Diaper Knowledge

I am new to cloth diapering and don't know where to start!

If you are new to cloth diapering we highly recommend you buy a sample from some of our products before you make a large purchase. Our most leakproof and easiest to use diapers are the pocket diapers and all-in-one diapers.

Pocket Cloth Diapers(What is a Pocket Diaper? The three main components of the pocket diapers are: first, a waterproof outer barrier fabric that is sewn to the second component, an inner moisture-wicking fabric that keeps the skin feeling dry. These two fabrics form a pocket for the third component, an absorbent insert. However, the term "Pocket Diapers" is so much more than just two layers of fabric sewn together! Pocket Diapers function in a way that no other diaper has in history. They use special materials against the baby's skin to keep the baby's skin dry resulting in numerous benefits for the mom and baby, not to mention the elimination and treatment of diaper rash ... which is why this style diaper was created in the first place.

Washing Cloth Diapers

Washing Brand New Products...
New diapers do need to be laundered prior to their first use.  Some items such as pocket diapers, covers, inserts and items made from micro-terry or bamboo only need a quick wash; warm or code water works best (detergent is optional but recommended).

Organic/Unbleached Cotton and Hemp products...
Organic and unbleached cotton and hemp products (inserts, prefolds, etc…) do require several washes BEFORE they will be absorbent; otherwise, leaks will occur.  Generally it can take between 5-6 hot water washes (or more) before the natural oils from the cotton or hemp is removed and allows the fabric to properly absorb. Items will become more absorbent with subsequent washes.

For optimal results use hot water for the wash and warm water rinses (if an option on your machine). We do recommend drying the diapers between washes - however, you can also opt to wash twice, dry once, and continue repeating until the diapers are fully prepped.

How do I wash my new diapers?

1.If the diaper has hook & loop closures, secure the laundry tabs.
2.Pre-wash cold to remove waste and fight stains.
3.Wash cold.
4.Follow with a second rinse.
5.Line-dry covers and diaper shells. Tumble dry inserts, fitteds and prefolds.

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Washing Soiled Diapers – Keep it Simple!

Wash dirty diapers every other day.
If your diapers still stink, wash again.
Remove solid waste before storing in pail.
Use only detergent and water. Do not use other additives like vinegar or baking soda
Once per month, use up to 1/4 cup bleach in the hot wash cycle (step 3) to sanitize diapers and fight odors.
To remove stains, lay clean, wet diapers in the sun.

Cloth diaper laundry recommendations are a dime a dozen.  However, we all use different washing machines, different detergents, and even different diapers.  Therefore, finding a diaper laundry routine that suits you best can be cumbersome.  We recommend keeping it simple!
We have provided additional resources
Cloth Diapering 101 Series.  How to Prep Cloth Diapers.  We also include the following Laundry Tips sheet with most orders.  

There are a plethora of cloth diaper laundry lists available with other recommended detergents but we like to stick to what we have personally tried and know works well.

Note:  Rockin' Green, bumGenius, and Tiny Bubbles detergents have all been formulated for use with cloth diapers.  Therefore, you should follow the recommended amount on the packaging. 

Baking Soda (1-2 tablespoons) - helps neutralize acid and odors.  Baking soda can be used in place of detergent in the initial cold water wash, or substitute ½ of your detergent for baking soda in the initial cold water wash.

Bleach:  (1-2 tablespoons) - While bleach is typically a cloth diapering "no-no" - we do recommend a periodic bleaching of micro-terry inserts; especially since micro-terry is more prone to build-up and stink issues.  Do not use on other types of cloth diapers, especially those with PUL.

Vinegar (1/4 cup or less) works by breaking down residues making them readily wash away.  Also helps restores the pH balance in fabrics, reduces lint, and naturally eliminates static cling.  Not recommended or necessary unless you develop consistent problems with residue build-up. Use in the rinse cycle—either with a Downy Ball or in the fabric softener dispenser in your washing machine.

How do I handle and store soiled diapers?

Wet diapers only are a breeze – just toss in the diaper pail and go!
Soiled (bowel movement) diapers do require a little more attention.
Newborn doesn't typically stain… therefore some people just toss soiled diapers directly into the diaper pail or wet bag until laundry day and do a prewash to loosen up and rinse away most of the debris.  However, for optimal washing results, we like to recommend either using a disposable diaper liner or a diaper sprayer.

Otherwise, we strongly recommend the use of a Diaper Sprayer!  Diaper Sprayers allow you to remove most (sometimes all) of the solids from the diaper right into your toilet, without having to utilize the dreaded dunking method.  Diaper Sprayers are also great for personally hygiene uses too!

