CLOTH DIAPERING FAQ

How many diapers do I need?

How do I know which type of diaper to choose?

Aren't prefold inserts + wraps old-fashioned?

Can I put cloth on an itty bitty newborn?

Um... what about the poop?

Do I need a special washing machine or detergent for cloth diapers?

Okay, so I have my diapers. What else do I need?

Can I cloth diaper through the night?

Is there a reusable swim diaper?

Why should I choose organic cotton?

How can I prevent and/or treat diaper rash?

How many diapers do I need?

Newborn babies will generally go through 8-12 diapers in a 24 hour period. Since you don’t want to be doing laundry every single day (to reduce laundering costs and to avoid wearing out your diapers too quickly), we recommend that you have at least 24 diapers – enough for a non-stressful rotation. If you are using a diaper that needs a wrap, you should probably have at least 6 wraps.

Once your baby is a little older, at approximately 6 months, you won’t have to change diapers as frequently. At this point, you can have fewer diapers in your rotation and still not have to do laundry too often. We recommend about 18 diapers, and 4 wraps (where applicable).

There are so many different types of diapers! How do I know which one to choose?

There is no single type of cloth diaper that is *the best*. There are so many different options because different people like different things – so there’s something for everyone! Don’t worry about which type is the best overall, try to figure out which one might be the best for you.

Ask yourself a few basic questions to begin: do I prefer natural or synthetic fabrics? Is ease-of-use a priority for me, i.e. will a daycare worker or other caregiver need to learn the ropes? Do I want a diaper that I can use from birth to potty training? What is my budget?

Remember, if you’re really not sure, sometimes variety is the spice of life – you can mix n’ match to try lots of different types!

Prefold inserts and wraps? Aren't those old-fashioned?

insert plus wrap equals heart

Prefold inserts are a modernized version of the old-fashioned flat, square diaper. Prefolds are tried and true – there’s a reason why they’ve maintained their popularity over the years. Organic fabrics and contemporary wraps (super CUTE and NOT plastic!) keep this combo fresher than ever. Read more about the advantages of prefold inserts.

Newborns are so tiny, can I really put cloth on an itty bitty baby?

Absolutely! Depending on the size of your baby at birth, you may be able to start right off in a size small (prefolds & wraps), or in a one-size all-in-one or pocket.

If your baby weighs less than 8 lbs at birth, or if you prefer a diaper that will fit your itty bitty baby more trimly, there are plenty of great options for newborn cloth diapering. Try a preemie prefold insert paired up with a newborn Super Brite wrap.

Um... what about the poop?

Today’s cloth diapering parents have it way easier than your great-grandma probably did – thanks to the innovation of flushable liners. Bio-soft liners will make your cloth diapering routine VERY easy. You simply lay the liner on the inside of the diaper. When baby poops, you lift out the liner, with the mess inside, and flush it down the toilet. No fuss, no muss!

Bio-Soft in diaper

Some folks prefer to use washable Fleece Liners for poop patrol instead, or to go the no-liner route by shaking solids into the toilet and rinsing out the diaper before putting it in a wet bag or pail.

Handy tidbit: babies who are breastfed exclusively have water-soluble poop. This means that you can simply toss the diaper into your wet bag or pail and wash normally – no need for flushable liners or rinsing. Another breastfeeding bonus!

Many people who have tried both cloth and disposable diapers have found that cloth diapers are actually better at containing poopy “blowouts”!

Do I need a special washing machine to wash cloth diapers? A special detergent?

Finding a good washing routine tends to be one of the more intimidating propositions for people who are new to cloth diapers. But believe us when we say it – it’s NOT that hard! In fact, we would go so far as to say that it’s pretty darn easy. Check out our Very Simple Guide to Washing Cloth Diapers for more details. All the good stuff is in there – how to wash, what to do about stains, what detergent to use, and more!

Okay, so I have my diapers. What else do I need?

