January always brings me back to the very beginning. It is a time to reexamine the habits we have formed and maybe, just possibly, aim to be better – better for our kids, better for the environment, better for ourselves.
I’ll soon be sharing with you my resolutions, but I thought now would be a really excellent time to bring us back to cloth diaper basics. January is a great time to make big changes, and if you’re not cloth diapering but are thinking of doing so, now is an awesome time to start fresh.
As soon as I started on my cloth diaper blogging journey, friends and readers started throwing their cloth diapering questions my way. I am always pleased to help, and sought out answers when I didn’t know them. One thing that I noticed was that a lot of people weren’t entirely clear on what to do as soon as they got their new cloth diapers.
I get it. Have you seen new cloth diapers? They’re gorgeous! They are so bright and colourful and fluffy and you want them on your baby’s bum right this very instant! But without the proper pre-care, cloth diapers will very quickly lose their appeal, which isn’t so fabulous after throwing money at this lifestyle.
When you first get your cloth diapers, they are not at their maximum absorbency. It is really important to follow the pre-washing instructions to make sure that they will hold all that you want them to hold. (And trust me, you want them to hold a lot!)
One set of instructions do not fit all cloth diapers. Make sure you pay attention to the style of cloth diapers that you have and seek out the proper pre-care instructions. To make things a little easier, here are some rules to follow if your diapers are either Microfibre or Bamboo (which are the two types that my favourite Hipkiddo carries.)
Microfibre makes great cloth diapers because they are made up of tiny synthetic fibres that can absorb up to seven times their weight in water. Before you start using mircrofibre cloth diapers, it is recommended that they be pre-washed at least once or twice, or even three times before using them. Make sure you wash them with a cloth diaper friendly detergent and avoid any fabric softener or stain removers to avoid clogging the absorbant spaces in the microfibre material. Make sure you treat both the microfibre inserts and the cloth diapers this way.
Although bamboo diapers are my favourite kind, they do need extra pre-washing care because they have naturally occurring oils and waxes in the fabric that need to be washed out before use. Bamboo is wonderful for cloth diapers because of how absorbent it is, but your diapers won’t live up to the hype if you don’t pre-wash them properly. Bamboo diapers should be pre-washed 3-6 times and they need to be washed on their own instead of with other non-bamboo cloth diapers. The oils on the bamboo diapers could transfer to the non-bamboo diapers making them less absorbent. (Once your diapers have all been sufficiently pre-washed, diapers can subsequently be washed together, though it is still best to wash separately).
As you are pre-washing your cloth diapers, make sure you allow them to dry completely between each wash cycle. And be sure to avoid bleach and high heat drying to avoid damaging your diapers. This goes for both Microfibre diapers and Bamboo diapers.
Do you have any cloth diapering pre-washing tips to share?
The small print: I use Hipkiddo cloth diapers on Gavin. They’re an awesome cloth diaper choice if you’re looking for green, affordable diaper options. Be sure to Like Hipkiddo on Facebook and follow on Twitter to hear about chances to save and win. Hipkiddo provided cloth diapers for the purposes of this blog series but all opinions are my own.