The 411 on Cloth Diapers

Consider going down the eco-friendly path and use cloth diapers for your baby's tiny tushy.

The cycle of changing diapers is endless – at least for the first couple years of parenthood – so consider going down the eco-friendly path and using cloth diapers (as opposed to disposable) for that tiny tushy.

If you and your partner aren’t familiar with cloth diapers, here’s what you need to know:

  • Some come equipped with snaps or Velcro for a secure closure. If not, they have pins that you fasten the diaper with through the hook-and-loop feature.
  • The bands around the waist and legs are waterproof.
  • The diapers are made from natural, breathable fibers that provide extra comfort for your little one.
  • Cloth diapers require no soaking. Simply dump the solids into the toilet and throw the diaper into the washing machine with your standard detergent. Wash using hot water to completely kill the bacteria. Steer clear of fabric softeners, as they leave an unwanted residue that can cause the diapers to repel water when they are washed. Additionally, scents and chemicals in fabric softners can cause a diaper rash.
  • For those fashion-forward parents out there, cloth diapers come in a plethora of patterns – so your baby will look trendy!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A fresh cloth diaper. Note: We recommend keeping an abundance of cloth diapers on deck so you are always prepared without having to rush to finish the laundry. A cloth diaper needs to be changed as soon as it becomes soiled, or else you risk a potential diaper rash, so stock up!
  • A safe and clean changing environment.
  • Moist cleansing wipes.
  • A soft, dry cloth.
  • A dry pail to place the soiled diaper in.

Here’s how to change it:

  1. Gently lay your little one down, and carefully remove the soiled diaper. If you’re using an elevated surface, be sure to keep one hand behind your baby’s head the entire time – this is crucial! Even if your changing table has a strap and your baby is secured, you still need to keep a close eye on him or her. Baby’s tend to get squirmy and can unexpectedly take a dive down to the carpet.
  2. With your moist towelettes, gently wipe your baby until he or she is clean and smelling fresh. A damp washcloth with warm water and a drop of liquid soap is just as effective as a cleansing wipe. When using a washcloth, don’t rub too hard! Babies have sensitive skin, and rough materials can leave them with a raw tushy.
  3. Thoroughly dry your baby’s bottom with a soft cloth. If his or her skin needs ointment, apply it to the irritated area. If you’re going the cloth diaper route, you’re going to need to check the ointment to be sure it doesn’t contain petroleum, as this product slows down the diaper’s absorbency rate.
  4. Once your baby is cleaned up, it’s time to assemble the fresh diaper. Slightly lift those tiny legs and cute bottom off the table, and carefully slide the diaper underneath your baby. If the cloth diapers you purchased already have Velcro or snaps, simply secure those, and your baby will be ready to dance! If not, fasten the diaper with a couple of pins by using the hook-and-loop feature. Here’s a reference:
  5. If you’re using a refolded diaper that comes with a cover, simply fold the diaper along the perforated edges and secure with a Snappie. Next, slide the cover on and latch it into place. Just be sure the diaper is completely under the cover and doesn’t peak out. Here’s a reference:
  6. Finally, flush the solids down the toilet and place the dirty diaper in the dry pail. This is a popular storage method that contains the foul scent until laundry day. It requires no rinsing or washing, but if you want to control the odor, sprinkle some baking soda, white vinegar or essential  oils onto a cloth wipe and stick it in the pail along with the diaper.