There are tons of cloth diapering accessories on the market: liners, boosters, inserts, soakers, sprayers… and it might seem a little overwhelming to begin with. Our advice? Start simple. Most of those accessories cater to a specific need, so just get started with the diapers that you have, and if you run into a problem, then it’s time to see if there’s a product out there that can help you. Newborn diapering doesn’t usually require any extras, but when your baby gets older, you may find that you need to add some extra layers to your diaper to make it more absorbent. That’s when the liners, boosters, doublers (these are just different words for the same thing!) start to come in handy.

Back to basics: what you really need to begin:

  • diapers (whether one-piece or two-piece)
  • Bio-soft liners (okay, it is possible to get by without them, but many people chooses to use them!)
  • a pail or hanging wet bag to store your dirty diapers
  • washing machine (okay, I guess technically you could wash by hand, but you’d be working a lot harder than you need to!)
  • clothesline or dryer
  • cloth diaper-friendly detergent

If you're just beginning with cloth diapers, our Organic Cotton Diapering Kit is a good way to go - it has all the inserts, wraps and accessories that you need to get started. Just grab the box and go!

Cloth diapering through the night

Newborn babies tend not to sleep through the night (hate to break it to you…), so nighttime diapering with a newborn is pretty much the same as daytime diapering. However, once your baby starts to sleep through the night (congratulations!), nighttime diapering usually requires some special attention, since you will need a super-absorbent diaper that can survive 8 hours of wetting! Don’t fret – there are cloth diapering solutions that can meet this challenge!

  • Choose highly absorbent fabrics like bamboo, hemp, organic cotton or microfiber for your nighttime diaper
  • If using wraps, go one size up to make space for extra liners, or try a wool cover. Wool is a miraculous natural fiber – super absorbent, wicks moisture away from the skin and is naturally waterproof. A great nighttime (or anytime) solution!
  • Add extra layers – either an absorbent liner (a.k.a booster or doubler), or a prefold insert (try a small insert wrapped inside a large one)
  • Put a stay-dry layer like a Fleece Liner against baby’s skin, so s/he won’t be woken up by a wet diaper during the night

You may have to play around a bit before you find a combination that works well for you and your baby – don’t be afraid to experiment!

My baby is going swimming! Is there a reusable swim diaper?

The Swimmi is a swim diaper designed for this very purpose! Your little one can swim like a fish, and you don’t have to worry about the pool being emptied on his or her behalf! Easy to use and machine washable.

Swimmi

Why should I choose organic cotton?

Organic cotton is hands down the greenest and most sustainable choice when it comes to cloth diapering fabrics. Organic cotton is grown without the use of fertilizers or pesticides. Growing cotton organically is environmentally sustainable: it protects water quality, conserves biodiversity, and reduces soil erosion. Not only that, organic cotton is very soft, very absorbent, and entirely free of toxic chemicals – all very desirable qualities in a fabric that will be spending a lot of time in direct contact with baby’s tender skin!

How can I prevent and/or treat diaper rash?

Cloth diapers are more breathable than disposable diapers, and they tend to get changed more frequently, which means that most cloth diapered babies get less diaper rash, if any at all, than babies who are in disposables. Hurray!

That being said, babies in cloth diapers are not immune to diaper rash. The best way to prevent rashes is to change your baby’s diaper often – as soon as it is soiled or wet, and to give baby’s bum some “fresh air” exposure from time to time. If you notice that your baby has developed a rash all of a sudden, it could be due to a detergent or urine residue in the diapers. Read more about residues and how to get rid of them.

If your baby develops a rash that you suspect may be an infection or fungus, you should consult with your health care provider.

If you have any questions that we haven't answered here or elsewhere on our website, please feel free to give us a call at 1-888-828-6647, or by filling out the form here.