For storing your soiled diapers until laundry day we strongly recommend the use of a dry pail.  Dry Pails are diaper pails that do not use water to soak the diapers in.  Wet pails pose a safety hazard and are more likely to cause stink buildup in the diapers.

Therefore we recommend lining a lidded 13 gallon plastic trash bin/can with a diaper pail liner such as Planet Wise Pail Liner. If you don't have much room for a plastic trash bin you may alternatively use a hanging diaper pail liner, such as Knickernappies Doorknob Diaper Pail, on a door handle inside your bathroom or connect it to your changing table.

My Diapers are LEAKING!  HELP!

The 3 most common reasons why diapers leak:
1) Absorbency

Diapers made of natural fibers have the natural plant oils in the fabrics when they are new.  

They must be “prepped” to remove these oils from the fabric so that they can absorb properly. 

All new natural fiber diapers should be washed in hot water, with the full recommended amount

 of a good detergent at least 5 or 6 times before wearing. However, keep in mind that it can 

take up to 12 washes for them to reach full absorbency, so you might need to change more 

frequently at first.


2) Size

Pocket diapers with a poor fit, like all other styles of cloth diapers, will leak. 

If the insert or prefold diaper placed inside the pocket diaper is too small or too narrow, it won't

 be able to absorb as much as necessary. If the pocket diaper itself is too big, moisture will 

escape through the gaps left by the loose fit. If you find the pocket diapers have suddenly 

started leaking, this may the problem. Measure your baby and move up the next size.


To ensure that your diaper has a proper fit on your child, you should be able to easily slide one

 finger under the elastic areas at the back and legs. However, if you can slide three fingers in 

than it is too loose.  A nice snug fit will hold the absorbent fibers close to the baby’s body and 

they will be able to absorb quickly, allowing the liquid to be distributed throughout the diaper 

without leaking.


3) Residue Buildup

Check pocket diapers for detergent Residue

Pocket diapers are primarily made of polyester materials, which make them an easy candidate 

for detergent build-up. If you suspect that your pocket diapers are leaking due to detergent 

residue, try to strip wash them by throwing the pocket diapers into a hot wash without any 

detergent. After getting the diapers clean again, strongly consider a new detergent or use 

less detergent in your wash.

 


Did you prewash?First of all, make sure that you washed everything at least once before using. There can be residue left on the fabric from the production process that can cause leakage. If you have organic or hemp diapers, they must be prewashed in hot water with a small amount of detergent 3-5 times before they become absorbent. They reach their full absorbency after 10 washes.

Is the insert flat?Make sure that the insert is flat when you put the diaper on your baby. If it is twisted or wadded up, this can cause leakage.

Is the wetness at the top edge of the diaper?Our unique, patent pending, extra layer of waterproof material across the inside front of the diaper prevents leaking at the top edge of the diaper. Baby Wizard One-Size diapers are the first and only diapers with this innovative feature.

If you are experiencing wetness at the top edge of the diaper, make sure that the insert isn’t pushed up too far in the front of the diaper. The insert should be placed approximately one inch below the top edge of the diaper. The top edge of the diaper should be flat against your baby with the soft fabric against your baby’s belly.


Is the wetness at the legs, label or the tabs?
If the diaper is leaking from the tabs or the legs, change the diaper and remove the insert. If it is saturated then your baby definitely needs a more absorbent insert or a more frequent diaper change. If the insert isn’t saturated, then the diaper may not be adjusted to fit your child properly or, if you are using a detergent that contains additives, your diapers may also have detergent buildup which can also cause leakage.

My diapers are leaking and someone told me that they might be 'repelling'. What does this mean and how do I know if this is a problem with my diapers?

Baby Wizard diapers are made with suedecloth inside. To properly absorb, the inner fabric needs to be against your baby's skin and pressure needs to be applied. If the diaper isn't fitted properly and is hanging away from your baby's bottom, the liquid will pool and can run out.

A truly repelling diaper meets the following requirements:

The diaper is properly fitted to your child.
The diaper has leaked a significant volume of liquid (this isn't just damp clothing).
The insert is nearly dry.

Remember, this type of leakage can also happen if the diaper isn't fitted properly to your child. So check for proper fit (see question above for how to do this) before deciding that your diapers are repelling.

My Diapers are horribly STINKY!  What can I do?

Nobody likes a funky smelling diaper! 

It's frustrating when cloth diapers leak, but it's infuriating to not know why it's happening! 

 

 

Deep-cleaning cloth diapers: what it is, 

and how to do it?

The water you use: Do you have hard water?

 
Hard water might contritube to the stinky diapers for it has a lot of minerals in it, namely calcium and magnesium.  These minerals, if not properly rinse away, can lead to a mineral build-up in cloth diapers which might cause terrible odors!

