Cloth Diapers: A Beginner’s Guide – How to Start & How to Keep Going

Cloth diapers  can be confusing if you don’t know where to start.

Now that you’ve learned about all the different styles and the basics of how to get one on your baby, we’ve got details on how to effectively start (and then continue) cloth diapering.

Cloth Diapers: A Beginner's Guide - How to Start & How to Keep Going

Cloth Diapers for Beginners

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A big part of the initial challenge of getting into cloth is accumulating  and prepping the essentials, or your “stash.” But it’s also important to know how to effectively use that stash.

Setting up your Stash

Once you’ve decided which diapers to use, you ™ll also need a wet bag or two to hold the dirty ones, and (ideally) a small stash of cloth wipes. You can do it with regular wipes, but it’s SO much easier to just throw the whole mess in the wash than have to sort out what’s disposable and what’s not first. You can make your own by cutting & hemming 6-8″ squares from flannel receiving blankets, but I love Cotton Babies ™, too. (You ™ll also definitely want some essential oils for your cloth wipe solution!)

Most cloth diapers need a prewash or two before you start using them to boost absorbency. Check the packaging for specifics, but this usually just involves throwing them through the washer & dryer a couple times before you put one on your baby.

Diapering your Baby

Wrap your baby’s bum just as you would with a disposable, and change when needed (usually baby will let you know, or you can tell it’s a bit heavier than normal, but if needed you can test with a finger just inside the back or crotch). Solids can be dumped in the toilet, and any dirty diapers thrown in your waterproof wet bag until ready to wash.

Cloth Diapers: A Beginner's Guide - How to Start & How to Keep Going

Washing your Diapers

When it’s time to wash the dirty ones, use  a free and clear detergent (to prevent buildup and rashes), and use about half what you would normally use on a load of clothes. You can even make your own laundry detergent in 5 minutes! You can either  do one cold wash and one hot wash, or  run a sanitize cycle if your washer has that setting (some people don’t recommend the heat, but we’ve never had issues), with an extra rinse if necessary for either, then line-dry or tumble on low heat. If you do have rash problems, try a stripping cycle. And make sure you always start your wash routine when you still have at least 3-5 diapers left, so you have some extras until the dirty ones come clean. 🙂

Next in this series, we’ll give you some ideas for advanced tactics in the world of cloth diapering! In the meantime, if you have any other questions, feel free to visit and comment on Cloth Diapering: All you need to know over on Jornie.com, and make sure you tell us what you think about the series on the Kids Activities Blog Facebook!

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