Whether it’s because you want to save money, preserve the environment, or use more natural products on your baby’s bottom, you have decided to switch from disposable to cloth diapers. To make this transition as easy as possible, check out the following do’s and don’ts:
Do Your Research
There are a lot of options to think about when switching to cloth diapers. While you don’t want to overwhelm yourself, consider if you want to use cloth diapers 24/7 or just part of the time. Next, spend some time reading about the different types of cloth diapers that are available.
Even though you probably want to be economical, don’t always go for the cheapest version. For example, in the case of diaper covers, the inexpensive ones tend to have tighter elastic around the legs, which can cause chubby baby thighs to get sore. They also are often made from cheaper plastic, which can cause diaper rash.
One of the easiest ways to find out which diapers and diaper covers are best is to check out the parent reviews. Amazon sells a great selection of cloth diapers, and you can read the product reviews while your baby is napping.
Don’t Buy Only One Type of Diaper
Because cloth diapers are not all the same, don’t limit yourself to only one type. For example, you’ll need thicker varieties for overnight use as well as a liner and extra sturdy cover. You also may want to pick up some pre-folded, easy-to-use cloth diapers for when grandma or a babysitter is watching your baby. Check out the best overnight diapers for babies.
Parenting has a helpful list of some of the top brands of cloth diapers as well as what makes them different from each other. The list includes the amusingly named Mud Butt, GroVia, and Bummis. Try a few of these brands to get started and see how they work for you and your little one.
Do Think About Washing and Sanitizing
Unless you are paying for a cloth diaper service, which can be pretty expensive, you’re going to have to learn how to wash your precious bundle’s delightfully dirty diapers. Fortunately, properly laundering and sanitizing cloth diapers is not as bad as you might think.
For instance, the dry-pail system, which involves cleaning out any poop from the cloth diapers before putting them into a dry pail lined with a waterproof cloth liner, helps keep odors to a minimum. Once the pail is full, you empty the liner right into your washer, and then toss the liner in there, too. Then, set your washer to a cold soak or rinse cycle and pre-wash the diapers this way. Next, use the hot water cycle and a small amount of detergent to wash the dirty diapers. Finally, run another rinse cycle with a half cup of distilled white vinegar to break down any remaining soap residue.
If you are in the market for a new washer, consider a front-load washer like the Kenmore 4.3 cubic foot model from Sears. In addition to holding a ton of wash at once, this model features an NSF-certified sanitize cycle that kills off 99.9 percent of bacteria.
[About the author: Alison Stanton has been a freelance writer for the past 15 years. She enjoys writing about a wide variety of topics, and always looks for opportunities to learn about new subjects.]