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How to Use Cloth Diapers Safely at Home


Now that you've decided to use cloth diapers instead of the disposable one, the question of how to use cloth diapers safely may come to mind. The green parenting tips listed below may be of help.

Consider Baby's Age

If you're still deciding on the number of cloth diapers that you'll need, a good rule of thumb is to take into account the child's age. Infants and newborns usually need 10 to 12 diapers a day, while toddlers go for 8 to 10 changes in a day.

Consider Type of Diaper

There are three types of diapering system: fitted, pre-folds and the all-in-ones. If you prefer fitted cloth nappies, try sampling from each brand first before buying in bulk. Fitted diapers vary in size for each brand and you do not want your baby to get diaper rashes from tight-fitting nappies.

Know When to Wash Diapers

It is recommended to wash new cloth diapers five to 10 times. It will help remove chemicals that may be irritating to the baby's skin. It will also increase the diaper's absorbency. You may notice that the diaper quilts up, however, this is normal.

Hang Dry Diapers

To lengthen the life of the diapers and its covers, hang them dry instead of using a mechanical dryer. This is particularly important for diaper covers as it helps preserve their waterproofing ability.

Know the Soak and No Soak Methods

You can wash your diapers either through the overnight soak or no soak methods. The overnight soak method has four stages: the overnight soak, pre-wash, hot wash and the double rinse.

To do the pre-wash, place all the soiled diapers in the washer and run them with cold water. This will help remove all the loose particles. Soak the soiled diapers overnight and add around half a cup of baking soda. It will help neutralize the urine component and will help remove the smell, too. Its whitening properties are also useful. In doing the hot wash stage, empty the pail after soaking and run it with hot water, washing soda and detergent. You can use hypoallergenic treatments if your baby has sensitive skin. For the double rinse, you can add vinegar to your fabric softener compartment. It will help neutralize the smell and restore the diaper's pH, which in turn will help prevent diaper rash.

On the other hand, the no-soak method is useful if you're using a coin-operated machine. Run the soiled linens with cold water; add baking soda to the mix. You can do a hot wash afterwards while adding detergent at the same time. In rinsing, you can rinse them with vinegar and cold water. Cold water alone will do on second rinse. Choose distilled white vinegar in washing soiled cloth nappies as it can be removed easily.

Consider Using Pins

To ensure safety in fastening pre-fold cloth nappies, you can make use of pins. However, it is best to use them on your baby when you've practiced several times. In between uses, you can stick them on a bar of soap or run them through your hair. This will make it easy for them to simply glide into the cloth diapers. Pin alternatives include snap and Velcro fasteners.

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