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A Beginner’s Guide to Cloth Diapers & Cloth Diapering

Are you a New Parent? You must be searching for the best diaper for your baby and just ended up here. This is your ultimate guide to Cloth Diapers if you are looking to switch from disposable diapers. Learn about types of Cloth Diapers, how to use them or which suits your baby along with the perfect wash and size instructions in this blog.

Cloth Diaper Baby

Here is What you will read:

Types of Cloth Diapers

Cloth Diapers are not what you think they are anymore. It has become so much better over the years and you will be amazed by what it can do. Reusable Cloth Diapers have come a long way, constantly improving in performance and absorbency. There are so many types to choose from and each type has its own advantages and best features. You will be reading about the popular types that works for every baby out there.

Prefold Cloth Diapers

Prefold diapers are one of the most primitive types of Cloth Diapers. These are rectangular piece of cloth that is folded and stitched into panels with many layers together. Prefolds are non waterproof type of reusable diapers, so you need waterproof outer cover to prevent leaks. The Greatest advantage of this type is that it dries faster when you wash it. Prefold diapers have now become more like Diaper Inserts yet is still popular among cloth diaper parents.

Flat Cloth Diapers

Flat Cloth Diapers are the first ever type to remain in usage till date. This never runs out of popularity in cloth diapering households. It is rectangular in shape and single layered cloth. You have to wrap it around and secure. These are also called Traditional Langots in India. You cut up a piece cloth from old saree or dhotis and tie it up like a langot. It dries faster, less prone to smell and build ups but lacks in absorbency. As it is only a single layered cloth, you will have to try different types of folds to make it more absorbent. Which many parents are not a fan of. Flat Cloth Diapers also make a great option for diaper free time if you are okay with using folds. These days, flats are used as extra absorbent pads in cloth diapers, especially Hemp Flats. These are very highly reusable.

Pocket Cloth Diapers

Aurora Max Cloth Diapers – An Overview

You are not a fan of flat cloth diapers and you need something that is really an alternate for Disposable diapers. That has dry feel, waterproof layer and more absorbency. Also you are beginner and want a cloth diaper that is really easy to use. Then Pocket Diapers are the ones for you. Pocket diapers come with a pocket opening to stuff inserts inside. It has a dry feel layer made of microfleece and waterproof outer layer. These two layers form the pocket opening. You will find the pocket either on the inside or near the hip elastic. The most popular cloth diaper type that works like a disposable diaper. It is that perfect, trim and most loved reusable diaper.

Cover Diapers

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If you are looking for the most economical type of Cloth Diaper, then Cover diapers are the suitable ones. Unlike Pocket Diapers, you will find only the waterproof layer in this type. You should use cover diapers if you use flat diapers or prefold diapers. As it does not have dry feel layer, it has one biggest advantage which other cloth diaper types do not have. You can reuse this cover diaper without washing if baby has not pooped. If you use the cover diaper with a prefold, remove the prefold once it is fully soaked. Wipe the outer cover or dry it under the fan and reuse it with another prefold. The term reusable diaper suits this cloth diaper type perfectly!

All in Two Cloth Diapers

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The Most widely available cloth diaper type at present. All in two diapers, also called AI2 Diapers or shell diapers, are outer diaper covers with detachable inserts. This type is introduced such that you don’t have to wait for a long time for the diapers to dry. The Outer shell contains a waterproof outer cover, inner dry feel layer and two or more contoured layers in the middle. You won’t find any pocket opening in this type of cloth diapers. You just need to attach the diaper inserts with the help of buttons provided in the outer shell and the pads. Detachable inserts are what you need for quicker changes.

All in One Cloth Diapers

You won’t find this type of Cloth Diaper that popular in India, but it still has some popularity among exclusively cloth diapering parents. All in One Diapers have sewn in inserts. You cannot detach the inserts unlike All in Two diapers. And that is the biggest disadvantage it has because it takes a lot of time to dry. This is also the reason why it is not popular in India. But you can find it very useful in other ways. You don’t have to find various insert combos that suits your baby or customize the absorbency. You just get an AIO diaper of high absorbency like Hemp AIO and that’s it.

Hybrid Diapers

By now, you might have heard about hybrid diapers. This is a mixture of Cloth Diapers and Disposable diapers which is as good as being non existent. The Outer covers are made of Cloth and the inserts that you use inside can be disposed. You won’t find any advantages with this type particularly. Why because, you will have to wash the outer covers and keep buying the inserts. You cannot use one without another. You can either go completely for cloth diapers or completely for disposable diapers. Cloth Diapers should be a wise choice, because you are here either because of rashes, budget or want to change to cloth diapering and a sustainable lifestyle.

Diaper Inserts

Diaper Inserts are absorbent pads that you can use inside any of the above types of Cloth Diapers. A Diaper Insert is a long rectangular pad shaped one in which many layers are sewn in together for absorbency. An Insert can vary in number of layers it has depending on its usage. You can use it for daytime or nighttime. It is washable and reusable.

When to Use these Cloth Diapers?

You can start using Cloth Diapers right after meconium stage. There is nothing like, baby will be uncomfortable or it would be bulky on them. You should read about Cloth Diapers Myths and Facts in case you didn’t know what is true or what is incorrect. Now that you have known about the types of Cloth Diapers, you will have this doubt. Is there any particular time I should use these diapers? Are all types suitable for both day and night? Yes, Each type has it’s own features that works best if you use it at a particular time.

