About Cloth Diapers

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Cost Comparison of Disposable vs. Reusable Cloth Diapers

*Please note that items and figures are generalizations and only based on average approximation with consideration of personal brand preference, variable prices and inflation

*Cloth Diaper items are based on the actual Cutie Patootie Starter Pack which includes 24 FlexiNappies, 24 Organic Bamboo Cloth Wipes, a Pail Liner, a Wet Bag and a Clutch Changing Mat

*The Cutie Patootie Starter Packs also include a Double-Zippered Wet Bag and a Changing Mat. That’s added value on the $748 quoted price on table!

And because the Cutie Patootie Flexinappy is reusable, it can be used by multiple babies; Hence, the cost advantage multiplies!

How many cloth diapers do I need?

You need at least 24-36 cloth diapers for a stash. With this number, you would need to do laundry about 2 to 3 times in a week. But with more nappies in your stash to rotate, you can easily keep your cloth diapers in good condition for much longer, and for use with multiple babies, aside from less frequent washing.

Main Types of Soakers

The soakers are the main workhorse of a cloth diaper. Its functionality largely depends on them.

COTTON is a natural fiber that is very absorbent and the most affordable. It is the most readily available soaker that can be used in a cloth diaper system. They can be a single-layer of cloth called Flats or Prefold (as the name suggests). They can be homemade, too.  You can cut flour sack towels, fold them and use them to stuff on a pocket cloth diaper or lay in a diaper cover. However, you have to use several layers of it and it can get too thick and bulky to make it functional as a soaker.

MICROFIBER is a synthetic fiber made of polyester-nylon blend. It is the standard soaker that most cloth diapers come with. it is the next most affordable option. it is quickest to absorb but does not relatively hold or retain liquid as good as the other types and can sometimes cause compression leaks. And because it is a synthetic and fast-drying material, it is an irritant and can not touch baby's sensitive skin.

BAMBOO is an organic natural fiber that is super soft. It can both quickly absorb liquid and is very efficient in retaining them. Highly absorbent and yet on the thinner side, as compared to microfiber. It is a very dependable type of soaker that does not result to compression leaks. It is very safe to touch baby's skin and will not cause any irritation.

BAMBOO COMBONATIONS are layers of Bamboo fleece and other fabric, usually microfiber or cotton. The Bamboo material may be from its charcoaled bi-product, commonly known as a Charcoal Bamboo, and additionally has a deodorizing property. Because of its dark color, they make stains almost invisible. The combination of layers makes for the best benefits and functionality of these different soaker materials when it comes to fast liquid absorption and retention. Because the Bamboo is on the outer layer, it is very soft and safe to touch baby's skin.

HEMP is an organic natural fiber usually blended with cotton. It has the highest absorbency, superior with retaining liquid in comparison to its counterparts. It is of the premium kind and most expensive among the others but is thin and will give the trimmest fit. However, it may take a little more time with drying it. tis very safe to touch baby's and will not cause any irritation.

The Cutie Patootie FlexiNappy only comes with premium types of default soakers; a (5-ply) Charcoal fleece-lined Bamboo Terry soaker and (3-ply) Organic Hemp Cotton soaker. We also have Bamboo Cotton and Hemp Cotton Trifold (2-ply/6-layer trifolded) sold separately.

Main Types of Cloth Diapers

There are several types of cloth diapers, from simple designs to those with more modern features. Let's start from the basic.

 

1. FLATS  are the traditional cloth diaper used before the age of disposables. It is a single-layer piece of absorbent fabric, usually made of square-shaped cotton.  They can be folded in many different ways (Trifold, triangle, Bikini twist, Angel wing) and fastened with safety pins or a snappi. It is the least expensive type of cloth diaper and the easiest to clean. Because they are just regular piece of cloth, you need a diaper cover to make them waterproof.

 

2. PREFOLDS are similar to flats. They are "prefolded" multiple layers of absorbent fabric that are sewn together. They can be smaller that flats but thicker, and they are slightly more expensive. They also need to be folded and fastened with safety pins or snappis. Prefolds also needs a diaper cover to make them waterproof.

 

3. FITTED DIAPERS are "ready-made" cloth diaper with snaps, velcro  or hook/loop closure. They are made of thick layers of absorbent material usually cotton, hemp, fleece or bamboo cloth. They are breathable, however, still needs a diaper cover to make it waterproof. They are breathable and can be used coverless until damp, if preferred.

 

4. CONTOUR DIAPERS are fitted diapers without the snaps, velcro or hook/loop closures. They are fastened using safety pins and snappis and offers more customization in fitting. 

5. HYBRID DIAPERS are a cross between cloth diapers and disposables. It is made of a reusable diaper cover then paired with the insert of your choice- a biodegradable disposable insert or any type of cloth insert.

