Cloth Diapers – and how! (no really…and how? help!)

At 3 Little Monkeys, some of the most common questions we hear from new parents have to do with the world of cloth diapering and go something like this:

“1) so…how do I know which cloth diapers work best? 2) and how many cloth diapers do I need?  3)  how should we wash our diapers? 4) how do I convince my husband/wife that cloth diapering is easy? 5) what do we do with the dirty cloth diapers? 6) what type of laundry detergent should we be using for our cloth diapers? 7) is it ok to use zinc based creams on my baby’s bum if i am using cloth diapers? 8)  What is the difference between a prefold diaper and a fitted diaper, and how do you use a swim diaper?  9) Is an all in one diaper easier to use than a 2 piece diaper? 10) should I use a wetbag or a diaper pail? Ahhhhhh!!  Wait a minute, what is a wetbag anyway and how does a diaper pail work? ”



Applecheeks Cloth Diapers are a perennial favourite at 3 Little Monkeys

At the monkeys, we have you covered (get it -  covered? as in with your diaper…cover? ). When you come in to the shop with baby in tow with questions questions questions like any of these or the other hundreds of questions we get about cloth diapering, (and babies in general) we are proud to help you figure it all out and find the system that is going to suit you best (and more importantly to leave the store with a cute new bum for your babe).

mother-ease swim diaper

Mother-ease swim diapers are made in Canada

Want to come in and talk about your baby’s poop?  No problem, one of us has probably dealt with whatever problem you are having and we might even have suggestions to help you through it ( and if not at least we will commiserate).  All of the staff at the shop have diapered babies using the brands we carry, and washed them with the soaps we sell.  So we are proud to be able to offer an expansive knowledge resource for parents staring at our humongous wall of cloth diapers wondering “oh dear – where do i start”.

New diaper trail and Diaper Rental Programs at 3 Little Monkeys

Over the next few months, starting in October, we are going to be rolling out our new diaper rental and trial programs at 3 little monkeys, which will allow for all of you new cloth diaper candidates to try all the brands and then decide which one you prefer)  You can also sign up to rent the newborn size (which  is more economical than buying the whole set for that size since babies outgrow that one so fast).  Customers will be able to earn credits for money spent on these programs and to apply those credits to their diaper purchases.  What could be better?  Well, we are going to throw in free sample laundry sodas so you can test those too! We are thrilled to be able to offer these services to our customers, and we thought in preparation for it all that it was appropriate to have some posts in our blog about interesting cloth diaper tricks and information, including eventual explanations of the above 10 questions plus many more – but for now, lets at least answer question number 1): “so…how do I know which type of diapers work best?”  and our answer is…it depends!  How many kids are you diapering, what time of day, how heavy do they wet, do they have sensitive skin? Are they eating solid food yet?  Are you going to use your diapers  for a second ( and third and 4th…) child? Do you want to use biodegradable liners and can you put them in your septic tank and at what age do you do that?  Do you like snaps or velcro?  What kind of washer do you have, how big is your budget  and what are your favorite colours?  Phew ~ its tiring just thinking about all the choices and we already know the answers so we sure do understand where you are coming from if you don’t know where to start.

bummis diaper cover babies

Bummis Diaper Covers are oh-so-cute

We can tell you one thing though, before you even come to our shop we have simplified your choices by carrying only the brands that we know and trust so as to not innundate you with less than perfect options.  Why bother right?  We don’t put  second and third favorites in our lineup.  We only carry the top brands and we stick by our choices by using them ourselves. FYI:  Don’t forget the babylegs:


Babylegs make potty training and diaper changing easier. (Plus, they're super cute!)

The big 3: Which cloth diapers do WE like best?

Did you know  that our 3 most popular ( and our favorite) brands also happen to be Canadian.  Cool, eh? We proudly stock Mother-ease for fitted diapers, Bummis for our prefolds/cover combination, and Applecheeks for our envelope/pocket diaper combo.  We also have a lovely selection of affordable wool soakers (which just happen to also be organic and made with love in Germany).

Now that we have figured out that there is a lot of thinking and preparation to do when you purchase your cloth diapers, I bet you are thinking “wow, I need to plan a serious outing to spend at the monkeys so I can fully explore all of my options, but how will I ever find the time I need to also shop for my stroller, natural toys, baby clothing and our baby carrier ?”  Have no  fear my friends,   3 little monkeys to the rescue.  At our shop you can literally spend all afternoon and not run out of fun things to look at, including strollers (bugaboo, stokke) natural toys (wood, silk, cloth, made both locally and from all over the world) baby clothing ( april cornell, deux par deux, beba bean, perrywinkles kids, oilily, disana etc) and baby carriers ( ergo, beco, moby wrap, maya wrap, sakura bloom and pippalily!)

