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Frequently Asked Questions
How do I get started?
Flats - why should I use them and how do I fold them?
Pre-folds, how do I fasten them?
Pre-folds, how do I fold them?
What is the difference between wet and dry pail methods?
How do I wash my cloth diapers?
How do I wash cloth diapers in a coin operated machine?
Can you recommend a recipe for cloth wipes?
How do I get the urine smell out of my cloth diapers and covers?
Should I use vinegar in the wash?
How do I care for my wool diaper covers?
Cloth Diapers at NIGHT? You MUST be crazy! (article)

Still have questions? Get answers at our forums.




GETTING STARTED

Ready to go with cloth diapers? Here is how many of each item you will need:
  • 24 to 36 cloth diapers*
  • 1 diaper pail.
  • 3 to 4 dozen cloth diaper wipes.

*If you are using flats, fitteds, or prefolds, you will also need 4-6 covers for a toddler or 8 covers for a newborn.

When considering the quantity to buy, take into account the age of your baby. Newborns and infants will need 10 to 12 changes a day. Toddlers will need about 8. Most cloth diaperers wash diapers every 2 or 3 days.

No matter what diapering system you choose, Diaper Pin reccomends trying one or two before investing in a large number of any one brand. Diapers vary quite a bit in size and fit from baby to baby.

Your cloth diapering system can be all one type of diaper or a combination of different cloth diaper types.

WASHING INSTRUCTIONS

Wash and dry new prefold cloth diapers 5 to 10 times to remove chemicals. This will also increase the absorbency of your cloth diapers. Do not worry if you notice that your cloth diapers "quilt up" during this process. This is normal.

Other types of cloth diapers only need to be washed 2-3 times prior to use. It is possible to use a cloth diaper after only washing and drying it once, however it will not reach peak absorbency until it has been washed several times.

To extend the life of our cloth diapers and covers, we hang them dry.

The washing instructions are for a full load of cloth diapers. Handwash all wool covers.

  • Cold Wash. Place all your soiled cloth diapers in the machine with baking soda for a cold water wash.
  • Hot Wash. Add your wet cloth diapers to load, add 1/4 of the recommended amount of detergent and wash in hot water.
  • Rinse. Rinse cloth diapers with cold water.
  • 2nd Rinse. Rinse cloth diapers with cold water.

    Do not add anything other than detergent to your diaper laundry unless you are having trouble with stinky diapers.

CAN YOU RECOMMEND A RECIPE FOR CLOTH WIPES?

There are several recipes you can use for cloth wipes. Here is Diaper Pin's favorite:
  • 2 or 3 drops of tea tree oil.
  • 1 tablespoon of Dr. Bronner's soap.
  • water.
To hold your wipes you can use an empty disposable wipes container or a
wipe warmer.

REMOVING URINE SMELL

Include baking soda when washing or soaking your cloth diapers.

If you use baking soda in the wash or soak, make sure to use vinegar in the rinse, This will help restore the pH of the cloth diapers. Otherwise your baby may end up with diaper rash.

According to Vicki Lansky author of Baking Soda : Over 500 Fabulous, Fun and Frugal Uses You've Probably Never Thought of, baking soda works with liquid detergents to whiten and brighten laundry. It does not boost powder detergents.

VINEGAR IN THE WASH

Many parents have complained that using vinegar in the wash leaves their diapers remaining smelly. Actually it is more effective to use baking soda in the wash and add vinegar to the rinse. See our washing recommendations for more information.

Hint: Consider using vinegar in the rinse cycle of all your laundry, not just the diapers load. Also consider buying distilled white vinegar by the gallon for general household cleaning. Melodie Moore's book, Vim & Vinegar, is a wonderful resource for learning how to use vinegar to replace expensive cleaners for floors, refrigerators, furniture, laundry, copper and stubborn stains.

WET PAIL AND DRY PAIL METHODS

There are 3 basic methods for storing wet and soiled cloth diapers, wet pail, dry pail and wet/dry pail.

  • Dry pail. All cloth diapers are placed in a covered pail. Sprinkle baking soda to control the odors.
  • Wet pail. All cloth diapers are placed in a pail half filled with water. Make sure this pail is covered to prevent infant drowing. Water must be changed daily.
The Diaper Pin preferred method is the dry pail method. We used to use the wet pail system (for dirty diapers only), but it was messy and unwieldy. Now we simply shake (or scrape with a dedicated spatula) soiled diapers in the toilet bowl before tossing in the dry pail. We keep our diaper pail in the bathroom. Much easier!

FOLDING FLATS

Flats are extremely versitile forms of diapers because they can be folded in various ways, they are compact and easy to travel, they can be washed easily and will dry quickly. They are probably the most economical of all diapers. Check out our tutorials for folding and choosing flats.

FASTENING PRE-FOLD CLOTH DIAPERS

Fastening is the biggest challenge with pre-folds.
  • Pins are easy to use once you get the hang of them. Between uses stick opened pins in a bar of soap. Alternatively run the pins through your hair before pinning diapers. Both methods gives the pins a coating that allows them to glide through cloth the next time you diaper.
  • Afraid of using pins? Do not be discouraged. You can use Snappi Diaper Fasteners or Boingo Diaper Fasteners instead.
  • Another alternative is to simply fold the cloth diaper in thirds and enclose within a velcro or snap fastened diaper cover over the prefold and the baby.

FOLDING PRE-FOLD CLOTH DIAPERS

Here are two methods:
  • In thirds lay the cloth diaper flat with the length running up and down. Fold the right panel over the middle, then the left side over the right fold. Then flare out the top and bottom. If you are pinning, pin the corresponding front and back corners together. For more folding methods and illustrations read folding techniques.

    Still have questions? Ask them at our forums.

 
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