This is a guide for what you will want when using pocket cloth diapers.
How many diapers:
We recommend having at least 24 diaper changes, this means 24 inserts and the number of covers with vary depending on how you are using the pockets. In the beginning 24 changes will be laundry every two days and when baby stops pooping all the time laundry can be stretched to every three days (if you would like).
Pocket diapers are called that because the pocket cover (the waterproof out layer) has a fleece pocket sewn inside. Pocket diapers can be worn two ways: With the diaper insert inside the pocket (stuffed) or placed on top of the pocket (layered). If stuffing your pockets for every diaper change you will need 24 pocket covers. If you are layering your insert inside the diaper you will need 10-12 pocket covers, this is because you can reuse the pocket cover if no pee/poop gets from the insert onto the cover. On average you can reuse a layered pocket cover 2 times before it needs to be washed.
The pocket diaper inserts we sell are made from two different fabrics, hemp or bamboo. It is personal preference what you would rather use, a 2-layer hemp insert is going to hold roughly the same as a 2-layer bamboo insert.
For younger babies you will want to use 2-layer inserts. As baby grows and starts to have bigger pees you can upgrade to 3-layer inserts or try adding a booster. A booster is not enough to absorb a full diaper's amount on it's own but is good to give your existing diaper a little more. If the diapers you have work most of the time but you sometimes get leaks at nap time or during long car rides a booster would probably be all you need. If your diapers are very wet when changed and leaking the majority of the time you probably want to get more absorbant inserts.
You do not need to be brand loyal when using inserts, an Applecheeks insert will fit inside an AMP diaper and vice-versa.
There are two sizing options for our pocket diapers. You can have sized diapers or one size diapers. The benefit of sized diapers is you will have a smaller diaper for a small baby which can give a better fit. Another benefit is they tend to last than one size diapers because you are using different covers as the baby grows, instead one set of covers the whole time. The downside of sized diapers is needing to purchase more covers (although most parents find they don't need as many size 2 covers as size 1 because baby's start going less often as they get bigger).
One size diapers have extra snaps on their fronts which let you adjust the diaper from approximately 6-35lbs. The benefit of this is you only need to purchase one set of covers and adjust them as baby grows. The downside is you are adjusting a larger diaper to fit smaller and some people find they don't fit as well as a sized diaper on newborn baby's, especially skinny newborn legs. In practice we find one size diapers fit best starting around 10lbs.
Size 3 diapers are also available and fit from 30-65+ lbs.
Storing dirty diapers:
There are two main options for storing dirty diapers: A diaper pail or hanging wet bag.
When using cloth diapers you do not need a fancy diaper pail. Your diapers will not be staying in the pail long enough to get smelly, unlike disposables which would usually be there for a week. Many people use a garbage can with a lid that opens with a foot petal and line it with a reusable pail liner. Another option is to use a hanging wet bag, attached to a towel rod, change table or wherever is convenient for you.
Both reusable pail liner and hanging wet bags can be washed along with your diapers. Many people like to have two, so one is in the laundry and one is being used.
Smaller wet bags are great for storing diapers while out and about. They are also very helpful for swimming lessons, storing soiled clothing, etc.
Wipes and creams
You may like using cloth wipes with your diapers. It can be easier to just put everything in the laundry together and it eliminates one more disposable item. You can wet the cloths with water or use a pre-mixed cloth wipes spray.
For creams you want to stick with ones that are cloth safe. All the ones we sell are made with natural oils, making them safe for cloth diapers. Creams that have zinc or vaseline will be absorbed into the fibres of your diaper and make them repel water, the opposite of what we want our diapers to do!
When choosing a detergent for washing your diapers you want to avoid fabric softeners and optical brighteners. These can both lead to your diaper repelling liquids, which is not what you want. All detergents we sell at the store are safe to use with cloth diapers.
We recommend washing every 2-3 days so your diapers aren't sitting too long. The longer dirty diapers sit around the harder it is to wash everything out.
What about the poop?
The question everyone seems to have about cloth diapers!
If baby is breastfed you don't need to worry about their newborn poop because it is water soluble and will wash out completely in the machine. If you wish to give it a rinse off into the toilet first you can but it isn't necessary. If baby is eating formula you will want to rinse baby's poop into the toilet before washing.
When baby is bigger and eating solids their poop changes and will need to be removed from the diaper before washing. You can use a diaper sprayer attached to your toilet. You can also use disposable liners as the last layer between diaper and baby to catch the poop and remove it (we don't recommend flushing disposable liners). Another option is to use a reusable fleece liner as the last layer between baby and diaper. You wouldn't dispose of the fleece liner but it is easier to remove the poop with the use of the liner and means you don't need to rinse as much off before doing laundry.