The decision to use cloth diapers is an exciting one, but it can quickly becomes an overwhelming one as you begin shopping around for cloth diapers, only to discover that there are hundreds, if not thousands, of styles and materials out there.
Our goal is to simplify your cloth diapering decisions, primarily by giving you only choices that are healthy for your baby. We are very selective about which cloth diapers we carry in our store. Like the rest of our products, we want you to have a worry-free shopping experience, knowing that all of our options are high quality, organic, and free of toxins and dangerous chemicals.
Cloth Diapering F.A.Q.
Absolutely. We are committed to carrying only cloth diapers that allow for 100% organic fabric (cotton or another natural fiber) to be in direct contact with your baby's skin. All of the diapers you will find in our store are either made entirely from 100% organic cotton or a blend of organic cotton and hemp. All of the doublers and inserts in our store are made from either 100% organic cotton, 100% organic wool, or natural healing silk. All of our wool covers are made from 100% organic wool. You can read more here about the benefits of organic wool.
There are two basic categories of cloth diapers: synthetic & organic (natural fibers). We categorize these based on the actual material that touches your baby’s skin, not by the outer material.
We strongly believe that this is the most important element of the cloth diaper. The outside layer is important because that material will determine how leak-proof your diaper ultimately is, but the inner layer is crucial because that is the layer that is next to the most sensitive area of your baby’s body, for sometimes hours at a time. The quality of fabric of this inner layer also determines the level of absorbency and comfort for your baby.
Synthetic materials are marketed as being “quick-drying.” This may be true to some extent, but we have found that this is not a good enough reason to place artificial materials next to our babies’ skin. After all, isn't that one of the reasons we choose to use cloth diapers as opposed to disposables? Cotton has been used for cloth diapers for years, and for good reason. Cotton is soft, natural, absorbent, easy to care for, and makes baby feel good. Organic cotton is ideal. Read more about the benefits or organic cotton here.
We’ve been there too, so we understand very well how intimidating wool can be when you’re not familiar with it. It’s actually quite easy to care for wool, though- we promise! The tiny bit of extra work it takes to prepare a wool cover is well worth it the first time your baby wears that wool and you see how fabulous it is. Click here to read more about general tips on caring for wool. You can also watch our video demonstration on washing wool!
This decision depends entirely upon your own personal preference and what works best for you and your baby, as well as your needs.
Wool is all natural, and polyester is all synthetic. Wool is breathable, and polyester is not. Wool takes a bit more time to wash, but does not need to be washed frequently. Polyester may last through only one diaper change if your baby is a heavy wetter, or it may last through several diaper changes, but either way, you should expect to wash it along with the rest of your soiled diapers every two days or so.
We love wool. You probably already know that just from looking at our products. You simply cannot go wrong with a good wool soaker. You can use it day or night; at home or on the road- it is simply fantastic. They are a bit more expensive up front, but you will not need nearly as many as you would synthetic covers, since you only need to wash them every few weeks or so. Just make sure you let your wool air out between uses.
Synthetic covers are typically made from one of two materials: PUL or TPU. They are both polyester based, but TPU is more soft and stretchy to the touch. Both are equally water resistant. Neither one is made from natural fibers, so if that is important to you, go with the organic wool. Synthetic covers are nice to have on hand when you need something truly waterproof. (wool is not waterproof, but rather, it contains lanolin, which wicks away moisture; wool is highly absorbent).
If you are feeling torn about which route to take when it comes to covers, we recommend sampling a few different types so you can get a feel for what you like best. Every mama has her own preference, and every baby is different too. Just because we love wool doesn’t mean you will- but give it a try and see how it works for you. If you’re nervous about leaks, be sure to watch our video on lanolizing wool (video coming soon!)
In general when it comes to cloth diapering, we always recommend trying a variety of cloth diaper brands and styles, especially when you’re just getting started. Try to avoid stocking up on an entire stash of one brand or one style, because you may discover later that one particular brand works for someone else’s baby but not for yours. When it comes to cloth diapers, every diaper out there fits each baby slightly differently, so you need to find one that works best for you.
Synthetic covers are made from plastic. The covers are typically made from one of two materials: PUL (most common), or TPU. Both are a type of polyurethurane plastic, and both are polyester-based. Polyester is made from crude oil.
Is it safe? Like any other plastic, this is and always will be debatable. TPU and PUL are inert materials, meaning that when they not heated to above a certain temperature (extremely high, something like 400+ degrees Farenheit), no harmful chemicals are released. This probably puts most cloth diaper covers into the category of “safe,” since most mothers don’t bake their cloth diaper covers in the oven on a daily basis!
That being said, synthetic is still synthetic, and plastics are still plastics, and whether or not you should use them on your baby is up to you. Call us old-fashioned, but our belief is that organic fabrics are far superior, and using them eliminates any concern you might have about your baby’s safety.
Most likely, yes. This is something you will need to feel okay with if you choose to use a synthetic cover, because it is extremely difficult to avoid any contact at all. Even when you use a 100% organic cotton fitted diaper with a surface area nearly as big as the cover, it is likely that the gussets or elastic trim around the legs or waist of the cover will be in contact with your baby’s skin. Some babies react to this material; other don’t. In any case, always wash your synthetic covers two or three times prior to use; we have found that this reduces or eliminates any redness on the baby’s skin.
No matter how you look at this issue, and regardless of which type of cloth diaper and/or cover you choose, one thing remains clear: using cloth is better for your baby, better for the earth, and easier on your budget…. So regardless of which type of cover you have chosen to use, by choosing cloth, you have already made a healthy choice.
Have more questions? We love to hear from our customers! Please contact us.