FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ)
1. What are modern cloth diapers and how are they different from traditional diapers/disposables?
Modern cloth diapers are made to match the comfort of disposable diapers and combining it with reusability for hundreds of times. Just like disposable diapers they can last usually 2-4 hours, and are waterproof to protect clothes and bedding. Unlike disposable diapers, they dont contain the chemicals, dont create piles of landfill, and are cheaper on your pocket long term. Most of the modern cloth diapers come in One Size, that can be adjusted to fit the baby from only few weeks old all the way to potty training, meaning you only invest once.
2. How many diapers do I need?
It will depend on your washing routine. Normally cloth diapers should be washed every 1-2 days. Daily one will go through about 8-10 diapers for new baby and 6-7 diapers for older child. One should always include 1 day washing/drying time. So minimum amount of diapers you need if washing daily is 13-15, washing every 2 days about 22 pcs. It is always a good idea to have some inserts (absorbent material) extra since diaper outers dry faster than the absorbent material, also extra inserts are good for doubling up absorbency for heavy wetting children.
3. What are the basic types of modern cloth diapers in LaluBaby store?
Pocket diaper: Pocket diaper consists of waterproof outer, and stay dry inner layer. The diaper itself is not absorbent. Absorbency (insert) is to be placed in the opening between the waterproof and stay dry layers (pocket) before use and removed during wash. Pocket diapers are very versatile as absorbency can easily be adjusted to baby’s age and wetting patterns. Both pocket and insert must be put for wash after use. Pocket diapers dry fast.
All in One (AIO) diapers: waterproof diapers that have absorbency stitched in, the variety on lalubaby store are also lined with stay dry layer for baby`s comfort. The absorbency can be stitched in all along in diaper body, or at one end only as flap. Pros – easy to handle, as they dont require stuffing/unstuffing like pockets or separate inserts like covers. Inserts wont get lost in the laundry pile. Absorbency is harder to adjust as you cant take any away if the baby happens to be small and the diaper bulky. Some trimmer AIO diapers have pocket for extra inserts for use during nights or larger toddlers. Designs and amount of stitched in absorbency differ from brand to brand. Some AIO diapers can take long to dry, especially if many layers are stitched in along the body of diaper.
Diaper cover: Plain waterproof material, to use in pair with laid in inserts or over non waterproof cloth diapers, such as pinned flats, prefolds and fitted diapers. Just like pocket – very versatile as can be paired with any type of absorbency. Can be reused for 2-3 times in a rowjust by changing out the absorbent material, unless soiled. Dries fast.
All in Two (Ai2) diapers: diapers are waterproof and come in set with inserts, however, absorbency can be removed for smaller children, making it more versatile and dries faster than All in One.
Fitted diapers: Fitted diapers are absorbent fiber shaped as diaper, but are NOT waterproof. They are great for families trying to go for most natural and breathable diapering options. Great for rash prone babies and in hot climate to help skin feel comfortable. Usually fitted diaper will last 2-3 hours without a cover, only by feeling slightly moist on the outer. Fitted diapers unlike most other modern cloth diapers have absorbent fiber not only in the crotch but all around the baby. Paired with a waterproof cover, they make for perfect overnight diapering options to catch the pee of tummy and side sleeping babies. When used with waterproof cover, the diaper will not feel moist on outer, thus one can use it to full absorbency capacity, which is much greater than most other diapers. However, fitted diapers can feel bulky.
Inserts: Inserts are the absorbent material pads to use with your modern cloth diapers. The different types of inserts are made for different needs and differently aged children.
Prefold diaper: prefold is a type of flat diaper that has been stitched down already folded, to make it easier to put it on the baby. Prefold can be used without waterproof cover (fastened with diaper fasteners on the baby) or with waterproof cover. Prefolds can also be used pad-folded with waterproof covers or pocket diapers.
4. How to use the ONE SIZE diaper?
You can adust the setting of your diaper by using front rows of snap down buttons and snapping them downwards. All the way down for S (3-7 kg), middle for M (8-11kg) and all unsnapped for L (12+ kg)
5. How to care for, store and wash used modern cloth diapers?General use. One should avoid using any artificial base powders and ointments. It can cause diapers to repel and reduce absorbency. If use of such creams and powders becomes necessary, please use disposable or reusable liners to protect the diapers. For everyday skin protection, as well as to treat mild rashes, one can safely use natural based oils such as olive oil, coconut oil with modern cloth diapers.
