Aloha! When we began our own cloth diaper journey, the biggest challenge was simply not knowing what to do or where to start. We did not know of any friends who were also using cloth diapers at the time, so we did hours of research online! After a lot of research and lessons learned along the way, we found success and enjoyment in cloth diapering our child. We wish that all of our customers have a similar experience and, we hope to make your journey with cloth a bit easier.
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The #1 question I get asked about cloth diapering is, “What do you do with the poop?!” Although dealing with poop is not the most enjoyable part of diapering a baby, whether you’re using cloth or disposable diapers, a few tools can make the task much easier! While some prefer the “dunk and swish” method to remove solids from the diaper, we thoroughly enjoyed a diaper sprayer that connected directly to our toilet like one of these:
We also used a cloth diaper spray shield that held the diaper in place while we were spraying it, like the ones below. Even after diapering days, we still use the sprayer and stand occasionally for stained clothing, muddy shoes and more!
We strongly suggest spraying or rinsing poop out of your diapers as soon as possible to minimize staining and smells. Once rinsed, we hung the diaper on our shower tub or the side of our dry pail until the next laundry day.
Last, but certainly not least, any poop from an exclusively breastfed baby (or very close to exclusively breast fed) does NOT need to be rinsed before washing (of course, you are free to rinse if desired before washing). Exclusively breastfed newborn poop is water soluble, so you can simply toss the diaper into the washer and then follow our simple wash routine.
If you are washing every other day, we recommend 18-24 one size cloth diapers for your stash (24-30 if you are hang drying). Adjust these recommendations if you are washing more/less frequently or cloth diapering part-time. When baby is younger, you may also need more cloth diapers while they go through more daily diapers (newborns can use 10-12 diapers a day). Keep in mind that while buying cloth diapers is an investment at the beginning, you do not have to buy a complete diaper stash at once. If you are just starting out, try 3 to 5 diapers at the beginning and add more into your rotation so that you eventually have a complete stash.
We also recommend starting with 2 wet bags in your rotation, a pail liner, cloth safe diaper cream, and 6-12 reusable cloth wipes.
If you are washing every other day, we recommend 18-24 diapers for your stash (24-30 if you are hang drying). Adjust this recommendation if you are washing more/less frequently or cloth diapering part-time. When baby is younger, you may also need more cloth diapers while they go through more daily diapers (newborns can use 10-12 diapers a day).
All the diapers we sell are considered "one size," meaning they are adjustable to comfortably fit most babies from infancy to potty training (8 - 35 lbs) using a combination of waist and rise snap settings. We love one size diapers for their comfort, flexibility and efficiency. Want to learn more? Watch this video:
1. Before putting the diaper on baby, adjust the rise snaps to the appropriate size and tuck any extra fabric into the top of the diaper.
2. Place the diaper on baby with the waist snaps facing forward. The top of the diaper should be right above baby's bum on the back and about an inch below baby's piko (belly button) in the front. If the diaper is too high or low on the front or back, readjust the rise snaps and repeat.
3. Ensure the elastics are in baby's underwear line to get a good fit and prevent leaks.
4. Fasten the waist snaps evenly on both sides to fit snugly but comfortably.
5. Release any tension in the elastics. You should be able to place two fingers in the top of the diaper to ensure that it is not too tight around baby's waist.
Leaks are common, especially when you first start with cloth diapers. Give yourself some time to figure out what works for you and your baby. With some troubleshooting, we are confident that you will find solutions to any of your concerns. Here are some common reasons for leaks and possible solutions:
Fit: Be sure that the diaper fits your baby correctly. You may need to adjust the rise snaps or the waist snaps to get a good fit. The diaper should sit approximately 1 inch below baby’s piko (belly button) in the front, and just above baby’s bum on the back. The leg elastics should fit snugly, but comfortably, and you should be able to place two fingers between the top of the diaper and baby’s tummy.
Changing Frequency: Cloth diapers need to be changed more frequently than disposables. On average, change baby's diaper every 1.5 – 2.5 hours, if soiled. We found that checking our baby’s diaper frequently and promptly changing it whenever it was wet eliminated leaks.
Absorbency: As your baby grows, you may need to add more absorbency to a diaper. If the sizing and fit of the diaper is correct, try adding an extra insert.
Keiki kāne: If you have a baby boy, point his penis downward when changing his diaper. If the problem persists, try adding absorbency in the front of the diaper. One way to do this is by folding an insert in half so that it has double the absorbency at the front of the diaper.
Add an extra insert into your diaper for extra absorbency or an overnight solution. We found that two inserts were normally sufficient for our daughter overnight but some babies may need more. Also, if your baby needs absorbency in a certain area of the diaper (for example, the front of the diaper for boys), try folding an insert in half to create double the absorbency in that target area.