Ideal time to use each type of Reusable Diapers

For Instance, Cover Diapers do not have dry feel layer. So you need diaper liners for dry feel. This makes it not so great choice for nighttime usage. It is better if you use it during the day as it helps with frequent changes and dries faster. Flat Cloth Diapers would be a great choice for daytime when used along with Cover Diapers. You can add Hemp Flats as additional absorbency for your heavy wetter baby during nighttime usage. Although Flats by itself does not make a good choice for nighttime, you can pair it up with an Insert so that it does not bunch up.

As these days, Prefold diapers are used as absorbent inserts, you can use it inside any shell, pocket or cover diapers for nighttime or daytime. All in One Diapers are perfect for Nighttime usage as it takes very long time to dry. If you plan on using it for daytime, you may need to have around 16 diapers which would be not economical. Pocket Cloth Diapers and All in two or Shell Diapers can be used for both day and night if you get inserts suitable for your baby. These two are the most ideal types of cloth diapers.

How many Cloth Diapers do I need?

You need 16-20 diapers on an average and some extra accessories to exclusively cloth diaper your baby. You should have 7-8 diapers per day for a newborn baby and 5-6 diapers for older babies. Double this up to use it for alternate days because you can’t wash everyday. Even if you wash everyday, it will take sometime to dry. So it is recommended to keep spares for changes. As for inserts, you need to get good absorbent pads. Each diaper contains its own insert pads, so you can get up to 6 extra pads in case if the pads takes long time to dry. Additionally you might need 3 Nappies to give some diaper free time for your baby to deal with Diaper rashes.

Which Cloth Diaper for my baby?

Now that you know how many you need, you should also choose the right type that works for you and your baby. You probably can’t invest all at once into cloth diapering, especially if you are a new parent. You need to try out to find out what works best for you. Find some good deals where you can try out each type at less cost or get the one that you feel might work for you. Cloth Diapers Starter kits would be an ideal choice for both newborn and older babies.

How much Cloth Diapering cost?

If you decide to use Cloth Diapers, one of the main things you worry about is how much cloth diapering would cost you. Looking at so many types of Reusable Diapers, these must be expensive is what you would think. Cloth Diapering is expensive. Of course, but you are going to buy only once or twice. And that is all you are going to spend for your baby’s diapering expenses for 3 years. Take a look at the detailed breakdown of what you will be spending below.

One Disposable diaper costs INR 10. You need 7-8 diapers per day including changes. So for a day, it costs INR 80. For a month, you will spend INR 2400. For 3 years, you will be spending around INR 86,400. Don’t forget, you will not have any potty training essentials included in this cost. Additionally, you need rash creams, moisturizers, wet wipes and so on. As for Cloth Diapers, you need only 16-20 diapers for 3 years. You can include potty training essentials in this count. One Cloth Diaper costs INR 870 (highest cost). For 20 diapers, you will spend only 17,400. Never forget that you can get up to 20% off on deals out of this. You can get them for as low as INR 14,790. You can cover up laundry charges for the extra money that you spend with disposable diapers.

How to Wash Cloth Diapers?

When it comes to washing Cloth Diapers, you must pay attention to some details that should be followed strictly. There are some restrictions in washing Cloth Diapers but it is not a complicated process. Unlike some myths about Cloth Diaper wash routine, you can effectively get the most out of Reusable Diapers with some simple steps. You can wash the diaper by hand or in machine. After using the diapers, remove the peed diapers and gently store them in an open dry pail. You need not rinse peed diapers. As for pooped diapers, dump the solids into the toilet and rinse with a faucet or under the tap and store.

Soak the diapers for 15-20 minutes in detergent, agitate, and rinse well. This is for Prewash. For Main wash, soak the laundry in detergent for about 30 minutes, agitate, rub well, do not use brushes and then rinse in plain water. Add water softener in both steps if you have hard water at your place. As for Machine wash, you can choose Cotton 40 Cycle for right temperature, water and energy consumption. Run 20 mins prewash cycle with detergent. Choose a cycle that includes rinsing and spinning in plain water at the end of the cycle. Main Wash should not exceed 40 minutes. Also Add detergent and Water Softener as recommended.

Learn to properly Size and Fit a Cloth Diaper

Most ideas on internet and blogs say or describe sizing and wearing Cloth Diapers as such a chore. But it definitely is easy as a piece of cake. You only need to know what is needed. There are no scientific mechanisms involved. And you absolutely don’t need to be a pilot. So You can see four rows of snap buttons along the length of a cloth diaper. That is there to adjust the length to match the baby’s weight category. The Buttons on the wings or flap of a reusable diaper is what you adjust the hip size with. Read the below post to achieve a snug fit of cloth diapers for your baby.

Are Cloth Diapers really better?

One question that you would always end up asking yourself regarding diapers for your baby is whether to choose cloth diapers or disposable diapers. In terms of convenience & comfort you would definitely choose disposables over cloth. Because it’s easy to wear, remove, no complicated snap system, no washing methods and maintenance. Just use and throw. Although this might seem magical on the top as we go in depth, there are factors that becomes the very driving force for your baby’s hygiene and health problems.

Also here are 5 Reasons why you might want to choose Cloth Diapers over disposable diapers.

  • No Harmful Chemicals in cloth diapers.
  • You learn about Waste Management.
  • And there is Cost
  • Resources that are used.
  • Diaper Rashes.

And there are so much more to Cloth Diapers which we cannot contain by words. So you have to experience it yourself to know how much better these diapers made of cloth are. Moreover it does the work like a disposable diaper too. Make a wise choice that you won’t regret. Have a Purple Parenting!

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