Sunbaby Cloth Diaper Tricks & Tips

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Sunbaby Cloth Diaper Tricks & Tips

January 3, 2012

I know that just hearing the words “cloth diapering” can evoke fear in even the most super of super-mom’s.  Visions of having to actually touch messy poop and smelly pee, never ending loads of laundry, having to deal with pins and squirmy babies are all common reasons mom’s shy away from cloth diapers. I am here to tell you that cloth diapering is actually a lot easier and less time consuming than you may think!

Types of cloth diapers

I’m sure most of you know that the modern day cloth diaper is a lot different than it used to be.  At first glance the options are overwhelming to say the least. All-in-one, all-in-two, one size, fitted, pocket, bamboo, cotton, microfiber, hemp, wool, PUL, snaps, velcro…etc…etc.  With so many brands, styles and fabrics out there the list of options are endless and intimidating to say the least.

For the most part brand and fabric type are a personal preference. Perhaps you only trust higher end brand names and are willing to pay $25-$30 a diaper to get them. Or maybe you’re most concerned about material type and only want natural, organic fabric against your baby’s skin. There is a cloth diaper out there to fit any mom’s needs. Personally I need my daughter’s cloth diapers to be soft, cute, affordable and leak free.

Style of diaper is what I find separates the gems from uhhh…the crap (excuse the pun). Here is a run-down of some different types/styles of cloth diapers:

Flat cloth diapers are the cloth diapers that your grandmother and possibly mother used. They are just a square piece of fabric that is folded around your baby. Flats can be pinned on, fastened with a snap-style fastener or held in place with a snug fitting wrap-style diaper cover. Flat cloth diapers are the most labor-intensive cloth diaper you can use.

Prefolds are a rectangular piece of fabric made up of several layers, sewn into three panels. The middle panel typically has more layers than the outside two panels. Prefold cloth diapers require you to “fold” them around your baby for a snug fit, and must be used with a cloth diaper cover. They can be fastened with pins, a Snap-style fastener, or simply laid in a wrap-style diaper cover.

Fitted cloth diapers are cloth diapers made of layers of an absorbent fabric, cut in an hour-glass shape with the added benefit of built in fasteners made of either snaps or velcro for faster, easier diaper changes. They will also have an elastic waist and elastic around the thighs to help contain messes well, so you don’t have to be as careful or precise with a folding technique. They do require a separate, waterproof cover. You generally need to buy a variety of sizes of fitted cloth diapers during the time your child is in diapers which can become costly.

All-In-One cloth diapers are just that…everything you need to diaper your baby, in one cloth diaper. If it’s convenience you’re after, as well keeping your baby out of disposables, this is the way to go. No pinning, no stuffing, no folding, no wrapping…just put it on as you would a disposable diaper. A waterproof cover is already built in. Generally AIOs are the most expensive type of cloth diaper there is, but they are still cheaper than using disposables. They also tend to take multiple cycles to dry in the dryer or a long time to hang to dry as the absorbent portion of the diaper is sewn in and not separate.

Pocket cloth diapers (aka All-In-Two’s)are actually a two-part diapering system. They consist of the cloth diaper cover and a separate absorbent layer called an insert. The cloth diaper cover is more than just a diaper cover and closes with either velcro or snaps. The cover of a pocket cloth diaper is comprised of two layers; an outer waterproof layer (no diaper cover required)and an inner layer of soft, cozy microfleece. These two layers are sewn together across the front and two sides, leaving the back open to create a “pocket” in which you stuff with the absorbent material of your choice, such as cotton, bamboo, terrycloth or microfiber. When your baby urinates, the moisture is wicked through the microfleece and absorbed into the insert. This keeps baby feeling dry while still in a wet diaper! Some pocket diapers come in “One-Size”, this means the diaper is adjustable so it can grow with baby and you will most likely spend less money as you only have to buy one size of diaper.

