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Those of us active in the cloth diaper world know we are on the fringe of normal parenting society. Cloth diapers are one of those areas that everyone knows is probably better, but most people are not willing to take the plunge due to misinformation, inconvenience, or a just plain lack of knowledge on the subject. Well, this week is all about information from all types of sources.

The Great Cloth Diaper Change is on again for this year. Join parents and caregivers all over the world to set another record for most cloth diapers changed at the same time! The GCDC is Saturday, April 21. Find a location near you and take part in this fun event!

In conjunction with the great Cloth Diaper Change is Real Diaper Week running from April 16 – 21, and the focus will be advocacy and education. The theme of the 2012 Real Diaper Week is “Real Simple. Real Diapers.”, and each day will center on certain educational topics. The theme for today for Real Diaper Week is advocacy and cloth diapering 101.

First off, if you want a resource for all of your basic information in an easy to follow format, I will suggest Kelly Wels’ book Changing Diapers, the Hip Mom’s Guide to Cloth Diapers and Catherine Bolden’s Diapering Today DVD. These two resources provide a vast wealth of pertinent information for beginners.

Here at Just Add Cloth, there is a short and simple FAQs page for cloth diapering, along with several posts about Cloth Diapering 101, and a page on washing your diapers. I suggest going to the Real Diaper Association website and reading up on some of the basic reasons for switching to cloth and also for helpful resources.

Have you read up on cloth diapering and want to give it a go? It is so easy once you learn the ropes!

Getting Started

Some people choose to start cloth after the newborn phase to give themselves a chance to get used to life as new parents. However if you want to use cloth right from the beginning, here a quick rundown of what you need.

Newborns eat at least every two hours during those first couple weeks and poop very frequently, often while eating. You will basically need to change your newborn’s diaper 12-16 times a day during the first few weeks. If you are planning to wash diapers every day, you will need at least 12-18 cloth diapers. However, you may want to consider drying time and keep a few more on hand. Do not forget, cloth diapers are like any other item of clothing; the more often you use and wash it, the more quickly it wears out.

It is more economical and environmentally friendly to wash full loads rather than small loads, so you may want to wash every other day or every 2-3 days instead. Decide how long you  want to go between washes. You will want at least 12 diapers for each day, plus several to use while your clean diapers are drying. The number of diapers you use each day reduces as your child gets older and eats more solid food. I suggest starting out with 30-36 cloth diapers. Since newborns go through so many diapers, many parents choose to go with prefolds and covers for the newborn phase because prefolds are more economical.

When it comes to choosing what types of diapers you want to use, the decision can be overwhelming. What works for one baby won’t always work for another. While many parents prefer to use prefolds and covers during the newborn phase because they are the cheapest option when a young baby needs so many changes each day, others prefer the convenience of a pocket diaper or AIO. Fitted diapers with covers are great for that explosive newborn poo. You may also prefer a one size option that grows with your baby. One size options generally do not fit well until your baby reaches 10-12 pounds.

It may take some trial and error with different brands to get the right fit for your baby. Luckily cloth diapers have an excellent resale value and you can recoup most of your money on diapers that didn’t work with your baby. Also keep in mind your baby’s shape is always changing and that a diaper brand may not work this month, but become your favorite the following month.

For more information on cloth diapering, check out the blogs in the linky below! Later this week, The Real Simple, Real Diapers Event will tackle topics like cloth diapering economics, traveling with cloth, waste reduction, and the health benefits of cloth diapers.

 

 

 


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One Response to “Real Simple, Real Diapers: Cloth Diapering 101”

  1. Great post!!! Thanks for the tips!

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