Confused by the lingo? Learn the difference between an all in one diapers and a one size diapers. Read about the different types of cloth diapers available.
All in One Diaper
All in One Diaper
Every diapering system consists of both moisture absorbent layers and moisture resistant barrier. In all-in-one cloth diapers, these are combined.
CLOTH DIAPER LINGO: AIO = All in One.
Easy to Use
In an all in one diaper, a multi-layered absorbent inner diaper is integrated with an outer waterproof cover. The diaper is fitted to your baby's size and shape and can easily be adjusted with snap or hook and loop closures.
Since everything your baby needs is wrapped up in one cloth diaper package, all in one diapers are extremely easy to use. There are no extras to reach for---or to forget.
Washing AIO Diapers
When you take an all in one diaper off your baby, just cover close the hook side of the fastening tape (the rough side of VelcroTM) and toss in the diaper pail. Covering the hook side will prevent it grabbing and wearing on the diapers. Alternatively you can fasten the diaper inside out for better washing results and quicker drying times.
Our OsoCozy All in One Diapers are made with the same inner absorbent gauze as our prefolds. Our white all-in-one diapers use cotton gauze a little thicker than the typical prefold for extra absorbency. Our unbleached all in one diapers use extra absorbent cotton birdseye for the inner diaper.
You can add diaper doublers to all in one diapers for nighttime and for travel. Since they have more absorbency than most prefold diapers, you may not need a diaper doublers but they can be added if need. Previously called the All Together Diaper, the OsoCozy All In One Cloth Diaper is an absorbant and economical all in one diaper.
When you see a cloth diaper labelled a one-size diaper, that diaper is adjustable to fit almost any size child (with preemies and large toddlers sometimes the exceptions).
Adjustable Size Cloth Diaper
With a one size cloth diaper, you will need to change settings as your child grows. Fuzzi Bunz one-size diapers adjust through button elastic, similar to that on maternity clothes or children's jeans.
If your baby has extra chubby thighs or a very skinny waist or a belly you need to go around, a one-size diaper allows you to customize fit to create a just-right diaper.
Because you intend to use a one-size diaper as long as your child wears diapers---and more if you have a second child use the same diapers---they need to stand up to a lot of washing. Look for a particularly durable diaper.
If parts do wear out, you want a diaper that is easy to fix. With Fuzzi Bunz one-size diapers, snaps and elastic are built to last 3+ year but both easily replaced if they do wear out.
The Ultimate One-Size Cloth Diaper
The ultimate one-size diaper is a flat diaper. Because you fold a flat diaper into the size and shape your baby needs at that moment, you can easily make adjustments for growth every time you put on a diaper.
A fitted cloth diaper is made with absorbent fabric and shaped to the baby with elastic at legs and waist.
Fitted diapers can either come in specific sizes to fit the broad range of babies in diapers, or they can be one-size diapers. OsoCozy fitted diapers come is sizes to avoid bulk for tiny babies and to be sure to give enough absorbency to toddlers.
Contour Cloth Diapers
A contour diaper is similar to a fitted diaper, usually hourglass shaped, but it doesn't have elastic at the legs and waist.
Easy to Wash
Because a fitted diaper is all absorbent material with no waterproof layer to stop the flow of water in the wash, it is easy to get a fitted diaper thoroughly clean.
If your fitted diaper has hook and look closure (like VelcroTM), be sure to cover the hooks before tossing the diaper into the diaper pail to avoid wear on the diapers. Otherwise, just follow our easy washing routine.
We offer OsoCozy fitted diapers in organic, unbleached, and bleached versions. Because of the natural oils of the cotton, unbleached diapers take a little longer to break in, but many of our customers find this popular item well worth the initial effort. Read more about unbleached cloth diapers.
Flat diapers are one-layer of absorbent cotton, 2-foot to 3-foot square. These are the old-fashioned nappies that our grandmothers washed and folded---and they are still very popular.
CLOTH DIAPER LINGO: Birdseye = light, woven cotton fabric that has small, raised diamond shapes on it. Because of the extra surface area created by the raised pattern, birdseye is particularly absorbent, which makes it a great fabric for cloth diapers.
Low Cost Diapers
Flat diapers are the least expensive diapering option because you don't need to buy new sizes. Buy a few dozen diapers for a few dozen dollars, and all you have left to buy are simple covers.
Easiest to Wash and Dry
Because flat diapers are only one layer, they are very easily to wash and dry quickly and thoroughly.
No Worries About Size
With a flat diaper you will never wonder when you need to buy the right size or whether you grabbed the right size to put in your diaper bag when you are on the go.
Flat diapers are not sized. You determine the size of the diaper by how you fold it.
