I get dozens of questions via email and comments daily. I try my best to answer them promptly but sometimes life gets in the way and days go by. In an effort to allow you to help each other and to give more attention to these great questions, I am starting a new series.
Cloth Diaper Q & A will publish once a week (things may get off kilter when baby #5 arrives). I encourage you to add your thoughts and if you have questions you want answered let me know. I’ll randomly choose questions for each weeks segment.
Question 1: Mona G. asks, “I know I’m going to sound like so many of the other moms who have written, but I’m still really unsure of what path to take. I really like the BumGenius 4.0, but you’ve said that you prefer the Elementals over the 4.0. What is the difference? Also, I’m thinking of also going with pre-folded and covers- do you have a preference for these?
Thanks for any peace of mind you can offer- With the baby due in one week I’m a little panicked!”
Congratulations, Mona! Don’t panic!! Cloth diapering should bring comfort not stress…you’ll have enough of that in other areas :)
Honestly, I vacillate back and forth between which I prefer: the 4.0 or the Elemental. Right now I’d have to say the 4.0 is winning. My Elementals are aged and are showing their age! I like that the 4.0 gives you day and night time use. What’s the difference between the two? The 4.0 is a pocket diaper. A pocket can be stuffed with as little or as much absorbency as needed. The Elemental is an organic cotton all-in-one. You don’t add anything to it, just snap it on baby.
There are many great covers to choose from if you go with prefolds: Thirsties, Gen-Y, Softbums and Flip are my choices. Check out Kelly’s Closet for a great selection of diaper covers.
Are you planning on using the prefolds and covers from day 1? If so, I would buy some covers with an umbilical notch. My favorite newborn covers are Proraps.
Question 2: Vicky R. asks via email, “Hi Autumn,
Vicky, congratulations on the upcoming birth! 14 cloth diapers is a start but you’ll need to fluff up your stash quite a bit for a newborn. Elementals will start to work well for your baby somewhere between 12-15lbs. It will depend a lot on how skinny those legs are.
To prewash your cloth diapers you wash in hot water 5-7x (as per Cottonbabies website) drying each time. The heat will break down and release the oils present in organic cotton. Every diaper will have different prep needs. Most synthetics can be washed once and are ready to go. Natural fibers require the oils to be stripped first (ex. Goodmama, Pooters and Ragababe). Then there are some brands like Sustainablebabyish that don’t require an intensive prep process.
For normal washing, run a cold pre-wash then follow up with a cold/cold wash. Cold water will help with preventing stains and saving energy. However, cold water will not help with breaking down debris and buildup. My routine is a Normal cycle as the prewash on cold/cold followed by a Heavy Duty cycle on hot/cold. I then will either do a rinse/spin cycle on warm or run another Normal cycle on hot/cold. On the first 2 I set the spin setting to low. This keeps the diapers heavy allowing plenty of water to be added to my final rinse/cycle.
With HE machines it can be tricky in figuring out how to properly rinse your cloth diapers. I am constantly making changes as I learn new things.
I look forward to hearing from all of you on how you handle these situations.