And now, a handy guide to Frequently Asked Questions in Cloth Diapering.
How many cloth diapers do you need?
This is a tough question for me because we really do not have enough. I think we started with 17 but now have 15 because we’ve had two get messed up in the washing machine and the elastic came out. Now that I’m typing this I realize we really should have sent those back to the manufacturer as they were under warranty. Damn.
My cousin suggests having at least twenty. She does diaper laundry every other day or every third day, so she probably has more than that.
Although we’re just getting by on diapers, we actually received an extra stack of hemp liners, and if you can afford it, I recommend you go for it. You’ll need extra liners incase you lose one or need to line the diaper for diaper rash cream.
What the heck am I supposed to do if my baby gets diaper rash?
Technically, you cannot use any butt creams or ointments with your cloth diapers as residue buildup will interfere with your diaper’s absorption abilities. If you do use an ointment it would be in violation of your diaper’s warranty, so use it at your own risk.
We did read about a technique, however, wherein you can use diaper cream if you put an extra diaper liner between your baby’s butt and the diaper. When you change the baby’s diaper you’ll need to set that liner aside and wash it separately from your regular diaper load because of – you guessed it – residue. This apparently does not void the warranty, but you should check your manufacturer’s instructions to be sure.
Some babies tend to get diaper rash and some babies don’t. Isobel was not a very rash-y baby but one thing that did tend to make her break out was intense heat. Soaring temperatures in late July and August meant a sweatier baby which naturally leads to rash. Keeping your baby as dry as possible down below is best, and my pediatrician even recommended giving Isobel diaper-free time in the heat of summer.
Some argue cloth diapers decrease the instance of diaper rash because they aren’t made of unbreathable plastic and chemicals, but some argue the instance is the same because cloth diapers are warmer in summer. Diaper rash is not the end of the world, it’s treatable, and happens to every baby. I don’t think one diaper or the other is to blame.
What do I do with poop?
When your baby is a newborn, the volume of their poop is so small that most of it will be taken care of by wiping your baby’s bum. As your baby gets older, what you will need to do is collect the solids with toilet paper and flush them down the toilet. If your baby has diarrhea this will be less pleasant than if your baby conveniently formed his or her poop into little balls for you. Ether way, collect the solids with toilet paper and flush them. Then take out the liners and dump the diaper and liners into the hamper. There’s nothing to wipe off with urine, just take the diaper apart and toss in the hamper.
Some places off a poop rinse gadget (don’t you dare google that, just click here) for rinsing the poop from the diaper. I assure you I have never needed that. Even Isobel’s blowouts have been easily handled by wiping off the excess with toilet paper and flushing it away. I know some people really like their poop rinse gadget, but perhaps they also like paying $45 bucks for a toilet attachment. I don’t and I’m saying that in my opinion, it’s not necessary. Your mileage may vary.
We do have a technique for diaper doodie duty now that she’s mobile. When she was a newborn it was easy to just leave her on the changing table while we took care of the mess. Now, however, that would be dangerous, so we set the dirty diaper on top of the closed hamper and finish changing her. When that’s done, we put her in her crib so she’s safe while we tend to the cleaning of poop and the washing of hands.
We’re fortunate that our nursery is very close to our bathroom. If you own a large mansion and your nursery is on a different floor from the nearest bathroom, make the maid do it.
Isn’t washing cloth diapers in the washing machine gross?
Can I use cloth diapers as soon as my baby’s born?
They do make cloth diapers with a little cut out in the front especially for newborns. The important thing to keep in mind is that you don’t want anything rubbing or chafing your baby on his/her tender umbilical cord area. Not only is it an unpleasant feeling, it could cause infection. You want to leave that whole area alone. Plus, newborns need their diapers changed about fifteen times a day, so you’d need I don’t know, millions of those little diapers for a two week period.
Basically, you can use cloth diapers from the get-go if you buy the special newborn version with the cutouts for the cords and if you want to launder a ton of diapers after pushing a buckethead of a baby out of your vajayjay, but I wouldn’t recommend it. Buy the disposable diapers for two week and forgive yourself because chances are you’ve done worse things in life.
Where do I buy all this crap?
Crap comes FREE with the purchase of every baby! Cloth diapers and supplies will run you a little more.
Doing a cloth diaper search in google shopping will give you a ton of results. I got all mine through Amazon, however because it was easy enough for me to register there.
I personally use BumGenius 3.0 and I go into detail about the pros and cons here. A little hint: if you are having a girl and anticipate having more children, don’t register for 15 million pink diapers like I did. This will prove expensive if my next child is a boy.
We registered for a bunch of extra hemp liners to have on hand, such as these.
DIAPER PAIL LINER
I had a very hard time finding a hamper to work as a diaper pail. All the ones I’ve found online have been rather pricey considering they were plastic baskets, and since they are large, shipping was more than I wanted to pay, too. I had several unsuccessful runs at Target before finding a trash can that was about $7.00 and fit my needs perfectly. Moral of the story: you’ll have better luck finding something cheap if you look in the wastebasket section. Sticking the word ‘baby’ on an item and stores feel justified in charging $20 more than they would otherwise.
I got all my wet bags on etsy. I particularly recommend monkey foot wet bags—secure and adorable!—but searching etsy for ‘wet bag’ or ‘cloth diapers’ should yield more results than you ever thought possible.
Remember, check with your manufacturer for the best soap for your diapers. Double-check, so as to not void the warranty. I use Charlie Soap which you can buy online. I think I heard it’s available at some natural foods stores or Trader Joe’s, if you happen to live near one. I don’t.
Do you have $45 bucks you don’t need? You can buy a Poo Sprayer! Just click here)
PRODUCT REVIEWS AND FORUMS
Product reviews, diaper tips and a forum can be found at The Diaper Pin.
This site has reviews and giveaways but you have to register.
Tons of cloth diaper info can be found at All About Cloth Diapers.
If there are any other questions relating to cloth diapers or something you’d like me to go over again, don’t hesitate to let me know in the comments. My cousin Liz really helped me get started in this and I would love to return the favor for someone else.