Common Around the World
Because these are the least expensive cloth diapers and the easiest to wash and dry, flat fold cloth diapers are still the most common diapers used around the world.
Diaper covers are the waterproof outer layer that goes over an absorbent cloth diaper.
CLOTH DIAPER LINGO: PUL = Polyurethane Laminate, a thin plastic coating added to polyester or cotton fabric to create a waterproof layer that is used on the outside of many reusable diaper covers.
Every diapering system needs both moisture absorbency and moisture resistance. When you use cloth diapers made from all-natural, absorbent materials---fitted diapers, prefolds, or flat diapers---you will also need a waterproof layer around the outside.
Wraps or Pull-up Diaper Covers
Diaper covers can be an hourglass shape similar to that of a fitted diaper, or they can be a pair of pants that pull on similar to underwear.
Wraps- Advantages: snug fit with leg gussets, adjust fit by either snaps or hook and loop (like VelcroTM).
Pull-ups- Advantages: loose fit means no adjustments necessary, very quick to put on. Disadvantages: if they get soiled, you will end up dragging the mess down baby's legs
Fun Prints and Colors
Since the outside cover is what you see most often on a diapered baby, some parents choose diaper covers in bright colors and fun prints. Together with a T-shirt, this is a cute and easy summer outfit.
A swim diaper is a pair of pull-up pants that holds in solids while liquids pass. Swim diapers don't include any absorbency, since their purpose is to prevent leaks in swimming pools.
Learning to swim is difficult enough for a little person without them having to worry about swimming pool accidents. Reusable swim diapers can be worn alone or under another swim suit.
Growing Popularity of Reusable Swim Diapers
Reusable swim diapers have become very popular at public pools because disposable diapers can disintegrate in the pool environment and cause filter and pump problems. Some pools have even banned disposable diapers.
Many swimming pool operators now require plastic pants over a swim diaper for children 3 years old and younger.
Gabby's Swim Diapers
We carry Gabby's swim diapers. The Infant Pull-On Swim Diaper is designed to allow liquids to sieve through while retaining solids. The inner layer is 100% cotton flannelette which remains soft against the skin, yet is durable after multiple washings. The outer layer is an oxford nylon which resists the damaging effects of chlorine and prevents the seepage of stool into the water. The legs and waist have gentle latex-free elastic bands. A matching bikini top is available as well.
Training Pants are a cross between the absorbency of a cloth diaper and the freedom of underwear.
Three Kinds of Training Pants
Children learn to use the toilet differently, and they need different kinds of transitions from diapers to potty training.
Training Pants, or training underwear, are regular toddler underwear with extra absorbency down the wet zone for some protection from accidents.
Waterproof Pants are a pull-up cover that can go over the child's regular underwear.
All-in-One Waterproof Training Pants combine the extra absorbent underwear with a waterproof, pull-up cover.
Potty Training Independence
All types of training pants give a toddler indepedence because they can be easily and quickly pulled up or down, and a toddler can learn to take them on and off alone.
Absorbent cotton training pants next to the toddler's skin leaves them aware of when they are wet. Many parents find that letting a toddler feel wet is a great motivator. They don't like it, so they are eager to avoid wetness and use the toilet.
Since training pants have less absorbency than a cloth diaper, there will be more moisture next the child's skin. Be sure not to leave this so long that the child's skin becomes irritated.
Organic cotton is not genetically modified, and organic cotton is grown without the use of synthetic pesticides or fertilizers.
The Most Common Fiber
Cotton makes up 50% of the world's fiber usage.  Cotton is still the most common fiber used for cloth diapers, even while other natural fibers like hemp become more popular. More cloth cloth diapering products are available all of the time from manufactured fibers of natural materials, like bamboo, and of petrochemical products, like polyester and nylon.
Yet most people still think of cloth diapers as cotton diapers.
The Problem with Cotton
Most of the impact of cotton happens in the field. The problem with cotton is the way most growers grow it. The extreme use of pesticides, fungicides, fertilizers, and other chemical inputs make cotton a very high impact fiber to grow.
It takes about 1/3 pound of agricultural chemicals to grow the cotton for one conventional cotton T-shirt. 
Just 2.4% of the world's arable land is planted with cotton yet it accounts for 24% of the world's insecticide market and 11% of sale of global pesticides, making it the most pesticide-intensive crop grown on the planet. 
But it doesn't have to be that way.
Organic cotton and "cleaner cotton" go a long way toward reducing the impacts of cotton in the field. Reduction of agricultural chemicals results in:
protecting surface and groundwater
elimination of toxics
Sustainable Cotton Diapers
By buying organic cotton cloth diapers, you are investing in a more sustainable future for your baby and lowering the overall impact of your cloth diapering.
