Cloth diapering is not hard, but it is a new skill you have to learn. One thing I love about it is how adaptable and versatile it is for every baby! You will develop your own routines and tricks, but for you beginners out there, here are 5 simple cloth diapering tips you may not have thought of to get you started!
When I started cloth diapering, I had no idea what I was doing!
I did not come from the cloth diaper world. In fact, I had never even seen one!
I figured it out one step at a time, solving problems as they came and getting over the learning curve. And now, I love it! Today I want to tell you a few tips and tricks I have learned.
5 Simple Cloth Diapering Tips For Beginners
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1. Fold The Cloth Diaper First
If you decide to use flats or prefolds, you will learn how to fold your diapers to fit your baby. If you use pockets or other types of diapers, they will need to be stuffed. And you may also like to add an extra absorbency or stay-dry layer.
These diaper preparations are easy, but they do take a few seconds. Even when you have been cloth diapering for years like I have, your fastest fold may not be fast enough if your baby is determined to escape!
It might seem obvious, but it is so helpful to fold, stuff, or otherwise prepare your cloth diaper before you take off the dirty diaper. Set it right next to you, open, in the cover, ready to go. Then, when you are done wiping the baby, you can immediately put the new one on.
I can fold a flat pretty darn fast, but not as fast as a naked baby who wants to crawl away!
2. Cloth Diapers Make Great Swim Diapers
Whenever we take a baby swimming, whether its at a lake or a pool, we need a swim diaper. I don’t want to go out and buy some because we just don’t swim super often, plus we are a cloth diaper family!
Luckily, cloth diapers make really good swim diapers because of the gussets! They hold in poop very well. I like to use an empty pocket diaper, since they have a soft microfiber lining. I usually don’t stuff it with anything, since it will just get all wet.
You should know however, that repeated exposure to chlorine or salt water can really wear out the PUL on a cloth diaper or cover. I recommend designating one diaper as the swim diaper, or else using an old one you don’t really care about. Personally, since we don’t go swimming very often, I just use one of my “second favorite” diapers, and haven’t had any problems.
You can also buy a cloth swim diaper, which are of course reusable and super cute!
3. Store your cloth wipes in a plastic container.
There are fancier options out there, but I am a free type of girl, so this method works great for me! It’s not the prettiest, but I haven’t found the perfect splurge-able wipes container yet…
You can keep your cloth wipes in a tupperware type of plastic container with a lid. Choose one that has a lid that wont pop off, and make sure its a short container so you can fit it into a purse or bag.
I like to keep about a day or two’s worth of wet cloth wipes in a container. I use bamboo wipes and plain water, and have never had any problems with mold or mildew.
Lots of moms like to use some type of wipe solution, but I have always been fine with plain water. Sometimes I use a drop of soap if there has been a particularly dirty diaper.
Keeping your wipes pre-wetted and ready to go makes changes a lot quicker and more convenient.
4. Keep your baby’s hands busy
Especially when babies get older, their hands get pretty explorative and grabby during diaper changes.
It helps to keep their hands busy by giving them something to hold. Hopefully this will distract them long enough for you to finish changing them! Make sure whatever it is, (a toy, a wipe, etc) is light and soft so that if they drop it on their head it doesn’t hurt.
If your baby is being super wiggly, I learned an awesome trick to keep their arms out of the way. All you have to do is fold both of their arms over their chest, and then fold their shirt up over their arms. It’s kind of like a swaddle, they can’t get their arms out and you don’t have a diaper mess!
5. Have your wetbag or diaper pail open and ready
After changing a wet cloth diaper, you don’t want to place it on the floor because then your floor will get wet too. (Unless you are using a diaper that you change the waterproofing layer at every change.)
When I used wetbags instead of diaper pails, I would try to open the zipper with one hand while holding onto the wet diaper. It was tricky!
Open your wetbag or pail before you start the diaper change, so that you can toss in the wet diaper with one hand without getting up.
Later, if you choose to start rinsing off your baby’s diapers (sometimes older babies and toddlers urine needs to be rinsed off every time) then you will have to think about where you will place the dirty diaper for the rest of the diaper change until you can rinse it.
5 Cloth Diapering Tips For Beginners: Final Thoughts
I have been cloth diapering for over 4 years now, and people ask me “why?” all the time. To be honest, even with the learning curve, and occasional challenges I have had to learn to tackle, I just love it!
Cloth diapering is fun. Cloth diapering is a lifestyle, and it forces you to learn something new and slow down a bit. Plus, it can really save you a lot of money!
I have written about cloth diapering a few times now, and to anyone who is considering giving it a go, you should know something. The best way to learn is to just JUMP in and do it! Cloth diapering is not a science, it is an art. It functions differently for every family.
Ask 10 different moms how to cloth diaper, and they will all give you a different answer. This shouldn’t scare you, it should encourage you! It should be encouraging to know that YOU can do it however works for you.
These 5 cloth diapering tips are simple, and maybe even obvious, but I sure didn’t know them when I was a beginner! I hope they are helpful to you as you start your diapering journey.
Do you have any tips to add?