The Basics Beyond Cloth Diapers

So you’ve ordered your cloth diapers. Now what? After choosing what type of cloth diapers you want to use there are a few items that you might find come in handy while cloth diapering. I’ve listed a few below. if you have any to add please feel free to comment below or email me at simmworksfamily (at) and I’ll gladly add to the list!

Diaper/Butt Creams
You can’t just use any diaper cream on your child’s tush if you cloth diaper. Most creams can actually ruin your cloth diapers. And no amount of stripping will get your diapers back to their original absorbency. So read labels and choose a cream that will work with your cloth diaper, not against. And if in doubt, use a liner to protect your diaper.

A few commercially available diaper creams may be used with cloth diapers. Always avoid diaper creams with cod liver oil or any other fish oils. Recently many cloth diaper manufacturer’s have developed diaper rash creams that are considered safe for cloth diapers. In many cases, diaper rash creams specifically developed for use with cloth diapers is preferred. I used this list from Pinstripes and Polkadots to choose the cream I currently use and love (CA Baby). The tube lasts a long time and the smell is so relaxing and calming. Plus the product works perfectly for my kids. They also have a wonderful Diaper Area Wash that we’ve had great success with.

If a diaper rash does not go away please consult your physician. It may be a fungal infection that requires a fungicide or other type of medication.

Diaper Liners
As I mentioned above, diaper liners are a great way to protect your diaper from any creams or ointments you may use on your child. They can also help you out by making poop removal easier if you’re using the disposable kind. Some choose not to invest in these but others swear by them.

Here’s some information from Pinstripes and Polkadots about liners:
Liners are used to between the baby treated with a rash cream and the diaper in an effort to protect the diaper from the negative water repelling properties of the diaper rash ointment or cream. People use flushable liners, fleece liners, cloth wipes, and even cut up old t-shirts. If you plan to re-use your liners you will want to wash them thoroughly and separate from your diapers. Likewise, you will also want to wash any wipes used to clean off the ointment or cream with your liners: separate from your diapers. Realize that some flushable liners may not protect a diaper well enough from certain creams.

Laundry Detergent

Just like creams, some detergents are just too harsh on cloth diapers. Not to mention on our clothes as well. And the fragrances and added ingredients can irritate your child’s diaper area. Switching to a cloth diaper friendly detergent for all of your clothes may reduce the chance of a rash or other irritation forming.

In order to choose the perfect detergent you should think about a few things. The most important determinant in the detergent you use is if you have a HE washer or not. The amount of detergent you use as well as the type of detergent can depend on this. To find out more about different detergents and what will work best for you check out The Diaper Jungle. Another great source is Pinstripes and Polkadots (I love this site!) and their HE selection can be found here.

Pins & Snappis
If you are considering using prefolds then you should grab a few sets of pins or some snappis. These great products will give you a tighter fit and can help create a great barrier to keep the poo where it belongs… in the diaper. To tell you the truth, pins kinda scared me. So when I heard about snappis I knew I was going to go this route. But I’ve heard from a few sources that pins can get a tighter fit. This may help when you’re on the verge of going up a diaper size. Your smaller prefolds can be used longer with pins.

Wetbags/Diaper Pail Liners
There are a few size options when it comes to wetbags. And I have a few of each. Some are more for convenience and others are a necessity. I was able to get away with not using a pail liner for quite some time by substituting a large pillow case. But then I found two used liners for sale for $5 each and couldn’t pass them up.

I suggest having at least two wet bags for diaper bag rotation and two diaper pail liners (again, for rotation if one is in the wash). I currently have four wetbags: a small, two medium and one large. I feel that this is the perfect amount for our family. Here’s what I use each for:

  • Small (1-2 diapers) – for quick errands out and about
  • Medium (3-5 diapers) – for day trips 
  • Large (8-10 diapers) – for weekend trips (our go-to for Disneyland overnight visits)

I also use our wet bags for other things. I keep an extra one in the diaper bag if we’re going to the beach or pool so I can throw wet and sandy suits and clothes in one and not have to worry about getting everything else wet and sandy (although the kids do a good job of spreading the sand anyway…). They’re also great to store extra diapers in the car. I keep an “emergency kit” in the car with a change of clothes for each kids and 1-2 extra diapers. I keep it all in a wet bag so they stay fresh and clean.

Fun and Safety in the Sun

Fun and Safety in the Sun

Yes, I know a post like this at the end of summer seems ill timed. But is it? Once the end of summer comes most stop thinking about preventing sun damage for themselves and their children. But everyday protection from the suns harmful rays is very important to remember and continue daily. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends that, regardless of skin type, a broad-spectrum (protects against UVA and UVB rays), water-resistant sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 30 should be used year-round.

My family just returned from a much needed vacation to Hawaii. While we were there we applied sunscreen to the children, and ourselves, daily. No matter if we were going to the pool, walking the beach or hitting up a craft fair. And I started to realize that we should be doing this every day, not just when we’re on vacation or during the summer, but at home as well.