Flat diapers and prefolds require fasteners to hold in messes. We carry two types of cloth diaper fasteners: pins, which are still very popular, and Snappi, a stretchy, T-shaped hook that keeps a diaper snug on your baby.
Reusable Baby Wipes and Cloths
Since you are washing cloth diapers anyway, it is easy to wash baby wipes as well. Add 1-2 cloth wipes for each diaper. If you wash 24 diapers every three days, you will need at least 48 wipes. Some messes require more wipes, so it is nice to have extras.
Diaper Wet Bags
When you are out and about, it is easy to keep wet and soiled diapers in wet bags---waterproof so you don't need to worry about leaks in your diaper bag. The innovative Planet Wise wet / dry bag has two zippered sections completely separated, one for dry diapers and one for wet diapers, both in the same stylish bag. With two wet bags you can have one in the wash and one packed away in the diaper bag ready to go.
Diaper Rash Remedies
Baby cream can serve two purposes: protect skin from wetness as a barrier cream or soothe and treat diaper rash. We like both Booty Goo, a pharmacist-formulated diaper rash remedy that smells sweet like rootbeer, and Grandma El's Diaper Rash Remedy with natural and organic active ingredients.
Diaper Pail & Odor Control
One of the most important accessories you need for cloth diapering is a diaper pail to hold dirty diapers before wash day. Odor control goes right along with a diaper pail. Citrus circles deo disks tuck into the diaper pail lid, and Diaper Buddies go directly into the pail as deodorizers then into the wash as a laundry booster.
Where do you start? With our many years of experience, we can help you choose what your child needs and learn how to use cloth diapers.
How Many Cloth Diapers?
How Many Cloth Diapers?
Especially if you are new to cloth diapers, you are probably wondering how many diapers you will need in order to keep a good stock of clean diapers ready to go while you are moving the rest through the wash cycle.
We recommend 3-4 dozen diapers per size. With this number of diapers, you will need to do diaper laundry about twice a week.
Your needs may vary from the average if:
Your toddler only wets 4-5 times a day. SUBSTRACT 2 dozen diapers. And, congratulations. Potty training is around the corner as your toddler gains more control.
Your baby is a heavy wetter and regularly needs more than one diaper per change. ADD 1 dozen diapers.
Your baby has messes seldom. Some breastfed babies are so efficient at processing their food that they will have a dirty diaper only once a week. SUBSTRACT 1 dozen diapers.
You don't like to wash and do like to procrastinate. ADD 1 dozen diapers.
You plan to wash everyday but might sometimes wash every other day. SUBSTRACT 1 dozen diapers.
You want to use a mix of prefolds, fitted diapers, and all in one diapers. DIVIDE the total by three and add a couple of diapers of each kind.
You are on a fixed budget and are limited on the amount you can spend on diapers. You can get by with 3 dozen infant diapers and 2 dozen regular diapers but you will have to launder more frequently.
How Many Diapers for Twins?
You do not necessarily need to double the number of diapers needed when you have twins. The numbers are padded by a few so you can see the need for washing coming. With twins, you do not need to double the padding.
You should have 5-6 dozen cloth diapers for twins. This should still mean washing diapers about twice a week.
How Many Diapers to Buy for a Newborn?
How Many Diapers to Buy for a Newborn?
Before your baby is born, you probably want to stock up on cloth diapers so you will be ready when the baby arrives. Or, maybe you just need to know how many diapers to register for your baby shower gift.
What Size Diaper for a Newborn Baby?
Babies grow fast and their size at birth can vary a lot. A 5lb premature baby has just a tiny handful of bottom and needs a very small diaper (a cloth or several wipes will usually do), but a 9-10lb newborn may gain weight so quickly that they only fit a small diaper for weeks.
How Many Diaper Changes Per Day?
Most newborn babies will wet about 12 times a day. You should change a baby's diaper whenever it is wet to avoid rash and irritation. Plan on at least 12 diapers per day plus a couple at night and a few more for accidents. You will need 15-18 diapers per day. If you are washing every two days, start with 3 dozen diapers to be sure you have enough diapers.
Start with Prefolds
Because babies can grow so quickly in the beginning, you might want to start by stocking some prefolds. That way, if your small fitted diapers are too large for a few weeks, you still have diapers that fit well for your newborn baby. You can use the small prefolds later as diaper doublers and general purpose baby wipes.
Diaper Baby Gift
Cloth diapers are a wonderful gift for a new parent. This will save the parents money and start the baby out right with diapers that will be reused over and over again.
The key to a successful diaper change is having everything you need arranged before you start.
Arrange Your Changing Area
Changing Table. Start with a changing table just less than elbow height so you can reach your baby easily. A changing table with high edges (3-5" high) makes the space more safe for your baby. If you don't have a changing table, use a bed with an absorbent pad under the baby. Easiest of all, just sit on the floor.
