How to Do Cloth Diapers: A Simple Informational From One Mom’s Perspective

December 20, 2008 by Annie Hintsala  
Published in Motherhood

This article describes a little bit about what I learned about cloth diapers as I was using them on my son; what are they, how to use them, where to get them, and how to care for them.

When I gave birth to my son, my husband and I had already decided to use cloth diapers. Well, I had decided and he had reluctantly agreed. There were many reasons for this-environmentally I didn’t want my own son to be a land fill unto himself; economically it just seemed the best solution. Even a small package of store brand diapers are going to cost you $5 or more, and each day that kid is going to go through eight to twelve diapers to start. That was going to be more than the water and trash bill combined for the month, even with the extra laundry I would be doing. I was willing to do the extra work of rinsing and washing and would even be willing to do a bit of sewing in order to ‘fill out’ my diaper supply. The environmental reason I think certainly remained constant throughout the following two years, and the economical held up very well to even the closest scrutiny. At least in my case, but I will get to the cost of cloth diapers in a moment.

First what is a cloth diaper as opposed to the more widely available disposable diaper. If one is of my own age, in their late thirties to early forties or older, you might remember the old rectangular cotton diapers that were pinned and folded. You can still buy these in some department stores, like Wal-Mart or Target, and they are basically the same. You can purchase them as ‘pre-folds’, which are layers of absorbent cotton quilted together, or the things that look like dish towels and need to be folded into rectangles or triangles. Instructions are usually included in some form or another, and Gerber is a popular brand. To secure these little darlings one uses diaper pins, available in the same place as the diapers, laying them in diaper wraps which are usually secured with hook and eye closers (Velcro) or these little things called snappi diaper fasteners for those of you who are scared of pins. I would try to explain snappis to you, but you really need to see them. They are kind of like the fasteners for hose at the bottom of a teddy. A disturbing analogy, but there you go. Look at the site to give you an idea of what they are and what they cost, and I shall say no more about them. When using these kinds of diapers some sort of water proofing is necessary, like good old fashioned plastic pants or water-proof diaper wraps, which work and look very much like a disposable diaper-except you wash them. Gerber makes plastic pants in many sizes and are, again, readily available in department stores. There are so many outlets for diaper wraps on the web, you will wonder how you missed them before. Choose your favorite search engine and type in ‘cloth diaper wrap’ or just ‘diaper wrap’. And then shop around. Lay in diapers also go into the wrap and are usually a contoured more hour glass shape that fit into a diaper wrap and you can also buy ‘pocket’ diapers that fit into pocket wraps, which I don’t necessarily recommend. The lay ins work great with diaper wraps or to lay into a pre-fold for a ‘doubler’ or extra layer of absorbency, but the pockets are a bit too much messy work for my taste. Again, this is just my opinion. Some people love them.

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6 Responses to “How to Do Cloth Diapers: A Simple Informational From One Mom’s Perspective”
  1. Doogie R. Says:

    Ummmm… thanks for that information. All well put. I’ll refer to this when I adopt someday when I’m rich and old.

  2. Doogie R. Says:

    This made me laugh so hard I NEEDED diapers myself!

  3. Ms. N Says:

    This was very informative and helpful. well put, thanks for the info!

  4. Ronni Mannee Says:

    Good article!
    There are other issues to think about when deciding between cloth diapers and disposable ones – such as their suitability for babies with sensitive skin – where disposables are slightly better, absorbency, and others. Additionally, the eco-friendliness of the cloth diapers is still under debate.
    There’s a good comparison between disposable and cloth diapers, which you can personalize to put more emphasis on the features that are important to you.

  5. Annie Hintsala Says:

    Actually, most doctors will tell you that cloth diapers are better for sensitive skin babies, as bleach and other chemicals are used in the making of disposibles, and cloth diapers are often changed more often that disposibles. So Nah.

  6. Annie Hintsala Says:

    Looking again at this, and you know, it is still the best option, all around. Cloth is WAY better than disposables.

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