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I am just starting out, what all do I need if I want to cloth diaper?

12-36 Cloth diapers: I suggest trying a variety first - see more information about the types and quantities below. Quantity depends on how many diapers you will be going through in one day and how often you intend to wash them. - buy, rent or if you're handy you can try making your own

Diaper pins, Snappis, or Boingos (optional depending on the type of diaper you choose to use): Used in conjunction with prefolds, flats, or snapless fitteds/contoured. - buy

Doublers or some other kind of inserts/prefolds/flats: Use these as "doublers" if you are going to cloth diaper at night or simply need more absorbency during the day. They can also be used on their own as the main absorbency. - buy or make your own

Cloth wipes (optional): Just one more way to save $. Plus, if you're already washing dirty diapers using cloth wipes will be easy, just wash the wipes with the diapers. - buy or very easy/inexpensive to make your own

Wipe solution (optional): Use with cloth wipes. Just one more way to save $. - buy or easy/inexpensive to make your own

Diaper pail, choose from wet or dry (I personally use a 5 gallon bucket with a lid and keep it as dry as possible): This is used to store the dirty diapers that are waiting to be washed. - buy or some varieties you can try making if you're handy

Wet bag (mostly used for traveling): Different sizes/styles available. - buy or if you're handy you can try making your own

Cloth Diaper safe detergent (also safe on baby bums!): Stay away from detergents that have enzymes, brighteners, dyes, fragrances, softeners, and bleach (these are things that can be harsh on sensitive baby skin as well as potentially damage your cloth diapers). Also stay away from pure soap (it can lead to buildup on your cloth diapers and you'll spend more time stripping them - see below for more information). You will also want to take into consideration what type of water you have (hard, medium, or soft). - buy or relatively easy/inexpensive to make your own (if you can find everything you need for the detergent and feel comfortable making it) (Check out these helpful websites for more information: http://www.diaperjungle.com/detergent-chart.html or http://www.pinstripesandpolkadots.com/Articles.asp?ID=262)

Cloth Diaper safe diaper rash remedies: Stay away from fragrances (especially if you have a baby with sensitive skin). If you must use a diaper rash cream/ointment that is not safe for cloth diaper I suggest using a liner. - buy or try making your own (Check out this website for more information: http://pinstripesandpolkadots.com/diaperrashcreams.htm)

Liners (optional): Use these when you are worried about diaper rash creams causing buildup issues or to catch baby poo to help keep your diapers cleaner longer. These come in several varieties including: disposable/flushable, fleece, flannel, or in emergency cases you might even be able to use paper towels! - buy or easy/inexpensive to make your own

Diaper Sprayer (optional): These are AMAZING! You will spend less time getting your hands dirty. Very handy for those dirty diapers that baby poo does not just fall off of. A Spray-Pal and Diaper Dawgs are handy accessories to use with your Diaper Sprayer as well. - buy or if you're handy you can try making your own

You may also want to invest in products that will: soften your water, help with ammonia, help with stinkies in your diaper pail, help to "fluff" up your diapers and shorten dry time when using a drier (wool dryer balls), there are many more products that I can't think of at the moment as there are so many out there. Here is a start anyway :)

How many cloth diapers do I need?

First, you need to decide how often you want to or can do laundry.

Second, it depends on what style (or variety) of cloth diapers you want to use.

(NOTE: When I refer to the quantity of diapers I am first referring to the absorbent part of the diaper and will secondly list additional information/quantities if the absorbent part is seperate from the waterproof portion.)

Here are my suggestions:

For laundering every day:

12 - of any kind of cloth diaper

PLUS if you are using a cloth diaper that needs a cover I suggest having at least 3 covers

For laundering every 2 days:

24 - of any kind of cloth diaper

PLUS if you are using a cloth diaper that needs a cover I suggest having at least 6 covers

For laundering every 3 days:

36- of any kind of cloth diaper

PLUS if you are using a cloth diaper that needs a cover I suggest having at least 9 covers

If you choose to use hybrid diapers (such as gDiapers) the suggestions change a bit. I suggest following the "any kind of cloth diaper" rule for the inserts, for the shells I suggest approximately 1/3 of the total inserts, and for the liners (inserts!) I suggest having a few more than that (to replace soiled ones when need be), I hope that made sense.

As your baby gets older the amount of diapers (s)he goes through will decrease, so you'll need less cloth diapers so you will want to take that into consideration as well. By the time your little one is 1-2 years old you will probably be using somewhere around half of the suggested number of diapers. As your little one begins potty training you'll also use less. You may also opt for using cloth trainins instead of cloth diapers for ease of use for your little one.

What is "stripping"?

Stripping is what you do when your cloth diapers have buildup, leak, or stink.

There are several methods and suggestions out there, not any one will work for everyone. Typically though you'll want to do a few rinses/washes (probably on a warm or hot cycle) without detergent so you can check and see how many bubbles/suds are in your wash. Continue rinsing until there are no more bubbles. Please note, this could take 2 rinses or it could take 10 so be patient. However, if it takes 10 rinses to be sud free you may want to consider adjusting your wash routine. Some methods include letting the cloth diapers soak with or without products that are made to help strip. There are also products out there that may be helpful in getting rid of stink or buildup such as Rockin' Green Ammonia Bouncer, BacOut, Calgon and RLR. Some suggestions also include incorporation blue Dawn dish soap.

No matter what, you will probably need to (or should) strip your diapers on occasion.

Front load and top load washing machines also play a role in your washing and stripping routines.

****When choosing your stripping or washing methods, always consult the manufacturer to make sure what you do will not ruin the cloth diapers or void any warranties. It is a good rule of thumb to read over their warranty policies anyway just to make sure you are always in compliance and not voiding the warranty.****

What do I need to do if my little one gets a yeast rash?

First, I would suggest confirming it is indeed a yeast rash with your pediatrician/caregiver. Once you confirm it is yeast take the appropriate steps to help your child get rid of the yeast. You may choose to use disposable diapers at this time to help keep the yeast out of your cloth diapers.

You will then want to decide which method should work best for ridding your diapers of the yeast. I highly recommend contacting the manufacturer(s) of the infected diaper(s). You will not want to accidentally void any warranties or cause accidental damage to your diapers. You will want to do your best to kill ALL of the yeast the first time because if you don't it can return.

Here is a compilation of helpful websites I have found on my adventures in helping others research how to get rid of yeast in their diapers as well as our own stint with yeast!

This is probably the most informative overall: http://www.pinstripesandpolkadots.com/Articles.asp?ID=270