Posted by Aug 19, 2012
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When it comes to cloth diapering there aren’t many rules. You can mix and match absorbant material and waterproof covers from different brands. You can upcycle just about any absorbent material you have around your home into diapers for those on a strict budget or when you’re in a pinch. (Wash cloths, dish towels, t-shirts, receiving blankets & old sheets make for great diapers!) So being flexible with cloth diapering will definitely save you some cash.
So what’s with the rules? Here are a few cloth diapering rules to help you use cloth diapers with a bit more ease and will help you to extend the life of your diapers!
- Stick to cloth diaper safe diaper rash creams. There are many diaper rash creams on the market. Most widely used diaper rash creams contain petroleum and or zinc oxide. Both of these ingredients will coat the absorbent fibers of your diapers and will cause the fabric to repel liquid rather than absorb it. Many parents will use a disposable diaper liner and creams that are not cloth safe. I don’t recommend this because diaper liners can shift and creams can penetrate the liners. If you have thicker reusable fleece liners you may think this will work. In my experience petroleum and zinc do not wash out well from fleece liners. You must also remember to wash fleece liners separate from your diapers if they have been exposed to creams that are not cloth safe. If you wash exposed fleece liners with your diapers the cream will spread to your diapers and will eventually cause repelling.
- Don’t use dryer sheets or fabric softener. Dryer sheets and fabric softener can leave build up on your diapers which will eventually cause liquid to repel off your diapers. The only fabric softener that has been rumored to be cloth diaper safe (I have used it myself) is Ecover Fabric Softener.
- Use cloth diaper safe detergents. Many detergents have added enzymes, optical brighteners (which is a chemical that coats your fabric so that light reflects off of it in such a way to make it appear brighter when light hits it), fabric softeners, and other harsh chemicals and scents. Some enzymes can cause skin irritation to sensitive babies. I mentioned above how fabric softeners effect your diapers. Chemical additives can be skin irritants and some have even been linked to cancer. Detergents that contain some or all of these additives can cause build up over time and will eventually lead to repelling if you don’t take the time to strip your diapers regularly.
- Line/hang dry your diaper covers. This is more of a suggestion to extend the life of your covers than it is a firm DON’T. The heat of a dryer will decrease the life of your elastic and may effect the waterproofing material over time.
I hope these tips will help you avoid some common mistakes in your cloth diapering journey! What’s your best cloth diapering tip? Let me know in a comment below!