Eisley loved her first Easter, and just had to dress up in one of her cute diapers as the Easter Bunny.
Ok. So on to the diapers. When the Hubby and I decided to cloth diaper, the thing I found most daunting was the whole washing routine. There's a lot of info out there, and a lot of websites dedicated to cloth diapers, so the great thing is that there is a whole community out there that can help you troubleshoot if you ever need it. Keep that in mind, and steel up your courage! You can do this!
First things first! Check with your diaper manufacturer about what detergents they ok. Some detergents will void your warranty, and then if something goes wrong with your diaper within the warranty period, you will be up a creek without a paddle. You don't want that. You want to make sure that you use a gentle detergent with no enzymes, brighteners, or bleach. Common cloth diaper friendly detergents are Charlie's Soap, EcoSprout, Rockin Green, and pretty much any cloth diaper brand detergent. The jury seems to still be out on Tide. Some people say it's ok, some people say it's not. If you decide to use it, just make sure it has no brighteners. You don't want anything in the detergent that is going to create build-up in your diapers and affect absorbency. Now, on to the good stuff.
Prep. When you buy your diapers or you get your fluffy brand new diapers in the mail, you don't want to just throw them on your baby. Ok. Well, you will WANT to just throw them on your baby because you will probably be pretty excited by the cuteness, but don't. You have to wash those puppies first.
If your diapers have natural fiber liners or inserts, you need to pre-wash them between 4 and 6 times to ensure that they are absorbent enough to soak up whatever Baby throws at them. Natural fibers like hemp, bamboo, and organic cottons can be washed several times in a row without drying them. Some people will tell you to use detergent, some people will tell you that you don't need to. I personally wash them once with detergent, and then just run a hot cycle with just water. It's worked fine for me.
For stay-dry fabric diapers, you can definitely wash them 4 to 6 times like your natural fibers, but most people will tell you that you really only need to wash them once or twice, and then you're good to go. Since they aren't natural fibers, they don't have natural oils to wash out. Simple!
So after your diapers are prepped and ready to go, put them on baby! If you are diapering a newborn who is breast-fed, there's no need to spray off your diapers or get rid of the poop before you put them in the wash. This is as easy as it gets. If you're dealing with solids, you are going to want to shake or spray off any solids into the toilet before washing them. This is where a diaper sprayer comes in handy. A lot of different diaper brands sell sprayers too. You can get them for about $30 or $40. They hook up to the bottom of your toilet where the plumbing is, and they let you clean your diapers off by spraying your baby's business right into the toilet. Some people will just dunk a dirty diaper in the toilet bowl and swirl it around to clean it off. It's all personal preference.
Once your diaper is clean of any solids, throw it and any cloth wipes you used to clean your Baby with into a dry wetbag that you either have hanging somewhere near your changing table, or in a diaper pail (any standard size garbage can will work). A wetbag is typically made of PUL (Polyurethane laminated fabric)