13 March 2013

{Cloth 101} Help! I'm new to cloth

Congratulations on making the decision to cloth diaper! 

The first thing to realize is that there are a lot of options out there and there will be at least one that is perfectly suited to both you, your baby, your pocket and your lifestyle.

To start, you will want to familiarize yourself with the types of cloth nappies available and also the commonly used terms. Here are some links that you will find helpful:

You might run into some negativity when telling people of your decision to cloth diaper, or you might have some concerns of yourself with regards to cloth diapers - it's too much work, it's messy, it's smelly, baby will get more rashes, it's too expensive etc. For those times, these links will come in handy: 
So what will you need to buy? This is assuming you start using cloth at birth and until your child is potty trained.
  • 24 - 36 newborn diapers 
  • 20 - 24 one-size diapers - these will start fitting around 4.5 - 5kg depending on the brand and your baby's build. Typically prefolds or flats with covers work best for newborns as they can be customised to fit and are very cost effective.
  • a diaper pail OR hanging wetbag - this is where you will keep the dirty diapers until you wash them. This can be as simple as a plain plastic bucket or laundry basket.
  • 2 small/medium sized wetbags - to put dirty diapers in when out and about or to send to creche/daymom. You can also use plastic shopping bags in a pinch.
  • cloth diaper safe bum cream - using regular bum cream can affect the absorbency of your cloth diapers

Optional/nice to have:
  • 2 pail liners - this is like a big wetbag that you put into your diaper pail. You can wash the pail liner with your load of diapers and this way you don't have to wash the diaper pail every time you do a load of laundry
  • a diaper sprayer - very handy for disposing of solid poos
  • nappy liners - handy for disposing of solid poos. Keep in mind that not all nappy liners are flushable
  • cloth wipes - you're already using cloth diapers, you may as well use cloth wipes
As always - I recommend reading reviews (as many as you can find) of the different brands that are available, buying one of each for a few different types that you are interested in and trying them on your baby. All babies are built differently and so a particular brand will not fit the same on all babies.

Further reading:
A summary of all my cloth diaper related posts (including reviews) 

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