Absolutely! Instead of cloth diapering full-time, some feel comfortable using cloth part time. For example, you could cloth diaper baby only when you’re at home, or during the daytime or nighttime exclusively, or on the weekends only. Do whatever works for you! Any little step you take to use cloth diapers helps reduce waste for our planet.
Our wet bags and pods are the perfect solution for storing soiled diapers on-the-go or at home. We suggest leaving the bags unzipped and in a well-ventilated area to reduce odor issues. They offer the easiest clean up too--just turn them inside out and toss them in your normal cloth diaper laundry. Hang dry or tumble dry on low and they’re ready to use again!
If you need more space, another great option is using a pail (we used a small trash pail with no cover) with a washable pail liner, like the one in the link below. Be sure to leave the lid open and keep it in a well-ventilated area.
Use one of our pods to pack and take a set of clean cloth diapers with you and other helpful accessories for your day. As your baby uses the clean diapers, change them out and place the soiled diapers and reusable wipes in one of our wet bags. When you get home, you can either keep the soiled diapers in your wet bag or empty them out into a pail for storage until you are ready to wash them.
One of the best parts of cloth diapering is being able to pass along your diapers for another keiki to use when your child no longer needs them. The more children that use our diapers, the more they contribute to a more sustainable planet! If you don't have any family or friends in need of them, consider donating your diapers to a local/national diaper bank. The resale market for cloth diapers is also thriving. Recouping the costs of your initial cloth diaper purchases by reselling them makes cloth diapering even more affordable than disposables in the long run.
Always clean your diapers well before passing them along to be courteous to the next family who uses them.
Care and Washing QuestionsDownload a copy of our care and wash instructions or request a card as part of your order. Post a copy near your washing machine so your whole ʻohana can kōkua (help)!
Washing cloth diapers is much simpler than you may think! As a guide, after removing any solids, follow these easy steps: (1) prewash/short wash with warm water and minimal or no detergent; (2) main wash on the heaviest cycle with hot water, detergent, and an extra rinse; and (3) tumble dry on low or hang dry.
Here are some other important tips to remember:
Wash around 12-18 diapers (plus inserts, wipes, pail liner and wet bags) in each load. You want enough items in your laundry load so that there is sufficient agitation.
Wash diapers every 2 to 3 days after use. You do not want your diapers to remain soiled for long.
Do NOT use fabric softener, bleach or dryer sheets. These will minimize absorption and repel liquids.
High efficiency washing machines generally do not use enough water to clean cloth diapers. Trick the washer into using more water by adding a few small, wet towels so that more water is dispensed.
Drying diapering products in direct sunlight is the best way to dry and disinfect diapers and also get rid of stains! However, do not leave them in the sun for longer than necessary; the powerful UV rays and high temperatures may be damaging.
Hang drying your diapers when feasible will help them last longer and reduce shrinking of natural fabrics. We LOVED this drying rack below, and still use it today! This rack is a great option to hang dry pockets, all-in-one diapers, inserts, liners and more!
Avoid soaps and detergents with bleach, fabric softeners, brighteners, dyes, and fragrance. Such harsh ingredients may harm your baby’s sensitive skin and also cause harm to your cloth diapers. We use Tide Original on our diapers, which has worked well. It may take a bit of trial and error to find something that works for you, but it is well worth it to find something that does!
Troubleshooting smelly diapers will require a little trial and error. You could be using too much or too little detergent, your diapers may have not been rinsed thoroughly, or your washer may not be using enough water to help the diapers agitate well.
The residue left by using too much detergent can cause unwanted odors and reduced absorbency. If you think you might be using too much detergent, run your clean diapers in a hot wash without detergent followed by two rinses.
You may also need to occasionally “strip” your diapers to remove any residue. We prefer using Grovia Mighty Bubbles to strip diapers. This can be used for other cloth items as well, such as work out clothes or anything retaining any unwanted smell or buildup. Avoid stripping your diapers too often as it can be harsh on your cloth diapers.
If you think you might be using too little detergent, rewash your diapers with a more appropriate amount. You may also want to try other detergents if your current one is not sufficiently cleaning your diapers. Tide Original has worked well for us.
Do your best to rinse all solid waste out of your diapers as soon as possible. This will help to minimize odors in your diapers. Finally, if your washer is not automatically adding sufficient water to your diaper load to get thorough agitation, add in a few small, wet towels to trick the machine into adding more water.
Only use cloth diaper-safe creams on your baby. Look for creams without petroleum (which can repel liquids) or zinc (which can cause staining). If you need to use a cream that is not cloth safe, use a diaper liner.