Katherine Penny, D.O.
There are a few options when it comes to keeping cloth diapers clean. You can use a diaper laundering service, which picks up and cleans diapers weekly, or you can wash and sanitize the diapers yourself.
Keeping your baby's diapers clean and safe can be intimidating, but there are some simple cloth diaper hygiene tips you can use if you choose to self-clean.
If the diaper is only wet, fold it up and place it into a diaper pail. However, if your baby has soiled the diaper, you'll need to empty it into a toilet immediately. To do so with ease, use a diaper sprayer, a high-pressure water source that allows you to place a diaper into a toilet and spray stool into the bowl without fear of touching waste. Once you're finished washing out the soiled diaper, fold it up and place it into a diaper pail.
Depending on the type of cloth diaper your baby is wearing, you may need to pay special attention to the washing process. Use a fragrance-free, additive-free detergent. Do not use a fabric softener because doing so could cause a rash to develop on your baby's skin.
Keeping the diapers separate from other clothes is important for maintaining cloth diaper hygiene.
Overloading your washing machine may prevent your cloth diapers from being cleaned properly, which could cause infections or rashes for your baby.
If your baby's cloth diapers have an odor even after you've washed them, you're likely not using enough detergent. As long as your detergent is mild and does not have fragrances and additives, you shouldn't be afraid to use enough detergent to keep cloth diapers clean. If you notice that the diapers smell after washing, put them through another washing cycle.
Cloth diapers are a good option for parents who do not want to use disposable diapers. However, maintaining hygiene is often more time-consuming and difficult. Following the tips listed above can help you keep your diapering process sanitary and healthy for your baby.
Diaper rash tends to appear less among babies wearing cloth diapers than those wearing disposable, but if you notice that, despite keeping your diapers clean, your baby is developing a severe, long-lasting rash, contact your pediatrician immediately.