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Cloth 101: When to Change a Cloth Diaper
September 7, 2015 6:49 pm | by
Prepping Cloth Diapers

Luke loves his Flips!We’ve all seen THAT baby — the baby who’s running around with a disposable diaper that looks like it weighs 15 pounds and is sagging well below the waist. By now, we should all (hopefully) know that when a diaper droops, it’s usually a clear indication that it’s time for a change.

In general, it’s easy to tell when a disposable diaper needs to be replaced. But with cloth, you’re not as lucky. Cloth diapers are not equipped with absorbent materials that turn into a squishy gel when wet, which, with a simple poke, tells you that your baby should be changed. Cloth diapers also lack that little color-changing line to show you when your baby peed.

As a general rule of thumb, you should change your little one every 2-4 hours. This definitely varies by age, as newborns urinate more frequently than toddlers. Expect to change your baby 8-10 times per day, so keep at least 24 diapers on hand!

Here are a few simple tips to help you know when to change a cloth diaper:

– Does the diaper look like it needs to be changed? Is it hanging low? Wobbling to and fro? If a baby needs a new diaper, you may be able to tell just by looking at it.

– You can touch the outside of the diaper to feel for wetness. If you didn’t use a waterproof cover, you will definitely know if your baby needs a new diaper … and outfit.

– You can touch the inside. Just stick your finger through the leg opening or peek through the back. I would definitely recommend taking caution with this one because you never know if you’re about to stick your finger into a fresh pile of poo.

– Is the diaper warm, heavy or firm? Natural fibers like hemp and cotton can get stiff when wet so if you give your cloth diaper a good squeeze, you may feel these types of inserts bunched together, especially in the areas that absorb the most moisture. Synthetic, stay-dry materials like microfiber will repel moisture away from your baby’s bottom, but will feel heavy.

– Use your senses. That one is self-explanatory.

Having a good fit is extremely helpful. Unlike disposables, cloth diapers should not give off a strong odor when your baby pooped or peed. The elastic around the legs and waist helps prevent any yuck from escaping.

Have an additional question? Give us a call at 314-892-1855.


About the Author

Brittney is a social media coordinator for Cotton Babies. She has three sisters, loves pizza and enjoys listening to obscure bands no one has heard of. Outside of posting on the Cotton Babies Facebook and Instagram pages, she babysits a few cloth diaper-wearing kids and likes playing with her dogs.


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