I cloth diaper my baby?
- It's Smart on your
wallet and you will save money.
It's Smart on the Environment
and you will help preserve our planet.
- Buying disposable
diapers is a waste of money, period. With disposable diapers, you
are throwing your money down the drain each time you change your
baby's diaper. Using
Smartipants one size cloth diapers will
save you money on each diaper change! How much you will save will
depend on how committed you are to solely using cloth diapers and
how much your weekly spend would have been on disposables. Current
Smarti-Parents, as we like to call them, save up to $3,000 per
child on diapers alone.
It's Smart for our
baby and it's easy to do.
- Disposable diapers go
straight to landfills. Smartipants cloth diaper are made of every
baby wearing disposable diapers can generate as much as one ton of
landfill waste before the age of two. Overwhelmed?
- Cloth diapers are
soft on baby's skin and help reduce diaper rashes unlike disposable
diapers. Smartipants were created by a mom for her daughter because
she never wanted her daughter to feel uncomfortable in her diapers.
Cloth diapering is convenient and easy to do, especially with our
smart sleeve design that allows the insert to agitate out in the
- Tired of blowouts?
Who wants to change the diaper AND the outfit? Our leak guard
technology will keep blowouts contained and was invented to help
prevent leaks. Smartipants cloth diapers are designed to prevent
- What happens when you
use disposables and you are out of diapers? A quick run to the
grocery store in the middle of the night? Why? Use cloth diapers
and have them available to you at all times!
Environmental Reasons to Use Cloth
Diapers (Cloth Diapers vs. Disposable Diapers)
parents who are concerned about the environment turn to cloth diapers in
order to preserve our planet for generations to come and here are some
on a report from the Women's Environmental Network, The Real Diaper Association reports:
- Disposable diapers are
the third most common consumer product in landfills today.
- A disposable diaper
may take up to 500 years to decompose.
- One baby in disposable
diapers will contribute at least 1 ton of waste to your local
The Environmental Protection Agency published
this report showing the Characterization
of Municipal Solid Waste in the United States and gives
starting point for the discussion of how much disposable diaper waste was
prevalent in the United states over 10 years ago. The EPA report says,
"An estimated 3.1 million tons of disposable diapers were generated
in 1997, or 1.4 percent of total MSW generation. (This tonnage includes
an adjustment for the urine and feces contained within the discarded
diapers.) The materials portion of the diapers includes wood pulp,
plastics (including the super-absorbent materials now present in most
diapers), and tissue paper. No significant recycling or composting of
disposable diapers was identified in 1997."
In 2010, the EPA reported
in this report (Municipal
Waste in the United States: 2010 Facts & Figures that disposable
diapers accounted for 3.7 million tons of waste .
Economic Reasons to Cloth
turn to cloth diapering for a lot of reasons, but an overwhelming
majority of parents turn to cloth diapers because disposable diapers are
expensive. According to a recent report about getting started with
diapers from Consumer
"You can expect to spend $1,500 to $2,000 or more on disposables by
the time your baby is out of them." Depending upon what your monthly
household budget is, you could be spending anywhere from $75 to $300 per
month on disposable diapers alone. Cloth diapering with Smartipants could
be as low as $279.95 for our smart choice 24-pack and you only have
to buy diapers once!
Buying disposable diapers
is expensive and demanding on a household budget. By using Smartipants
cloth diaper your family can save money on each diaper change! How much
you will save will depend on how committed you are to solely using cloth
diapers and how much your weekly spend would have been on disposables. The
money you save can go toward other expenses.
Health Considerations when Choosing
cloth diapers are somewhat hypo-allergenic, and are made with materials
that help to alleviate diaper rashes and allergies. Cloth diapers do not
contain liquid activated chemicals that are known to potentially have future
side effects on your baby. No one really knows what is inside a
disposable diaper, but if you wanted to know the only way to find out is
to ask your pediatrician to get in touch with one of the disposable
Another issue frequently
brought up in cloth diapering circles is dioxin exposure.
According to a Mothering
article, entitled The Joy Of
"Dioxin, which in various forms has been shown to cause cancer,
birth defects, liver damage, and skin diseases, is a by-product of the
paper-bleaching process used in manufacturing disposable diapers, and
trace quantities may exist in the diapers themselves."
