Did you know the average baby will use over 6,000 disposable diapers in their short few years until potty trained? That is thousands of dollars for one, and have you seen our landfills?
Yes, I have used disposables. I'm guilty. But I have also used cloth since my first child. It is not easy to do. It can be a lot of work. That doesn't mean you should just avoid it. The fact of the matter is every little bit will help keep our world clean. There is no other world for us to go to, currently.
On top of that it keeps babies bums from getting those horrible rashes. Not ALL of the time, of course. But it is pretty amazing.
In this post I want to discuss prepping your diapers. See, I was going some where with my title. It can be tedious in its self to pre new diapers. Which some of you may not even know. You probably have asked yourself why your diapers get better with every wash. Don't lie.. I have. Well, that is because you are supposed to wash them up to 12 times before you use them. Wash, dry.. repeat.. Yes, it is a lot. But that is how you remove all of the access oils from the diapers and inserts.
Microfiber is a tricky material. You can't wash it with your other diapers and inserts when new. That is when you have a problem. Your other diapers will have to be washed repeatedly after this. I recommend boiling microfiber inserts. This will avoid any problems. Or just wait to wash these separately.
Lets prep some diapers..
Sealing your PUL diapers
Not all diapers have PUL, so you can skip this step if your do not. Sealing helps to avoid leaks by "sealing" any holes that are made from sewing. All PUL needs to be sealed.
To do this just put your diaper in the dryer on hot for 20 minutes. A lot of times I will forget about them being in the dryer. Oops. That isn't a problem if you do. They are all set and ready for the next step.
Washing your diapers
Here comes the hard part. The washing. I don't find this hard anymore. Not since completing the Flats and Handwashing Challenge. So buck up and do it. :-)
Add your diapers to the wash, alone. Use a small amount of detergent. I make my own and would use roughly a tbsp of the powder. I don't really love washing on hot. But you can. You can just do a regular wash while prepping. Put them in the dryer on tumble, or air dry.
You are going to want to do this step at the very least, five times. The more you wash the better they are going to keep your baby dry. I can wash up to 12 times before putting a diaper on my babies skin. I have smelled some of these diapers and you can still smell the oil after several washings. How would that be to your babies skin? The good news is once those oils are gone, they are gone. You will only have to do your wash routine while cleaning your diapers from now on.
Note: Microfiber should be prepped separate. They have oils in them that will make your diapers repel. You can however wash them a couple times alone first and than carry on prepping. Or, boil them.
See, that wasn't too bad?
It can take me up to a week to do this. Which it probably should not. I know. But I have three kids. I have loads of laundry and diapers take forever to prep. Or so it feels like. I can forget them in the dryer over night, or even in the washer. Which means, an extra wash. Lets be practical. Prepare your diapers WAY before you actually need them. Wool does not require this and should be handwashed. You can do this with flats and prefolds as well. An easier way for them would be to boil them for 30 minutes. I prefer to prep flats and wool honestly. Too easy.