 

Many detergents don't work as well in hard water because they have to work at softening the water rather than cleaning.  Therefore we recommend using a separate water softener, such as Calgon Water Softener (NOT Calgon bath products).  Calgon Water Softener is considered safe for use on all types of cloth diapers.

But we’d like to make a distinction between stripping and deep-cleaning. 

‘Stripping’ refers to removing an oily residue from the fibers of your cloth diapers, usually from 

the accidental use of fabric softener or a petroleum- or fish oil based diaper ointment or

cream. There are washing techniques—namely, 

the good, old-fashioned dish soap-and-a-toothbrush scrub

that can be used to remove these oils. 

Deep-cleaning merely requires using a little more oomph before returning

 to a wash routine that is simple and uses adequate detergent and a long enough wash 

duration. 



Additionally, we strongly recommend SUNNING your inserts and diapers.  The sun is a natural disinfectant (and also removes stains and whitens so your inserts/diapers will look pretty spectacular too).

Stripping diapers, although sounds harsh, really isn't and shouldn't be!

If you notice your diapers are leaking/repelling quite often or there are horrible smells emanating from the diapers the moment they become wet or soiled—then it's time for a good stripping!  The method will typically depend on the cause behind the problem so it's important to determine the cause first. 

Generally, for the vast majority we recommend several (4-6) hot water washes (no detergent) which will get rid of most detergent buildup/residues.  This is the safest stripping method available for all types of cloth diapers.  You may consider adding 1/4 cup of vinegar to the first cycle or two.  Vinegar is optional, and not generally recommended for products containing PUL.  Also, some people have reported using vinegar with stink issues only compounds the problem. 


Diaper Rash – What You Need to Know!

High fevers and listlessness aside, there's little else that raises our mommy alarms than a rash! Rashes come in all shapes and shades, even textures… some are quite frightening but typically harmless. Generally, rashes are usually a sign or symptom of a problem; this is especially true for diaper rashes.

First and foremost we always recommend consulting with your pediatrician, they are far more experienced and qualified to determine whether the rash requires any medical treatment or if it's nothing to fret about.

Now, the good news for those who cloth diapers, rashes are a less common occurrence. Studies have shown approximately 5% of cloth diapered babies experience diaper rash issues as opposed to 50%+ amongst the disposable diapered babies.

Why such a drastic difference between the two?

Disposable diapers are made from plastics, not paper like many people mistakenly believe (even chlorine-free diapers are also made from plastic polymers). Plastic does not allow the skin to breathe properly and causes heat retention which can ultimately leads to rashes.

Additionally, some babies are very sensitive to the chemicals found in disposable diapers and are unable to wear them at all without developing severe blistering rashes. This is referred to as allergic contact dermatitis.

However, diaper rashes aren't exclusive to the disposable diapering bunch. Rashes that occur with cloth diaper usage are typically either the result of prolonged wetness, sensitivity or reaction to detergent and/or bacterial residues on the diaper, or more rarely an allergic reaction to material/fabric itself.

Prolonged Wetness
Frequent diaper changes will generally resolve rash issues caused by prolonged wetness. It also helps to ensure baby is dry before putting another clean diaper on. Allow your children a few moments between changes to "air out."

Some babies develop yeast rashes/infections due to continuous exposure to moisture/wetness, especially in their little nooks and crannies since yeast thrives in warm and moist areas. Therefore, it's especially important to change baby regularly and ensure they are dry.

It's important to note when battling a yeast rash/infection – the diapers do require disinfection. Otherwise, bacteria from the rash linger in the diapers and can ultimately re-infect your little one making the rash last for weeks and sometimes months on end!

Ways to disinfect your diapers from yeast

Hot Water
Make sure you're using hot water to wash your diapers (after your initial cold rinses of course). Hot water does help in killing a good majority of bacteria.

Vinegar 
Depending on what type of diapers you're using – you may consider using between ¼ - ½ cup vinegar in the main wash. The vinegar is acidic and works to kill most, if not all the bacteria.

Sunshine! 
Be one with the SUN! Sunning is an excellent way to rid your diapers of bacteria naturally. It also helps whiten, brighten and remove pesky stains from your diapers.

 

Skin Reactions 
Adverse skin reactions are trickier to figure out since there are so many! If there is detergent buildup on your diapers then it is likely a child will experience a reaction due to the buildup while other children may truly have a sensitivity to the particular detergent. We suggest washing the diapers several times in hot water with no detergents or additives to ensure the diapers are free from detergent residues and see if that doesn't resolve the issue. If a true allergy to the detergent is suspected then it is recommended to discontinue use of the product.

