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Using Cloth Diapers > Cloth Diapering Tips & Troubleshooting

Tips & Troubleshooting

Tips

Take some time to get accustomed to your new cloth diapers, and don’t be afraid to play around with folding, stuffing, fastening, etc.

If you are making the switch to cloth diapers from disposable diapers, mixing cloth diapers with disposables in the beginning (for outings or overnight) can make this transition easier. Most parents find that using cloth diapers is easier than they thought it would be, and quickly become avid full-time users.

If you are starting with a newborn baby, don’t be afraid to dive in full-time with cloth diapers. It's pretty easy and you'll get the routine down fast.

By the way, you may find that you will need to acquire baby clothes that can accommodate larger bums!

Important Reminders!

  • Using a diaper cream? Please protect your diaper with a liner! Avoid ointments with petroleum, fish oils or zinc.
  • If using flushable liners, be wary of thick ones if you plan to fold them. Folding may result in a liner that is too thick to allow liquid to penetrate through to the diaper, causing it to leak out the sides.
  • Runny newborn poop? If using prefolds, use the fan fold. And don’t be afraid to try out the bikini twist! It may take a few tries to master it – but it works very well for runny poop. A Bio-Soft liner can also help to absorb runny poop.
  • Be sure the wrap is fastened snugly enough so that it fits well and does not sag. Saggy diapers will leak! You will have to pay special attention to this once your baby starts to walk.
  • Reduce drying time by doing an extra spin cycle and/or throwing a dry towel or dryer balls into the dryer with your diapers.
  • Don’t use dryer sheets, even in your regular laundry – they will leave a stubborn residue on everything you dry in your dryer!
  • Dry your diapers occasionally in the sun – it brightens and disinfects.

 

Troubleshooting

Leaking problems?

Level 1

  • Check the important reminders above
  • Did you pre-wash your diapers or inserts and test for absorbance?
  • Do you have the proper size of diaper/insert/wrap for your baby?
  • Does the wrap fit snugly around baby’s legs and belly? Is it fastened tightly enough to create a proper fit?
  • If using a 2-piece diaper, make sure that the insert or diaper is completely contained inside the wrap. Any bit of cloth sticking out can cause leaking.
  • If using a prefold insert, Tini Fit diaper, Easy Fit diaper, or other type of diaper with an adjustable insert, experiment with different ways of folding the insert to create more absorbency where it is needed. As your baby grows, you may have to adapt the way that the insert is folded and/or the way the diaper is adjusted. Sometimes experimentation is the key to success!
  • Don’t tuck your prefold insert into the front flap on the inside of the wrap - it is there to prevent leaking through the sewing line!

Level 2

Is there leaking straight through the fabric of the wrap? Is the suede-cloth on your synthetic diapers repelling moisture completely? Unless you are using diaper creams without a liner, then you have a detergent residue problem. This is caused by:

  • not using enough hot water to wash and rinse or
  • using too much detergent or
  • using a detergent with additives. Please consult our information on residues.

Otherwise:

  • Are you changing your baby’s diaper often enough? Newborns need to be changed about every 2 hours! A huge advantage of using cloth diapers is that you know when your baby’s diaper is wet, so you change it more often.
  • Is your baby going through a growth spurt or sleeping more soundly at night? If so, you may need to add a doubler or liner for increased absorbency.
  • Are you reaching the limit of the diaper’s size range? If so, you may need to add a doubler or liner for increased absorbency.

Smelly Diapers or Wraps?

  • Once washed, your diapers should not smell like urine or detergent.
  • If they smell of detergent, wash them again in plenty of hot water and less detergent.
  • If they smell like ammonia once your baby wets them, make sure that you are using enough hot water and enough detergent.
  • Do your diapers smell clean when washed, but utterly horrible after the first pee? This could mean that urine residue is trapped within the fibres of your diapers, and this is always related to washing and rinsing without enough hot water. Urine residue can also lead to diaper rashes. You probably need to adjust the water level in your machine or ”trick“ your HE machine to increase the water level by adding one or two wet towels. Do not overstuff your machine – wash fewer diapers at a time.
  • Are your diapers and wraps stinky or discoloured? Then it is pretty clear that you have a detergent residue problem!

Please consult our information on residues! You will have to get rid of the residue problem and adjust your washing routine to ensure that it does not happen again.

Does Your Baby Have a Recurring Rash in Cloth Diapers?

There is a strong chance that this is caused by a residue. Your baby will react to a urine residue in the diaper fabric. Some babies are also very sensitive to detergent residues. If your baby is rashy and your diapers are discoloured or smelly – please take action to resolve your residue problem. Consult our information on residues.

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