We love Modern Cloth Diapers – they keep your baby happy, and they keep thousands of disposable diapers out of landfills, helping reduce air pollution and protect our planet. Modern Cloth Diapers are however a relatively new in India, and as part of our series, we’ve put together a list of useful tips to use cloth diapers, and continue successfully!
Begin at two months: While you can start with Modern Cloth Diapers from the moment your baby is born (they’re available in all sizes), in my personal view, 2 months is the right time. You’ve settled in with your baby’s routine by then, and your baby is 4 kg+, which means he or she can now fit into a one size diaper which will last till your baby is 2.5 yrs old. Your requirement for cloth diapers will go down after that, and you can invest in a larger sizes based on your child’s need.
Start Small: Buy 2 All in One diapers and 2 Pocket Diapers. All in One’s come with a lining, are soft and comfortable, and basically require little or no extra work from your side. With Pocket Diapers you can try out different linings. It’s the simplest way to get started. For a whole year you need 14-15 diapers at most, and the first Four, will keep you going for at least a couple of months. Learn more about the different types of Modern Cloth Diapers, here.
Focus on the fit: If your cloth diaper leaks within an hour of use, it clearly means there is a problem with the fit, and that you haven’t used the right size of diapers. To get the correct size, always snap to lower or bigger size using row buttons, and then stuff the insert and tighten up the waist. As a thumb rule, the waist should be tight enough so that only one finger can go inside the cloth diaper, and the bum area should be snapped in such a way that there should be no gap between the diaper elastic and the baby’s thighs. If the diaper fits well, the diaper will not leak. Take a look at the video below to see how to do this with an All In One Diaper.
Adopt a simple laundry routine: Cloth diapers don’t need special care to keep them in good shape for long. All you need is a good laundry routine. Always ensure your diapers are pre-rinsed under cold water, and then washed with a bleach and softener free laundry detergent. Commonly available Surf Excel or Tide Plus work just fine. Avoid Dettol, Comfort, Ezee, other fabric conditioners or bleaches, since these are harsh and can ruin your diapers. A simple machine wash and good sun drying is all that cloth diapers ask for!
Do a hot water soak once a month: If you ever feel that your diapers and inserts are smelling of pee even after detergent wash – just immerse them them in very hot (but not boiling) water and let them soak till the water cools down. The rinse and dry, and they will feel fresh again. In fact, they’ll absorb better too! In fact, create a routine of soak your cloth diaper stash in hot water once every month, as part of their regular maintenance.
Use eco-friendly liners: One of the biggest draws of disposable diapers is that they are absolutely no mess – even when a baby poops (unless of course there’s an accident). You can just wrap it up and throw it away. Well there’s a simple way of managing that with Modern Cloth Diapers too. Use nappy liners from a major brand like Mee Mee or Pigeon which are disposable, biodegradable and therefore eco-friendly. The nappy liners are designed to let liquid pass through, but not solids – so when your baby poops, all you need to do is take the nappy liner and either flush it away, or throw it in the bin. No heavy duty cleaning, no diaper staining, and you can be eco-friendly. These liners are available online and at most baby shops priced at approximately Rs. 300 for 100 sheets. Also available are liners made of fleece fabric, which are washable and reusable. Poopy diapers would never trouble you any more if you use nappy liners along.
Get a Wet Bag: Use a wet bag to store your used diapers, at home or while travelling. Another option is to store them in an open diaper pail, near a window. This would help you prevent pee smell of diapers spreading inside the rooms. Wetbags are zipper bags made of polyester, and block all the smell inside. Since we want to avoid buying polyester or plastic, here’s a quick video that you can use to make your own! If not, then just go ahead and buy one!
Give your diapers lots of sun: Poop stains showing up on diaper covers? Poop stains over microfleece and microsuede diapers may not go away in one wash. But fret not, all it needs is good sunshine to fade away the marks. Sunshine is the best disinfectant for cloth diapers. It removes smells, lightens up stains and bring freshness to the diapers and inserts.
Mix and match: Do not get bogged down by the variety of cloth diapers available these days. Identify the purposes for which you are seeking cloth diapers, and you would get diapering solutions accordingly. For example, if you looking to use cloth diapers for nights only, always use hemp insert inside the diaper so it lasts all night. If you are looking for more convenience, choose all-in-one diapers over pocket diapers. There are many options available these days, so best is to try 2-3 different varieties while building your stash of modern cloth diapers.
Get started, that’s the only way of doing it! If you have any questions or need help, post a comment and we’ll get back to you!