1. How often should I change the diapers?
Frequent changes are necessary to keep your baby’s bums dry and happy. As a general rule of thumb, change every 2-3 hours.
In reality, it depends on a combination of these factors:
- Pee: A wet bum is an unhappy bum. If your child often pees, change it more frequently.
- Poo: Rashes can be caused by poo if left alone for hours. We feel you when your baby does a luxury poo on a fresh diaper. Don’t leave it there and regret it later.
- Skin sensitivity: Children with sensitive skin will definitely need more frequent changes and cleanups.
- Age: Anecdotally, it has been observed that the skin of younger children is more sensitive than older ones. Newborns need more frequent diaper changes than say, toddlers.
2. Why are cloth diapers so expensive?
Cloth diapers may cost more in the beginning, but they do save you money in the long run! The savings are even more substantial if they can be passed on to a younger sibling.
Let’s work on some conservative numbers.
An average baby goes through 6-8 diaper changes from newborn phase up until they are 3 years’ old. By the time they reach 3 years old, they would have gone through close to 8,000 diapers. This is assuming that they do not need disposables after 3 years old.
An average cost of a disposable in Singapore is at 29 cents and 8,000 of these would cost $2,320.
Our Otter Original Pocket Diaper fits a child from 4kg-18kg. A healthy stash of 30 diapers will set you back with an initial cost of $890 (after bundle price discount). Even if you were to top up with more inserts and covers, you wouldn’t be spending more than $1,200.
Best of all, cloth diapers can be passed on to the next baby!
3. Do we pay more for using water and electricity in the washing? Does this save the environment?
The comforting news is that you don’t really pay that much more in water and electricity thanks to more water and energy-efficient washing machines! Front-load machines are excellent choices!
Cloth diapering can help to save water in the long run, when compared to disposable diapers. The manufacture and disposal of disposable diapers requires a significant amount of water. According to estimates, it takes around 20-40 gallons of water to produce one disposable diaper. This water is used to grow the raw materials, such as wood pulp, and to manufacture the diapers.
Every cloth diaper used is one less disposable to the landfills, helping to reduce waste. The plastics in disposables are non-biodegradable, which means that they can never be fully decomposed.
The net result is positive because you are reducing carbon footprint by saving water and energy. You are also doing your part in saving the environment through such sustainable practices!
4. Are these cloth diapers suitable for my newborn?
It depends on the weight of your newborn! Our Otter Original Pocket Diapers are best suited for babies from 4kg-18kg. If your newborn is less than 4kg, this may not be the best fit. You may choose to wait a little while until the baby sizes up.
5. Could I use rash creams with these diapers?
Yes, it is fine to use rash creams with our cloth diapers. Rash creams can be removed from the diapers if these conditions are met:
1. Sufficient agitation with a full load in the washing machine.
2. Mainstream detergent with the right dosage used.
3. Wash on warm water, at or between 40ºC- 60°C.
7. What detergent should I use?
We recommend mainstream detergents as they contain the necessary surfactants to clean the soil out of diapers. These are easily available at all supermarkets. Eco and plant-based detergents are possible options too but we recommend to wash them at 60°C. They contain fewer surfactants and at times, may need a bigger dosage to clean out a heavily soiled diaper load sufficiently. For more guidance, we have prepared a detailed Washing Guide.
8. Help! My diapers look and smell awful!
Pilling on the fabric: This is unavoidable in some fabrics. More often, it is a sign that your washing machine produces adequate agitation which is important for a clean diaper. This is a cosmetic flaw which doesn’t impact the diaper’s absorbency so we suggest leaving it alone.
Discolouration of natural fibres: Materials such as hemp have a natural yellow tone and is normal for there to be a slight ‘fleck’ of colour through the material. This is because the material is unbleached and still has its natural colour.
Stains and smells: A poor wash routine is the cause. Check to see if you are washing on warm and using the right detergent amount. Please review our Washing Guide and follow the guidelines accordingly.
9. How do I fix a leaking diaper?
A diaper that leaks could be due to insufficient absorbency or a poor fit. Please see our Fitting Guide for more information.
A diaper that leaks in the middle could have a damaged water-resistant PUL (polyurethane laminate) from wear and tear. If it’s a brand new diaper, this could be a manufacturing defect. In this case, drop us an email at email@example.com.
11. How many cloth diapers do I need?
This depends on a few factors like the following:
1. How often do you cloth diaper?
If you are doing part-time cloth diapering (e.g. during weekends), you may want to begin with 12- 15 diapers.
If you are doing full-time cloth diapering, assuming 6 diaper changes per day for a baby, you may want to start off minimally with 24 diapers.
2. How fast is your laundry turnaround?
If you are doing your main wash after the 3rd day, it means that you may have to buffer for more diapers before the fresh ones are ready on the bum again. Have at least 30- 36 diapers on standby if you do not want to be overwhelmed with laundry.
It may be useful to have a bigger rotation for less wear and tear and to buffer for longer drying periods during rainy periods.
Please see our Washing Guide for more information.