6. POCKET DIAPERS  are modern cloth diapers made of a waterproof diaper cover, usually Preolyurethane Laminate PUL or Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU), and a stay-dry inner cover lining, usually fleece or suede fabric, that is sewn together. They usually come with snaps or velcro closure. The inner lining has a pocket on one end where an absorbent pad can be inserted. The inserts can be made of different materials (usually microfiber, cotton, hemp and bamboo). The Pocket diaper is one of the most favored types among parents because of how customizable they are with absorbency by layering of inserts, as well as the option of using different types of insert as preferred. They are easy to use and thoroughly wash.

Some brands of pocket cloth diapers have openings in front and at the back, like the Cutie Patootie Flexinappy, and are sometimes called Sleeve cloth diapers. With double pocket opening, you don't have to remove the inserts before tossing them to the diaper pail as they easily come off the pocket cover when agitated during washing.


7. ALL-IN-TWOs (AI2) are two-part modern cloth diapers made of a waterproof reusable cover, with snap or velcro closure, and a washable reusable cloth insert that you can snap on the cover. This type of cloth diaper is also one of the most popular because of their ease of use. No stuffing required; just lay inserts on the cover and snap in. Moreover, they can be easily and thoroughly washed.


8. ALL-IN-ONEs (AIO) are one-piece modern cloth diapers that absolutely requires no extra steps in preparation. It is comparable to disposable diapers. No stuffing and no separate covers needed. This type of diaper is premium and generally more expensive. They are the most convenient to use and an obvious popular choice for dads, babysitters and grandparents. However, you can not customize absorbency in terms of the number and type of soakers you can use because they are already sewn in. Because of this, it requires thorough washing to make sure that it's properly cleaned inside and a relatively long time to dry them. For this reason, you need to have a large stash to rotate as well.

 

The Cutie Patootie FlexiNappy offers the versatility, ease of use and convenice of three of the most favored and popular types of cloth diapers. It's an All-in-one, All-in-two and pocket diaper altogether!

PUL vs. TPU

When it comes to cloth diaper cover material, you probably have encountered the acronyms PUL and TPU frequently and used interchangeably. Are you wondering how they are different from each other?

PUL stands for Polyurethane Laminate and TPU is Thermoplastic Polyurethane Laminate. They are of the same waterproof Polyester based material. The only difference is their process of lamination. PUL is chemically bonded while TPU is bonded by heat. Function-wise, they work equally well.

The Cutie Patootie FlexiNappy covers, along with our Wetbags and Pail Liners, only use TPU; Which means, they are chemical-free. In our efforts to stay eco-friendly, this material is safer for the environment, and the babies too!

Common Cloth Diaper Issues and Fix

LEAKS

Double check if the diaper is snug fit to the baby and make adjustments to both the waist, hip and rise snaps.Make sure you are using the right type and number of soakers according to baby's stage. You may fold soakers to bunch it up at the pee area. Consider using extra soakers as boosters and layer it up if needed.When you layer soakers, put the faster absorbing type on top, like Microfiber or Bamboo soakers, and the slower absorbing ones at the bottom, like Hemp or Cotton, which holds the liquid efficiently to avoid compression leaks.The leak may be caused by oil buildup in the diapers and soakers, strip them (Please read Care and Wash Instructions).

STINK

The stinky odor may be caused primarily by Ammonia in the urine that was not thoroughly washed off the diapers, especially that the soakers could be thick and are very absorbent. Run an extra warm wash cycle with just water, without detergent.Try using 1/2 cup white distilled vinegar or baking soda on this extra wash.Strip them with 1/4 cup of bleach per single load. (Please read Care and Wash Instructions).

RASHES

 Rashes are mainly caused by prolonged exposure to stool and urine as well as rubbing, irritation or yeast infection.Have baby spend some diaper-free time to air out the bottom.Use organic Coconut oil as rash cream or other cloth-diaper safe substitute.Disinsfect and strip cloth diapers (Please read Care and Wash Instructions).

LAUNDRY

 Most parents new to cloth diapers are intimidated with the washing routine without realizing that they are not very different from regular laundry except for the extra wash cycle with just water before the actual cycle with detergent.

Care and Wash Instructions

PRE-WASH INSTRUCTIONS:

PRE-WASH YOUR FLEXINAPPIES BEFORE FIRST USE

  • Because the Cutie Patootie FlexiNappies¬†are made with natural fabrics, there could be natural oils that would repel liquid and cause inefficient absorbency. We recommend that you pre-wash them 3-5 times with mild or regular detergent¬†and warm water. Washing them on shorter "delicate" setting is okay. During this pre-wash cycle, you do not need to dry them for every single cycle. Instead, you can dry them after all pre-washing is done. Absorbency generally increases the longer you use and wash them

