Thursday, March 18, 2010
Fluff Talk Thurday #16- Advice for the cloth diaper newbie
How many Diapers will I need to get started?
First of all you need to determine if cloth diapering is something you are wanting to do full-time or part time. If you are wanting to go full-time then I would recommend having at least 20-30 diapers for one child and 30-40 for two. Personally I would go for the higher amount simply because you do not want your diapers to get warn out and also you want to have enough on hand to last 2 full days of diapering.
Which type of diaper do I go with?
There are many options in the cloth diapering world ...pocket diapers, one-size pocket diapers, all in ones, fitted diapers with covers, pre-fold diapers with covers, etc. The diaper types may seem daunting and you will need to figure out which diaper type works best for you and your baby. For me, I mostly like to use one-size pocket diapers. I love how you can adjust the same diaper for small infants all the way to toddler sizes. With having 2 in diapers this has been extremely handy for me. Also, I prefer this type verses using a diaper plus cover system because I am not one that likes re-using covers. To me they always seem to smell like urine even if you wipe the cover down. I use the diaper and cover as I would a pocket diaper, I only use it once and then throw in diaper pail. However, I do like fitted diapers paired with wool covers. The wool when dry contains no oder and I can feel good about using it a few more times.
My greatest advice about choosing diaper types or brands is to only buy 1-2 of each and try them for at least 2 weeks to see if you like them. I know there are some great deals out there on diapers, but I would not be quick to buy all of one brand. Having a complete set of one brand of diapers that you hate will do you no good. Same advice goes for diaper types. You may think you want to do only pre-folds and covers to cut expenses but find that this system isn't the most convenient.
A lot of cloth diaper stores offer trial packs that allow you to try several brands of cloth diapers for a trial period and then you return them. I have not done this so I am unsure of how it works exactly, but this may be an option you want to look into.
Another piece of advice is to not base everything off of what one person says. One person may say "This brand is awesome, don't bother buying anything else" but, it may turn out to be a diaper you do not like. A friend of mine that is faithful to a certain diaper brand is like this and so I bought a couple of the diapers she recommended and they are not my favorites at all. In fact they are $5.00 more per diaper then the brand I bought at the beginning and I did not like their velcro system or their liners.
What else will I need?
Diaper Pail/Liner: Besides the the actual cloth diapers you are also going to need a diaper pail. Dry pail systems are recommended. All that you will need to do this is buy a standard 13 gallon (or smaller) kitchen trash can and a diaper pail liner. The liner is usually made from polyester with a PUL coating. Put the liner in the can as you would a garbage bag and put the lid on top! It's that easy. After 1-2 days of cloth diapering, you then pull out the liner and empty the diapers into the washing machine. You even toss in the liner, it can be washed with the diapers.
I do recommend having 2 diaper pail liners so that you have one in the pail on wash day, but it is not completely necessary.
Wet Bag: If you plan to cloth diaper your baby when leaving home you will need a cloth diaper wet bag to put those dirty dipes in! Cloth diapers are bulkier then disposable diapers and so you will need a wet bag that will hold at least 3-4 diapers. I would recommend buying at least a medium sized bag. Wet bags can also be tossed into the wash with the cloth diapers on wash day...just don't forget to empty the diapers out first. Oh, and don't forget that you have a wet bag full of dirty diapers in your diaper bag!! I do this a lot and it's a good way to ruin your diapers. For this reason, I mostly use diaposible diapers when we leave the house.
Cloth Diaper Detergent: Cloth diapers cannot be washed with any brand detergent, you must use a detergent that can safely be used with your diapers. Go here to see a chart that list many cloth diaper safe detergents.
Diaper Sprayer- This is not 100% necessary to cloth diaper your baby, but now that I own one I have to say it is a MUST HAVE!! When your baby is breast fed only and still has the breast milk poo you do not have to get the poop off the diapers before throwing into the diaper pail. However, once your baby starts to eat solids, you will need to shake out the poop before throwing in pail. No one wants to do the whole dunking and swishing routine and that is why I recommend having a diaper sprayer. This sprayer connects to the back of your toilet and can be mounted to the wall for easy access. It works the same as your kitchen sprayer. With the diaper sprayer you can easily spray off the poop into the toilet. Makes life SO MUCH EASIER. I recommend The Diaper Sprayer brand. I have one and it is awesome! It does not leak out water unto the floor and has adjustable pressure. Don't be fooled into trying to install your own sprayer that you made yourself. You won't save that much money and will save yourself a heap of time.
This really is all you need to cloth diaper your baby! There is of course more accessories, etc that you can use but these are the basics. I did not go into great detail here, but wanted to to give a quick over view of what you will need. Read my previous Fluff Talk Thursday posts for more cloth diaper advice as well as a tutorial on how to make your own pop up cloth wet wipes! See my labels on right hand side bar for link to Fluff Talk Thursdays posts.
Your Assignment For Today:
"Advice for the cloth diaper newbie"
What is your best piece of cloth diapering advice? What would you recommend for the new cloth diaper user? Don't forget to Grab my Fluff Talk Thursday Banner for your post (can be found at my right side bar) Then come back and link up your post for all to read.
Next Fluff Talk Thursday will be April 1st
"Pros/Cons of Sunning you cloth diapers"
Do you line dry your cloth diapers or dry them in your clothes dryer? Tell us what you do and what you like best about each method. Don't forget to Grab my Fluff Talk Thursday Banner for your post (can be found at my right side bar) Then come back and link up your post for all to read.
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