My personal diaper of choice is the one-size pocket diaper with a snap closure. I like that the absorbency can be customized by adding extra inserts into the pocket for heavy-wetters or for overnight. I prefer the snaps to Velcro as I find Velcro can link all the diapers together in the wash creating an inconvenient diaper-chain. Overtime I also find Velcro gets worn and collects lint/thread/hair making it less reliable. I also like that when we get to the potty training stage I can lay an insert on top of the diaper cover instead of stuffing it inside. This allows baby to feel when they wet which can shorten potty training time due to their increased awareness of when they have gone to the bathroom.

Washing Cloth Diapers

I think this is what scares parents most about cloth diapers. Every cloth diapering mama has a laundry method that works best for them that they have perfected over time. I am going to share with you my method that I use for my pocket diapers that has worked for me for 10 months.

  1. Take diaper off baby and put in diaper pail. There is nothing different about my diaper pail than my friends diaper pails whom use disposables. I don’t spray the diaper down, I don’t swish it in the toilet, it goes right from baby to pail.
  2. After about 2 days the pail is full, and yes, smelly. It does not matter if you use cloth or disposable, your diaper pail is smelly. I then, instead of dumping the pail into the garbage like with disposables, I dump it in the washing machine with detergent. The diapers I use have a large enough pocket that I do not even have to take the inserts out of the diapers, the agitation of the washing machine does that for me.
  3. Now this is where cloth becomes a little more work than disposables (Mostly because my mommy brain forgets I am mid diaper wash) I set the washing machine to a cold rinse, then I do a hot wash, then another cold rinse. If they are particularly smelly I may do 2 hot washes (usually once a month or so).
  4. Toss them in the dryer or hang to dry.

That’s it! My washing machine is not smelly after a diaper load and I usually do my own clothes afterwards.

Pros to cloth diapering

I’m sure all of you have that one friend or have met that one mom that tries to get everyone on the cloth diapering bandwagon. I’m not going to be that mom and get all preachy, BUT there are some definite advantages to using cloth diapers that I have to mention and I think numbers explain it best.

Saves the environment. Disposable diapers contribute to 2% of the solid waste that goes into landfills. That 2% represents the 3rd largest contributor after newspapers and food and beverage containers. Once in the landfill disposable diapers take 200+ years to decompose.

Saves your baby’s bum. Cloth diapered baby’s have less diaper rash than their disposable diapered counterparts. I just had a lady email me to tell me that her baby’s psoriasis is clearing up after using cloth for only a short while.

Saves you mega money. Here is a little breakdown (forgive me if my numbers are off as I don’t usually use disposables)

Pampers Mega pack size 3 diapers (60) $18.97 @ walmart

$18.97/60 = $0.32 per diaper

8 diapers a day x $0.32 = $2.56 per day

2.5 years (912.5 days) x $2.56 = $2,336.00 to use disposables for 2.5 years!

VS

Sunbaby one-size pocket diapers (24 diapers) $162.00 @ www.sunbaby.ca

$162/24 = $6.75 per diaper

Each diaper fits from 7-35 lbs and will fit most babies through to potty training. 24 diapers will have you doing diaper laundry every 2-3 days.

= $162 to use cloth for 2.5 years!

(Yes this is a shameless plug for Sunbaby Canada, but our diapers really are one of the lowest prices in Canada so they were the best example to use! )

 

Thanks for reading my rambling. I hope you now feel informed but not bored or overwhelmed. Please feel free to email any questions you might have to sales@sunbabydiapers.ca and I would be glad to answer them.

-Brigitte

 

 

2 Responses to “Sunbaby Cloth Diaper Tricks & Tips”

  1. Jacqueline Benn says:

    I am having issues with my sunbabies. Since I got them the pee repels off the fleece liner. I have washed and dried them about a dozen times and it is still repelling the pee therefore causing the diapers to leak. Suggestions?

    • Randi says:

      Try putting the insert on top of the cover and not in the pocket. I find some diapers have too much fleece around the legs and this absorbs wetness which leads to a sense of leaks which usually isn’t but is just absorption!

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