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So You Bought Cloth Diapers.  Now What?!?

So You Bought Cloth Diapers. Now What?!?

You've made the leap and decided that you are going to try some cloth diapers on your baby.  Congratulations! Whether you're doing to try part-time cloth or jump in full time, you've made a solid decision that is right for your family.  I'm here to hold your hand and support you through the early days and questions.  So where should you start?

First, if you bought brand new diapers, you're going to want to do a pre-wash.  It doesn't matter what brand, style or material your diapers are, they need at least one wash to make sure they are clean and ready for baby.  Some kinds of diapers need more than one pre-wash before use.  Find out if that applies to you

Get That Fit
Second, make sure your diapers are fitting baby properly.  A good fit + proper absorbency = a dry happy baby with no leaks. If your baby is really small and you have one size diapers, you might find baby isn't quite big enough to fit them yet. Try your diapers on baby.  If there is a gap at the legs, adjust the diaper smaller if possible or tuck in the leg ruffles if there are any (like on Esembly diapers). If the diaper sits lower than the belly button or you can see baby bum crack, let out a rise snap or size up in diapers to get the right fit. More fit tips in video format.

When To Change
Lots of parents get nervous over when to change baby out of a cloth diapers since there isn't a blue wetness indicator like on disposables. Seriously, you don't need a little color changing line to tell you when baby is wet. If you think they're wet, they're wet.  Babies pee a lot! But it also doesn't mean you have to change every 30 seconds. Change baby roughly correlated to when you feed baby (generally every 2-3 hours or so).  If baby poops - and usually that'll be pretty obvious, change them right away. If you're still not quite sure how to deal with poop, this is how

Overnight Cloth Diapering Tips
If you're using cloth at night you'll need more absorbency as baby grows and goes longer between changes.  This is normal.  Add extra absorbency boosters as need or switch to a fitted with a cover at night. 

Pro Tip: Rinse those heavy wet overnight diapers before storing in a wet bag between washes to keep ammonia at bay. Use a diaper sprayer for this or wring them out under the bathtub faucet. 

Plan to wash every second day or max every third day and keep your wash routine simple. Avoid fabric softeners, dryer sheets, and don't soak your diapers regularly or leave them soaking wet. Remember to use a hot heavy duty wash, but skip your washer's sanitize function if it has one. 

You are going in the right direction, enjoy your baby and your cloth diapers.  Each one you use really does make a difference! 

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