How To Use Cloth Diapers – Tips & Lessons
Even if you're not a crunchy mama, I'm sure you've at least thought about cloth diapers! Although I think most mamas think of them in a “way back when” type scenario and are utterly petrified by them 😉 -check out these cloth diaper myths here. But the options, systems and protocols have come a long way since back in the day so learning how to use cloth diapers comes with a ton of perks (and doesn't make you cringe nearly as much!).
Note: This post is sponsored by Omaïki, all opinions and photography are my own. I received no compensation for this blog post other than a free sample of a product I already had ;). Thank you for supporting companies I believe in. This post also contains a few affiliate links. You can learn more about that here. Thank you for supporting this site with purchases made through links in this post.
Even before I was pregnant with Baby Bear I knew I wanted to use cloth diapers. I'm a crunchy mama and it just made sense. Plus, opting for cloth comes with a ton of benefits, like less diaper rashes, environmental perks etc (read more about the benefits of using cloth diapers here).
My hubby however, was a little less won over on the cloth diaper front and much more concerned about how to use cloth diapers!
One of the biggest myths when it comes to re-usable diapers is that we're still rocking the “pin method” from the older generation. I assure you.. we are not. In fact, we've upgraded to some pretty butt kicking cloth diaper systems!
So back to diapers, we debated this issue quite a bit in the early stages of pregnancy. And eventually we compromised on getting a cloth diaper service for the first couple of months. This allowed us to see if we truly liked the cloth diapering system without washing.
With a diapering service, you only have to buy the diaper covers and they do the rest. So basically, I got to pick out all sorts of cute diaper prints and I was in heaven.. I mean look at that baby bum! 😉
Alright but back to my point- while we went with a diaper service we also had times (like on vacation) when we still used cloth and were all on our own. And while I adore cloth diapers, I won't deny that there's a bit of a learning curve, or more importantly just a lot to take in, when it comes to how to use cloth diapers.
When we first began, using cloth diapers was a bit overwhelming. Once we got into a system it was fine but there's definitely a few lessons and tips I wish I had known before jumping in.
Now, having been rocking cloth for a couple of years, I've picked up a few tips, tricks and lessons I thought I'd share with you in the hopes that you're just a bit less overwhelmed on how to use cloth diapers.
Lesson: There Are Different Kinds Of Diapering Systems
This is probably the aspect that confused me the most when starting to cloth! The lingo just didn't make sense to me and there's about a zillion types of diapers. So here's the easiest way to understand it:
Diaper Covers- this is a two part system. It means you need to have both the cover (which is a waterproof barrier) as well as the actual cloth diaper. You change the actual diaper every time but you only have to change the cover when it seems wet (two to three times a day). With our service, this is the one we use the most and you can check out how it works here in this video.
Apple cheeks I liked because they offered smaller sizes (my girls were TINY and thus needed smaller than eight pounds) and they fit nicely. Omaiki I loved because they hold in the wetness of the diaper really well and that they're made with Canadian fabrics (more on that below).
All In One: the all in one system is exactly as it sounds. By a bunch of all in one diapers and use them similar to disposable ones. Meaning, you're changing the entire diaper each time and putting on a new one. It's simple and again, still cute!
All in one diapers tend to fit a variety of sizes (about eight to thirty pounds) which is nice so that you're not buying diapers every time your babe grows! These are an awesome option if you don't have a diaper service because they come with a lot of choices. A couple of things I liked about the Omaïki all in one was:
- There's a detachable insert if you have a babe that pees a lot (both of my girls somehow pee insane amounts!)
- They fit teeny babes pretty well because they have a double row of snaps
- And the main reason I originally opted for a few of these diapers was that they're made from bamboo and organic cotton- so super soft!
Tip: if you opt for the two part method (diaper and cover) you don't need an insane amount of covers! We've only ever had eight to ten covers and that works just fine.
Lesson: There's No Pins!
So many people avoid cloth diapers because they think we're still on the pinning method. But not to worry, we've evolved 😉 The new cloth diapers have the wonderfully easy options of snaps or velcro. This makes it so you can change a cloth diaper easily in under a minute.
In my experience it's definitely better to opt for the snap method.. not the velcro. Not only does the velco get attached to everything in the laundry (which drives you insane) but by eighteen months your babe will also probably be strong enough and smart enough to take that cover off… so go for snaps!
Plus, I find that the snap option tends to fit better. You can check out why all in one diapers are pretty great and how easy they are to put on in the video below.
Tip: You'll Be Changing Frequently
One thing I didn't realize when I was learning how to use cloth diapers is that you'll be changing diapers.. a lot. Since cloth diapers don't have the chemical that “pulls the urine” away from your babes bum, your babe will realize she's wet. And then she'll want to be changed.
Personally, I don't mind this fact as it means your baby won't be sitting in their own urine for prolonged periods of time (ew). It also means that they begin to understand what “wet” is earlier which leads to earlier potty training. And lastly, if they're not sitting in a wet diaper you'll have less diaper rash (win).
So yes, sometimes it sucks that you're changing diapers all the time. There was a time that we changed upwards of sixteen diapers a day. It may not be awesome but it's much better for your babes bum!
Tip: If Your Baby Is Breastfed Exclusively, There's No Scraping
Okay, so this is one thing I didn't know until my second babe because Baby bear needed formula pretty early on. But if your babe is under six months and only gets breast fed, all you've got to do is double wash the diapers.
No scraping, no crazy soaking just double wash in hot water (the hot of the hot water part is important!)
Once your babe starts solids you'll need a bit different of a washing routine. I would personally scrape the poop into the toilet before washing. I still double washed and it worked perfectly.
Tip: If you really can't do the poop thing, you can buy these Nappie Diaper Liners that you just flush! So basically you would flush that part and then just wash the diaper. I didn't even know about these with my first.
Tip: Choose Quality Diapers
Like everything else, quality matters. You'll be much less frustrated if you're not having blowouts all day long or freaking out about poop. I've tried a couple of brands of both diaper covers and all in one cloth diapers and it truly does matter. We had a bunch I bought that felt like sandpaper after about four washes- imagine that on your poor little babes bum!
One of the reasons I got in touch with Omaïki was because their diapers are partially made from bamboo which is insanely soft. Not only that but they're ethically made right here in Canada (and with Canadian fabrics) which is a huge deal to me.
I had actually already tried out their cover before reaching out to them and having really enjoyed them I wanted to give the all-in-one diaper a go also- and look at how cute that big cloth diapered bum is below! They really do have adorable prints.
This company also offers “cloth diaper kits” which, if you know nothing about how to use cloth diapers is an amazing way to get started!
Don't forget to pin these tips on how to use cloth diapers
Honestly, cloth diapers is an amazing option for both your babe and the environment. They work well, are easy to use and obviously just so freaking cute. Once you figure out a system and learn how to use cloth diapers it becomes a breeze.
I am actually extremely passionate about cloth diapers (no chemicals on the babes bum and all that :P) so give them a shot! If you have questions I'm more than happy to help, just drop a comment below 🙂