Category Archives: Cloth Diapers

Cloth Diapers: Frequently asked questions

I am really so encouraged by how many people read my post on cloth diapering!¬† ūüėÄ Thank you!

Cloth diapering can seem very daunting at first.¬† Although I had bought six modern cloth diapers prior to Baby E’s arrival, I hadn’t done much research.¬† So I fumbled through cloth diapering for a few weeks using the traditional flat sheets and mis-using the six modern cloth diapers I bought.¬† I gave up for three weeks because there were leaks everywhere as I had not been using them correctly.

After I had to make an urgent trip to the supermarket when we ran out of diapers and realised just how much money I was spending on disposables, I decided to throw myself into cloth diapering research.

So in a bid to do my part for the environment and your pockets, here goes:

How on earth do you wash and dry cloth diapers?  How do you get them so clean??
Probably the most asked question regarding cloth diapers.  You really need to do your own research and planning as well because what may work best for me may not work for you.

1) Once the baby has done a poop, I wash the poop off the diaper into the toilet bowl using a toilet spray (those sprays that are next to your toilet bowl).¬† Your hands won’t be smeared with poop, I promise. ¬† I can’t promise if the odd poop splatter doesn’t touch you, though. ¬†Anyway,¬†every parent will tell you that touching poop comes hand in hand with having a baby! ¬†If the baby has just wet the diaper, you can just throw it straight into the diaper pail without rinsing it.

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2) I separate the insert and the diaper cover and place them both in a wet pail half filled with water and some vinegar.¬†¬†I can’t imagine the smell of the dry pail after two days!¬† If you choose to use a wet pail, make sure your wet pail is kept FAR FAR away from the baby’s reach and covered.¬† Otherwise, just use a dry pail.¬† I think it’s safer, but smellier!

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3) After two or three days (depends on how many diapers you have), empty your wet or dry pail into the washing machine and set it on HOT.¬† We do a first rinse with just hot water.¬† Then we start the full wash with soap and hot water.¬† Some people choose to do a full wash first and then a final rinse with water after.¬† It’s really what you find works best for you.

4) Once the diapers are washed, hang up all the diapers on your clothes line to dry in the sun.¬† This is also called sun bleaching.¬† It’s amazing, I never knew that the sun had super powers and was able to actually kill bacteria and germs AND bleach diapers.¬† All my diapers are sparkling white after they are sun bleached.¬† Amazing right?

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Do cloth diapers get stained with poo and pee?
Nope.¬† As mentioned above when you wash them properly and sun-bleach them they turn sparkling white.¬† They also do not stink — it’s almost like magic!

What if baby is a big wetter especially overnight???
You can actually stuff two inserts into the diaper instead of one.  In fact, Charlie Banana recommends that you use two inserts after the baby is four months.

So here’s my dirty little secret (no pun intended), I use disposables at night because I hope that they help him to sleep better, since the nasty chemicals keep his bum dry. ¬†But I know of many people who cloth diaper over night using¬†two inserts.

There are “One Size” diapers and then there are “Sized” diapers.¬† What’s the difference?
“One Size” diapers or “OS” are diapers you can use from birth till baby is potty trained.¬† They either have adjustable snaps or adjustable elastic bands (like bra straps) around the legs.

“Sized” diapers are diapers that come in different sizes and you have to buy bigger ones when baby gets bigger.

I see some really cheap diapers online, can I buy those instead?
I know you can get dirt cheap diapers online.  Frankly, just like everything else in life, always question why they are so cheap.  I choose to use cloth diapers from reputable companies such as Charlie Banana and Bumkins just because I know their quality can be trusted.  Always read reviews prior to buying your diapers.

How many diapers should you buy to start off with?
I have about 26 diapers.¬† This lasts me about 2.5 days without washing, so I wash every two days.¬† I think a comfortable number is anywhere from 18-20 so that you don’t have to wash daily.¬† Don’t forget, you have to factor in your water and electricity bills.

Does your electricity and water bill increase dramatically?
It’s hard for me to say because we are already doing an extra load every other day for baby’s regular clothes. ¬†I once washed the diapers once a day for a month. ¬†My bill went up noticeably. ¬†So now that I wash every other day, it has stabilised.¬†¬†Gone are the days when it was just two of us and our laundry was literally done once a week.

 

Hope this short little Q&A helps you decide whether you think cloth diaper is really for you.¬† It’s really up to you to decide and determine what cloth diapering system works for you.

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Cloth Diapering: Why I choose to cloth diaper

I remember the first time I heard about modern cloth diapering from Mama Natural, I was so amazed!  Was there really an alternative to the dowdy, hard-to-use flat white sheets that our grandparents used??

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Yes!  Modern cloth diapers are funky, cute, waterproof and very easy to use.  Look how many colourful patterns there are!

