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The ABC's of Cloth Diapering
by Stacy Jones Tolentino

Many expectant and new parents make the decision to cloth diaper their newborns, but few follow through with this decision and many who try cloth diapering don't stick with it for long. Why? Because they can't fathom laundering their baby's diapers and they're squeamish about using a diaper service. If you're a new or expecting parent who can identify with these concerns, rest assured---cloth diapering your baby is easier than you think and requires just a little extra time each day. By following the ABC's of cloth diapering, you're sure to have success!

'A' is for Attitude

If you're going to stick with cloth diapering you've got to have an optimistic attitude. If you plunge into cloth diapering thinking, "This is going to be a little extra work, but a lot of fun and it will sure save us a lot of money," you'll be more likely to succeed. On the other hand, if you say to yourself, "I'm going to give this a try, but I don't think I'm going to like it and I don't think the savings will hardly be worth the effort," you'll probably chicken out and give up. Attitude is everything!

'B' is for Buy the Best

Don't skimp on diaper products! If you buy poor quality diapers (like many of those in department stores) your baby will most likely be a leaky mess most of the time. Mail order companies sell the best cloth diapering products, including traditional and fancy diapers (many with very cute prints). When you buy the best cloth diapering products you're guaranteed to enjoy cloth diapering much more. Remember the following when purchasing your diapers:

  • Buy 100% cotton fabrics with no synthetic cores in the middle.
  • Buy heavy, durable diapers. Prefolds should have at least 4 layers of fabric on both sides and 8 layers down the center panel (4x8x4). Terrycloth/Flannel combos, among others, also work well.
  • If you buy synthetic diaper covers, avoid vinyl ones. They crack over time.
'C' is for Cleaning

There's no getting around it---Cloth diapering parents must clean their baby's diapers. Those who don't want to deal with this task themselves should sign up with a diaper service in their area. Diaper services handle all the cleaning for you. Don't forget, cleaning diapers today is not what it used to be! Just remember the following:

  • Don't procrastinate! Launder your wet and soiled diapers at least twice a week.
  • Rinsing and soaking can be done in your washing machine. This eliminates extra work on your part.
  • Always dump heavy poops in the toilet first. Your washing machine can handle the rest. Poopy messes are easier to clean up when flushable diaper liners are used.
  • Diapers need more than one regular cycle to get them clean. They also need a prewash and second rinse. A presoak and spin may also be necessary for those who don't rinse and soak beforehand.
By following the ABC's of cloth diapering, you're more likely to stick with your cloth diapering decision. You'll also join the ranks of many other happy and satisfied cloth diapering parents and best of all, you'll no longer be a cloth diapering wanna-be. Good luck! I know you can do it!

Copyright 2001 Stacy Jones Tolentino/ Homefront Publishing
This article may not be copied, reproduced, republished, abstracted, posted, transmitted, or otherwise, in whole or in part, without the express written permission of Homefront Publishing. Single copies may be made for your personal, non-commercial use provided this copyright notice remains intact. For permissions send an email to readabook@aol.com.

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