Clean Diapers. Have a stack of clean diapers ready to go. If you use prefolds or flat diapers, have them folded and stacked already.
Wipes and Cloths. To make cleaning easier, have either wet cloth diaper wipes or cloths along with a spray bottle you can use to wet the cloths when you need extra cleaning power. Some people like to add a drop of soap or scent to make a wipe solution, but plain water should work for you in most situations. A dry cloth is also helpful if you have a little boy to hold over him to avoid letting him spray you in the face. (Not pleasant!)
Diaper Pail. Make sure your diaper pail is close enough that you don't need to leave your baby unattended to put the diaper in the pail.
How you feel affects how your baby feels. If you approach diaper changes with a smile on your face, your baby will learn to enjoy that time together. Talk, sing, and laugh with your baby while you are completely focused on one another's faces.
Have a Distraction Available
At times you will have major messes to clean up. At those times, you may be concentrating more on mess than baby. Have a distraction for baby. A mobile or music both work well. A toy isn't necessarily a good idea, since the baby may wave the toy right into the mess, making clean up even harder. Babies are easier to clean than most toys.
Prefolds and flat diapers are simple, inexpensive, and easy to wash and dry. The trade off is learning a few easy folds to put the diaper absorbency where your baby needs it.
CLOTH DIAPER LINGO: PREFOLD = A prefolded and sewn flat diaper. Before there were prefolds there were large squares of one-layer of absorbent fabric. When mothers realized that they were often folding the diapers the same way to start, they just sewed up the seams with extra absorbency down the center, and they had a prefolded (and sewn) diaper. Over time, prefolds became their own type of diaper.
How to Fold a Flat Diaper:
How to Fold Prefolds:
How to Fold Better Fit Prefolds:
How to Save on Diapers
How to Save on Diapers
Using and reusing cloth diapers will already save you money. Disposable diapers will cost $1800-2700 per child; cloth dipaers will cost $300-1200. You are likely to save $600-$2400 by home laundering cloth diapers. Your savings are multiplied with additional children if you buy quality diapers that will not wear out quickly.
Just by using cloth diapers, you will cut costs for your baby.
Go Low Tech
Flat diapers and prefold diapers are less expensive than fitted diapers or all in one diapers. They not only cost less but you don't need to buy as many diapers because you will be able to use smaller sizes as diaper doublers and larger sizes as nighttime and travel diapers.
If you are willing to take the time to fold diapers, choose flat diapers for the lowest cost diapering alternative. No new sizes to buy.
Buy in Bulk
Buying all of your cloth diapers at once can save money over buying diapers one size at a time. You will save on shipping and you can get bulk cloth diaper rates. See our Cloth Diaper Package Deals for the best deals available online.
If you are looking for the quickest and easiest diaper around, all in one diapers may be the way to go.
CLOTH DIAPER LINGO: AIO = All in One Cloth diaper, a diaper with the moisture absorbent part (the diaper) and the moisture resistant part (the cover) combined into one diaper that is easy on and easy off.
With an all in one diaper, there are no extras to stuff or separate or fold. Just on, off, and toss in the wash.
Easy Enough for the Babysitter
Have you ever had the experience of trying to explain to a daycare provider or a babysitter how to fold a diaper. Skip that step altogether. All-in-one diapers are self explanatory. They are shaped like a baby, and it is obvious where they go. Though grandparents may have experience with simple prefolds, they may want the easy diapers when they watch their grandbabies.
Yes, Even Easy Enough for Daycare
If you want to use cloth diapers in your child's daycare, you might want to start the conversation with an all in one cloth diaper in hand. Often their hesitation comes from thinking that cloth diapers will be difficult. If you show a daycare provider how easy aio diapers can be, you have a better chance of keeping your child in clean, soft cloth diapers throughout the day.
When washing all in one cloth diapers, be sure that you use manufacturer-recommended setting in order to get the diapers thoroughly clean and not damage the outer, moisture-resistant layer.
Fitted cloth diapers hug your baby's shape to hold in messes and ensure your baby is comfortable without too much bulk where it isn't need. Fitted diapers stay closed with snaps or hook and loop.
Rule #1 with a fitted cloth diaper: YES! You need a cover.
Every cloth diapering system includes a way to absorb moisture and a way to contain moisture. With a fitted diaper, you only have halfs of that equation. You still need a diaper cover.
Rule #2 with a fitted cloth diaper: Easy close
Fitted diapers can close with snaps or with hook and loop closures.
Snaps are very easy to open and close.
Hook and loop is very easy to get a custom fit because you can make small adjustments, but the ripping sounds can be loud enough to alarm a newborn or an especially sensitive baby.
