There are so many reasons why you should choose cloth diapers over disposable diapers. They are better for your baby’s delicate skin because they don’t contain toxic chemicals that can cause rashes and irritations. They are also unquestionably friendlier on the environment.
Unlike cloth diapers of the past that require safety pins, modern cloth diapers are pretty easy to use. The most common kind comes with a waterproof shell that is fastened with snap-together buttons and an absorbent insert that goes inside the shell. It’s almost as convenient as using disposable diapers!
And because you don’t need to throw out several diapers away daily, you are also able to save money when you use cloth diapers! However, cloth diapers do have an upfront cost as you will need to buy several to make a stash as well as a few other cloth diapering must-haves.
1. Cloth diaper-safe diaper cream
Before you put Desitin or some other zinc oxide-based diaper cream, stop and remember this basic rule: this kind of diaper cream can damage your cloth diapers. Barrier creams, which act as a barrier between baby’s skin and the diaper, can make your diaper less absorbent and may even cause it to leak.
Instead of the traditional rash creams, consider using cloth-safe diaper creams, even better if you can use brands with organic ingredients to prevent irritations. You may also skip the store-bought creams and use coconut oil instead.
2. Cloth wipes
If your aim is to reduce your waste, why don’t you switch from disposable baby wipes to cloth wipes? Since you’re already washing cloth diapers in the first place, reusable wipes won’t be that big of an addition to the laundry load.
Cloth wipes, which can be wet with either plain water or wipe solution, don’t irritate your baby’s skin unlike disposables which can contain alcohol and fragrance. The best part is that you don’t even have to buy cloth wipes. Simply reuse the fabric that you already have at home, like clean cotton washcloths.
3. Diaper pail
Since cloth diapers are not meant to be disposed of, one of the most important things that you need to take care of when cloth diapering is the storage of soiled ones. Some parents opt to get a diaper pail, while others opt for a big wet bag that can be hung by the door. If you choose to get a diaper pail, though, don’t forget to get a washable liner for it.
4. Wet bag
While a diaper pail works perfectly for home use, you definitely need a travel-friendly alternative for when your baby soils or wets their cloth diaper. In this case, make sure to have several small and medium wet bags that you can keep inside your car and inside your diaper bag. Choose ones that are zippered and don’t leak!
Investing in good wet bags is a good idea not only for cloth diapering moms but for everyone because they can be used to store wet clothes, cloth wipes, and other baby essentials, too.
5. Cloth-diaper friendly detergent
Washing cloth diapers is a breeze (yes, even when they’re soiled!), but you do need to get the correct laundry detergent for them. First, avoid laundry detergents that leave residues as they can cause the diapers to become less absorbent over time. Your best bet is a detergent that is specifically made for cloth diapers.
Next, minimize the use of bleach as it can break down the fibers of your diapers. Aside from that, do not use fabric softener that make the diapers less absorbent. And lastly, even if you use the correct laundry detergent, remember to “strip” your cloth diapers once a month to make sure they are free of build-up from water minerals and detergent. Here’s a detailed instruction on how to strip cloth diapers.
6. Cloth diaper sprayer
Finally, you might want to make cleaning cloth diapers easier by using a cloth diaper sprayer. Similar to how a bidet works, a cloth diaper sprayer is a tool that can be hooked onto your toilet. With this tool, you can spray off all your baby’s poop off their diapers and straight into the toilet and never have to use a spatula (or a scraper) ever again.
Cloth diapers are wonderful to use. They are not only gentler on your baby’s skin but also a hundredfold better for the environment. And with this list of cloth diapering must-haves, using cloth diapers becomes even more fun and a lot more convenient!