Our Newest Employee

Ham

Meet Ham.  Okay, really her name is Abby, but I’ve been saying since she was born that she looked like a Christmas Ham.  Please don’t think less of me just because I’ve nicknamed my daughter after a delicious piece of meat.

I’ve been working for Clothdiaper.com for over 8 years now and it’s wonderful to finally use cloth diapers on my own child.  Sure I could sprout out facts and answers to almost any washing, folding, or cloth diaper related dilemma but it’s refreshing to put all that knowledge to use on my own child.

After advising people for close to a decade on cloth diapers I finally have my own personal experience with them and can inform customers and readers of the issues I encounter almost daily. Expect to hear a lot from me and Ham in the future.

 

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Sized vs. One Sized Diapers

Questions:  It looks like One Sized Diapers will save me money, but will they really fit from birth till potty training?

I really wish the answer to this was a simple yes. Sadly, it’s kind of a mixed bag when it comes to one size cloth diapers.  The majority of one size cloth diapers say they will fit from 6-35 lbs.  Since every baby has a unique build this isn’t always the case.

One of the advantages of a sized diaper is that you will get a trimmer fit.  When manufacturers make one sized pockets, fitteds, or all in ones they have to add extra material to make the diaper expand.  This of course means huge diapers on little 6 pound infants that look extra bulky.  With sized diapers you don’t have to make any crazy adjustments as the baby gets older.  You just buy the next size up and you ensure a better fit.

With one sized diapers you can save money in the long run.  You can purchase 18-30 One size diapers in hopes that they are all you need for cloth diapering a child.  This of course can save you quite a bit of money over the long run when compared to getting 18 of each size.  You also usually get a ton of adjust ability on one sized diapers since most have elastic or snaps through out the entire diaper.

Overall, you can probably do one size diapers but you might have to supplement your stash with sized diapers for the first few weeks.  Also, a ton of parents have had luck with two-sized diapers like Thirsties Duo All in Ones and Osocozy all in ones.  Because they are two sizes you can usually get a better newborn fit.

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Types of Cloth Diaper Fasteners

Question: I see there are a few options for cloth diaper fasteners.  Can you help explain the difference between them?

We carry three types of fasteners.  There’s your old fashioned diaper pins, Snappi Diaper fasteners, and Boingo fasteners.

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Diaper pins have been the standard for many decades.  Talk to any of your grandparents or even parents and cloth diapers were prefolds, plastic pants, and diaper pins.  Many moms are intimidated by the idea of using diaper pins thinking they are going to some how injure their child.  I can assure you if you keep your finger between your baby and the diaper as you pin through the diaper, you won’t hurt your baby. Pins are the most economical fasteners and most secure so don’t be afraid of using traditional diaper pins.  Also keep in mind that pins work especially well with infants who try to take their diapers off. Locking pins keep the diaper secure and keep your child from undoing their diapers.

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Snappi Diaper Fasteners have been around for the last 25 years.  They were invented as an alternative to pins.  Snappi have small plastic teeth that hook into the diaper material on the left, right, and center of the diaper.  They are easy to use and are usually much simpler to fasten when compared to pins.  Simply hold the center of the Snappi and stretch first the right side and hook the diaper material, then left, and then stretch down the center.  Your cloth diaper will then fit securely on your baby.  These work best with our prefolds and flats because of the loosely woven material.  Be careful if you are using them with diapers made from bamboo or other delicate materials since the teeth of the Snappi can snag the material and cause holes.

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Last but not least are Boingo cloth diaper fasteners.  These were released just a few years ago and have been a major hit with moms. Boingo fasteners come in sets of 2 just like diaper pins.  They are stretchy and have plastic teeth just like Snappi fasteners.  Unlike Snappi they are a one size fits all fastener and also don’t have the tummy pressure that Snappi’s have in the center.  We’ve also noticed that the plastic teeth on Boingo fasteners tend to face slightly more down and inward.  This makes it less likely you’ll poke yourself on some of teeth.

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Indian Prefolds vs. Chinese prefolds

Question:  What is the difference between Chinese and Indian Prefolds?

The main difference between Chinese and Indian prefolds is simply where they are made.  Chinese prefolds are made in China and Indian prefolds are made in Pakistan.  Both diapers will get the job done since both are diaper service quality.  Diaper service quality means the diapers are tough and can withstand many more washes then other prefolds on the market.  This is not to say that there aren’t some other minor differences.

Traditionally most parents use Indian prefolds for cloth diapering.  Indian prefolds are softer and usually slightly more absorbent.  Indian prefolds use a twill weave.  They are still 100% cotton but the weave itself allows the Indian prefolds to quilt up more when washed. The more quilting usually the more absorbent.

