Cloth Diapering 101

The Benefits

Comfort

Cloth diapers are soft against your baby's skin. Cloth diapered babies get changed more often and that's healthy for your baby's skin. Cloth diapers allow more air circulation and don't trap in heat, resulting in fewer diaper rash problems, plus cloth diapers are free of the many chemicals contained in disposable diapers. Cloth diapers may encourage babies to potty train faster than disposables, because with disposable diapers, the babies seldom feel any wetness or discomfort.

Economical

Save your money! Single-use diapers cost from $2500-$3000 from start to end. A great cloth diapering system for the same 2 1/2 years can cost as little as $350!! Even when you factor in an extra 2-3 loads of laundry per week, that's awesome savings. And if you have more than one baby using the same diapers you're going to save even more!

It's Easy

No pins or plastic pants required and we're all about Velcro and snaps! Plus there's no rinsing or soaking required for our cloth diapers.

Better for the Environment

In the first two years, the average baby will require between 5000 to 7000 diaper changes. Over 4,000,000 disposable diapers are discarded per day in Canada (1.6 billion per year), accounting for 85 percent of the diaper market. One-time use throwaway diapers are the single largest non-recyclable component of household garbage, creating 1 ton of garbage per year per child.

Getting Started

How many diapers will we need?

Deciding how many diapers you should buy depends on the age of your baby and how often you want to wash the diapers. Newborns will go through up to 8-12 diapers in a 24-hour period; as your baby gets older she will go through less diapers. We recommend from 12-24 diapers to have a good rotation and avoid doing laundry every day. If you've never cloth diapered before or haven't had a recommendation from family or friends of a type that worked for them, we recommend starting with 12-15 and as your baby grows and changes you may want to try different style diapers as a trial and error.

So, what exactly do we need?

  • Diapers - All-in-Ones, Pocket Diapers & Liners, or Wraps & Pre-folds
  • Pail liner & pail with a lid, or hanging wet bag
  • Wet bag to store dirty diapers when out and about
  • Liners (disposable or reusable) or diaper sprayer
  • Diaper friendly detergent

Tips

  • Take some time to get accustomed to your new cloth diapers, and don't be afraid to play around with folding, stuffing, fastening, etc. Some people prefer to stuff as they go, others find it easier to do this as soon as they come out of the drier.
  • If you are making the switch to cloth diapers from disposable diapers, mixing cloth diapers with disposables in the beginning (for outings or overnight) can make this transition easier. Most parents find that using cloth diapers is easier than they thought it would be, and quickly become avid full-time users.
  • You may find that you will need to acquire baby clothes that can accommodate larger bums! But aren't they are the cutest bums?

Diaper Care

Pre-washing Brand New Diapers

Natural fiber products should be washed on hot and dried in the dryer three to four times before they are washed with other diapering items that contain fleece (pockets and all-in-ones). They will become more absorbent after a few more washes. Hemp, Bamboo and cotton all contain natural oils, which can coat the micro fleece fabric. After your natural fiber items have been pre-washed, you may wash them with all of your diapering products.

Cleaning

Storing Soiled Diapers

Store soiled diapers in a covered dry pail or hanging wet bag. Older babies poop can be removed by gently shaking the diaper over a toilet. Some parents prefer to use flushable liners, reusable stay-dry fleece liners or a diaper sprayer for easier clean up. If using pocket diapers, remove the absorbent inserts before tossing them all into your pail.

Wash

Every 2-3 days empty the whole pail full of dirty diapers (plus the pail liner, if using one) into the washing machine. Run a cold-water pre-rinse with no detergent. Next, wash in a hot water cycle with 1/6 to 1/4 of the recommended amount of detergent for your type of washing machine.

Rinse

Rinse well to ensure all detergent is removed. Front-loading, high efficiency machines may require an extra rinse OR a delicate cycle that adds more water, followed by a rinse cycle to spin out more water.

