Not everyone uses cloth diapers, but the parents who choose to use them have many different reasons for doing so. Whether it is to save money, reduce the amount of trash they are using, or because their little one is allergic to disposable diapers, the parent will still need to know how to use cloth diapers.

Knowing how to use cloth diapers starts with knowing about the different types of cloth diapers and other materials you may need. It’s also important to know how many cloth diapers you should have and how to wash them.

All You Need to Know About Cloth Diapers

The Benefits of Cloth Diapers

  • No harmful chemicals
  • Reduces the amount of trash
  • They save you money

Types of Cloth Diapers

  • Flats

These cloth diapers are just a piece of thin fabric. Flats can be folded in many different ways, allowing you the chance to put extra padding where you baby needs it most.

  • Prefolds

This type of cloth diaper is rectangular in shape and are thicker in the center, or the middle section where more absorbency is required. Less folding is required with prefolds because there is really only one way to put it on your baby.

  • Fitteds

These cloth diapers require no folding, as the absorbent fabric has elastic on the waist and legs in order to fit any baby.

  • Contour

Similar to prefolds, contour cloth diapers have absorbent padding in the center, meaning that they can only be worn one way. The difference, however, is that contour diapers have tapered legs, so they don’t have to be folded to make room for the legs.

  • Pockets

This option is made up of the outer waterproof shell and an absorbent insert. The shell contains a pocket on the inside, which is where the absorbent insert will go.

  • All-in-Ones

This option is the closest to a disposable diaper that you will get, as there is no folding or stuffing required. You can find them in individual or adjustable sizes.

  • All-in-twos

Like the all-in-ones, the all-in-twos has a waterproof shell and an insert. Instead of putting the absorbent insert in a pocket, however, this one will be placed so that it is actually touching your baby’s skin.

  • Hybrid

These cloth diapers have a waterproof outer shell, and the absorbent insert can be disposable or cloth.

Can’t decide? Don’t worry – we got you! Here are the 5 best cloth diapers we could find right now!

Other Materials You Will Need to Use Cloth Diapers

In addition to the cloth diapers, you will also need to invest in a waterproof diaper cover for flats, prefolds, fitteds, and contours, and diaper pins for those same ones except the fitteds.

How Many Cloth Diapers You Will Need

Anywhere from 24 to 36 cloth diapers is a reasonable number. If you wash the cloth diapers daily, you won’t need quite as many as if you do the laundry only every couple of days.

Think about the number of diapers your baby uses in a day (or use the average number, which is around 10 diapers a day), and multiply that by the number of days between washes. So, if you wash the cloth diapers every 2 days, you will need 10 diapers times 2 days, so 20 diapers total. If you do laundry every 3 days, you may need closer to 30 diapers.

It is important to remember that not all babies and toddlers are the same. While, on average, infants will need around 10 to 12 diapers a day and toddlers will need 8-10 diapers each day, you should still begin tracking exactly how many diapers your child uses each day. This way, you can figure out exactly how many you personally need.

How to Use Cloth Diapers – Washing and Drying

  1. Rinse the dirty diaper.

Some parents soak them in a bucket, others prefer to store them in a dry container. Either way, you will want to rinse them before putting them in the washing machine.

  1. Change the settings on your washing machine.

Choose the highest water level and only run a cold rinse with no laundry detergent. When this cycle ends, leave the cloth diapers in the washing machine. You’ll be doing 3 total cycles.

  1. Change the settings on your washing machine again.

Keep it on the highest water level setting, but change the water temperature to hot and run a regular cycle (not a rinse) with 1/4 cup of laundry detergent. Leave the cloth diapers in the machine.

  1. Change the settings back to the cold rinse.

Run one more cycle using no laundry detergent.

  1. Allow cloth diapers to dry completely.

The way you dry cloth diapers is totally up to you. Some parents just throw them in the dryer and run a long cycle, others hang them up to dry. Both methods seem to work, so this is entirely up to you own preference.

Final Notes On How to Use Cloth Diapers

Learning how to use cloth diapers may seem complicated, but it’s actually quite easy. It can save you money, reduce the amount of trash your family produces, and be safer for your child. If your kid still gets a rash, even using cloth diapers use one of these strong diaper creams.

Now that you know how to use cloth diapers, it is time to decide which type of cloth diaper you will use for your baby.

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