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Ever since writing about how I use cloth diapers, I have had a lot of conversations with people on how I go about actually using them. It only takes a few extra minutes a day to prep, use, and clean them, so I figured it was time I went into more detail about this process. I decided I needed to do this in two parts because there is so much information, making three total posts on cloth diapers!
Prepping and Putting Cloth Diapers On Your Baby (You’re Here!)
In my previous post, I explained why I chose cloth diapers and why I specifically bought pocket diapers. I selected them for a few reasons:
- Pockets are about as easy to put on as disposables. No pins or folding necessary.
- They come apart for cleaning.
- Mia was large enough to fit them when I started cloth.
I bought all of my diapers off Amazon and I started with these:
ALVABABY Baby Cloth Pocket Diapers with 12 Inserts and these Angel Love 6 Pack Pocket Diaper Covers with 6 Inserts and Wet Bag.
Prepping Cloth Diapers
When they came in the mail, I was excited to start using them right away, but you can’t just put them on your baby without prepping them first. I did not know much about prepping when I got my first batch. I read online that you were supposed to wash them a handful of times before use and some people even boiled them to reach maximum absorbency. DON’T!!!!
How I Prepped:
I will admit that I over prepped my first diapers. The diapers didn’t come with instructions except to wash several times and not to wash the inserts and covers together. To me this sounded a little ridiculous! I was not going to waste water washing the inserts and covers separately and then wash them each several times! They were both going on my baby, they could both hold poop, and they were both supposed to be able to withstand bleach, so in the wash they went together!
I washed them once to prep them and didn’t want to waste any more water than needed. Since I read online that you could also boil diapers, I decided I would go that route. I just boiled the inserts as I didn’t want to ruin the PUL or snaps on the covers. I then ran them through the dryer. (On low heat.)
The Proper Way to Prep:
This was TOO much! By the time I got my second batch of diapers, I did more research, and I found a few great sites. Fluff Love University and The Humbled Homemaker break down prepping for different diaper types. For microfiber diapers, (which I had) you only have to wash them once. (Yay! Super easy!) For natural fibers like bamboo, there are some more steps to take. Since my second batch of diapers were microfiber, I just threw them in with my regular diaper laundry once and they were ready to go!
My Second Batch of Diapers
After about two months, I decided we were really getting into this cloth diaper thing and I liked them. What I didn’t like was having to switch to disposables for a whole day so that I could wash and dry all my cloth diapers. I needed some more! I bought these two packs:
Isn’t the giraffe print so cute?? I mainly chose these because they had a wet bag with them which always comes in handy. This is a small wet bag for use away from home.
Honestly, I would not recommend this batch of 6 that I bought. I chose these because they were cheap and I liked the different prints. However, these diapers do NOT have hip snaps. They just have the top row snaps. While they seem to work fine, I feel like they are not as secure on my baby. They also come with really thick inserts that seem uncomfortable. I usually put my extra microfiber inserts from Alva in them instead.
Putting Pocket Diapers on Baby
After your diapers are prepped, it’s finally time to put them on your baby! First, stuff the diaper with the insert. Then you need to make sure the fit is snug, but not too tight. Snap the rise up so that the diaper fits at or below the belly button. For babies under 10 pounds it will probably be over the belly button. The diapers have a small, medium, or large setting. My 8 month old just finally graduated to the medium setting. Any extra fabric is tucked up in the diaper and not down.
The hip snaps then come in and snap followed by the top row snaps so the diaper is snug around the waist. There should be a small space at the top where you can fit one or two fingers. You don’t want it so tight that it is uncomfortable when the baby sits up. There should be no gaps around the legs when the baby lays flat or when you pick up her legs.
Other Cloth Diaper Tips:
In our first few months using cloth diapers, things weren’t perfect and to be honest, we are still trying to figure some of it out. But, here are a few things that I have learned that help me out a bunch!
- Onesies are not ideal for cloth diapering. When they get too snug, they can cause compression leaks. To solve this problem, there are a few options and we have used all of them at different points in time.
- Don’t use onesies. Opt for a regular t-shirt style.
- Make sure onesies fit large in the leg area so they aren’t tight.
- Only snap the middle snap, or don’t snap up at all!
- Use disposables at night. This might feel like cheating, but for us it saves a few headaches. I don’t like changing Mia’s diaper at night. She wakes up more and is harder to put back to sleep. When she is in a disposable, she fills it to the brim and sometimes I have to change that at night. If she wore a cloth diaper, I would have to change every night, if not twice a night. I would also probably have to change her clothes and sheets too! So, that is one battle we don’t fight.
- Start by putting baby in just a shirt and a diaper. I could tell when the diaper was wet when I was able to see it. Cloth diapers are more difficult than disposables in this area.
- Join a cloth diapering group on Facebook. I didn’t even know these existed until my cousin added me to one, but they are a great help! The supportive moms there will be able to answer about any question you have. Contact me for more info on this!
What cloth diaper tips do you have for prepping and putting cloth diapers on your baby? This is one of those things that is hard to nail down to an exact science, and something different works for everyone! Share your tips below!
I could continue going on, but that is what my next post is for! If you don’t want to miss out on it, be sure to subscribe to my blog at the top or bottom of this page!