Rule #3 with a fitted cloth diaper: Not too loose, not too tight, just right
The point of a fitted cloth diaper is to fit and adjust to your child's shape, not to force a fit.
Not too loose. To avoid leaks, check fit at legs leaks. You should be able to fit two fingers in the leg opening, but it should be snug around the top of the leg so moisture and messes don't leak right out. Also check the fit at the back waist. If you have to loose a fit at the waist, especially with a newborn, you can get a blow out straight up the back that means changing all of the baby's clothes and having a quick bath.
Not too tight. For comfort and safety, make sure the fit at the legs isn't so tight athat it pinches or makes red marks. For especially chubby bellies, you might want to use a diaper that goes under the belly to avoid tightness at the waist.
Rule #4 with a fitted cloth diaper: No peeking!
Once you have the diaper cover on over the fitted diaper, don't let the diaper peek out at the edges of the legs or waist. A peeking diaper can wick moisture onto clothes. All you need to do is tuck the diaper back in at the edges.
Over prefolds: a fitted diaper means the absorbency goes exactly where a baby needs it without bulky spots you can get with prefold diapers or flat diapers
Over one size diapers: a fitted diaper in multiple sizes means you are adding a lot of unneeded bulk to a newborn and putting your toddler in a bikini
Over all in one diapers: it is easier to keep a diaper clean without the added moisture resistant shell of an all in one diaper
Over all in one diapers: because you wash the diapers and covers separately, you need fewer diaper covers than diapers, which saves you money
You do need to either start with one-size diapers or buy a new size of diapers once your baby grows. You will need multiple sizes of diapers, so your costs will be higher than with one-size or flat diapers.
Sometimes you'll find yourself traveling and needing to use cloth diapers. This could be because of camping, vacations, or just simply visiting friends and family. Here's what you need to get you through your vacation and still maintain the use of your cloth diapers.
What you need:
You are going to need a good wetbag for the trip. Wet bags will be your best friend during travel. You'll probably want one for clean diapers and one for the dirties. Make sure its air tight and has a zipper or draw string. You don't want to have to travel with smelly diapers. You can buy a hanging wet bag which can be easily placed on a door knob or hung up in a hotel. It can double as a pail while you're away from home. Just toss the dirty diapers in the wetbag until you get to your destination and can wash them.
One of the biggest life savers while traveling with cloth are flushable liners. You probably won't have access to a diaper sprayer so the easiest way to remove stool off your diapers is to just use flushable liners. Most flushable liners are biodegradable and usually made from natural plant fibers. This will keep the majority of poop off your cloth diapers and make them less smelly if you can't get to a washing machine for sometime. Best of all you can simply flush them in the toilet with no worries.
Lastly, if you are going to be staying with friend or family and have access to a washing machine don't forget to bring your detergent. The worst thing you can do is forget your detergent and use a brand that harms your cloth diapers. You don't want to get back home from vacation to find your cloth diapers repelling and needing stripping. Just pack a zip lock bag or bottle with your favorite cloth diaper friendly detergent.
Overestimate the amount of diapers you will need. Always have plenty of spares and back ups.
Don't try a new system on the road. Use cloth diapers that you are familiar with. Don't switch to a system that you have never tried at home.
Ask family and friends ahead of time if it's alright to use their washer and dryer. You know your diapers won't harm their machine but you don't want to arrive to an argument of using someones washer.
Pre-stuff all your diapers before heading on your trip. This will save time and save you a headache from doing it on the side of the road
CLOTH DIAPER LINGO: Dry Pail = no water added, no soaking. Your pail will probably be quite wet with urine, but you don't add extra water to a dry pail system.
CLOTH DIAPER LINGO: Deo Disk = deodorant disk. A 2" round disk of heavy paper saturated with odor absorbent oils. Fits in the lid of a diaper pail.
Remove Solid Waste. The best way to keep the smell at a minimum is to remove as much waste from the diapers as possible. This is not an issue with newborn babies and breastfed babies.
Shake excess waste into the toilet and use a diaper sprayer that attaches to your toilet to remove the rest. If you don’t have a sprayer you can use a flat edged scraper to remove the rest.
Wash Frequently. Wash at least every 3 or 4 days.
Avoid Heat. Keep the diaper pail out of the sun and away from heat sources.
Deo Disks & Diaper Pail Deodorizers. Use diaper pail deodorizers such as Citrus Circles deo-disks, which contain natural, scented citrus oils, or Diaper Buddies, which deodorize diapers and add a laundry booster to your wash.
Soaking diapers in a wet pail---that is, adding water to the pail---is not necessary.
You can put the diaper covers in with the diapers, but be sure to close hook and loop fasteners before putting them into the diaper pail to avoid fibers collecting in the hooks. This not only keeps the hook from holding tight to the loop but wears out your diapers faster as it tears at the fabric.
