Cloth Diapering Basics

Did you know it takes about 500 YEARS for a diaper to decompose in a landfill?????

We LOVE cloth diapering.

We also know cloth diapering isn't for everyone and not for the faint of heart. We want to share our cloth diapering experience with you. As a disclaimer please always follow your manufacturers instructions on how to clean your cloth diapers as all brands may vary. 

Also remember, just like all things parenting, cloth diapering doesn't have to be an all or nothing experience. Here at Owl Gator we do whatever we can to make the parenting experience less stressful in order to help you be your best self with babe. We LOVE cloth diapering but we also take a very laid back approach to it. Personally doing cloth diapers whenever we are at home and go on short day trips, but as soon as we're doing an overnight forget it - I just don't have that kind of dedication. Some do. Some don't. Cloth diapering can be a choose your own journey, there's no right or wrong way to do things. 

Let us share our way. 

Let's walk through a step-by-step process on what to do. We're going to focus on the most popular kind of cloth diaper on the market --- the one-size pocket diaper.
You may be thinking.."WHAAAAT? hold the phone... I'm new to all this. What the heck is a pocket diaper?"

A pocket diaper has two parts to it.

1. The actual diaper, which is usually made up of a waterproof fabric on the outside and a microfibre inside, that has a pocket in it.

2. The insert that goes into the pocket of the actual diaper. The insert (or liner) can be made of microfibre, charcoal, bamboo, all sorts of absorbent material.

The reason there is 2 parts to this diaper is the microfibre of the actual diaper helps to wick away moisture from baby's precious little toosh, well the liner helps to absorb and hold the liquid. 

Ok so you're super excited and you just ordered your cloth diapers.

Now What?

Always wash diapers before first use. Separate the liners from the diapers (if they are together), snap the diapers together and run through your wash on a 'bulky' setting with warm water and your laundry soap. We recommend using a gentle, low fragrance, hypoallergenic soap that won't irritate baby's skin. Dry diapers on delicate setting, low heat is best. 
After the diapers are washed I like to get them ready for use. Adjust the rise snaps so the diaper fits near your baby's belly button, slide insert into the pocket, fold and store wherever you are keeping your diapers. Now diapers are ready for use. 
When soiled remove the diaper from your baby, remove insert, snap diaper together and place both insert and pocket diaper into a pail. 
I don't see the need to put water into the pail. I actually prefer to just use a (brand new) washroom style garbage can with a foot lever for ease of opening and toss the diaper, insert and reusable wipe into the can. I try to wash the diapers, inserts and wipes within 48 hours for best results.

Wait a minute. Reusable baby wipes? I find it quite easy to have a few extra cloths on hand for wiping baby's bum. I'll either have them sitting in a little water and natural soap solution or just pour a little warm water on them as I go. If you're cloth diapering, you may as well be using reusable wipes!! 

That sounds all very simple. But let's get real - What about Poop?

Newborn baby poop is so benign - although lots of it - it's quite easy to clean. After cloth diapering the whole way through with my 3 year old (now potty trained), the poop that my 3 month old has feels like such a breeze to deal with. There's no need to wash or spray the diapers before throwing them into the pail. There is some staining on my diapers but this causes no issue on their effectiveness.
When baby starts solids, cloth diapering is a different story. To make matters simple.... Solid Food = Solid Poop. Things can get a bit more difficult to clean. Welcome Diaper Sprayer!! This handy device hooks right up to your toilet and enables you to spray any solids straight into the toilet. Another tool to make cloth diapering that much easier! 

Let's not get overwhelmed with cloth diapering info, we're going to leave it there for now. 

Cloth Diapering is so wonderful. I love that it saves money on diapers, helps the environment with less waste going to the landfill, saves time not having to shop for diapers and leaves baby's skin soft and rash free.

If you have any questions or some tips and tricks you'd like to share leave a comment below - we'd LOVE to hear from you.

1 comment

  • Sarah

    I think you mentioning that everyone can carve their own journey with cloth diapering is so key! I’ve often got “I don’t know how you do it” and “it’s not for me” but we just do what works for our family. Cloth at home, daycare, short outings and disposable at night and longer longer outings. Giving ourselves that grace really made cloth diapering doable for us. Great Advice!

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