10 frequent asked questions about cloth diapers

I have been using cloth diapers for a couple of months with my baby and I am super in love with them. In the beginning of course, I had a loy of questions, that required me to learn, read and ask to other exerimented mommas out there. I have decided to write this post, so mommies that are thinking about switching get enough motivation to do so.

Pañales de tela/ Cloth diapers

10 frequent asked questions about cloth diapers

1. What are the reasons to use cloth diapers?

There are lots of reasons to use cloth diapers, mainly 3:

-Saving money: Each baby will use between 4500 and 6000 disposable diapers, while will use only between 20 and 30 cloth diapers in a period of time of 2 to 3 years.

-Environment: Cloth diapers can be washed and last a very long time making possible that a 2nd generation can use them too.

-Dermathology: Babies who use cloth diapers are less exposed to the different chemicals that are used to make disposable diapers. Since cloth diapers are changed more often than disposable, babies are also less exposed to rashes.

 

2. What are the different types of cloth diapers?

Cloth diapers have changed a lot. Some mothers still use a square piece of fabric that fastens with pins, but the cloth diaper industry offers also diapers that attach with snaps or velcro, making them practical and easy to use.

a. Flats: large squares of single-layered fabric that requiere a cover.

b. Prefolds: rectangular pieces of cloth folded into three sections that requiere a cover.

c. Fitted: made of cotton, bamboo, hemp or fleece and are very absorbent–but not waterproof.

d. Contour: already shaped, but they require pins for closure. They also require a cover.

d. Hybrids: they come with a washable outer cover, and you have the option of using a biodegradable disposable insert or a washable, cloth insert.

e. Pockets: each diaper comes with a pocket that must be stuffed with an absorbent insert. They are usually known as the “modern cloth diaper”. They come with snaps or velcro.

f. All in twos: similar to pocket ones but instead of stuffing a pocket, you snap the insert inside the diaper.

g. All in ones: one piece like a disposable with the only inconvinience that will take a long time to dry.

Types of cloth diapers
Types of cloth diapers

 

3. How many cloth diapers are needed to start?

A newborn baby needs to be changed around 8 times a day. When the baby starts growing up, the period of time between one diaper and the next one starts increasing. When they reach 1 year old, they still need to be changed around 6 times a day. That’s why it is recommended to have 20 diapers. This way, the stash will be enough for 2 days.

 

4. How often does the diaper needs to be changed?

Every 3 or 4 hours, Could be even less time. It depends on the way that the baby does his needs.

 

5. What are the different brands and what are the prices?

There is a diversity of brands and prices. There are flat ones and printed fabrics also and there are cheap and expensive ones too. It is recommended to buy a couple different brands in the beginning, try them on and finally decide which ones adjust better to the needs of the baby and the family. I have collected in a list the most popular ones, the ones that have better references and that are super easy to get. Clic on the links for more information.

Pañal de tela wegreeco/ Wegreeco cloth diaper
Pañal de tela Wegreeco/ Wegreeco cloth diaper

 

Brand

Price

Description

OsoCozy

$12.26 US

6 flat diapers

Gerber

$14.49

10 prefolded diapers

Ecoable

$36.99 US

2 fitted diapers

Alva

$32.99 US

6 pocket diapers and 12 inserts

Happy Flute

$11.99 US

1 pocket diaper and 1 insert

Mama Koala

$39.99 US

6 pocket diapers and 6 inserts

Wegreeco

$31.99

6 pocket diapers y 6 inserts

Totsbots

$24.95 US

1 all in one diaper

Elf

$10.99

1 all in one diaper

Charlie Banana

$120.99 US

6 hybrid diapers and 12 inserts

Grovia

$29.95 US

1 hybrid diaper and 1 insert

 

6. How much money it is actually saved?

This depends on the country you are at, the brands that are bougth and your consumption habits.

One box of 200 disposable diapers costs around $50 US, while 20 cloth diapers cost around $100 (cheapest brands). If we consider that a baby will use around 5000 diapers, it will be needed about $1250 US in disposable diapers versus $100 in cloth diapers. Even if you choose one of the most expensive brands, you will still spend around half of the money in cloth rather than disposable.  You will still have to add the price of the detergent and the extra water that will be needed to wash the diapers, but that amount will probably never reached $500 US total for the 2 or 3 years that the little one will need diapers.

 

7. Why do leakages happen and how to avoid them?

There are two reasons why leackages can happen. However, this happens with disposable diapers too.

-It is incorrectly adjusted. There are many tutorials on youtube that will show you how to put a cloth diaper. The most important thing is that on the baby’s wait we should be able to get 2 or 3 fingers in. It should also fit in the groin just how underware does.

