How To Use a Cloth Diaper

People choose cloth diapers over disposable diapers for many reasons. Some people buy them to keep disposable diapers out of our landfills; others don't like the chemicals that go into disposable diapers. Still others find cloth diapers cheaper than disposable.

There are many different kinds of cloth diapers on the market. Users claim they are as easy or easier to use than disposable. The majority of cloth diapers have two parts-the diaper itself and some sort of waterproof cover. The cover may have snaps or Velcro. The majority of cloth diaper covers no longer use diaper pins, so you don't have to worry about sticking your baby. Some cloth diapers come pre-folded, others need folding.  Still other cloth diapers come all in one, without the two separate parts. You will have to find a type of cloth diaper that works for your family both in terms of ease of use and cost.
The following tips will help you to use a cloth diaper.

  1. Get everything you need before you get your baby. Toss a towel on the changing table, floor or bed. Get your clean cloth diaper easily within reach. If your cloth diaper needs folding, make sure it's folded before you have a squirmy baby to deal with. If you are using rags for clean-up, prepare them or open the container of disposable wipes. Cloth diapers can get very wet, so you will need a container to put the diaper in, or a towel to put the diaper on. To avoid wood damage, try not to put the wet diaper over a changing table side or on top of a coffee table. Remember, you should never leave your baby to grab something you forgot.
  2. Get your baby. If you're both in the mood, play with your baby. Tickle, giggle, point out body parts, and call your baby by silly names. Doing this will make diaper changing time less of a hardship for you and your baby.
  3. Take your baby's diaper off. It if it's just a wet diaper and the cover is dry, you should be able to slid out the wet diaper and replace it with a dry one. With practice, all you'll have to do is undo the cover and slide out the wet diaper. You shouldn't have to remove the cover, unless it's been soiled. 
  4. If your baby's diaper has been soiled, there's more work involved. If the mess isn't too bad, try to wipe your baby down with a clean portion of the diaper (usually the top). Remove the dirty diaper and the cover and set them aside. With a clean rag or wipe, clean your baby up. Use as many rags or wipes as you need to get the job done. Place the used wipes on top of the diaper. Make sure you clean in all the wrinkles and crevices. For boys, make sure the penis gets clean. For girls, make sure to remove any stool from the labia-it can cause an infection.
  5. Let your baby's bottom get some air. If you have time, this is a great trick to prevent diaper rash. If you have a boy, you may want to consider covering his penis with a wipe to prevent any surprises.
  6. Apply diaper cream. If your baby has a rash, or you are trying to prevent a rash, now's the time to apply diaper cream. There are many good diaper creams on the market, including many natural products.
  7. If you removed the cover, slide it beneath your baby. Then take your clean diaper and place it beneath your baby. If you have a son, make sure his penis is pointing downward and not upward or to the side to prevent leaks. Do up any snaps or Velcro on the cover.
  8. Get rid of the dirty diaper. You will want a container to put the dirty diapers and covers in. If you were using disposable wipes, you will want to throw them out. If you were using cloth wipes, you can combine the dirty diaper and the dirty cloths and put them into your dirty diaper container.


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