Washing should be done with detergent maximally free of synthetic additives (optical brighteners, softeners, perfumes) some of the suggested detergents are Tide + (plain), Rustic Art, Amway.
Prerinse your used diapers before main wash, wash in warm water (25-40 degrees) with regular amount of detergent. Both machine wash and hand-wash is fine. When machine washing, normally single regular rinse will be just fine.
Washing by hands should be done without wringing, no brushing. Instead, gentle rubbing and massaging and squeezing to rid of excess water. When hand-washing, multiple rinses (usually 3) are suggested to make sure all detergent is gone.
Generally, if at all possible, machine washing tends to give better results and less long term issues with unpleasant odors/detergent buildup/staining.
Line dry or tumble dry on low. Drying in sun also helps rid of staining.
Storage: After use, knock off/wash off solids of the diaper. Synthetic fibers are very durable, so can be stored in closed buckets and other closed spaces, however, natural fibers (hemp, natural bamboo, cotton) should be kept in well ventilated places, where air can easily flow, to reduce the bacterial growth/possibility of rotting/catching mold during storage. Similarly, synthetic fibers wont disintegrate if stored for many days at a time without wash, however, natural fibers must be washed every alternate day at most, every day preferably.
If smells become issue, quick rinsing of pee can be done on diapers just after use as they wait for the wash.
6. Preparing new modern cloth diapers for first use
All diapers should be prewashed in warm regular detergent wash before first use to rid of manufacturing induced chemicals and prepare the fibers.
Synthetic fibers – laminated fiber, suede, fleece, charcoal fleece, microfiber: SINGLE wash.
Natural fibers – bamboo, cotton, hemp – can use after first wash, but best absorbency reached after 4-5 washes.
UNBLEACHED natural fibers (usually cotton) – will need 3-4 washes before first use, best absorbency reached after 10-12 washes. This is due to heavy amount of natural oils present in new natural unbleached fiber.
Shortcut for faster prepping of the natural fibers that dont have snaps/elastics waterproofing and require multiple washes is boiling for 30 minutes rolling boil. For items with snaps/elastics/waterproofing, one can put a few drops of dish wash liquid along when washing.
Please note, we mention, but dont particularly advise these shortcut methods. They pose no harm, but we arent convinced they are really necessary.
7. What are the different types of inserts?
Microfiber - artificial fiber, moderate absorbency (lasts about 2-3 hours), not to be used directly on skin unless topped with other skin friendly fiber. Most commonly used in pocket style diapers. Dries very fast, very durable.
Bamboo charcoal and microfiber blend insert - artificial fiber, very good absorbency (lasts 3-4 hours), can be used directly to skin and will be providing stay dry affect, as well as in pocket diapers. Fairly bulky insert, thus better for children over 6-8 months of age. Very durable, dries fast.
Microfiber terry suede lined insert - artificial fiber, good absorbency (about 3 hours), since its topped with suede, its stay dry and can be used in skin.
Bamboo cotton inserts - natural fiber, not stay dry, but skin friendly. Cool and soothing for hot climate if used directly to skin. Very trim, fair absorbency (about 2 hours), due to how trim it is, a great choice for babies under 6 months, also great to double up absorbency for naptime and night diapers, older kids, heavy wetters. Bamboo fiber is soft to skin, however, delicate fiber and requires care: should be washed every alternate day at most, kept in airy space in between washes. Natural fiber usually lasts about 9 months frequent use under proper care. Moderate drying time
Bamboo terry (pure) inserts – natural fiber, not stay dry, but skin friendly. Cool for hot climate. Also quite trim, fair absorbency (about 2-3 hours), due to trimness great for small children or as doubling inserts. Bamboo terry is not quite as soft to skin as bamboo cotton due to the loops of fabric. Retains its shape better than other natural fiber (less shrinking). Bamboo fiber is delicate fiber and requires care: should be washed every alternate day at most, kept in airy space in between washes. Natural fiber usually lasts about 9 months frequent use under proper care. Moderate drying time
Bamboo terry and microfiber blend inserts – natural fiber to skin, artificial core. Skin friendly, cool for hot climate. Good absorbency (3-4 hours). Same as other bamboo inserts requires care to avoid catching mold and early deterioration. Under proper care lasts about 9 months frequent use. After that, bamboo outer may start to disintegrate, however, microfiber core would remain fully usable. Moderate drying time
Hemp inserts - natural fiber insert, skin friendly and cool for hot climate, however, more 'crunchy' than bamboo, thus less often a choice for direct contact to skin. Very trim and very good absorbency. 4 layer hemp insert can be used as single insert with diaper covers or pocket diapers, both 3 and 4 layer hemp are most commonly used as doublers for night diapering or older children. Not just as delicate as bamboo fiber, however, still requires care to help it last as long as possible. Will last approx 12 months under frequent use. Dries quite long, however, depending on amount of layers.
