Best Cloth Diapers
Given the vast quantities of diapers babies that go through, many environmentally conscious parents are turning to what past generations had no choice but to rely upon: cloth diapers. But these aren’t the scratchy, ill-fitting diapers of yore. The washable, reusable cloth diapers on the market now are designed for the modern baby and parent, with both convenience and decreased environmental impact in mind. Once you find the brand that fits well, and assuming you wash a load of diapers every two to three days, you’ll only need about 30 cloth diapers to carry your child through potty training. The two most popular options are a pocket diaper or an all-in-one.
- A pocket diaper is a cover with a built-in interior pouch that holds an absorbent insert. The insert is washable and reusable. FuzziBunz covers feature fun patterns and colors with up to 30 adjustable settings. The Kanga Care Rumparooz Pocket Cloth Diaper comes with a unique microfiber soaker with six different size and absorbency settings that you can customize to your babies needs.
- All-in-one cloth diapers are one piece, most similar in design to disposable diapers. It consists of a waterproof outer layer and semi-attached absorbent inserts. They’re generally one size and adjustable, designed to fit babies from 8 pounds to over 35. Bum Genius offers a large number of colorful diapers with 3-by-3 snaps to fit different sizes. The Bumkins all-in-one diaper features the option of detachable snap inserts (made of minky, cotton or bamboo rayon) that you can layer in the diaper for added absorbency. Thirsties offer a choice of snap or hook-and-loop closures.
How to Clean Cloth Diapers
Probably the number 1 question about cloth diapers is: How do you clean them? It's not as complicated as you may imagine.
- You’ll want to start by disposing of solid waste. There are ways to make this task easy (and not so icky)—most notably flushable inserts that work with all styles of cloth diapers, and sprayers that attach to your toilet and remove solid waste with a stream of water.
- Once solid waste is removed, simply place used cloth diapers in a pail with a liner.
- Throw the diapers into the wash every two to three days. (Cloth diapers come with explicit care instructions, but in general they require an extra wash and/or rinse.) You can use the same detergent that you use for your baby’s clothes or buy a special cloth-diaper detergent. No bleach is necessary. Diaper covers should generally be air-dried because dryers can damage the waterproof coating.
- Mom Tip: If you're not sure if cloth diapers are right for you and your baby, you can try disposable inserts with a cloth cover, giving you the best of both worlds. gDiapers gPants offers that flexibility with their hybrid cloth diapering system. Parents can use them with disposable inserts and, when they feel ready, transition to reusable ones down the road. Customer S. Mingey even found an added benefit to these cloth diapers: It was better for her baby's sensitive skin.
I began cloth diapering my daughter after she had a terrible bout with yeast. She was 18 months when we began the cloth adventure and gDiapers was the first diaper I tried. I was terrified, but gDiapers allowed me to gradually ease into cloth. First, we tried the disposable inserts and this helped me overcome the trial-and-error period in getting the right fit. Once I got the hang of it, it seemed like a piece of cake! We quickly moved into using gcloth inserts (which do require changing every 1 to 1.5 hours, or you can double up the gcloth and go a couple hours in between changes!). The gcloth are a super soft, stay dry material and wash very well with cloth diaper safe detergent. Next, I also used Indian cotton prefolds in the infant size. These fold nicely and fit into the gpouch. I use a fleece liner on top of the prefold since the prefolds feel very damp on the skin. If your child suffers from yeast rashes, or has sensitive skin, please know that I have spent hours researching the most breathable options and tried many diapers....gDiapers is hands down the most breathable system. Now, I have not figured out how to get a gDiaper to absorb overnight, but we just use disposable for overnight and use our G's during the day.
If your baby struggles with rashes, I highly recommend you try G diapers. There is certainly no such thing as the perfect cloth diapering system, it's all about your baby and your needs.