Diaper Buddies scented to reduce odors then toss in wash as a laundry booster
Easy Cloth Diaper Washing Routine
Easy Cloth Diaper Washing Routine
Once you work out your own cloth diaper washing routine, you will be the expert on your diapers in your washer and dryer. Start with this simple routine and adjust as necessary.
Wash Before Wearing
All cloth diapers should be pre-washed before using so the diapers fluff up and achieve optimal softness and absorbency. White or bleached diapers require only one prewash. Natural or unbleached diapers require 3-5 pre-washes to make the diapers fully absorbent.
Simple Wash Method
Use a dry pail. No soaking! Shake the solid waste into the toilet before putting diaper into pail. Add scented deo disks to control odor and add a nice citrus scent.
Cover hook and loop before you put the diaper or diaper cover into the pail to prevent it catching and wearing on other diapers.
Never use fabric softeners or chlorine-based bleach. These degrade the fibers and leave a residue that prevents absorbency.
A single load should have no more than 24 diapers. You can wash diapers, covers, wipes, and inserts together. NOTE: do not wash wool diaper covers with the diapers. See manufacturer washing instructions.
Start with a cold rinse to help prevent stains.
Then, run a full hot wash with soap or detergent. Liquid laundry detergents rinse out more easily.
Follow with a second hot wash without detergent or an additional cold rinse. You may want to periodically add 1/3 cup of baking soda to the second rinse to make sure you’re getting all of the detergent out of your diapers to prevent residue build up that leads to leaky diapers.
Hang diaper covers to dry to increase their lifespan.
Dry fleece covers with diapers, wipes, and inserts on high heat. Save energy by line drying or air drying.
High heat or direct sunlight will sterilize cloth diapers if you find that necessary.
If you care for cloth diapers by cleaning and rinsing well, you will give them a long absorbent life. Drying on high heat or in the sun will help you avoid bacteria and irritants that can cause diaper rash.
If you do choose to use soap rather than detergent and it leaves a residue on your diapers, the natural solution to break down the residue is a vinegar rinse. This will help maintain diaper absorbency.
We recommend that you use no more than ½ cup of distilled white vinegar in the rinse cycle. Make sure it is distilled vinegar to avoid stains from vinegars with color.
Vinegar may also be used in the rinse cycle to help neutralize the urine odor, equalize the pH balance, help prevent stains from setting in, and as a natural fabric softener.
NOTE: If you have hard water, vinegar may cause your diapers to smell bad once urinated on. In that case, we recommend you discontinue using soap and switch to detergent.
Adjust to Your Washing Machine
Adjust to Your Washing Machine
Clean diapers should smell of nothing---fresh, beautiful nothing. How do you make sure that happens? Sometimes you need to adjust your diaper washing routine to your washing machine.
Hot or Cold?
You can use cold water to wash cloth diapers. You don't have to use hot water unless you are trying to sterilize your diapers. Even then, you can sterilize diapers naturally using the UV light from the sun.
Use Enough Detergent
You do need to be sure that you use enough detergent. For example, if you cut back according to instructions for a high efficiency washer (generally suggested to use 1/4 of the amount recommended for that detergent), you still need to be sure that you use enough detergent to clean your diapers. If you don't use enough detergent, you may find that diapers smell a lot immediately after your baby wets them.
Don't Use Too Much Detergent
Don't adjust too far the other way. If you use too much detergent, detergent residue can build up on the fabric, keeping the diapers from absorbing properly. If the diapers repel urine, you have a leaky diaper.
Just like Goldilocks, you need to get it not to much, not too little, but just right.
If you find that you are getting detergent build up, you may need to add a second rinse cycle to your regular wash routine even if you don't have a high-efficiency washer.
High Efficiency Washing Machine
A lot of families are opting for a high-efficiency washer to save on water. With a few minor adjustments, you will still be able to keep your cloth diapers clean and smelling fresh.
Because the high-efficiency washer uses less water, you may want set water levels to highest settings. Or, rather than one long wash cycle you may find that two short cycles give you a cleaner rinse.
If you don't use the two-short-cycle method, you may need to add an extra rinse.
Both high efficiency washing machines and particular types of cloth diapers can vary, so you may need to experiment to find the best wash routine for your machine and your diapers.
The biggest drawback in using a high-efficiency machine to wash cloth diapers is the front loading. It is tough to dump a wet pail into a front-load washer. You may find it less messy to use a dry pail.
Because a high-efficiency machne spins so much water out of your diapers, you will find that they will dry more quickly, which will save you energy through the rest of your wash routine.
Soap or Detergent
Soap or Detergent
Which works best for cloth diapers, soap or detergent?