There are other skin reactions such as eczema, psoriasis, or just plain friction which results in rashes. Although rare, some children develop a sensitivity or allergy to synthetic fabrics and well. Therefore, it's really important to consulting with your pediatrician or family doctor as they have years of experience and seen the gamut of rashes to provide a proper diagnosis.

 IMPORTANT NOTE: To preserve your hook and loop closures, we suggest washing Baby Wizard products separately from heavy cotton (like prefolds or cotton fitteds).

How often do I need to change the diapers?

Cloth diapers are not like disposables. You do have to change the diapers every 1 1/2-2 hours during the day. During the night you will use either a night-time diaper or you will add more stuffing to your pocket diaper.

A very important thing to remember is that your diaper is only as good as it’s stuffing. If you only use one insert and your child is a heavy wetter, you may need to either change more often or add additional stuffing.

How many diapers do I need?

Your newborn will need to be changed 10-12 times a day. After about 2-3 months your baby will need to be changed 6-10 times a day. You will want to do laundry at least every 3 days if not sooner. You may use the above guide to determine how many diapers per size to buy. You will need one insert for each day time diaper and 2-3 inserts for each night-time diaper.

Do I really need to add all those extras to my laundry?

No! Please do not add anything extra to your diaper laundry unless you need to. The simpler the better. Use the full amount of detergent recommended by the detergent manufacturer. Using less then that can cause diapers not to get clean, ammonia smells after baby has urinated, and burning in the diaper area due to the unclean diapers. When they are done throw them in the dryer. Then take them out and stuff. The easier the better.

How can I get stains out?

The sun is the best stain remover. Take your wet diaper and hang to dry in the sun. If the stain is stubborn squirt it with a little lemon juice and it should come right out after drying in the sun.

What about the dryer?

Everyone has their own comments regarding whether or not to dry cloth diapers. We recommend that you dry your pocket diapers as often as you want to. I personally dry mine on high with every wash. Drying your diapers in the dryer will actually help to keep them functioning perfectly.

How can I get my hook & loop tabs to fasten as firmly as they used to?

Easy! By washing your diaper and then drying it in the dryer, the heat will cause the hook & loop to recontract and fasten more firmly again.

How do I use my One-Size Cloth Diapers?

1.djust the diaper sizing by choosing the right snap setting on the front of the diaper.

Your diaper arrives snapped down to the "small" setting, the bottom row of snaps.
To use the "medium" setting, unsnap the diaper and resnap on the second row of snaps.
To use the diaper on the "large" setting, fully unsnap the front of the diaper.HELPFUL HINT: For overnight use, consider stuffing with two inserts and setting the diaper to be one size larger than you would for daytime use.

2.Adjust the insert sizing by choosing the right snap setting on the insert.

To use the insert as a "small", snap the insert down to the bottom snap socket. Little boys tend to do well with the folded part towards the front of the diaper while little girls may do better with it towards the back. To use the insert as a "medium", snap the insert down to the middle snap socket.
To use the insert as a "large", just leave it completely unsnapped.

3.Put the insert in your diaper. Hold the insert in one hand and place inside the slot (located under the protective flap). Align the front edge of the insert with the top edge of the velcro strip. Using one hand to hold the front of the insert in place, stretch the diaper and smooth the insert flat as you pull your other hand out of the diaper. HELPFUL HINT: Many parents prefer to pre-stuff their diapers at the end of their washing routine.

4.Put the diaper on your baby. Baby Wizard Cloth Diapers go on just like a disposable diaper.

How can I tell if the diaper is adjusted to fit my baby properly?

To observe fit, pick up your baby’s legs after putting the diaper on and observe how it fits around the legs and bottom. Is it snug? If you can see “air” between the diaper and their skin, then you need to refine the fit. Trying a smaller snap setting and fasten the tabs snugly. When you child stands up, notice how the insert or soaker is positioned relative to the back elastic. If the insert or soaker is higher than the back elastic, lay your child down, release the tabs, pull the diaper slightly towards the front and refasten the tabs. If you notice that the front of the diaper is positioned low over your baby's thighs or that it is difficult to fasten the diaper around your baby's waist, try using a larger snap setting. This will increase the rise of the diaper and improve overall fit. Remember, babies change shape frequently as they grow up. You may have times when your relatively young baby is using their one-size diapers on the largest setting. The same child may be on the medium setting several months later due to increased mobility.

How many diapers will I need?

First of all you need to determine how often you will be doing laundry. With that in mind, here are some reasonable estimates of how many diapers you will need:

Newborn to 4 months - 20 - 24 diapers
Infant (4 to 10 months) - 16 - 20 diapers
Toddler (10 months to potty training) - 12 - 16 diapers
Please note quantities are based on an average sized baby and if you wash every other day. More diapers will be needed if you go longer between washings.

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