You are keen to start cloth diapering your children but unsure of the process, here are a few pertinent information to start you on the right foot! I won’t delve into the cost and health benefits of cloth diapering, but from my experience, my soon to turn 1 year old daughter wears the same set of diapers for almost 6 months now, and with tender, loving care your baby will wear the diapers for almost as long, if not longer, until such time when he/she gains weight and passes a greater amount of urine!
How many cloth diapers do I need?
The amount depends on the age of your baby. Generally newborns change more often than that of an older baby. Basically you would need about 10 – 12 cloth diapers per day, again depending on how often you change your baby. You should wash your diapers every 2 days.
The following are the common terms you will find in the cloth diaper industry.
AIO – is short for All-in-One. It is a ready to use waterproof diaper, with the absorbent material sewn in for a quick and easy usage. It is just like a disposable except that you wash and reuse it. This is the easiest diaper to understand, and enables the transition to cloth diaper from disposables for most parents.
Fitted – is similar to the AIO, but not waterproof. You will need a diaper cover with the fitted diaper. This is also a highly absorbent diaper as the layers used in it are ‘thirsty’ fabrics like bamboo fleece. Since fitted only uses natural materials, it is also gentle on your baby’s bum.
PUL – stands for Polyurethane Laminated fabric. Once a fabric is laminated it becomes waterproof. The lamination is designed to withstand being washed and dried on high temperature apart from multiple washes.
Doublers – An extra (or two) layer of absorbent liners especially used at night for heavy-wetting babies. These layers can be laid inside the AIO without the added bulk.
Stripping – A method needed to remove buildup caused by detergent and other type of residues. This needs to be done when you find your diapers are leaking, and repelling liquid, if they become smelly or if your baby develops diaper rashes.
What goes into the AIO/fitted and the types of fabrics I carry
1. Outer layer/PUL – I have both prints and solid (plain) colours. Price depends on your choice of PUL, inner layer and size. Prints will cost more as the designs need to be printed first and then undergo the lamination process to become PUL. Solid colours will be cheaper as it has no design but still fun and you will find some custom-made colours in stock. Please note that fitted diapers will not have this waterproof outer layer, instead the outer layer will be made from soft cotton knits/ interlock.
2a. Inner layer – Depending on your baby’s skin I carry both polyester-based and natural fabrics. You can find polyester fabrics such as micro-chamois, suede cloth and minky in stock. These are different in texture but behave the same as in they ‘wick’ (transfer the urine) to the soaker layer sewn to the hidden inner layer. This enables your baby’s bottom to stay dry for so long until the next diaper change.
Natural fabrics are bamboo velour and cotton sherpa. These are also soft and real gentle on your baby’s bottom. Bamboo velour has a plush feel to it and the sherpa feels like a sheep’s fleece. Both do not wick liquid but will stay wet, however, since they’re both plush your baby will not feel discomfort with the wetness, until it’s time to change the diaper. For fitted diapers, I only use natural fabrics.
2b. Hidden inner layer – this is where the soaker material is sewn into, also it provides an extra layer of absorbency to the diaper. This layer is usually made either of bamboo fleece or flannel. You won’t see this layer as it is sewn under the inner layer, hence ‘hidden’.
3. Soaker layer – This is the diaper’s ‘workhorse’ where it will absorb your baby’s urine until it gets saturated. The core is made of 4 layers of micro fibre terry, zorb and sherpa/bamboo fleece. These different types of materials when combined work like a highly absorbent sponge and yet remain trim without the bulk.
Preemie: To 7lbs (3kg)
Newborn: 6 – 14lbs (2.7 – 6kg)
Small: 12 – 22lbs (5 – 10kg)
Medium: 18 – 28lbs (8 – 13kg)
Large: 24 – 40lbs (10 – 18kg)
X-Large: 39+lbs (17+kg)
I hold a licence with Little Comet Tails to sew the Little Half Moon (diapers) and Baby Steps EC Pants (training pants).