Top 5 Mistakes When Cloth Diapering
1) Underestimating Stash Size I cannot stress enough how important stash size is. Whether using sized or one size diapers you MUST have enough diapers to not only last between washings, but also rotate your stash. We recommend enough diapers for 28-36 CHANGES. Even an AI2 system like GroVia requires 12 Shells, 24 Soaker pads for full time diapering. Any less than this means excessive wear and tear on your diapers that are being used on a daily basis. There is not a single other piece of clothing that gets used and washed as much as a cloth diaper, yet we expect them to last through many months or even years of use.
Remember, the less often you have to wash your diapers and covers, the longer they will last. If you choose to diaper with a smaller stash plan on replacing your diapers every 6-9 months. Don't expect one-size diapers (or sized diapers!) to last 2 years if you only have 6-12 in rotation!
2) Extreme Wash Routines You’ve just invested a large amount of money in your baby’s diaper stash. Protect your investment by caring for them properly. I cannot count the number of customers who have destroyed their stash by “sanitizing” their diapers, washing them in bleach (or other whiteners), or simply not following the care labels on their diapers.
First step is to read the care labels on your diapers, just as you would any of your own clothing. If it says to wash on warm…wash on warm! A recommended hot wash by the manufacturer does NOT mean the “sanitize” cycle on your machine. Do not put additives in your wash cycles (even the natural ones like vinegar and baking soda). They are unnecessary and can be harmful to both your diapers and your baby’s skin. Lastly, and probably most important USE ENOUGH DETERGENT. The detergent and agitation of your wash cycle are what cleans your diapers. 1 Teaspoon - 2 tablespoons is simply NOT enough detergent to get your diapers clean. If your diapers smell….use more detergent! Very rarely is “buildup” the reason for smelly diapers.
3) Not Changing Often Enough
Cloth diapers are wonderful for many reasons. They are eco-friendly, healthy, and cost effective when compared to their disposable counterparts. Cloth diapers do not contain SAP (super absorbent polymer) gel, which is the component of disposable diapers that make them trim, yet so absorbent. The average disposable diaper can hold 10 pees before being changed. Whether you use disposables or cloth, your baby should be changed every 2 hours during the day. This keeps baby’s skin healthy and keeps those rare leaks at bay! When customers ask “How many hours can I leave my baby in your diaper before changing?” the answer is, “As soon as you notice they’re wet!!”.
4) Washing Once a Week (or less)
The quickest way to ruin a diaper is to leave it soiled in a closed, dark, warm pail for several days before washing it. This environment is prime breeding grounds for fungi, bacteria, and critters (yes, I’ve even heard maggot stories). Treat your diapers as you would your own lingerie. Soiled diapers should be washed every 2 days according to manufacturer’s instructions. If you have stains, hang them in the sun. Mother Nature knows what she’s doing. The sun naturally bleaches out stains, and kills bacteria and yeast. Best of all it doesn’t cost a dime and is chemical free!
5) One Size Does Not Mean…. Lasts Forever, Fits Everyone.
In the past 3-4 years we’ve seen a boom of one size diapers come onto the market. One size diapers have many advantages as they fit a broad size range and can often eliminate the need to buy multiple sizes of diapers. With this have come many unrealistic expectations. One size diapers are often made of the same materials as their sized counterparts. One size diapers are not able to withstand any more wear and laundering than sized diapers. If you diaper full time with a one size system and want them to last until potty learning, buy enough diapers (24-38 minimum). Babies come in different shapes and sizes and not every diaper, one size or not, is guaranteed to fit. Try one or two diapers before investing in an entire stash!
by Kim Ormsby
CEO Natural Baby Co. and creator of GroVia *Reprinted with permission from the author