8. What are the different materials used in cloth diapers?
Waterproof material PUL/TPU (polyester, minky polyester - other side - laminated)
Stay dry materials (synthetic fiber, not absorbent, wicks moisture inside the absorbent layer of diapers and lets skin feel dry) - Suede, Microfleece, Charcoal bamboo fleece (grey, black)
Synthetic absorbent fiber - Microfiber terry - not for use in direct contact to skin. Mostly used in pocket and all in one diapers as core layers.
Natural absorbent fibers
bamboo cotton blend material, cotton - 1st picture top to bottom: knit, fleece and terry, pure cottons will look almost identical. Terry would become rougher after multiple washes. Bamboo is softer, however, also more delicate than cotton. Knit and fleeces are prone of shrinking. Terry shows less shrinkage.
Bamboo velour (2nd picture), cotton velour looks almost identical with less shine. Super soft material that will be very soothing for babies sensitive to artificial fibers.
Hemp and cotton blend - knit and fleece. Extremely absorbent yet trim fiber, widely used for night and nap time diapers, as doublers. Hemp fitted diapers are one of the best choices for extremely heavy nighttime wetters (paired with waterproof covers). Becomes quite stiff after multiple washes when sun drying, thus usually not the first choice if used as single insert.
Prone of shrinking in first few washes.
Wool (animal origin), wool is absorbent yet waterproof at the same time. Used mostly for breathable waterproof diaper covers. Wool covers must be treated with lanolin to use for diapering purposes.
9. What should i choose for my baby?
We often get asked: what is the best option? Unfortunately, there is no easy answer. Babies of different age will require different absorbency, different choices may be made if you are particularly into natural diapering, or economic diapering, toddler diapering, diapering in humid/cold climate, nighttime diapering, or baby has specific allergies. So here are our suggestions for families with different needs.
1) NEWBORNS (babies under 5-6 kg weight) It is without doubt that most use one would get out of diapers marked as One Size. However, the One size diapers are not truly one size and may be extremely bulky on a tiny 3 kg baby. Although it is doable this way, usually switch to one size options is made when baby is between 4-5 kg. That leaves with dilemma on what to diaper your baby with in the mean time.
You can make your peace with the baggy fit of one size diapers knowing that it will only be few short weeks before baby grows into them just good.
OR you can choose diapers made particularly in the newborn size. Most economic will be using covers with some sort of absorbent fiber, that may include flat diapers, or old cut and padfolded t-shirts. If you are ready to invest more, then definitely try some newborn size pocket diapers/all in one diapers.
From newborn diapers present on LaluBaby store, tiny fit (up to 5-6 kg) are happy flute diaper covers, THX all in one diapers, ananbaby pocket diapers, and handmade fitted diapers in newborn size. For bigger newborns (up to 7-8 kg), THX diaper covers and babyland pocket diapers will make for great choice.
2) ECONOMIC CLOTH DIAPERING If you want to be sparing as possible, most inexpensive diapering option for you will be obtaining a few diaper covers and using with your choice of absorbent fibers. It can be store bought inserts specially designed for modern cloth diapers, or it can also be pad-folded flats, old cotton t-shirt and towelling material.
Next cheapest options will be pocket diapers/cover diapers with synthetic inserts (microfiber/bamboo charcoal). Since synthetic fibers dont disintegrate, inserts will not need to be replaced in the second/third year, Pocket and cover waterproofing may, however, give out somewhere within 12-18 (average estimate) months of extremely frequent use (every/every alternate day).
3) CLOTH DIAPERING IN COLD/HUMID WEATHER. You will need to opt for fast drying options, such are pocket diapers, cover style diapers, some skinny all in one diapers (such as ananbaby, happy flute regular and charcoal heavy wetter), microfiber inserts, charcoal stay dry inserts, and flat diapers.
