New to cloth diapers?

If you are just starting out and want more information on cloth diapers, check out my posts in October and November of 2009. This will give you information on types of cloth diapers, washing routines etc..... You are welcome to email me if you have any questions.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Cloth diaper accessories

Below is a list, in no particular order, of cloth diapering accessories and terms related to them. These items can make your experience with cloth diapering easier and/or more convenient.

Pins: Special safety pins used to fasten flat or prefold diapers. These have a special locking mechanism to make them hard for little hands to unfasten. Come in both metal or plastic head varieties.

Snappi: An alternative to pins. It is a T-shaped stretchy plastic device which grips the "wings" of the diaper and pulls down to form a Y. This will hold a prefold, flat, or contour diaper together without the use of pins. Snappis work best on fabrics like twill, terrycloth, sherpa, birdseye, cotton or hemp fleece. They don’t work on tightly woven fabric like flannel, or soft fabric like velour.

Aplix: Aplix® is a name brand of 2-part hook and look fasteners commonly used on cloth diapers. Other brands of hook and loop fasteners used on cloth diapers include Velcro® and Touch Tape®

Liners: Fleece liners are a thin layer of fleece material used between the baby's bottom and the cloth diaper itself. Fleece liners both keep poop off the surface of the diaper for easier clean up and also provide a "stay-dray" layer against the baby's skin. Single use liners are made of biodegradable fibers and are flushable after use. Liners can also be used to protect the cloth diaper when rash creams are needed (commercial rash creams can often stain cloth diapers). Using a silk or cotton velour liner can also provide a "stay-dry" effect, while using natural fibers against baby's skin.

Inserts: Separate multi-layered absorbent pads for use inside pocket diapers. These can be made from a variety of absorbent materials such as microfiber, hemp, cotton or bamboo and can be rectangular in shape or contoured.

Doublers: Multi-layered pads that are inserted between baby and the diaper to provide additional absorbency in the wet zone, without the additional bulk that comes this double diapering. These are recommended for heavy wetters or for night-time use.

Cloth Wipe: A fabric square or rectangle, often of cotton flannel or terry cloth, to be used in place of commercially available disposable wipes.

Diaper sprayer: A wonderful device that is similar to a kitchen sink sprayer or a hand held bidet. It attaches to the water source at your toilet and consists of a long hose with a sprayer attachment on the end. This is used to spray of soiled diapers. Waste is flushed down the toilet and the diaper is placed in the pail ready to wash.

Diaper pail: Diaper pails are still commercially available, but many moms use either a lidded bucket or a tall kitchen garbage pail.

Diaper pail liner: This is a large waterproof bag made usually made from PUL material. This is used to line the diaper pail. Diapers are placed in the liner and when ready to wash the liner is removed from the pail, transported to the washer, diapers are emptied into the washer and the liner is washed with the diapers.

Wet bag: This is a term used for a small waterproof bag, usually made from PUL or nylon, that is used to transport wet or soiled diapers. Essential for the diaper bag when using cloth diapers while away from home. Wet bags can also be made from wool.

Watch for more information on how to make your own cloth wipes in the future. Also look for more information on my personal diaper "stash", diaper reviews, washing instructions/recommendations, fabric choices, diaper rash issues, and info on using and caring for wool diaper covers. Those are my ideas for now. Please follow the blog and I would love to hear your comments and/or suggestions.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Types of cloth diapers and diaper covers

Below is a list of the common types of cloth diapers and covers that are available. This is just a list and is not necessarily in any particular order. I will give you more information on cloth diaper accessories, general terms and my personal favorites at a later time. This is not meant to overwhelm you, but just to inform you of your options. Please email me or reply to this post if you have any questions.

Prefold: A flat, layered rectangular diaper with extra layers in the center for added absorbency where it is needed most. Most are either 4x6x4 or 4x8x4 and are made of 100%cotton in either a Birdseye weave or twill. They come in bleached (white) or unbleached (natural colored). Unbleached cotton contains natural oils and will need to be washed several times before use to remove the oils and make them absorbent. Diaper service quality prefolds (DSQ) are usually from China or India. These are superior to any prefolds that you can buy at a retail chain store as these usually have a polyester center (not very absorbent). Commonly used with a fastener and waterproof cover. Or can be trifolded in a snug fitting diaper cover. Prefolds are one of the most economical diapers.

