Saturday, May 4, 2013

Cloth Diapering Basics Part 2: How to Diaper

Last time, we talked about all the different types of diapers, pros and cons, and my recommendations.  Today, let's talk about how exactly to use each of these types.  If you get lost on the jargon or abbreviations, check the previous post.

First, most covers have either snap or hook-and-loop (Velcro) closure.  It's really your preference.  I like the snaps because they don't come undone.  Others like hook-and-loop because they're quicker to change.  The  Velcro can eventually wear-out, but there's also a small chance a snap will malfunction.

All-in-One (AIO) diapers Seriously, you just take off the dirty diaper, clean your baby, then put on this diaper.  Close the snaps or hook and loop just as you would for a disposable diaper.  Easy. Closure goes in front.

Pocket diapers These usually come with inserts, but you can also use a tri-folded prefold, a folded flat sheet, or a doubler, if needed.  The diaper may have one pocket or two.  This is for ease of laundering.  You  don't have to remove the insert if there are two pockets since it will agitate out in the wash.  If there's only one pocket, you may have to remove the insert before washing, unless the manufacturer says otherwise.  I've heard men and women with large hands prefer the two pocket type.  The one-pocket is sometimes easier because it's less complicated with placing the insert.  Either way, simply slip the insert into the pocket.  It should fit along the length of the diaper.  If it's too long, you generally fold the excess in front for boys and in back for girls. You may find that your baby's "pee range" is different.  Adjust accordingly.  Then, you attach it as for the AIO.

Prefold and Fitted There are a variety of ways to use this style of diaper with varying absorbent areas and closure types. If using a Snappi, you need to have "Snappi-able" material.  This is just a material with enough weave to allow the "claws" to grab on. I refer you back to this site for simple directions.  As I've never used pins, I'd have to refer you elsewhere for directions, too. Try this one. When you have your diaper closed, you can slip on the woolies just like pants/shorts or snap or Velcro the cover on.  If you prefer no closures, you still have many choices.  Here are my favorites.  Lay your cover down.
 This is a tri-fold.  Just take one side and fold 1/3 across.  Then take the other side and fold the rest of the way across.  This makes a nice absorbent layer in the middle.  The down side is if baby poops, you'll probably get it on the cover, so you'll need to wash it.  The upside is it's easy to store them this way.
 This is a triangle fold or a "poop pocket."  Baby's bottom will go right in the middle, so if baby poops, most of that will go straight into the pocket.
 If you do a tri-fold and it's too long, as it is here, you can either fold down the excess, which makes for a giant fluff butt, or.....
 Just twist it in the middle like here.  It gives extra absorbency right where it's needed and keeps the diaper from spilling out of the cover.  The downside, again, is if they poop it will get on the cover.
 Another option is simply laying the diaper flat into the cover and scrunching it to fit within the elastic areas. This provides a nice gusset to keep out any "explosions" that sometimes happens, though I've found that the cloth does a fine job of slowing those down anyway.
Once it's laying how you like it, lay baby down and close up your diaper.

Flat diapers  I've already said I have never mastered folding these, mostly because I never tried, but a friend yesterday showed me that it really doesn't have to be that complicated.  She uses some of the same techniques I use with my prefolds, like the twist above, but then she uses a Boingo fastener. Or, if you want to try the "special folds," here is a really easy step by step photo tutorial to try.  If you need more help, check youtube.  I'm inspired to try these myself!  The bonus is you can use them anywhere, even camping, because they are super simple to wash and dry and not that complicated to use. Click here to read about my adventure in flat diapers and find out what I decided about them.

Would you like to add anything?  Any questions or suggestions I didn't include?
Next time: Laundering

Disclosure:  This post contains affiliate links.  If you click them you will be directed to Amazon where I will make a small percentage of your purchase.

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