CLOTH DIAPER DICTIONNARY

Cloth diapers come in many different shapes and sizes. For someone who is jumping into the cloth diapering world for the first time, it can be a challenge (though also kind of fun!) to wade through all the options to choose a diaper that will work well for you, especially when you have to decode all the industry lingo that is often used to describe cloth diapers.

For those of you who are exploring your cloth options for the first time, or who would simply like some categorical clarification, we give you the diaper dictionary!

Diaper Anatomy: 1-piece or 2-piece

All cloth diapers fall into one of two basic categories: 1-piece or 2-piece.

 


 

2-piece Diapers

1 wrap + 1 insert or fitted diaper = a 2-piece diaper. The image above also shows the Bio-Soft liner on top.

Inserts

  • Flat (Large single-ply squares that are folded several times, then placed inside a wrap)
  • Prefold (Several layers of fabric sewn together into a rectangle, so the insert is “pre-folded”, unlike flats. Just do a quick tri-fold (fold in thirds like a letter) before placing inside a wrap)
  • Contour (several layers of fabric sewn together in an hourglass shape. Simply lay inside a wrap)

Inserts generally come in different sizes, and are available in a variety of fabrics. The most common fabrics are cotton, organic cotton, bamboo and hemp. Compared to flats, prefold inserts are much more common in contemporary cloth diapering since they are so simple and user-friendly.

We recommend using inserts with an adjustable wrap. When fastened snugly, the wrap will hold the insert in place. If using an insert with a pull-on style wrap, a Snappi will be necessary to hold the diaper in place.

Advantages of inserts: versatile, easy to wash, quick to dry, extremely durable, simple, very affordable.

Fitted Diapers

  • Several layers of fabric sewn into an hourglass shape (similar to a contour insert, as described above)
  • Elastics around the thighs and back
  • Snap or Aplix closures
  • May have a detachable liner that can be added for increased absorbency
  • Can be sized or one-size (OS)
  • Available in a variety of fabrics like rayon from bamboo, cotton, organic cotton, and hemp.

Advantages of fitted diapers: complete coverage for increased leak protection, diaper fastens securely, no folding, can be worn with pull-on wraps.

Wraps (a.k.a Diaper Covers)

  • Waterproof shell
  • Available in adjustable (most common) or pull-on style
  • Elastic around thighs and back
  • Adjustable styles have snap or Aplix closures
  • Adjustable styles may have a gusset around the thigh for extra leak protection
  • Available in different fabrics, but the most common is polyester with a polyurethane laminate (PUL). Wraps are also available in wool - which is naturally waterproof!
  • Wraps can be sized or one-size (OS)

Advantages of 2-piece diapers: versatile, customizable, less laundry (insert or diaper must be washed after each use, but wrap can be rinsed, hung to dry, and then put back into rotation), easy to use, easy to wash, quick to dry, natural fibres against baby’s skin, many affordable options, durable.

 


 

1-Piece Diapers

Whereas in a 2-piece diaper the waterproof exterior and absorbent interior are two separate pieces, in a 1-piece diaper they have been sewn together into a single unit. There are two basic styles of 1-piece diapers: pockets and all-in-ones (AIO).

Pocket Diapers*

  • Waterproof exterior, usually same type of waterproof fabric as a wrap (PUL)
  • Layer of fabric sewn to the inside of the waterproof shell, leaving an opening at the back. This is a “stay-dry” layer, made of a synthetic fabric that will wick moisture away from the baby’s skin and into the liner
  • Pockets come with 1-2 absorbent liners that are stuffed into the opening (pocket) at the back of the diaper
  • Liners are available in different fabrics, but are usually made of synthetic microfibre
  • May come in different sizes, but are usually one-size (OS) diapers, featuring snaps down the front to adjust the size
  • Snap or Aplix closures

*Although most pocket diapers actually consist of two separate pieces, they are generally categorized as a 1-piece diaper, probably because they look like a single unit once the liner is stuffed into the pocket.

