Whether you are expecting your first baby or preparing for your fourth, this might be the first time you've considered cloth diapering. If so, you most probably have a few questions about cloth diapers in general, and perhaps some more specific questions like:
Just how do cloth diapers work? Maybe your concern is economical and you need to know how much do cloth baby diapers typically cost? More often than not, the dad asks how long does it take to clean cloth diapers?. And finally, if we make it past that question there is an even bigger one to answer…which diapers are best for my baby?
Just like any other choice you make for your baby, searching for the "right" cloth diapers for your baby means finding the right cloth diapers for your family as a whole.
How do cloth diapers work?
The cloth diaper equation is simple:
absorbent diaper + waterproof cover = happy baby & dry parents.
Cotton or hemp work well as absorbent cloth diapers. Nylon and wool diaper covers hold moisture in until you are ready to change the diaper. Toss the diaper in a diaper pail until wash time, hang the cover to dry, and you are ready to start with a clean diaper.
How much do cloth baby diapers cost?
The range of pricing is broad. One of the least expensive choices are simple cotton prefold diapers - they will fit your baby through several sizes, and are durable enough to last through subsequent children. They do require diaper pins and fasteners or a snug cloth diaper wrap, like the Super Whisper Wrap Diaper Cover, to secure them to baby.
Another possibility, if you want to pay for a bit more convenience, is the pocket diapers; they include an insert to tuck-away as an absorbent inner layer. The exterior fabric is waterproof, so pocket diapers do not require an additional diaper cover to retain moisture.
I recommend going with one of the many cloth diaper packages available because typically you save a decent amount off the price + in many cases you get FREE SHIPPING as well.
There are programs where you can try cloth diapers at absolutely no risk to you. You make the initial purchase, but if in 30 days you find you are not at all satisfied with the diapers, you can return them for a full refund, guaranteed!
How long does it take to clean cloth diapers?
Washing cloth diapers takes very little time. Drop wet or dirty diapers into your lined pail after a diaper change, then carry the pail to your washer when you are ready. Dump diapers out of the pail liner into the washer, then dump the liner in after them.
It is true that soaking cloth diapers previous to washing them can help ward off diaper stains, but you need to make sure you pre-soak in a safe place. Diaper Pails without locking lids are NOT safe with a child in the home. Many people use their top-loading washing machine for a couple hour soak before they wash. Whether you need to wash extra cycles or extra time will depend on several factors, but be reasonable - cloth diapers WILL have stains at some point…it is simply a side effect of the job of catching poo! Hardness of water, detergent choice, and temperature of your wash cycle are also factors in how long it takes to clean your cloth diapers.
With experience, you will refine the art of diaper washing. How often you wash depends on how many cloth diapers you have. More diapers > wash less often.
Which diapers are best for your baby?
The need for diapers is basic, but every baby is different. Is your baby’s skin sensitive? Try organic baby diapers and other natural diapers without gel. Does baby need extra thick cloth diaper covers at night? Try a premium nighttime cover. Is your baby too wiggly to put up with long diaper changes? Try pocket diapers with the absorbent material already stuffed inside.
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Congratulations on making the choice to use cloth diapers. Your happy, healthy baby will thank you.