To keep your cloth diapers clean and functioning well, you need to use a good cleaning agent.
Soaps and Detergents will both clean diapers.
Soap for Cloth Diapers
Soap is a mild cleaning agent made from natural materials. The drawbacks of using soap to clean cloth diapers are that, because of its mild attributes, it may not thoroughly clean your diapers, and soap reacts with minerals in hard water that can leave a residue on the diapers causing them to be less absorbent.
Detergent for Cloth Diapers
Detergent is a synthetic cleaning product. Detergent has more cleaning power than natural soap, and it will clean cloth diapers thoroughly and should not leave a build-up on the diapers that takes away from their absorbency as long as you don't use too much. You may want to look for detergents made from renewable resources rather than petro-chemicals. Many detergents are available with no dyes and natural fragrances.
NO Fabric Softener for Cloth Diapers
Do not use fabric softener on your cloth diapers because it coats the fabric fibers in the diapers, which reduces absorbency of the diapers.
Don't Use Too Much
Especially if you have a high efficiency washing machine, don't use too much soap or detergent on your cloth diapers. If you use too much, your washing machine will have a difficult time rinsing the diapers adequately, leaving a detergent build up that can result in leaking diapers.
Avoid Free and Clear
For best results with cloth diapers, avoid detergents that are marked Free & Clear, for baby, or detergents with oil surfactants. For more information about detergent ingredients and cloth diapers, see the Detergent Determinator.
5 Tips to Keep Your Diapers Bright & White
5 Tips to Keep Your Diapers Bright & White
Keep your cloth diapers as clean and bright as the day you bought them with a few simple tips.
Use the free energy all around you to bleach your diapers naturally. UV (ultra violet) light can also be a powerful disinfectant, but it is unknown how effective sunlight is in disinfecting a porous material like cotton.
2. Lemon AND sunlight
If you are looking for a low-impact cloth diaper bleach, reach for a lemon. Saturate the stain with lemon juice then hang the diaper in the sun. If the stain is still visible once the diaper is dry, saturate with lemon juice and put out in the sunlight again.
It is easier to remove a stain if you don't hot wash, which sets stains.
3. Don't Sit Too Long
To avoid stains, don't let a dirty diaper sit too long.
Dump or spray solids into the toilet.
Wash more frequently.
4. Enzyme Cleaners
Spray natural enzymes on soiled diapers. Natural enzymes do work similar to the enzymes in our gut. They break down organic matter. In the case of soiled diapers, if you apply the enzymes to a dirty diaper before dropping it in the diaper pail, this means the enzymes eat away at stains and odor while a diaper sits in the pail.
Some caution that their children are sensitive to laundry products with enzymes, but I used spray-on enzyme cleaner on diapers for two children with no problems at all.
5. Oxygen Bleach
Oxygen bleaches will not bleach colors. They are generally mild enough not to break down the fibers of your cloth diapers. Oxygen bleach is made by reacting molecules with hydrogen peroxide. Most oxygen bleaches work best in hot water.
If you are looking for cost savings and energy savings in your cloth diaper washing routine, start with drying.
Before you move on to the drying phase, make sure that you have squeezed out as much of the wash water as possible.
A high-efficiency washer does a great job spinning water out of diapers in the spin cycle.
If your diapers still feel wet when you take them out of the washer, shake them out well before hanging or putting in the dryer.
The most energy efficient way to dry cloth diapers is to hang them outside in the sun and the breeze. Dependingly on your climate, this can also be quicker than using a clothes dryer.
If you find that your diapers are a bit stiff after being on the line, try rolling them around in your hands a bit. You could also toss them in the clothes dryer for a few minutes to let them agitate against one another and soften up.
Cool or Air Drying
If you live in a humid climate, it can take a long time to dry diapers on a line. With thick diapers like all in one diapers you might give up before the diapers feel completely dry.
If you want to use a clothes dryer but still save energy, try cool or air dry. Since you are not heating the air, you will use less energy.
Over a period of nearly 20 years in the cloth diaper business, we have answered a lot of questions about cloth diapering and every kind of cloth diaper products. We have helped customers choose the right diapers and then care for their cloth diapers to keep them clean and white and working right for your child. We were also cloth diapering parents ourselves. When we answer your questions about cloth diapers, we draw on long experience.
We are happy to answer your questions. If you don't see the answer to your question here, contact us.
How much money will I save using cloth diapers?
How much money will I save using cloth diapers instead of disposable diapers?
Even when the economy is humming, families look for ways to save money with a new baby. Now more than ever, it is time to cut costs where we can.
When you can cut costs and use a superior product, even better!
Disposable Diapers will cost between $1,800 and $2,700 per child.
Cloth Diapering will cost between $300 and $1,200.
