be thrown in the dryer every time if you wish. You can certainly use a dryer every time if that is your only option, but use low heat and take out as soon as possible!