A cloth diaper is a reusable diaper made of fabric that is used to wrap around a baby’s bottom to absorb their urine and feces. They are often made of materials such as cotton, hemp, bamboo, or synthetic fabrics that are designed to be absorbent, yet breathable.
Unlike disposable diapers, which are intended for single-use and are made of plastic and absorbent materials, cloth diapers can be washed and reused multiple times, making them a more sustainable and eco-friendly choice for parents.
There are various types of cloth diapers available on the market, including prefolds, fitted, all-in-one, and hybrid diapers, each with their own unique features and benefits. While cloth diapers require more upfront cost and maintenance than disposable diapers, they can save parents money in the long run and are often considered a healthier option for babies as they do not contain chemicals found in some disposable diapers.
How to fold a cloth diaper
There are several ways to fold a cloth diaper, and the method you choose will depend on the type of diaper you have and your personal preference. Here are three common folding methods:
- The “Angel Wing” fold:
- Lay the diaper flat with the absorbent side facing up.
- Fold one corner of the diaper in about one-third of the way.
- Repeat on the other side to create “wings.”
- Place your baby on the diaper with their bottom in the center and the wings folded over the sides.
- Secure the diaper with pins or a snappi fastener.
- The “Jellyroll” fold:
- Lay the diaper flat with the absorbent side facing up.
- Roll the edges of the diaper inward to create a narrow strip in the center.
- Place your baby on the diaper with their bottom in the center and the narrow strip between their legs.
- Fold the front of the diaper up and secure with pins or a snappi fastener.
- The “Prefold” fold:
- Fold the prefold diaper into thirds, bringing the two shorter sides in toward the center.
- Place your baby on the diaper with the wide end at their back and the folded edges at the front.
- Bring the front of the diaper up between their legs and secure with pins or a snappi fastener.
Keep in mind that these are just a few examples of folding methods and there are many more available. It may take some trial and error to find the fold that works best for you and your baby.
How to use cloth diaper inserts
Cloth diaper inserts are typically used in conjunction with a cloth diaper cover to provide extra absorbency. Here are the general steps for using cloth diaper inserts:
- Choose the right size and type of insert for your baby’s needs. Inserts come in different sizes and materials, so it’s important to choose the right one for your baby’s age and level of wetness.
- Lay the insert flat inside the cloth diaper cover. Some inserts have a specific side that should be facing up, so be sure to check the manufacturer’s instructions.
- If using a prefold or flat insert, fold it to fit the size of the diaper cover. Some inserts may also have snaps or folds to adjust the size.
- Place the diaper cover with the insert on your baby, making sure the insert is centered and tucked inside the cover. Adjust the fit of the diaper cover around your baby’s legs and waist to ensure a snug, leak-free fit.
- When it’s time to change your baby, remove the soiled insert and rinse it off in the toilet if necessary. Place the insert and diaper cover in a dry pail until it’s time to wash them.
- Wash the inserts and diaper covers according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Inserts can typically be washed with the diaper covers or separately, depending on the materials and care instructions.
Remember that cloth diapering requires some trial and error to find the right combination of inserts and diaper covers for your baby’s needs. It’s also important to check for leaks and adjust the fit as necessary to prevent leaks and keep your baby comfortable.
How to change a cloth diaper
Changing a cloth diaper is similar to changing a disposable diaper, but there are a few additional steps involved. Here’s a step-by-step guide:
- Gather your supplies. You’ll need a clean cloth diaper, wipes, and diaper cream if desired.
- Lay your baby down on a changing mat or towel. Unfasten the dirty diaper and fold down the front to expose your baby’s bottom.
- Use the front of the diaper to wipe away any solid waste. If your baby is a boy, you may want to cover his penis with a clean cloth to prevent him from spraying.
- Remove the dirty diaper and set it aside. Use wipes or a damp cloth to clean your baby’s bottom thoroughly. Be sure to clean in all the creases and folds to prevent diaper rash.
- Apply diaper cream if desired. This can help prevent diaper rash and soothe any existing irritation.
- Place a clean cloth diaper underneath your baby’s bottom, making sure the back of the diaper is centered and the absorbent side is facing up.
- Pull the front of the diaper up between your baby’s legs and fasten the tabs securely. Make sure the diaper is snug but not too tight.
- If using a fitted diaper, secure it with pins or a snappi fastener. If using a prefold, adjust the folds to fit your baby’s size and shape.
- Put your baby’s pants back on and dispose of the dirty diaper and wipes in a diaper pail or bag.
Remember to wash your hands thoroughly after changing a diaper, and check your baby’s diaper frequently to prevent leaks and discomfort. With a little practice, changing cloth diapers can become second nature.
How many cloth diaper covers do I need
If you’re using cloth diapers, you might be wondering how many diaper covers you need. After all, you can’t just use any old cover – you need one that’s specifically designed for cloth diapers. So, how many do you need?
The answer depends on a few factors, including how often you do laundry, how often you change diapers, and whether you want to have a few extra on hand in case of accidents.
Generally speaking, you’ll need about 3-5 diaper covers for every day that you’re using cloth diapers. So, if you’re using cloth diapers full-time, you’ll need somewhere in the range of 15-25 diaper covers.
Of course, this is just a general guideline. If you find that you need more or fewer covers, that’s perfectly fine. The important thing is to have enough to get you through the day without having to do laundry every single day.
If you’re not sure how many diaper covers you need, start with a few and see how it goes. You can always add more later if you find that you need them.
How to make a cloth diaper out of a towel
Making your own cloth diapers out of towels is a great way to save money on diapering costs. Plus, it’s a fun project that you can do with the kids! Here’s how to make your own cloth diapers out of towels:
- One large bath towel
- One hand towel
- A sharp pair of scissors
- A sewing machine
- A safety pin
First, cut the hand towel in half length-wise. Then, cut the bath towel in half length-wise. You should now have four pieces of fabric, two from the bath towel and two from the hand towel.
Next, take two of the pieces of fabric (one from the bath towel and one from the hand towel) and place them right sides together. Sew along the long edge, using a 1/2 inch seam allowance. Repeat with the remaining two pieces of fabric.
Now, take the two pieces of fabric that you just sewed together and place them right sides together. Sew along the long edge, using a 1/2 inch seam allowance. This will create a tube of fabric.
Next, fold the tube of fabric in half length-wise, wrong sides together, and sew along the long edge, using a 1/2 inch seam allowance. This will create a long, skinny tube of fabric.
Now, take the long, skinny tube of fabric and fold it in half, wrong sides together. Sew along the long edge, using a 1/2 inch seam allowance. This will create a shorter, wider tube of fabric.
Finally, turn the tube of fabric right side out and sew along the long edge, using a 1/2 inch seam allowance. This will create a casing for the elastic.
Now, cut a piece of elastic that is about 24 inches long. Use a safety pin to thread the elastic through the casing. Sew the ends of the elastic together.
Your cloth diaper is now complete!