Frequently Asked Questions
About Cloth Diapers
Do people really still use
As a matter of fact, cloth diapering has become quite the vogue thing to
do, especially among environmentally conscious parents and even
celebrities. All of the new choices in cloth diapers have made cloth
diapers as easy to use as disposables.
How many Cloth Diapers do I
newborn can easily go through twelve cloth diapers in one day so we
recommend purchasing 12-24 of our
"Little Smarti" Newborn Diapers.
Once baby grows out of the Little Smarti, you can transition to the
Smartipants One Size Diapers and use these diaper until potty
training. The Smartipants one size diapers fits most babies from 6-35
pounds. An older baby doesn't need quite as many diapers, but you should
still plan for 8 diaper changes and an overnight solution. Once you've
picked out your diapers, don't forget to get to get extra
inserts and a few smart sleeve hemp inserts for overnight
use as well as a smart pail or smart tote diaper bag.
What does everyone buy?
Little Smarti Newborn Diaper is a popular starting point, but the
most popular choice is our Smartipants One Size Cloth Diaper. Those
people who are trying to cloth diaper on an even tighter budget may use
Chinese, or Gerber prefolds and our Smart Fit Diaper Cover.
What about overnight
top selling overnight cloth diapers are our Smartipants One Size Diaper
combined with the smart sleeve hemp inserts which provide
I just received my diapers.
How do I start?
Smartipants, and other polyester diapers once before using. Smart Sleeve
Inserts should also be washed once before using.
To reach their full
absorbency, unbleached Chinese prefolds and Smartipants Smart Sleeve Hemp
Inserts should be washed 5-8 times with very hot water and
approximately 2 tablespoons of detergent in each load. This removes oils
and waxes from the cotton and hemp (normally removed during the bleaching
process) that prevent liquids from absorbing into the diaper. White
prefolds only need to be washed 3-5 times before use. To shrink the
products to their proper size, we recommend drying between each pre-wash.
My unbleached prefolds/hemp
inserts are leaking!!
sure that you've prewashed them enough. Remember, they need to be washed
5-8 times in very hot water with a tiny bit of detergent in each load. If
you have used your diapers before and haven't encountered this problem, We
recommend putting a folded soft terrycloth washcloth inside the prefold
diaper. The terrycloth will be able to catch the pee before it rolls off
the diaper. The cotton is absorbent, but sometimes it doesn't quite
'grab' the liquid fast enough to keep it from rolling off and around the
edge of the cotton. This method will also enable your baby to go
coverless in a prefold diaper with fewer leaks.
My baby is in a daycare
center. Will I be able to cloth diaper?
and more daycare centers are open to the idea of using cloth diapers. They
will require that you provide a place to store used diapers (smart tote
or smart pail) and that you take your diapers home with you each
night for washing. Be aware that your daycare center may be governed by
state regulations related to diapering. You may find that initial
discussion with the daycare will be more successful if you take the time
to educate yourself about laws in your state first. Home-based or private
daycare providers are probably going to be more willing to cloth diaper
your child. Remember that ease of use is going to be an essential
bargaining chip! Because public perception of cloth diapering still
revolves primarily around flat diapers, vinyl diaper covers and pins, it
may help to have one Smartipants One Size diaper on hand that you can use
to demonstrate the ease of use.
What do I do about the
question! Everybody asks us this question. It is important to note that
it is EASY! Modern inventions (like flushable liners and the diaper
sprayer) have taken the grossness factor out of this issue.
First of all, your baby
will go through different stages as they grow. Poop tends to change as
your baby grows.
- Breastfed baby poop is
water soluble. You do not necessarily need to remove breastfed baby
poop before washing.
- Around 4-6 months of
age, many babies start eating solids through cereal. At this point,
stools transition to a thicker "peanut butter"
consistency. For best results, this should be removed (as much as
possible) from your diapers prior to washing.
- Formula fed and older
babies typically have firmer stools. This should also be removed
from your diapers prior to washing.
solutions below are what we commonly recommend to families. We have many
families who love the diaper sprayers and many others who swear by the
flushable liners. We recommend that you evaluate the options and choose
the one that you will actually use.
- You can lay a diaper
liner inside the diaper allow the poop to be easily removed from the
diaper. Just peel the biodegradable liner out of the diaper and
flush the mess away.
- Diaper sprayers are
another fantastic solution. This handy little device attaches to the
plumbing behind your toilet and allows you to easily spray the mess
off. The small holes and concentrated spray allows the Minishower to
do a better job cleaning diapers off than any other sprayer
available. The Minishower does double duty during potty training as
it cleans out potty chairs. The adjustable spray can also be used
for feminine hygiene during the postpartum period.