CARE INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Do not use regular rash cream as the petroleum and oil build up will cause¬† deterioration on the the soaker and diaper's ability to absorb liquid by repelling it and result to leaks. Some ingredients in rash creams may not come off with regular detergent washing. There are plenty of other rash cream options you can use as a barrier that will retain your cloth nappies absorbency like organic virgin coconut oil, calendula or shea butter and many other cloth diaper-safe rash creams available in the market today.
  • Use bleach sparingly if at all. Bleach is used to disinfect cloth diapers and battle yeast infection. Use sparingly as bleach is a toxic chemical. We recommend sanitizing them once a month at a maximum.¬†Use 1/4 cup bleach in a load on a hot wash cycle. Add an extra¬†cycle to thoroughly wash the bleach off.
  • Do not use regular fabric softeners. Some ingredients of standard fabric softeners can cause them to repel liquid which can be hardly washed off during laundry. However, there are diaper-safe fabric softeners available in the market should you find the need to use them.
  • Strip¬†ÔĽŅcloth nappies when needed. Stripping means removing any oil, detergent, ammonia or other buildup¬†that might be causing repelling, leaks, rashes, odors or any issues. You can also strip your cloth nappies¬†periodically to prevent problems or prolong its life as a regular maintenance. To do this, you can run several hot washes with just water, no detergent.

 

WASH INSTRUCTIONS:

ÔĽŅMost people who are¬†new to cloth diapers or considering to use them¬†are easily intimidated with the wash requirements for cloth diapers. A lot of parents are discouraged to use cloth diapers mainly for this reason. But really, the only very basic difference in washing them¬†versus regular laundry is its need for an extra pre-wash cycle of just water with no detergent. So let's keep it simple.


HANDLING SOILED CLOTH NAPPIES:

  1. Drop solids into toilet bowl, if any. Otherwise, they can go straight to the diaper pail.
  2. Use a diaper spray (bidet) to wash off excess waste. Most of this excess waste, or all of it, should come off with the strong water pressure from the sprayer swept in different directions.
  3. Store in dry pail. With the FlexiNappy, you have the option to detach the soakers snapped in or outside the Charcoal bamboo inner lining. If left snapped outside like an All-in-two, these soakers will flap open; If left snapped inside the pocket like an All-in-one, the FlexiNappy has a double wide pocket opening (on each side); If just loosely inserted unsnapped like a regular pocket diaper, they can still be throughly cleaned with the soakers sliding out of the double wide pocket openings during the wash cycle.

    ACTUAL WASHING:

    1. When it's time to wash, remove the pail liner off the diaper pail to move to the washer. Hold at the bottom and tip soiled nappy contents to the washer. You can easily remove the soiled nappies in one go without taking them out piece by piece with your bare hands.
    2. Machine rinse cold.
    3. Wash warm. You can use any regular detergent or a baby detergent during early stages of baby if preferred.
    4. Tumble dry low or line dry.

     

    How Cloth Diaper Use Started

    Since time immemorial, parents has used cloth diapers before the invention of disposables. They were made of linen and flannel, shaped in triangle and fastened onto baby using safety pins. Due to the frequent changes it requires and the amount of washload it entails, came the invention of disposable diapers.

    In 1947, UK's first disposable diaper was invented by Valerie Gordon-Hunter called the Paddi. The Paddi is a sustainable nappy system considered to be the world's first disposable nappy. It was a two-part garment made of old nylon parachutes, tissue wadding and cotton wool. Mrs. Gordon-Hunter came up with the idea after getting tired of the laborious washing of traditional cloth nappies. Several of her friends asked her to make some for them too and she ended up sewing hundreds of this which she supplied to them. Along the way, she modified the design to improved it. Mrs. Gordon-Hunter, together with her husband, applied a patent of the Paddi in 1948 and signed an agreement with Robinsons. And in 1949, it was mass produced and manufactured. At first, the public was resistant to using them with some doctors advising against its use due to the recommendation that it might be harmful to the babies' skin. Also, the idea of throwing them away after every use was not very acceptable. The company came to a decline with the arrival of the big American brand, Pampers, in 1960.

    In 1950, American Marion O'Brien Donovan changed the traditional way of using cloth diapers, where after folding and pinning cloth towelling, a pair of rubber pants is tugged to protect from wetness. Ms. Donovan invented what is first to be known as a modern cloth diaper. Tired of washing wet dirty crib sheets everyt ime, she thought of cutting her shower curtain to shape like a diaper and sewed it with snaps instead of safety pins to make a diaper cover. This would be a better option than slipping a pair of rubber pants which causes severe rashes to babies. Eventually, the shower curtain was replaced with a breathable parachute cloth. It was called a Boater, an envelope-like plastic cover with an absorbent washable insert. It was patented in 1951 and paved the way for the development of modern cloth diapers.

    For the longest time, the general public has shifted to using disposables as the main choice for diapering since its invention. However today, modern cloth diapers are widely available in different innovative designs and features that come close to the convenient use of disposable diapers. And lately, with the awareness of global warming and the adverse negative effect of disposables to the environment, the use of modern cloth diapers is in the uprise and many companies such as Cutie Patootie, are lobbying to make modern cloth diaper use mainstream.