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There are lots of benefits of using cloth diapering for your baby. Cloth diapers are safe for the baby as they don’t contain harmful chemicals that are present in disposable diapers. Moreover, each cloth diaper you use prevents 250 disposable, single use diapers from going to the garbage landfills. Shocking, isn’t it?

However, there are a few common mistakes that mums and dads make while cloth diapering. If you’re considering cloth diapering or trying it out, we share the top cloth diapering mistakes and how to avoid them.

1. Not adjusting the leg and waist settings

This has to be on top of the list! Did you know that most fit and leak issues are caused by a poorly fitted diaper? For new cloth diapering parents, all the snap buttons can be confusing. However, those snap buttons are not just decorative, they have a very important functional value. Fig-O-Honey cloth diapers can be adjusted to provide a right fit at the leg and at the waist. Also, the diapers can be adjusted to grow with the baby.

What to do instead?

Read our blog on getting the right fit of cloth diaper that explains this in great detail.


2. Hot water wash

It is common in many households, to wash the baby’s clothes in boiling water. However, when it comes to modern cloth diapers, using hot water above 40 C for washing can damage the waterproof layer and damage the elastics. Using very hot water for washing the diaper shell, causes the diaper to leak and the cloth diaper can get ruined forever.

What to do instead?

It is best to use water below 40 C for washing cloth diapers, especially the diaper shells or diaper covers. Inserts however, can be washed with hot water in case of urine / detergent buildup, stink issues etc. For more detailed questions about washing cloth diapers please read how to wash and care for cloth diapers.


3. Using a baby detergent

Contrary as it may seem, baby detergents are NOT effective in cleaning cloth diapers. Baby detergents are too mild to properly clean cloth diapers. Moreover, most baby detergents have additives and fragrances that are not recommended for washing cloth diapers.

What to do instead?

We highly recommend using regular high quality detergent that you use for regular laundry at home, with less or no added fragrances, and without fabric softeners.


4. Not using a toilet spray / jet sprayer

Toilet or jet spray to clean cloth diapers

The humble toilet spray is a real life-saver! If you’re not using it for cleaning soiled cloth diapers currently, STOP! For cloth diapering families, the jet sprayer is the best tool to make cleaning poop-soiled cloth diapers a breeze. Also called a hand shower or mini shower, it can be used to spray solids from soiled diapers, directly into the toilet bowl. It eliminates all the yuck and mess involved in cleaning soiled diapers.

What to do instead:

If you don’t have a toilet spray in your toilet, we suggest you install one immediately. They’re available in the plumbing section and in sanitary ware stores.

5. Not giving diaper free time

As a rule, whether you’re using cloth or disposable diapers, a poopy diaper must be changed right away. We recommend changing diapers every 3 hours or so. Also, it is essential to give the baby a few minutes of diaper free time between changes as it airs out the baby’s skin, prevents urine buildup and is the best way to prevent rashes and leaks.

What to do instead

Give the baby diaper free time at each diaper change. This is the best way to air out the baby’s skin and avoid rashes caused by ammonia buildup.


6. Using diaper creams or lotions

Diaper creams, creams, moisturisers, lotions, Vaseline etc. create a oily, waxing layer of coating on the inside of the diaper, making the diapers to repel and leak instead of absorbing. The grease from the lotions, once stuck to the diaper, can be hard to get rid of, so AVOID any of the creams mentioned above.

What to do instead?

Use some good quality of organic coconut oil for moisturising the baby’s delicate bottom. Coconut oil makes for an excellent, gentle baby moisturiser and is safe to be used along with cloth diapers.


7. Using the insert directly against the baby’s skin

Inserts, (also known as soakers or pads) are designed to be really absorbent and soak up the baby’s pee for hours. They come in a range of absorbent fabrics like microfiber, bamboo etc. However, the most common mistake is to use the insert directly against the baby’s skin. Using the insert directly against the baby’s skin can sap moisture away from the baby’s delicate skin and might leave it dry. Moreover, the baby can feel the wetness from the soaked inserts, making the baby uncomfortable and interrupting sleep during nap time.

What do do instead?

Most inserts, especially microfiber inserts are designed to be used inside pockets, so stuff the inserts inside the pocket opening at the back of the cloth diaper. It should NEVER be used directly against the child’s skin.

Do YOU have any cloth diapering mistakes that are best avoided? Comment below and let us know.

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