- It is easy to shake
firmer stools off of the diaper into the toilet (no spray or liner
- In a pinch, good old
fashioned dunking will get the job done.
house smell like a diaper pail?
cloth diapers you shouldn't have any more odor than you would experience
with disposable diapers. Many cloth diapering parents actually claim to
smell less diaper pail odor when using cloth diapers simply because their
cloth diapers aren't full of perfumes (like disposables).
The best way to combat
diaper pail odor is to wash cloth
diapers frequently, at least every other day.
Finally, be sure that your
diaper pail has a lid on it and keep it closed.
Simple Washing Routine:
- As you would with the
rest of your laundry, separate your diapers into like materials.
Wash natural fibers separately from synthetics.
- Wash diapers with
inserts still inside a hot cycle with detergent. Do not use bleach.
- Tumble dry low. We
recommend that you line dry your Smart Fit diaper Covers, Smartipants
One Size Diapers and anything made with hook & loop closures.
Virtually everything else can be tumble tried on low.
Cloth Diaper Washing Routine:
- As you would with the
rest of your laundry, separate your diapers into like materials.
Wash natural fibers separately from synthetics.
- Wash the entire load
on cold with detergent. Washing once on cold water is
important to remove leftover "yuck" from your diapers.
- Wash the entire load
again on warm or hot - also with detergent.
- Do a second rinse.
- We recommend that you
line dry your Smart Fit diaper Covers, Smartipants One Size Diapers
and anything made with hook & loop closures. Virtually
everything else can be tumble tried on low.
If you're having problems
with diapers that stink after washing:
- Try an extra rinse.
Sometimes detergent residue can cause diapers to smell.
- Wash once with liquid
Dawn (the blue formula). Use 1 teaspoon in a front loader and 1
tablespoon in a top loader. Rinse well.
- If the previous
solutions don't work, try 1/4 cup of bleach in the warm/hot wash
detergent should I use when washing my cloth diapers?
the right detergent for your diapers is essential! You may download a list
of detergent recommendations.
What detergents should I
not use detergents containing pure soap, enzymes, fabric whiteners,
fabric brighteners, fabric softeners or anything scented. You may
a list of detergent recommendations.
Do I have to sanitize the
washing machine after washing my cloth diapers?
not. If the diapers are clean, the washing machine is clean.
How do I use baking soda or
vinegar when washing my diapers?
detergent, the sun and occasionally a small amount of something sanitizing
like bleach is plenty to get your diapers clean and stain free. We do not
recommend the use of any other additives when washing your cloth diapers.
Additives can damage the waterproofness and elasticity of your diapers.
In addition, they can change the pH of your diapers resulting in skin
My diapers are stained. Now
best stain remover is the sun! Wash your diapers and then lay them out
wet on the lawn with the stain facing the sun. It usually only takes a
few hours before the stains are gone! If some remnants of the stain still
linger, rinse the load again and repeat the process.
What do you do with stinky
diapers or covers?
your diapers again! Most of the time, stinky diapers just aren't clean
yet. Detergent residue or build up may also cause odors to be retained.
Check the rinse water to make sure that you don't see suds. If you do,
use less detergent. A warm wash with a squirt of liquid Dawn (the dish
detergent), rinsed well, does a great job removing stinky residue from
diapers. When all else fails, try 1/4 cup of bleach in a large hot wash
My diapers smell like
ammonia after being worn. What should I do to fix this problem?
chief culprit for an ammonia smell is detergent scent or detergent
residue. Make sure that you are using an extra rinse when washing your
diapers and that you are using a detergent that does not contain any
perfumes. A warm wash with a squirt of liquid Dawn (the dish detergent),
rinsed well, does a great job removing stinky residue from diapers. Using
1/4 cup of bleach may be occasionally necessary to kill odor causing
bacteria in the diapers.
I live in an apartment and
need to wash my cloth diapers in a laundromat. How do I do this?
When we started cloth
diapering, we lived in an apartment and did not have our own washer and
dryer. We were cautious about diving into cloth diapering so we started
with a diaper service for three months and then decided that we were
ready to venture out on our own. We've discovered that cloth diapering is
very doable -- even when you're washing in a laundromat!
The system that we found
that worked for us was simple:
- Wash everything
- Wash the load one
entire cycle on cold using just a little detergent.