Based on the above figures you are likely to save from $600-$2,400 by home laundering a quality cloth diapers.
Your savings are multiplied if you have additional children if you buy the quantities suggested above as they probably will not wear out with your first child.
Remember, if your diaper isn't cloth, it's garbage.
The hidden costs of garbage are found in municipal solid waste and depletion of natural resources,
Do your part to Reduce and Reuse by using cloth diapers.
Bleached or Unbleached Cloth Diapers?
Bleached or Unbleached Cloth Diapers?
Have you noticed that some of our diapers are white and some are a creamy color? We offer both bleached (white) and unbleached (beige) cotton diapers.
Bleached Cloth Diapers
Bleached prefold diapers are white because the cotton yarn was bleached in the factory prior to weaving the material. Cotton is naturally an ivory or light brown color. The bleaching process turns the cotton fibers white and also removes the natural cotton oils in the fibers. In doing so the strength of the fibers is reduced and the resulting woven material is slightly less durable. The bleaching process can lead to additional pollutants being released to the environment through airborne and waterborn emissions. Recent improvements in bleaching technology has reduced but not eliminated this impact.
Unbleached Cloth Diapers
Because unbleached diapers retain much of their natural cotton oil in the fiber matrix, they are softer and more durable than bleached cloth diapers.
Unbleached prefold cloth diapers must be washed at least 2-3 times after you receive them before they become absorbant. We recommend washing the diapers in hot sudsy water and drying them on high heat and repeating as many times as necessary for the diapers to become absorbant. You can test the absorbency by making a pocket of the diaper and slowly pouring 1/2 cup of liquid into the diaper. If the pools and does not soak in fairly quickly, keep washing. Depending upon the detergent you use and the hardness of your water and the natural variations in cotton materials you may have to wash these up to 5 times before they become fully absorbant. Do not under any circumstance use fabric softener as this causes the fabric to be coated and thus repels moisture.
Despite the added effort necessary to break them in, unbleached cloth diapers are extremely popular and by most accounts well worth it.
Unbleached Organic Cotton Diapers
Our unbleached organic fitted diaper has all the benefits of the unbleached diaper and is also made with certified organic cotton. Organic cotton is grown and harvested using practices that significantly reduce the environmental impacts of growing conventional cotton. No pesticides or man-made fertilizers are used, and defoliants are not used prior to harvesting the cotton. Organic materials are much more expensive, thus the diapers cost more.
Check section above on Unbleached Organic Cotton Diapers
To identify the size of your diapers, refer to the color of the stitching and compare to our chart of thread color.
All in one diapers
baby blue stitching
Bleached and Unbleached prefolds
Preemie, Infant, Premium, and Toddler Unbleached diapers are all the same color. Regular unbleached diapers have a single yellow stitch.
Organic diapers all have the same color of stitching.
What do you mean by 4x6x4, 4x8x4, 3x6x3, and so on?
What do you mean by 4x6x4, 4x8x4, 3x6x3, and so on?
With prefold cloth diapers, we refer to absorbency by the number of layers in the side, center, and size. A 4x6x4 prefold has 6 layers of fabric down the center for absorbency and 4 layers of fabric down each side section of the prefold.
Why Are My Pocket Diapers Leaking?
Why Are My Pocket Diapers Leaking?
Sometimes you may find that your pocket diapers leak. There are several possible causes of this.
CLOTH DIAPER LINGO: Pocket Diaper = moisture resistant shell, open in the back to stuff with moisture absorbent insert.
If the diaper is too big for the baby, there will be gaps around the edges at the legs or at the waist. Size down and see if you solve the leaking problem.
Not Enough Absorbency
If the insert is soaked and the diaper is leaking, you may need to add more absorbency. Add another insert and see if you solve the leaking problem.
Diaper Cream & Residues
Oily or creamy substances can leave a film on polyester fleece that keeps moisture from adhering to the fabric. Don't use diaper creams with Fuzzi Bunz pocket diapers. Don't use fabric softeners, baby detergents, or natural soaps with oil surfactants. All of these can result in leaky diapers.
If you are noticing not only leaks but stink with your pocket diapers, you may have a problem with the fleece repelling. Flush the detergent residue, oil, cream, or other substance out of your diapers.
The solution is simple.
Using a residue-free detergent, wash the diapers in two hot washes in a row (without drying in between).
Then, wash again on hot without detergent.
Rinse on cold.
If you see bubbles (detergent residues), rinse again on cold.
If you haven't pre-washed your diapers, the waxes used in fabric processing need to be flushed from the diapers. If you have pre-washed, you may be experiencing detergent residue. See our easy cloth diaper washing routine for advice on breaking down residues that can cause repelling and lead to leaking diapers.