PS dont forget about your after-trip … since our friends across the street at Stella Luna Gellato  are finally open and would love to serve you up a yummy Panini sandwich with homemade Gellato


for dessert. (Which, by the way,  is a wonderful treat for new mamas since after all, you’re eating for two, right?)

Stay tuned for more posts about our fabulous diapers and diaper related services in the weeks to come.




21 thoughts on “Cloth Diapers – and how! (no really…and how? help!)

  1. I love cloth diapering! We’ve been doing it from day one with our son, and will continue to with our new baby, who will arrive this spring :) It’s really so easy once you jump right in, and it’s a lot of fun too. Love all the cute diapers you carry!

    • It really is easy! Yes it is fun, cloth diaper butts are cute too. Congrats on your new coming baby. The best part is that his/her diapers will be free :)

  2. I’m so pleased to have stumbled across your site! A great all-together location for many of the products I normally have to drive all over Portland to get. Thanks for the cloth diapering tips. We just recently switched from a diaper service to doing our own laundry and it’s super easy (toilet rinse for poopies, a couple sprays of Bac Out, simple diaper pail, cold rinse followed by hot BioKleen wash) and maybe two extra laundry loads a week. Now I feel silly that we were spending so much a month on the service when we could’ve been doing it ourselves!

    • Hello in Portland! It’s true – it really is easy to wash your own diapers. I found that having a diaper service ( I did it with my first for 4 weeks since i received it as a gift) wasn’t the best for us anyway since we had to leave the diapers for a full week — which I find a bit long to leave them I prefer to have them cleaned at least 2x per week – so they don’tget as smelly!

  3. I appreciate all of your advice and wonder why you don’t mention gdiapers? I have been using them with my daughter and plan to use them for my next due in November. I like them because they are an easy hybrid diaper: I can use cloth at home and on short trips and use the disposable while out and about for bit of convenience. I also like them because for my husband and babysitters, it is easier to get them on board with the disposable inserts and not have complaints. I wish I could use all cloth, as it would be more “green” of me…maybe with baby #2?!

    • Gdiapers are a great option – especially if you travel! We don’t have them in stock right now since the Canadian pricing was so high. Hopefully soon they will bring the prices down in Canada to be more at par with the US pricing for Gdiapers.

  4. I have bee cloth diapering my 15 month old since she was born and i LOVE it! I love so many things about it I don’t even kn ow where to start. For all those who think it is hard ot gross, it’s not any worse then disposibles AND a cloth diaper bum so somuch cuter then a disposible one.

  5. It seems overwhelming to get started because of all the choices! I got started following lots of advice from a friend who used cloth diapers with her second baby. Once I got started, it seemed so much simpler than I had imagined. Also nice to know you carry Canadian brands! Now to get some baby legs to simplify things even more :)

  6. We used Mother Ease diapers with our first and look forward to doing the same with baby number 2 who is arriving this winter! I was suprised with the ease of cloth diapering and the cost savings was huge.

  7. I love cloth diapering, but even after 7-months with my little guy I find it overwhelming sometimes when I try to find solutions for the problems that crop up. Also, I didn’t have the possibility to do a trial as I live in a small community so I have made mistakes along the way that I still haven’t been able to really fix – for example: I washed everything together before he was born so I have natural fibre build-up on my micro fibre inserts and a couple of BumGenium AIOs and I cannot for the life of me figure out how to get it out so those are all useless to me now. Very frustrating.

    • Hi Lauren. Sorry to hear you have not had fun with your cloth diapering experience. It sounds to me like you don’thave access to the support a new cloth diapering mama needs sometimes. We would be happy to try to help you with any of the issues you are talking about, even if it is with diapers we don’t carry we still might be able to help. A lot of times, when there is a ” buildup” whether it is on microfleece or natural fibres, you should be able to strip your diapers in order to eliminate the oils and residues that have built up. Here is a good link with information about how to do that and also if you google “stripping cloth diapers” and search through, you’ll find tons of resources that will discuss how to treat your diapers in varying situations. Really, it is easy to do but sometimes takes a few tries. Basically its like a special washing cycle you do to get your diapers back to normal. A really good resource for this type of thing or whenever you find you have questions about your diapering is the diaper pin community found here: Also please feel free to contact us either here on our blog or by email and we are happy to try to keep you interested in cloth diapering. It should be fun and easy :) Hope that helps, Jen

      • Thanks – I’ll have to check that out. Fortunately I have only 6 microfibre inserts and he’s already outgrown the AIOs so I manage okay now, but I’ve heard microfibre are good for overnight absorption without the bulk. I’ll have to see if the suggestions on your links will work for me. Thanks again!

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