I have my new cloth diapers, now what?
After you purchase your new fluff, there are some things you now need to do.
First of all, you need to prep your diapers. This is easy. If you have microfiber or minky inserts, you just need to run the inserts and shells through a wash cycle and dry them. Make sure all the detergent is rinsed out before drying.
Now, if you have natural fiber inserts, you will need to do a much longer prep. These need to be washed at least six times before use. I wash mine ten times. With each wash they become more absorbent. The very first wash of natural fiber diapers needs to be with towels or by themselves. Sometimes the diapers have natural oils on them that can transfer to your synthetic fibers. This won't ruin them, but will cause extra work for you.
After the prepping is finished, all diapers can be washed together. Like I said, I use the following routine. A more complicated wash routine sometimes is harder on you, and sometimes doesn't work as well.
My diapers are prepped and ready to go on my baby. Anything else I should know?
When you put your new fluff on your baby, know this first. Diaper creams are not needed and in fact can harm your diaper and void your warranty. If you need a cream for some reason, coconut oil works wonders, and washes out in the hot wash cycle. If you use it and your diapers are still under warranty, use a cloth wipe or flannel liner in between your diaper and baby's bum. When you do your wash, launder these liners separately.
Before washing, all breastfed solids are water soluble. No rinsing needed, just drop the diaper in your wetbag or dry pail and wash every 1-2 days. If you formula feed or have introduced solids, you will need to dump solids into the toilet (I love a diaper sprayer for this), then put the rinsed diaper in your wetbag or dry pail until wash day.
In my HE washer, this is what I do, your routine may be a bit different.
Step 1: Cold wash - no detergent. This removes any solids left.
Step 2: LONG Hot wash with pre-rinse and extra rinse after - 2 TBS Rockin Green Classic Rock unscented detergent (formula may be different depending on your water type, test it first)
Step 3: Remove unlined shells and pail liner, hang to dry
Step 4: Regular hot wash cycle - no soap, check to make sure there are no suds left.
Step 5: Hang dry or tumble dry on low
After all the diapers are washed and dried, you can take the time to stuff the diapers. I recommend taking off your rings to do this so you don't snag the PLU lining in the diapers.
My son loves to try and help put the diapers together. This makes a great learning opportunity! I show him how the snaps work, and describe the diapers colors and prints.
Now, occasionally you will find "funk" when your diapers are wet. This is usually caused by soap build up. Ammonia can also happen for the same reason. Here is a GREAT chart on combating issues with cloth diapers from Padded Tush Stats.
Help, my diapers stink!