Chinese prefolds are made using a gauze weave.  Because a gauze weave is tightly woven the diapers tend to stay smooth and not pucker like Indian prefolds once washed.  Most of the time we suggest Chinese prefolds for making burp cloths since they lay more flat after washing.

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Got Yeast? Disinfecting Your Cloth Diapers

Question: Do I need to throw out my diapers after a yeast infection?  We can’t seem to eliminate the yeast.

If your child gets a yeast infection just remember that you don’t need to get rid of your cloth diapers.  With some basic sanitizing and treatments you can be back to using cloth in no time at all.

Bleach is the easiest and most effective way to rid your cloth diapers from yeast.  You can use bleach on flats, prefolds, fitteds, and pocket inserts.  If you are using pockets or all in one diapers please contact the manufacture to make sure that bleach is safe to use on your diapers.   Do not use bleach on a regular basis since will cause your diapers to deteriorate slowly.

Just add a ¼ cup of bleach to your initial wash and wash on hot.  Make sure to rinse thoroughly.  When washing it is important to turn up your water heater to its hottest setting.  Typically yeast can’t survive in anything over 120 degrees Fahrenheit so if the bleach doesn’t kill the yeast the water temperature should.

Another natural way to effectively kill yeast spores is with grapefruit seed extract.  We suggest using 1tsp. of grapefruit seed extract in your normal wash cycle.  A lot of our customers who are anti-bleach have had great luck using it in conjunction with tea tree oil. If you choose to use tea tree oil we suggest about 10 drops of it used along with the grapefruit seed extract.  Once again make sure to rinse out the diapers extremely well.  You don’t need a yeast rash and irritation from the grapefruit seed extract on top of it.

If the manufacturer of your diapers opposes the use of bleach on their diapers you can always turn to vinegar or oxygenated bleach.  Add a ¼ cup of vinegar to your rinse cycle.  Vinegar neutralizes yeast and will leave your diapers feeling softer.  Make sure to do an extra rinse cycle after adding the vinegar since it can leave your diapers smelly if not completely rinsed out.  If using oxygenated bleach, just add the suggested amount to your normal hot wash cycle.  When using either vinegar or oxygenated bleach you should still turn up your water heater to ensure the yeast is eliminated.

Lastly, you can always sun your diapers.  Leave your diapers out in direct sunlight for as long as possible.  In addition to helping with yeast, the sun naturally helps remove stains from your diapers.  We would advise fluffing them up in the dryer afterwards since sunning diapers can make them non-absorbent if done regularly.

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Making Your Diapers Last Longer

Question: My prefolds seem to be wearing out extremely fast. Is there anything I can do to make my cloth diapers last longer?

Your cloth diapers will not last forever.  Just like your favorite t-shirt or sweater, fabric will eventually wear out.  We have few tips and tricks for giving your diapers a longer life so that you can resell them, re-purpose them, or have them for future children.

#1 The better the quality the longer they will last.  Spending a little extra money on diaper service quality prefolds versus generic store bought prefolds, will mean having your diapers last at least a 100 washes instead of 30-40.  Also, spending money on name brand cloth diapers versus a no name brand on closeout usually means higher quality materials and a better warranty on your diapers.  Keep in mind there are good deals out there to be found, but do your research before investing a brand you’ve never heard of.

#2 The more diapers the better.  You can get by with 16-24 diapers, but washing every other day can take a hard toll on your diapers.  Most parents slowly add to their diaper stash as time progresses so that you aren’t washing the same diapers every other day.

#3  Our love and hate relationship with hook and loop closures.  Sure aplix (hook and loop closures) give you more adjust-ability and are much simpler to put on baby.  However, aplix wears out much faster than snap closures.  Lint, hair, or random other materials from your house will get stuck in them making them not as sticky and unsecured on your baby.  The last thing you have time for is picking lint out of aplix tabs on your entire stash of all in ones, pockets, and covers.  Make sure if you do choose hook and loop closures that you use the supplied laundry tabs.  This will keep the aplix from sticking to other items in the wash and keep your closures lasting longer.

#4  Have a good washing routine.  By avoiding bleaches you can make your diapers last longer.  Sure, there might be an occasion where you need to add some bleach like for ammonia funk but using bleach daily will cause your diapers to wear out a ton faster.  When you use fabric softeners you risk the chance of buildup developing in natural fibers which causes repelling.  Then of course you have to strip your diapers usually requiring a ton of hot water washes just to make them useable again.  The less washes your diapers have to endure the longer the life span.

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