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Cloth Diapering Basics
Cloth diapering can be overwhelming when you are first considering it. Here are some frequently asked questions that I hope will help you learn more about it. If you are in the metro Detroit area, we offer free classes that are a great introduction to the world of cloth diapering! Please feel free to e-mail me with any other questions you may have at firstname.lastname@example.org
How do I choose what diapers I want to use?
I recommend trying several different types of diaper, and then deciding what you like the best. Diapers all fit babies differently, and honestly, the best thing to do is try them. Look through our types of diapers, and decide what kinds appeal to you and try a couple! You will find out what you like the best very quickly!
How much will it cost?
You will spend about $3,000 on disposable diapers and wipes per child before your child is potty trained. With cloth, you can spend as little as $300, up to $1,000, it really is up to you. Keep in mind, these diapers will be re-used for other children as well, which really saves money!
How many diapers do I need?
It depends on how often you want to do laundry. For a newborn, I'd recommend at least 24 diapers. You will change a newborn's diaper 10-12 times a day. If you have 24, you will need wash every other day. If you want to wash every 3rd day, you will need more. For an older baby, you will be changing diapers 6-8 times a day, so you will not need as many, but many people find that 24 is a good amount so they wash less often!
What else do I need?
What do I do about the poop?
If you have a breastfed newborn, the poop is completely water soluble and you can throw the diaper right into the wash. Once your baby starts solids, you will want to dump the poop into the toilet before you wash the diaper. If the poop doesn't just fall off into the toilet, you can scrape the diaper, dunk the diaper into the toilet, or use a diaper sprayer to spray the poop off! Remember, even with disposables, you are supposed to dump the poop!
What do I do when I'm out and about?
When you are away from home, you need to bring a wetbag with you. A small wetbag will fit right into your diaper bag. Once you change the diaper, throw the dirty diaper and the wipe into the wetbag, zip it up and take it home. Dump the wetbag and the diaper right into the pail and into the washer! Easy!
How do I wash my diapers?
This is a common way to wash cloth diapers, and the way we do it at our house.
The detergent you use is important. You can not use a detergent with additives in it, like optical brighteners, fabric softeners, or chlorine bleach. If you can find a detergent with just biodegradable surfactants, that is the best. The fewer the ingredients, the better. Also, you may want to avoid detergents with enzymes, as some babies have reactions to them. Some don't, though, so use with caution.
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