- Wash the load again
one entire cycle on warm or hot using 1/4 - 1/2 the regular amount
- Sort the pocket
diapers and the covers out of the load and dry everything else.
few extra things to note
It was important to have enough diapers to wash once or twice a week (at
the most). I also used a pail liner to avoid hauling the entire diaper
pail to the laundromat. We had 48 prefolds and washed twice a week with a
young, breastfed baby.
It cost us $3 a week to wash diapers once a week. I paid $1 for each wash
and $1 to dry the diapers. When evaluating the cost benefit of cloth
you'll want to calculate how much extra you'll spend washing twice a week
versus just buying enough diapers to last all week. If you spend an extra
$3 a week washing diapers, in four months you could have purchased
another two dozen prefolds with the money you saved by washing once a
week. We found that it cost less in the long run to have a seven day
supply of diapers.
An important note! If you
are going to buy a one week supply of diapers, we strongly suggest that
you purchase 100% cotton prefolds. Prefolds are the easiest product to
get clean after sitting for a week in a diaper pail.
Diapers Do We Use?
use Smartipants, but before that we used Wonderoos (which we invented and
were the first one size pocket diapers). We always were a pocket diaper
group, and we have remained loyal to this best of bread in pocket
diapers. We have tried all the other brands, but we stay close to home
when it comes to our own kids.
What Cloth Diapering
Accessories Do You Really Need?
you are trying to figure out what kind of diapers to get, it seems like
there are a million different accessories you can buy. Each accessory has
a very specific purpose. Some of those products have a wide audience and
others have a narrow application. So, here is what we would recommend as
the basics for most families.
- At a minimum, you need
a diaper pail. A plastic trash bag will work as a liner, but it
isn't the most environmentally friendly choice available. We
recommend a washable diaper liner and deo-disks to cut down on pail
- Cloth baby wipes are
absolutely essential. When you are changing a diaper, the wipes
usually end up on top of or inside of the dirty diaper. It makes no
sense to be trying to keep the wipes separate just so you can throw
them in the trash can. If you use cloth wipes, the whole pile just
ends up in the diaper pail. You can view our youtube video to see
how to make your own baby wipe solution here.
- A wipe warmer is a
nice thing to have. It keeps your wipes warm, wet and ready to use
near your changing area
More About Diaper Fasteners
You have many choices when
looking into diaper fasteners. Use this table to help you decide which
one is right for you!
made of metal and having a plastic or metal head, a diaper pin has a
sharp end that is used to pierce through two layers of fabric to secure
and true. This was what your mom probably used. Doesn't wear out often.
of poking baby. Sometimes its difficult to push a pin through the
fabric. Tough to use when diapering a wiggly toddler or baby.
and loop fabric usually sewn onto the diaper or diaper
fast and easy to use.
out eventually and can cause snags on other items when being washed.
or metal snaps are usually used in either the diaper or the cover.
simple to use and snaps rarely wear out.
as adjustable as hook and loop. Snaps take more time to 'snap' which
can be an issue when diapering a wiggly toddler or baby.
plastic device with plastic hooks on each end used to grab and hold the
fast and convenient to use.
be replaced every six months.
Explanation of Common Cloth Diapering Terms
abbreviation for All In One diapers.
all-in-one cloth diaper is a diaper that has a waterproof cover and an
absorbent inner liner and built in closures. It is all one piece. These
diapers commonly fasten with hook and loop or snap fasteners. They may
also be made of wool or bamboo as the outer layer. All In Ones are
frequently used by parents who need a convenient diaper for a day care,
for quick and easy changes on the go, and by parents who just want the
convenience of a one-piece diaper along with the ecological advantages of
is a hook and look fastener commonly used on cloth diapers. Other types
of for hook and loop fasteners used on cloth diapers include Velcro© and
cloth diaper is a washable, reusable diaper made of any one (or several)
types of fabrics. A cloth diaper usually requires a cloth diaper cover.
contoured diaper does not have elastic at the legs or waist. The wings
need to be fastened with pins or a Snappi or the diaper should be used in
conjunction with a hook and loop style diaper cover. Contoured diapers
are generally most appropriate for day-time diapering and always require
a diaper cover of some type.