Cloth diaper correct adjustment
Cloth diaper adjustment

-The fabric used as an insert doesnt hold much. Microfiber fabric absorbes less than other types of fabric. This can be solved by changing the diaper more often, replacing the microfiber insert with one that is made from bambu, cotton or flannel or putting 2 microfiber inserts.

 

8. What is the best way to wash the diapers?

To properly wash cloth diapers we will need to know what kind of water we have in our homes. Hard water is water that contains an appreciable quantity of dissolved minerals. Soft water in the other hand, is treated water. We can find out if we have hard water if we boil it and a white circle is formed in the inside of the pot where the water reached the limit.

 

Hard water washing routine for cloth diapers:

Once the diaper is taken out, it can be stored in a bucket with a lid. If there is solid wastes on it, throw them in the wc first and then throw the diaper in the bucket. When the laundry day comes, the shells must be separted from the inserts. A first quick wash cycle can be performed using just cold water. After that, a normal wash cycle using powder detergent can be done. The detergent cannot contain enzymes, bleach or perfume. It is possible, we can dry them in the sun since it is desinfectant and natural bleacher.

If we do not have a laundry machine, the most effective way to wash cloth diapers by hand is by using a plunger, in which case, we will separate the shells from the aborbents and pump with the plunger between 50 to 80 times.

 

Soft water washng routine for cloth diapers.

The routine is the same but in this case, it is recommended to use liquid detergent.

 

The quantity of detergent in both cases is not much. For 12 diapers, is needed approximately 1/4 of the quantity recommended by the manufacterer for one load of not so dirty clothes.

When a lot of detergent has been used the abs can get clogged causing the buildup of ammonia and leaks. When just a little but of detergent ha been used, diapers start getting stinky.

 

There are three things that can be done if this happens.

A. Put all inserts in a bucket and fill it with cold water without any detergent. Rinse them off until no foam is left over.

B. Deep clean: Put all inserts on a bucket and fill it with very hot water. Leave for 5 minutes and rinse with cold water.

C. Wash the diapers with chlorine (extreme cases, it could damage the natural fibers).

 

9. How to store the dirty diapers while being out of home?

Throw away the solids in the WC if any and put the dirty diaper in a wet bag.

Wet bag para pañales/ wet bag for diapers
Wet bag

10. Where to clear off more questions?

Social media are excelent tools to find more experinced moms and dads in different topics. Cloth Diapering Mamas is a great support group on Facebook.

 

Some personal thoughts

I decided to change to cloth diapers because I felt guilty about the amount of trash I was generating. It feels so good to be able to give a break to the planet by changing my habits. Iwould have loved that someone would have talked to me more about cloth diapers when I was pregnant. I use to buy a pack of reusable diapers every time I went to the supermarket. With all that money I could have done a beautiful cloth diaper stash. But every time I mentioned it to someone back then, they use to say I was crazy and that they didn’t imagine me washing poop. I let them decide for me until the day I got enough empowerment on my maternity and finally gave it a try. I fall in love with it. To wash diapers is not the most nicest thing to look but for me it is even worse to look at the harm done to the planet by the tons of disposable diapers that will not degrate until 200 or 300 years.

To use cloth diapers is of course more work for parents. But once it becomes part of the routine, it stops being a job. I like to compare it with any other tasks in motherhood, like breastfeeding or transitioning to solid food. It can be overwhleming in the beginning but we catch up very quick.

 

Let me know in the comments why did you decide to switch to cloth or why would you like to give it a try

Pañales de tela / Cloth diapers

  7 comments for “10 frequent asked questions about cloth diapers

  1. September 3, 2018 at 4:56 pm

    I would like to give it a try but I don’t think I would ever do it. It seems so much better!

  2. September 3, 2018 at 6:18 pm

    I didn’t know that there were so many options until I walked into a local store. They even come with really cute designs !

  3. September 3, 2018 at 7:12 pm

    Thank you so much for this! My son is going to be a first time daddy next April and I’m going to show him this post!

  4. September 3, 2018 at 8:42 pm

    interesting, I’ve never known much about cloth diapers. My kids are all older now but it was still a good read

  5. September 5, 2018 at 2:44 pm

    Great post! We used all kinds of cloth diapers and really loved the experience. they are so cute now!

  6. September 5, 2018 at 7:13 pm

    Wow this is probably the most well documented post I’ve seen on cloth diapers!!! i never used them having grown up with them in the olden days!!! I did however, use honest company diapers, those are another for suggestion for moms who can’t handle the poop!

  7. September 5, 2018 at 7:52 pm

    This is a great resource for parents who are interested in cloth diapers. It’s amazing how much money you can save by using cloth!

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