For cold climate also it will be a good idea to have your diaper with stay dry to skin so baby does not feel cold with the wet fibers. If the diaper is not stay dry, you can always obtain some fleece liners
4) CLOTH DIAPERING BABY UNDER 6 MONTHS (ONE SIZE). So your baby is out of newborn size, but still quite small. When choosing one size options, it will be important not to get something overly bulky. Some good ideas are pocket diapers, diaper covers, Skinny all in one (AIO), such as AnanBaby, Happy flute regular variety, All in Two (Ai2), Skinny fitteds (such as naughty baby) and inserts that are not too thick (microfiber, bamboo cotton, pure bamboo terry).
5) TODDLERS, HEAVY WETTERS. Good news - almost anything will fit, however, you will need to adjust absorbency requirement as the baby grows. For pocket and cover style diapers, one may choose to use one of the more absorbent insert (like charcoal bamboo, or bamboo terry and microfiber blend - usually lasting about 3 hours on toddler), or to double up inserts in each diaper. It can be any mix of inserts you already have. Usually when doubling up, one of the inserts will be trimmer such as bamboo or hemp, but there is no rule and you can mix/match what you like.
Also - one can choose the thicker padded all in one (AIO) diapers such as happy flute heavy wetter, and THX AIO.
General idea - if anything feels like it needs more absorbency place another trim insert.
6) NIGHT DIAPERING. Refer to point 5 to begin. However, remember that night diapering of 3 months old and 2 year old will differ, too. For not too big toddlers, average wetters, very popular are happy flute regular All in one diapers with extra hemp insert in the pocket provided. Also, you can see if simply double stuffing your diaper cover or pocket diaper, does the deed, you can try the heavy wetter all in one diapers.
If you have exceptionally heavy wetter however, the only most fool-proof night diapering option is fitted diaper paired with waterproof cover or lanolized wool cover. Fitted diapers will absorb also on sides and tummy, unlike most other diapers which only have absorbency in the crotch. Also due to fitted diaper absorbing all around, there is much more absorbency present. A skinnier fitted may need extra booster.
7) DIAPERING IN HOT WEATHER. Diapering in hot weather can often result in sweaty bum, tired looking skin, redness. It is good idea to use natural fiber to skin options (covers with natural bamboo/cotton inserts or padfolds, natural bamboo lined All in two (AI2) diapers. If you want to go that extra step and provide your baby with entirely breathable diaper, choose a fitted diaper (not waterproofed). It will still be absorbent enough to go coverless for 2-3 hours usually, and you can always put a cover on top if you want to use it for lengthy duration and nights.
However, you can of course use any diapers you already have even if they dont fit in above described categories, only we encourage to clean bum with dampened cotton cloth or under running water after each diaper change, even if there is no poo and give some 10 min air time in between diaper changes. Often moms will choose to alternate between waterproof modern cloth diaper and fitted/flat diaper to give bum that much needed air time.
8) MOST ECO FRIENDLY. Most eco friendly diapers will be natural fiber inserts, prefolds - cotton, natural bamboo, hemp (used with diaper covers), fitted diapers (coverless daytime/ with waterproof cover, or, ideally, lanolized wool cover on top for nights or cold climate)
9) COMFORT (FOR PARENTS) CLOTH DIAPERING. Choosing All in One (AIO) diapers will let you avoid stuffing/unstuffing, misplacement of inserts, or having to find your inserts and place them in diapers after wash. Its as easy as use/wash/dry/reuse. These diapers may also be one of the best choices if general caretaker is none of the parents and you want to provide something easy to handle to your babys caretaker. However, for caretaker also pre-stuffed pocket diapers may be of much ease.
10) ALLERGIC BABY. There can be different causes for allergies that will require different solutions - some babies are simply allergic to chemicals present in disposable diapers - then any of the reusable options should help. If baby is allergic to artificial fiber, you can try any of the natural fibers - cotton, bamboo hemp, however, it appears that cotton is most likely to be soothing to skin.
If baby is sensitive and develops rash from wetness, choose any option that is lined with stay dry to skin.
For rash prone babies, non waterproofed options will provide most breathability and coolest bum, then try flats, prefolds and fitted diapers.
Unfortunately, with sensitive babies one will often need to try a number of options to see what suits the babys sensitive skin best.