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I strongly recommend you watch Mama Natural’s 6 Reasons Why Cloth Diapers Are Better Than Disposables (+1 Way They Ain’t)¬†because she elaborates clearly on the pros and con of cloth diapering. Then, once you have watched Mama Natural, watch Obbs and Lala Cloth Diapering Vlogs¬†– she explains everything there is to know about cloth diapers. ¬†There’s so much to learn, from the different cloth diapering systems to how to wash them etc…

It’s difficult to be succinct about something you feel passionate about. ¬†So let’s try. I ‚̧ Cloth Diapers because:

1) It feels good to do something for the environment. ¬†My husband is a huge recycler. ¬†If I threw something into the normal waste paper bin, he would extract it, gross as it may be, and place it into the recycling bin. ¬†He would also rather have an empty plastic shampoo bottle sitting in the bathroom for months on end rather than have me throw it in the normal bin. ¬†I, on the other hand, am a lazy recycler. ¬†I recycle only when it’s convenient.

Cloth diapering gives me my shining opportunity to do something for the earth. ¬†As you all know, dirty diapers are one of the most common items found in landfills. ¬†In fact, according to the oracle of all wisdom, ¬†Google search, disposable diapers make up one third of all landfill waste. That’s disgusting but not surprising. ¬†A typical baby goes through six to eight diapers a day! ¬†And this waste is just sitting there waiting to decompose in the next 500 years. ¬†And I don’t need to remind you how vile dirty diapers smell!

2)¬†I’m lazy and I do not want to go out to buy diapers in the middle of the night. ¬†Everyone thinks that cloth diapers are extra work. ¬†They are far from it. ¬†You only do one extra load every two days and then hang them out to dry.

A lot less energy¬†is spent compared to getting into the car / bus / train walking to the supermarket, walking down the aisle, carrying the big bag of diapers to the check-out counter, carrying the bag of diapers to the car / bus / train and carrying into the house. ¬†All the while, you have a (possibly) crying infant in tow. ¬†And don’t forget the time it takes to leave the house with the infant! ¬†I’m tired just thinking about it.

3)¬†I ‚̧¬†saving money.¬†A box of six¬†Charlie Banana diapers¬†¬†costs about S$150 at Mothercare Singapore. ¬†You can also use your 10% membership discount. ¬†On Singsale, ¬†cloth diapers are frequently on sale and are sold anywhere from S$10-20 depending on the brand. ¬†I bought¬†Bumkins¬†diapers I bought were S$10 each!!! ¬†In total, I have spent about S$500 on diapers – but most of it was paid using vouchers I received when Baby E was born.

This is compared to about S$20 for a bag of 70-80 diapers. ¬† Based on my basic calculations, since a baby probably soils about six to eight diapers a day, you would need three to four bags a month. ¬†That’s about S$60-80 a month! ¬†Then factor in how much you have to spend on milk powder if you are formula feeding or combination feeding. ¬†OMG… ¬†Seriously.

Using cloth diapers will allow you to break even at 10 months!

4)¬†I ‚̧¬†the patterns.¬†Have you seen how cute the patterns and colours on cloth diapers are?? ¬†So darn adorable! ¬†I LOVE Bumkins diapers for their cutesy prints. ¬†They are also the only diaper manufacturer that has the rights to use Dr Seuss prints on their diapers. ¬†How cool is that?

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5) I ‚̧¬†how luxurious they feel!¬† The minky ones are nice and fluffy and the PUL and satin-finish ones just feel so luxurious! ¬†They are also nice and cushy on my baby’s butt. ¬†This is probably silly but I also don’t think it hurts him as¬†much when he falls on his butt!

6)¬†Better for babies with sensitive skin!¬† Baby E has eczema and sensitive skin and I’m sure if he wore disposable diapers for a prolonged period will develop diaper rash. ¬†Disposable diapers are scratchy and you don’t know what sort of chemicals go inside them. ¬†These chemicals are obviously very strong because they are able to keep the baby’s butt dry for extended periods of time. ¬†I don’t want these chemicals to touch his skin! ¬†I’m already dealing with his eczema and rashes and I’m thankful I don’t have to deal with any additional rashes!

Cloth diapers are fast gaining popularity in Western countries such as America and Australia but they are not so popular in Singapore. ¬†Maybe because people don’t seem to understand them and still associate cloth diapers to those large white flat sheets that are not very practical.

While not many people cloth diaper here in Singapore, or at least not many that I know of, it may be worth noting that Singapore does have its very own cloth diaper brand Moo Moo Kow!

I think I will put together a list of frequently asked questions on Saturday.  Do you cloth diaper??  Why did you choose to cloth diaper?  Do you love cloth diapering as much as I do?