Beginners Guide to Cloth Diapers

How to put a cloth diaper on
What are all these snaps for?
What to do with solid waste
Washing cloth diapers
Hand washing cloth diapers
Cloth diaper troubleshooting


How to put a cloth diaper on 

  1. Adjust the rise to the correct size meant for the child.newborn to toddler rise snap setting
  2. Pinch the diaper to have the leg elastics in the groin.
  3. Pull wings tight and snap together with waist snaps.
  4. Check for any leg gaps. Adjust rise if necessary.


What are all these snaps for?

The rise snaps are the 3 x 4 snaps on the front of the diaper. They are used to adjust the size of the diaper, and reduce leg gaps. With 4 rise snap settings, our diapers can fit approximately from 6-50lbs.

The waist snaps are the two rows along the top of the diaper. This will allow you to adjust the diaper to fit snug around the waist. You want the waist to be tight enough to not be falling off, but not too tight to cause any discomfort. The elastics around the diaper should give you some flexibility on where to snap the diaper.

The 2 snaps on each end of the wings are called wing snaps and they fasten the diaper around the child.

The 2 snaps facing outwards are called dirty snaps, and are meant to be used when a diaper is dirty and rolled up.

how to use dirty snaps gif


The one snap on each side that is closest to the the back are called hip snaps. These are optional on Ombre Diapers and are to keep the wings in place when the diaper is being used as pull ups.


What to do with solid waste

There are several ways to clean solid waste off diapers before washing them:

1. Liners - There are different types of liners to chose from, but all liners allow urine to pass through to the absorbent material, and catch the solid waste. Depending on the material, you can either toss the liner in the trash or clean and reuse.

2. Bidet Sprayer- Many cloth diapering families install a handheld bidet sprayer on the toilet to easily spray off the solid waste into the toilet. Although not necessary, some even buy/make spray shields to prevent splash back.

3. Portable Sprayer- A handheld pressurized sprayer or even a peri bottle work well to rinse solid waste off the diaper and into the toilet. This is a great option for those who cannot alter their current plumbing.

4. Dunk and Swish Method- Just as the name suggests, you can also dunk the dirty diaper into the toilet and swish around to get all solids off the diaper. Some may prefer to wear gloves and scrub the diaper in the toilet, getting majority of the solid waste off and ready for the washer.

5. Spatula- A dedicated poop spatula will help you scrape solid waste off the diaper and into the toilet.


Washing cloth diapers

Wash routines can get really complicated from weighing your load to testing water hardness. Details will vary from household to household, but here are some general guidelines to help you get started.

  1. Discard any solid waste into the toilet.
  2. Separate the inserts (absorbent pad) from the shell (water resistant fabric).
  3. Prewash with a little detergent to rise away all the gunk
  4. Main wash with the recommended amount of detergent to get the diapers clean
  5. Do not use any fabric softener as this can cause the diapers to stop absorbing liquids. 
  6. Hang to dry the shells. Inserts can go in the dryer on high heat.


Hand washing cloth diapers

Some families don't have access to a washer and dryer and choose to hand wash their diapers. Here are some methods that people have had success with:

Bucket and Plunger Method- following the steps above. Instead of running the diapers through a wash cycle, place the diapers in the bucket with water and detergent. Agitate with a plunger. Plunge 50 times. Drain and repeat for each wash and rinse cycle.

Bucket and Spin- Drill a bunch of holes on the bottom and sides of a 5 gallon bucket. Hang bucket on a tree. Place diapers in the bucket and spin to twist the rope. As the bucket untwists and spins, it will spin out the water just as an electric washer would.

Other products to help with hand washing:


Cloth diaper troubleshooting

If you're having any issues with your cloth diapers, follow the flow chart below (save image to enlarge). You may also email us for any specific questions at