Advantages of pocket diapers: Very easy to use, OS diapers can be used from birth to potty, pockets can be stuffed in advance for quicker diaper changes.

All-in-One (AIO) Diapers

  • Waterproof exterior, usually same type of waterproof fabric as a wrap (PUL)
  • Some have a stay-dry layer
  • Waterproof shell + absorbent interior layers (+ stay-dry layer) sewn together into a single unit
  • Can be sized or one-size (OS)
  • Available in a variety of fabrics, such as synthetic microfibre, cotton, organic cotton and bamboo.

Advantages of All-in-ones: As easy as disposable diapers, sized versions are very trim-fitting, no stuffing or folding.

WHY PREFOLDS??

WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF OUR ORGANIC COTTON PREFOLD DIAPERS?

Here at Bummis we love all types of cloth diapers, but we especially love our Organic Cotton Prefolds.

Here's why:

  • 100% soft, natural, organic fabric against baby’s skin
  • Very, very absorbent
  • Easy to wash and quick to dry
  • No stuffing required – just a quick fold, then place it in a wrap
  • Customizable absorbency and fit – simply by folding!
  • Less vulnerable to detergent and urine residue
  • Less likely to retain odours
  • Can be used with any type of wrap – you can try new prints, styles and fabrics whenever you like
  • Very durable – plan to use them for more than one baby • Versatile! Can be used as burp cloths, change pads, diaper inserts, etc., and they make great rags once you’ve finished diapering
  • Organic cotton is hands-down the greenest and most sustainable choice in diapering fabrics
  • A tried and true diapering option that is simple and convenient when used with flushable liners and contemporary wraps with snaps or hook & loop closures
  • An affordable option that offers substantial long-term savings

WRAP COMPARISON CHART

* ALL OF OUR WRAPS ARE MADE JUST OUTSIDE OF MONTREAL, CANADA WITH FABRICS MANUFACTURED IN CANADA

 

SUPER WHISPER WRAP

DUO-BRITE WRAP

SUPER BRITE

SIMPLY LITE

PULL-ON

USE WITH
all types of cloth diapers *perfect with the Dimple Diaper!*
all types of cloth diapers *perfect with the Duo-Brite Insert!*
all types of cloth diapers *perfect with pree-mie sized organic cotton prefolds!*
all types of cloth diapers *perfect with the Flannel Fitted!*
fitted diapers or a prefold with a Snappi

FABRIC
2 mil PUL sand-wiched between two layers of soft polyester
2 mil PUL - exposed laminate makes for a wipe-clean interior
2 mil PUL - exposed laminate makes for a wipe-clean interior
1 mil PUL - exposed laminate makes for a wipe-clean interior
1 mil PUL - exposed laminate makes for a wipe-clean interior

CLOSURES
cross-over hook & loop tabs at the waist *rise-snaps on the medium only for increased ajustability between sizes*
snaps at the waist and rise
cross-over hook & loop tabs at the waist
snaps at the waist and rise
no closures - pulls on

GUSSETS
no
yes
yes
no
no

LIGHTWEIGHT VS. ULTRA-DURABLE
ultra-durable (can withstand indus-trial washing)
lightweight
lightweight
very lightweight and stretchy
very lightweight

SIZES
5 sizes
7-40 lbs
2 sizes
8-35 lbs
newborn size
4-9 lbs
one size
8-35 lbs
5 sizes
NB - 40 lbs

FOR NEWBORNS
newborn size fits larger newborns
size 1 fits larger newborns
perfect for new-borns *designed with an umbilical cord cut-out*
fits larger new-borns
newborn size fits larger newborns

FIT
generous cut
trim
trim and perfect for tiny bottoms
very trim yet stretchy for full coverage
generous cut - perfect for fitted diapers

PRINTS
6 prints + white
4 prints + limited edition
4 prints + white
3 bright colours and 2 prints + limited edition
3 bright colours and white + limited edition