Flat: A single layer cotton fabric square that can be folded where absorbency is needed most, or folded into a rectangle and used like a prefold. Economical and one sized. This diaper can work from birth to potty training. Must be held together with pins or a Snappi. Waterproof cover is needed

Fitted: A shaped diaper that includes elasticized legs and waist. Most commonly has a hook and loop or snap closure. This diaper is more expensive than a prefold but is better at containing explosive poo. A diaper cover is needed to make this waterproof. Fitted diapers can be made from a variety of fabrics such as cotton, hemp or bamboo.

Pre-Fitted: A fitted diaper that has been made from a prefold. May have snaps or hook and loop closure, or require pins or a Snappi. You need a cover to make this type of diaper waterproof.

Contour: Shaped, like a fitted diaper, but without elastic and usually without attached closures. Commonly used with pins or a Snappi. You need a cover to make this type of diaper waterproof.

Pocket Diaper: A diaper with two layers sew together with a “pocket” opening in the back of the diaper. This diaper requires the addition of an absorbent insert. The outer layer is most commonly made of Polyurethane Laminate (PUL), with the inner (the part that sits against baby's skin) being a "stay-dry" fabric (micro fleece, or suede cloth,) that allows moisture to seep through to the insert, keeping baby's skin dry. This diaper needs to be washed after each use. No extra waterproof cover is needed.

All-in-one Diapers (AIO)
All-in-ones are fitted diapers that have an outer waterproof layer built-in and don’t require a separate cover. AIOs are a convenient diaper for quick and easy changes for daycare or on outings. They are most like a disposable and also the most expensive.

All In Two (AI2): Similar to an AIO, but with a removable absorbent layer for easier washing and faster drying. Absorbent layer is usually snapped in place inside the diaper, sitting directly against baby's skin. You do NOT need a cover to make this type of diaper waterproof.

Diaper Covers
Cloth diaper covers come in all shapes, colors, fabrics and sizes. They are used over a cloth diaper to keep baby's clothes dry. Diaper covers are shaped to fit over a fitted or prefold diaper and fasten with snaps or hook & loop or pull on without fasteners. Covers can be made of nylon, PUL, polyester, treated cotton, wool or fleece.

Polyurethane Laminate (PUL): The waterproof fabric commonly used for diaper covers. These can be reused for several changes before washing, unless soiled with poo. This can be make into wrap style diaper covers that close with hook and loop or snaps.

Nylon: Another waterproof and breathable choice for diaper covers. Most commonly used to make pull on style diaper covers. Very economical.

Wool: Wool yarn can be used to knit or crochet diaper covers or long pants (longies) that, once treated with lanolin, are quite waterproof. Wool fabric (felted wool or knit wool fabric) or recycled wool sweaters can also be used to make soakers or longies. Wool covers also offer breathability that PUL covers do not. Wool can be used many times before washing is needed, unless it has become soiled. Just air dry between uses. Most wool requires gentle hand washing, but some wool can be machine washed. MORE ON WOOL LATER

Polyester Fleece: A synthetic alternative to wool, fleece can be treated with fabric softener for water resistance and used as a diaper cover. Fleece needs to be washed more frequently, but can be washed with regular clothes.

Plastic Pants
Plastic pants were commonly used in the 50s – 70s and are still available from Gerber. They are made of vinyl, a material that releases dioxins when warmed and can crack and degrade with regular washing/drying. They are not the best choice, but are economical and waterproof. Vinyl does not allow air circulation so rashes can be a problem if vinyl covers are used exclusively.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Tops reasons familys decide to use cloth diapers.

#1 Economy: Cloth diapers are much less expensive than single use "disposable" diapers. Based on varying estimates parents can spend from $1500 up to $3000-$4000 on disposable diapers over a 3 year period. Depending on what type of diapers and how many you purchase you can save hundreds, even thousands of dollars by using cloth. They can even be reused on more than one child if cared for properly. Save even more money by using cloth wipes. If you sew you can easily make your own diapers and wipes.Many people also buy excellent condition used diapers. This can cut your cost in half or more.
#2 Environmental: Cloth diapers do not add any waste to the landfills. They can be washed and reused hundreds of times. Biological waste is disposed of properly in the waste water system. Cloth diapers use less energy to produce and to use than disposable diapers.
#3 Better for your baby: Cloth diapers do not contain hazardous chemicals like disposable diapers do (Superabsorbant Polymers and perfumes) Disposable diapers have even been linked to male infertility due to the excessive heat that being diapered in disposables can cause ( Cloth is cooler and more breathable.
#4 Easier toilet training: Cloth diapers allow your baby to feel wetness and this can make toilet training easier. On average cloth diapered babies toilet train faster.
More information can be found here: