Reusable Diapering 101: Everything You Need To Know As A Beginner

Reusable diapers are the alternative to disposable diapers, with the added bonus that they are environmentally friendly, baby – friendly and pocket-friendly.

Reusable Diapers vs. Disposable Diapers

Reusable diapers have certain unique advantages you wouldn’t get from disposable diapers. For one, they are natural – no chemicals. Gentle on the skin, highly absorbent, with no rashes and discomfort. 

Reusable diapers are made out of a breathable waterproof outer cover and  100% cotton or  bamboo fibers which are eco-friendly. They leave less negative impact on the environment compared to disposable diapers, a major source of land and marine pollution. 

They are cost effective

 Reusable diapers are the most economical of the two options,aside from the upfront cost. – they’re way cheaper in the long run than disposable diapers. 16 reusable diapers are enough for the diapering period of  the first baby and subsequent babies.From research , the reusable diapers can withstand 300+ washes.

Types of Reusable Diapers

All-in-one diapers: They have a waterproof outer layer and multiple absorbent inner layers attached together ,doing away with the need for a separate wrap. They are very simple to use, but can be slower drying.

All-in-two/Hybrid diapers: These are similar to all-in-one diapers, except the absorbent insert and the waterproof cover are two separate pieces that need to be snapped together to create a complete cloth diaper,which allows you to re-use your cover 3-4 times before laundering. 

Prefold diapers: These are the closest you will get to old-time diapers. They are rectangular folded cloth diapers held together by diaper clips over a cover to mold the baby’s shape. Once soiled, you just replace the prefold for cleaning and repeat the process until the cover is dirty and needs cleaning. They are the least expensive option of all the reusable diapers.

Fitted cloth diapers: These are the most preferred option for overnight usage and heavy wetters. They come with back and leg elastic and velcro or snap fasteners to better fit your baby. The outer layer is not waterproof, so you need a cover for that but the cover is reusable similar to the prefold diapers.

Contour diapers: These are a cross between prefold and fitted cloth diapers. Consider them as prefolds but with better fitting for your baby or as less expensive fitteds. They require diaper clips to hold them in place and a cover since their outer layer is not waterproof.

Pocket diapers: These are a modern design that takes from both reusable and disposable diapers and combines their strengths. Pocket diapers have a waterproof outer layer and a slot or pocket in the inner layer where you fit your inserts or prefolds for absorbency. Once soiled, you take the entire diaper out for a wash after removing the inserts. They are especially convenient when changing and cleaning, especially since the absorbent insert is removable.

How to Clean Reusable Diapers

The thought of washing reusable diapers can put many  caregivers off the whole idea before they’ve even started.It is best to wash every 2-3 days. But it doesn’t have to be complicated.

Reusable diapers are designed to be user-friendly and easy to clean. In most cases, a quick toss in the washer with mild soap will do the trick.

To machine wash, run a rinse cycle with cold water followed by a warm cycle with detergents and finally run an extra rinse cycle.

Please note that you should not use  fabric softeners or bleach. To dry, either, hang or tumble dry.