How Do Cloth Diapers Work- Mistakes To Avoid When Cloth Diapering
New to cloth diapering? Wondering how do cloth diapers work? After having cloth diapered two babes of my own, I can honestly say that while I love cloth diapers (read about the benefits of cloth diapers), there’s a lot of little things that no one tells you about. So here I am! Ready to tell you everything I wish I knew before I started cloth diapering.
If you would have told me oh so long ago that I would fall in love with cloth diapers I most likely would have laughed in your face.
Not only were cloth diapers for hippies (oh the irony) but just for plain weirdos in my opinion. Who in their right mind chooses to make diapering WORSE?!
Eventually (and it was a big transition) I came around to entertaining the idea of reusable diapers (because there ARE dangers of using disposables!). However, I still researched a lot on “how do cloth diapers work”?
Basically, I was confused about the kinds of diapers, the system, the washing, the scraping. The day to day stuff.
I cover a lot of these questions in my post on how to use cloth diapers- tips and lessons.
But even after I understood how to use cloth diapers, there were still all the little things left to learn. The mistakes, the eye twitches and the other side of the questions of “how do cloth diapers work”.
So, this post is for you! For the mamas who understand what system they’re going to use but also want a few more ins and outs on the whole cloth diaper process.
Basically, here are all the mistakes you should try to avoid if you want to rock cloth diapers. The simple tips, the ones that should be common sense but well, #mombrain
Get A Sealed Bin
Much of this depends on your laundry system. A lot of people talk about wet buckets and dry bags when explaining how to cloth diapers work. Our system was different. We used a cloth diaper service so we stored the diapers until pickup.
Regardless, the lesson is that cloth diapers don’t fit into regular diaper garbage cans (yes, I tried!). You also don’t just want them sitting out because, like most diapers, they stink.
Sealed bins fix this. We used this cloth diaper bin which has a carbon filter on it to help with any smell. We then lined the bin with a ginormous wet-dry bag. This worked well for both my girls and cut back on the stink (as does baking soda!)
Don’t Cheap Out On Wet/Dry Bags
Like most purchases, some are better than others. Don’t cheap out on a really awesome, double-lined wet-dry bag. All your have is a wet diaper bag when it all leaks through.
We have four and only two are good ones. I find that the Skip Hop Wet Dry Bags work the best, they’re double-lined and hold in the wet (works for swimsuits too!). The other bags when pressed against anything, cause whatever it touches to become damp. Which is kind of icky when you know the dampness is a wet diaper.
How Do Cloth Diapers Work – Tuck The Diaper Into The Cover
This most applies if you are using a two-part cloth diaper method (like I use in this “how to put on a cloth diaper” video).
If you are using pre-folds or the two-part method, tuck the whole diaper into the cover!
I can’t even explain how many times we had to change pants because we weren’t paying attention. If the inner diaper or pre-fold (normally white) is even ever so slightly sticking out of the diaper cover, you’ll end up with wet pants.
When the baby pees, the entire diaper gets pretty well soaked. And if the wet part of the diaper is outside of the waterproof cover you’ve just got wet pants 😛
When thinking of how do cloth diapers work, you always have one part that absorbs (diaper or liner) and one part that seals in the moisture (outer cover). Save the change and just pay attention.
How Do Cloth Diapers Work – Get More Than You Expect
The first mistake I made was thinking that I’d be able to keep up with diapers! When asking yourself how do cloth diapers work, remind yourself that cloth doesn’t “pull away” the moisture. Thus, your babe will not sit in a wet diaper without losing their sh*t.
You’ll be changing a few more diapers so if you’re not on top of your laundry this could be an issue. For example, my girls both went through about 11-16 diapers per day until 6 months old when it slowly started to decrease a bit.
Seriously, diaper changes are frequent (the perk is way less bum rash!). This means, only having 6-8 cloth diapers isn’t exactly practical. Mum In The Woods breaks this down really well in terms of how many cloth diapers you need to get started!
Expect To Trial & Error A Bit
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that one system will last through your whole diaper experience!
We tried all in one diapers and the two-part system. While we settled on the two-part method my girls ended up being crazy heavy wetters, especially at night. This means our system had to switch to using pre-folds/liners as well as the double diaper.
Be ready to alter your cloth diapering system. Also, each brand is unique. Some brands and systems are better suited to your needs and your baby than others. Try a few different systems and figure out which one works best for you.
Pull Them Tight
This should be a no-brainer and yet I’ve effed this up plenty! Loose diapers cause poop explosions. Gross but true. So be smart, save yourself the gross-ness, and make sure the diaper is tight and fitted!
Use a Velcro Cover For Nighttime
In the middle of the night, snaps suck. Seriously.
Between the snaps on the sleeper, the snaps on the first diaper, and then the cover, diaper changes take like eight minutes in the dark.
So, save yourself some sanity and use a Velcro cover at night! Not only does this reduce the snaps situation but it’s also far easier to pull the Velcro covers tight.
One Last Tip On How Do Cloth Diapers Work
Don’t forget to use a quality/compatible lotion on your babe’s skin! You’re avoiding all the icky stuff in diapers already so opt for a baby-safe lotion. I personally make my own homemade baby lotion with beeswax (it’s kind of my thing haha).
But if you’re not into the DIY aspect check out the baby products from Primally Pure (especially the baby balm!). they’re all-natural, skin-safe, and made with ingredients I can both pronounce and buy. Use code fitasamamabear to save yourself 10% on your entire first order.
You can also peep the natural baby products certified by the EWG I found worked best!
Don’t forget to pin all the tips on what I wish I knew when I asking how do cloth diapers work!
Cloth diapers are awesome- truly awesome. But they don’t come without a few glitches. If you’re on the fence and wondering “how do cloth diapers work”, first check out these awesome benefits and why cloth diapers rock but then, jump in.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by all the kinds Mum In The Woods of cloth diapers as well as how to wash them, remove stains etc. has some amazing resources and recently did up an Ebook on cloth diapers which (even after two babes) I found helpful.
You got this. They may seem challenging but once you nail down a system it’s so worth it.