So I started to do a bit of research when we returned home and found that more than 3.5 million skin cancers are diagnosed in more than 2 million people annually. Many studies have found an association between sunburns and enhanced risk for melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.

Fun and Safety in the Sun outdoors

Unprotected sun exposure is even more dangerous for kids with:

  • moles on their skin (or whose parents have a tendency to develop moles)
  • very fair skin and hair
  • a family history of skin cancer, including melanoma

And seeing as though my husband just had a bit of skin cancer removed from his neck, and we are very fair skinned, my children need to be very cautious about their sun exposure. So we’ve come up with a plan with help from Kids Health. Here’s what we now do to insure proper protection from the sun’s harmful rays.

Fun and Safety in the Sun at the Beach

Avoid the Strongest Rays of the Day
We stay indoors or in the shade between the hours of 10am and 2pm. If we need to be outdoors during this time we cover up, apply sunscreen and are conscious of the time we spend in the sun. Even if we are outdoors during this time on cloudy or cool days we still follow the same procedure. The “invisible sun” can be the most dangerous because we cannot feel it’s rays burning our skin. But later on a sunburn may appear if sunscreen was not applied or re-applied.

Cover Up
One of the best ways to protect your skin from UV rays is to cover up. Wear clothing that covers your skin. To make sure that the clothing you are wearing is, in fact, keeping the UV rays from hitting your skin simply place your hand inside the garment. If you can see your skin through the fabric then it is not protecting you from UV rays.

Because infants have thinner skin and underdeveloped melanin, their skin burns more easily than that of older kids. But sunscreen should not be applied to babies under 6 months of age, so they absolutely must be kept out of the sun whenever possible. If your infant must be in the sun, dress him or her in clothing that covers the body, including hats with wide brims to shadow the face. Use an umbrella or blanket to create shade.

Use Sunscreen Consistently
Choose a sunscreen that states on the label that it protects against both UVA and UVB rays (referred to as “broad-spectrum” sunscreen). In general, sunscreens provide better protections against UVB rays than UVA rays, making signs of skin aging a risk even with consistent use of sunscreen. To avoid possible skin allergy, don’t use sunscreens with PABA; if your child has sensitive skin, look for a product with the active ingredient titanium dioxide (a chemical-free block). We prefer to use CA Baby No Fragrance SPF 30+ Sunscreen Lotion. It’s thick and coats the skin well so I know I’m getting every nook and cranny of skin. And for an easy, on-the-go solution we love the CA Baby No Fragrance SPF 30+ Sunblock Stick.

Fun and Safety in the Sun with sunscreen

Use Protective Eyewear for Kids
The best way to protect a child’s eyes is to wear sunglasses. If your child will allow you to put sun glasses on them make sure you choose a pair that provide 100% UV protection. A great way to get your child interested in wearing sunglasses is to pick out the craziest, largest pair of sunglasses for yourself and wear them all the time. Then ask your child if they want a pair of cool glasses for themselves. More likely than not, they’ll want to be just like you!

If not, invest in an awesome, wide brimmed hat that shades their eyes. Hats with straps work best for babies  who might pull sunglasses off in a split second. I’ve found that even sunglasses that wrap around a child’s head sometimes won’t last long on certain kids. But remember to try, try again. Kids might not like something at first but if you’re persistent you may break them down.

Double-Check Medications
Some medications increase the skin’s sensitivity to UV rays. As a result, even kids with skin that tends not to burn easily can develop a severe sunburn in just minutes when taking certain medications. Fair-skinned kids, of course, are even more vulnerable.

Ask your doctor or pharmacist if any prescription (especially antibiotics and acne medications) and over-the-counter medications your child is taking can increase sun sensitivity. If so, always take extra sun precautions. The best protection is simply covering up or staying indoors; even sunscreen can’t always protect skin from sun sensitivity caused by medications.

Fun and Safety in the Sun applying sunscreen

Be Sun Safe Yourself
Be a good role model by consistently wearing sunscreen with SPF 30 or greater, using sunglasses, and limiting your time in the sun. These preventive behaviors not only reduce your risk of sun damage, but teach your kids good sun sense.

There are so many products out there now to help aid in sun protection. I currently use a daily moisturizer and daily lotion with SPF built right in from Eucerin that I love. I don’t want to smell like sunscreen so these alternatives are easy for me to use daily and my children know I’m protecting myself.

And please, please make sure your kids don’t use tanning beds at any time, even to “prepare” for a trip to a warm climate. Both UVA and UVA/UVB tanning beds produce sunburn. And there is an increase in the risk of melanoma in people who have used tanning beds before the age of 35.

How are you preparing for summer and extra sun exposure?

© A Crafty Spoonful - All Rights Reserved
It is OK to use one of my photos provided a link back and/or proper credit is given. It is NOT ok to copy and paste a whole post including instructions. Please do not remove watermarks or alter images in any way. Please contact me with any questions at