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Cloth Diapering Basics


 With all the options available, cloth diapering can seem an overwhelming way to go.
It isn't!  Here are a few things we have learned along the way.

Fitted diapers are shaped, sized and fitted diapers much like the familiar disposable diaper except they are washable and reusable.
They are typically made with 2 or 3 layers of fabric and have some type of booster or soaker pad for extra absorbency.
They have elastic at the legs and back to provide the shaped diaper a good fit and help contain messes.
No need for folding. They are quick and easy.
Fitted diapers do require a diaper cover that fits neatly over to contain wetness.

We choose to offer only fitteds because of their convenience, affordability, versatility, and well, their good fit!

Little Beetle size 1 diapers fit from approximately 6 to 18 lbs. Size 2 diapers fit from 18 to aroud 30+ pounds. These come in aplix and snap fastening options.

Aplix- It is basically industrial velcro made to withstand lots of opening and closing.

Snaps - The diaper fastens with polyresin snaps. These are also made to withstand repeated washing, drying and snapping.

Which do I chose? At the end of the day, it really is personal preference.

How many diapers do you need per day and in total?

• newborns need around 12 diapers per day
• from the introduction of solids, this may decrease to around 8-10 per day
• a typical 2 year old may need only 3 or 4 per day

The number of diapers you will need in total can be adjusted according to your wash routine.

• If washing every day, multiply the daily requirement by 2 (for newborns you would need 16)
•For washing every other day, multiply by 3. (So, for newborns, you would need at least 24. Once your baby is in a size 2 diaper (around 18 pounds), you would need around 18)
•Every 3 days, multiply by 4

It is important to remember that the more diapers you have in rotation, the less likely they are to show excessive wear and tear.

Diaper Covers -

Wool covers
are fantastic with their breathability, antibacterial properties and natural ability to hold liquid. Indeed, they are self-cleaning (as the urine reacts with the lanolin to form a soap) for a week or two at which point they simply need to be gently hand washed with wool wash and/or re-lanolized.

Check out our Little Beetle Organic Merino Wool Cover and Soaker Shorts for both day and night use. They are organic and scrumptiously soft!

We do also offer an easy and quicker to clean PUL cover made by Imse Vimse. PUL covers are a trust worthy staple to have on hand. And they can be especially nice during the first weeks of cloth diapering.

For diaper covers, 4 to 6 is a good number to keep in rotation.

Doublers- These are a great diaper accessory. They are ideal to fit into your diaper for night-time or heavy wetters. The come in an hourglass shape and are a perfect fit for our Little Beetle diapers as they slide under and are held secure by our innovative Little Beetle booster!

Silk Diaper Liners - These are to be used as needed to prevent or help heal a rash. Silk diaper liners are a wonderful and natural alternative to fleece liners. They still act as a 1 way barrier against wetness just as fleece does pulling moisture away from your baby's skin and keeping their bottom healthy and dry, yet our raw silk retains some of the natural sericin with antibacterial properties to help sooth your baby's skin. 10 is usually a good number to keep.

Wipes - SSince you are already doing laundry, why not skip on the disposable wipes?! Our little beetle wipes come in a variety of combinations, both hemp and organic cottons. The looped side is great for messes. The soft side is ideal for more delicate jobs and gentle wiping.

Cleaning Solution
- Of course, cloth wipes means making your own cleaning solution. But, again, it is quite simple.  Here's what I do: Keep a few small squirt bottles handy. Fill each with lukewarm tap water and add several drops of Tea Tree oil and, if desired, a few drops of a carrier oil. Tea Tree Oil is an excellent antibacterial agent.

Baby Bum Drops wipes solution is a great alternative.  It's so easy to use and is really nice.  See "Body Care for Babies"

(Some people recommend storing the wipes in a container filled with cleaning solution, but that option does not seem to us to be any easier or more efficient. Negatives of that method include the use of more solution and the task of assuring it is changed often enough so as not to have created a breeding ground for germs.)

Between Washes - You definitely need a waterproof bag for on the go.  Some people prefer a second large bag as a liner for the nursery's diaper bin.  Others may chose disposable liners for the bin. 

Either way it is a simple process:  For newborns, put the dirty diapers straight in the bag.  Once your baby is on solids, shake the poo off the diaper or liner and into the toilet. Toss liners and diapers into the bin. This is known as the dry pail method.  A few drops of Lavender oil (or Tea Tree oil) on one of the wipes or the bag will take care of odors until wash time.

We advise against soaking diapers with sodium bicarbonate as its residue can have a corroding effect on the fabrics when washed on hot.

How to Wash - We recommend a cold pre-wash/wash or rinse first, then a hot wash (140 degrees Fahrenheit).

Do not boil your diapers as this can ruin the elastic. Use a small amount of laundry detergent each time (too much detergent can create a residue).

Use vinegar occasionally in the rinse to help keep the diapers soft.

And please, no fabric softener or treatments of any kind. These can ruin a diaper's absorbency.

Drying Cloth Diapers - It may not be realistic every time, but the more you can dry your diapers on low or medium the longer their life will be.