Dry

Dry on medium heat in dryer or hang to dry on clothesline.

Detergents

Choosing the right detergent is necessary in order to use cloth diapers successfully without leaks, rashes and odours. Some detergents do not rinse well and leave a residue that can irritate your baby's sensitive skin and cause the diapers to leak. We recommend Allen's Naturally, however, there are several other brands that work well.

Visit www.ampdiapers.com for a complete list of recommended detergents.

Note: Natural soaps contain oils and should NOT be used because they will leave a residue on fleece, causing it to repel liquids. Liquid fabric softeners and dryer sheets should never be used with reusable diapers as they both leave a waxy residue, which causes fleece to repel urine and decreases the absorbency of the diapers.

Diaper Creams

Diaper rash creams can cause repelling. Look for cloth diaper safe diaper creams that do not contain zinc or fish oils.

Special Note

The use of chlorine bleach can lead to the breakdown of the elastics and the waterproof layer of our fabric, making the diaper unusable.

Removing Stains

The sun is the best bleach and will magically remove any “poopy” stains after a few hours of direct sunlight. Wash diaper as normal & hang to dry on a clothesline.

Tip: Allow the inner part of the diaper to face the direct sun.

Stripping Diapers

Over time you may notice that your cloth diapers no longer smell fresh, even right after you've washed them. This usually means that they have build-up and need to be stripped. Build-up occurs when residue left by detergents, oils or other substances remain in the fibers. Micro fleece tends to gather get stinky more easily than diapers with natural fibers like cotton, hemp or bamboo. The build up can also decrease the absorbency of your diapers and cause leaking. Thankfully, stripping your diapers is easy and is basically like pressing the reset button on your diapers!

Wash

Before stripping your diapers wash them as per your regular routine. The diapers don't need to be dried to begin stripping. Place your clean (but stinky) diapers in the washing machine and run them through a HOT wash cycle with NO detergent. Check for bubbles throughout the cycle.

Note:

Top loading machines are slightly easier to use when stripping because you can lift the lid to check for bubbles. They may also be more efficient at stripping due to the large amount of water they use. However, front loading washers can also be used successfully, it may take more cycles.

Rinse

Rinse your cloth diapers in the hottest water your machine will allow. Peek into the washer during the rinse to see if there are soap bubbles on top of the water. Continue running rinse cycles until there are no more soap bubbles. It could take several rinses to get rid of all the bubbles (don't confuse soap bubbles with agitation bubbles - agitation bubbles will disappear quickly if you stop the washer while detergent bubbles will hang around a bit).

Still Stinky?

If you've tried stripping but your diapers are still stinky, maybe build-up isn't the problem.

Consider this:

  • Not Enough Detergent - If you've cut down on the amount of detergent you're using, and you've stripped and stripped, but your diapers still stink? It could be that you're not using enough detergent. Try running a hot wash with a full cup of detergent then rinse, rinse, rinse.
  • Try Vinegar - White vinegar naturally breaks down uric acid and soapy residue. The acid in white vinegar is too mild to harm fabrics, yet strong enough to dissolve the alkalis in soaps and detergents. It also prevents yellowing, acts as a fabric softener and static cling reducer, and attacks mold and mildew. Vinegar can be added to your final stripping rinse to remove the last of the detergent residue and to soften your cloth diapers - try 1/2 - 1 cup. Don't worry, your diapers won't smell like vinegar after they're dry.

Swim Diapers

The Bummis Swimmi is a reusable diaper designed for specifically for swimming. Your little one can swim like a fish, and you don't have to worry about the pool being emptied on his or her behalf! Easy to use and machine washable.

Training Pants

Easy for little ones to put on and take off with ease by themselves! All the protection you need - but without a lot of bulk.

Special Features of the Training Pant: Stretchy lycra bindings around the legs and tummy, durable waterproof laminate on the exterior, cozy flannel lining and absorbent terry padding right where it counts!

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