Chinese Prefold Diaper (also
abbreviated CPF, UBCPF and IPF)
flat diaper (thicker in the middle than it is on the sides) that comes in
multiple absorbencies and sizes. This diaper is the foundation of an
economical cloth diapering system. Chinese Prefold Diapers come in two
colors, white and unbleached. The unbleached diapers have not gone
through a whitening process. They come with many of the original cotton
oils still in the fabric and may require extensive washing to make them
absorbent. Once these diapers have become absorbent, they are known for
being softer than the white diapers. Quality differences affect the
usability of this style. Some products commonly sold in the mass market
stores are made with cheaper cotton, fewer layers of fabric or even a
foam product as the primary absorbent layer.
is the American word for nappy.
diaper covers come in all shapes, colors, fabrics and sizes. They are
used to 'cover' up a cloth diaper and keep your baby's clothes dry.
(dire) Search Of... you might see this term used on for sale or trade
boards when someone is in a hurry to find a particular item. A few
popular cloth diaper trading forums are Diaper Swappers and Diaper Pin.
"flat" refers to a diaper that is typically 27"x27"
square. Flat diapers can also refer to the famous rectangular flats. Flat
diapers can be folded many ways to accommodate different ages and shapes.
Flats are very flexible and are generally considered a one-size cloth
diaper. These are the diapers that our grandmothers used to diaper their
children. They come in many different fabrics, including flannel,
birdseye cotton, gauze and hemp, and have been staples in diapering for
generations. Today, many parents purchase flat diapers to use as a
nursing coverup, light-weight blanket, sun shield, pocket diaper insert
or a burp cloth. These are the best diaper for traveling or camping as
they can be easily washed out in the sink and hung to dry overnight.
fitted diaper has elastic at the legs and at the waist. It also has some
type of closure to hold the diaper on the baby. This closure can be hook
and look or snaps. A fitted diaper requires a cover. The absorbency of
fitted cloth diapers varies based on the materials used in the
construction of the diaper. Cotton fitteds are an inexpensive and popular
choice. Hemp fitteds are slightly more expensive and also more absorbent
sale or trade...
is the European word for diaper.
pants are styled similar to the traditional plastic diaper pants but are
made of breathable nylon material.
size diaper (OS)
one size diaper usually fits a child from birth up until about 30 or 35
pounds. This sizing is achieved by strategic placement of snaps on the
front of the diaper. This allows for the front of the diaper to be folded
over and for the closures to be snapped on top of each other. As the baby
grows, several snap settings allow for waist and leg growth. Our
Smartipants One Size is a one size diaper.
pocket diaper is usually made of two layers of fabric sewn together to
form a pocket for an absorbent insert. The entire diaper fastens onto
your child and does not require the additional use of a cloth diaper
cover. Pocket Diaper Inserts can be made of microfiber terry, cotton terry, hemp
Chinese Prefold Diapers or even a regular
kitchen towel folded to size. The Smartipants One Size Diaper is
considered a pocket diaper, although we consider it the only Smart Sleeve
Diaper in the world and in a category all its own!
pants were commonly used when we were all babies. They are made of vinyl,
a material that releases dioxins when warmed. We do not recommend using
plastic pants! Plastic pants do not allow air to circulate and help to
create the perfect environment for yeast to grow causing severe diaper
abbreviation is commonly used for "Work At Home Mom". Much of
the cloth diapering industry is run through businesses that operate out
Fold Chinese Prefolds
This is the simplest of all cloth diaper folds. Fold the diaper in thirds
with the thick part in the middle, fold any excess length towards the
back and lay in a Smart Fit Diaper Cover
Angel Wing Fold
Follow instructions for the Newspaper Fold. After laying the diaper in
the cover, fold the back edges open like wings. Use these wings to secure
the diaper with a Snappi Diaper Fastener or diaper pins.
Bikini Twist Fold
Lay the diaper flat, place the baby on the back of diaper, pull the
diaper between baby's legs, twist 180 degrees. Using the back wings of
the diaper, use a Snappi Diaper Fastener or diaper pins to secure the
Too Much Bulk Fold
This is a little harder to manage because it requires an extra step but
if you're having problems with the front of the diaper being too bulky
you can try one of the two following solutions:
- Using the Newspaper
Fold, put the excess diaper length folded towards the back of the
baby instead of the front. This will cut down on absorbency for a
little boy but will reduce the amount of bulk in front.
- Using the Angel Wing
Fold, fold the diaper down a few inches in back BEFORE starting the
instructions for the newspaper fold. This option was the most
effective for us.