We use only the highest quality material for our products that are consciously sourced from sustainable mills and factories in North America. Many parents around the world re-use our cloth diapers from one child to the next! Cloth diapers are made out of many of the same materials your favorite attire is made out of, however they endure much more use than your average t-shirt or pair of jeans. Since our cloth diapers are made from all-natural fibers, it's normal for them to develop "edgewear" over time. Edgewear is when the diapers get small holes within the first layer of fabric. This is due to a variety of reasons; laundry routines, washing without additives, how often the diaper is worn, storage, etc.
The Dream Diaper is a less-prep all-in-one diaper that features a snap-in insert and an extra pocket for absorbency. The inside fabric of this diaper is a blend of organic cotton and hemp. The Dream Diaper is ready to go on-the-bottom in one wash and reaches maximum absorbency in three washes.
The Smart One 3.1 diaper is an all-in-one diaper lined with 100% certified organic cotton and offers 10 layers of absorbency. This diaper requires 6 - 8 washes to prep and reaches maximum absorbency in 12-15 washes.
All of our cloth diapers require some level of prepping. Prepping is the process of washing your Smart Bottoms cloth diapers repeatedly before the first use. When you prep, you remove the excess natural oils from the fabric, which helps the diapers to reach their maximum absorbency more quickly.
Our diapers feature hemp & organic cotton fabric. We do not use chemicals to strip the natural oils from our fabric. In fact, only boiling water is used to finish our 100% organic fabric. We believe it is much safer to wash your diapers a few extra times than for us to strip the fabric with harsh chemicals. We are pretty sure most of you would agree with us! It typically takes 6-8 washes to prep your Smart One 3.1 and one wash to prep your Dream Diaper; however, this may vary depending on the detergent used, type of washer, and hardness of water. A detergent that has a strong surfactant will decrease the number of washes necessary to fully prep your diapers. Most traditional detergents will have the strongest surfactants. Natural detergents that utilize plant-based surfactants will work but may take a few extra washes. Make sure you are washing a full load when you prep. While prepping, you may wash your diapers with your clothing and towels. The other natural fiber items in the wash will help absorb some of the oils from the diapers. There will not be enough transference to affect the performance of your towels. We do not recommend you wash brand new Smart Bottoms with your other diapers the first couple of times. After they have been washed 2-3 times you can start washing them with your other diapers to continue the prepping process. You should not wash more than 5-6 brand new Smart Bottoms in the same load. The more diapers you are prepping together, the more difficult it is to get all of the oils out because the diapers reabsorb the oil. You do not need to dry your diapers after every wash while prepping. Drying them on med-high heat at least once or twice before first use will help shrink the cotton fibers and make your diapers more absorbent. We know you are super excited to get your new Smart Bottoms on your baby, but proper prepping is critical to prevent leaks. Before you use your diapers for the first time check to make sure they are ready by pouring a small amount of water on a dry diaper. If the diaper absorbs the water instantly, it is ready to use. If it takes even a couple of seconds to absorb, it needs a couple more washes.
First, check to make sure the leg elastics are rolled in and no cotton is exposed. Still having issues? Please read on to troubleshoot.
Are your diapers new?
The most common reason a brand new Smart Bottoms’ diaper leaks is because it has not been thoroughly prepped. We use 100% organic cotton fabric in our products. No chemicals are used during the milling or finishing process of our cotton. This also means that the cotton retains much of its natural oils and must be washed before it becomes absorbent. It typically takes 6-8 washes for the diaper to be ready for first use, however this number may vary and is dependent on many factors, including type of washer, type of detergent, how many diapers you are prepping, and water hardness. We recommend you test your diaper before putting it on your baby the first time by pouring a small amount of water on a dry diaper. If the diaper absorbs instantly it is ready to use. If it takes even a couple seconds to absorb, it needs another wash or two.
Do your diapers feel completely saturated when removed?
If your diaper appears to be completely saturated when you notice it has leaked you may want to change more frequently or add additional absorbency to the diaper. We recommend you change your baby every 2-3 hours or when you notice they are wet or soiled. It is not uncommon for a cloth diaper to need to be changed every 1.5 hours while the baby is on a completely liquid diet. For overnight use, adding a small Smart Bottoms’ organic cotton insert or organic cotton/hemp insert will usually be sufficient overnight absorbency.
Do you see any gaps around the legs?
Our one-size diaper starts fitting around 10 lbs., however this is an estimate and may vary depending on size and shape of your baby.
Making sure you get your cloth diapers clean can seem like an overwhelming task, especially if you have had problems in the past, however it shouldn’t be difficult! Successful cloth diaper washing relies on four main factors: Cloth Diaper Fabric, Detergent, Type of Washer, and Hardness of Water. Let’s talk about each factor and how it affects your wash routine.
Cloth Diaper Fabric
Natural fiber diapers are so much easier to get clean than synthetics! Since you have chosen to use Smart Bottoms, this shouldn’t be a factor for you, unless you have other brands of diapers.
We constructed all of our diapers with no more than four layers of absorbent material sewn together in any one spot. This allows for optimal water and airflow between the layers, which is necessary for clean and quick drying diapers.
Unlike many other brands, we won’t void the warranty on our diapers because you use the “wrong” detergent. We believe that if you have a truly high quality diaper, the detergent you use should not “harm” it. That being said you can make a mess of your diapers if you use a detergent that has fabric softeners or excessive artificial fragrances, so please stay away from those! We have found that the most effective detergents are the ones that contain both enzymes and synthetic surfactants, which usually are both standard in traditional laundry detergents. If you want to use a natural detergent you will want to add a product like Bac Out which adds naturally derived enzymes and plant based surfactants.
Occasionally, a natural detergent, even with an additive like Bac Out, may not do the trick and then you should consider using something stronger. We always recommend using a free and clear type of detergent without additives such as fabric softener, optical brighteners or artificial fragrances. We have found that artificial fragrances will remain inside of the diaper and can interact with urine and create stink issues. Fragrances and dyes are also common irritants for baby’s sensitive skin.
Diaper laundry is probably going to be the dirtiest laundry you will ever have to wash, so make sure you are using enough detergent. One or two tablespoons of a natural detergent will probably not be enough to get your diapers really clean and may lead to an eventual stink issue and bacteria growth in your diapers. We suggest you use the amount of detergent recommended by the detergent manufacturer. Because we want to make sure your diapers are free of everything except the fabric they are made out of, we always recommend doing an extra rinse at the end to get any extra soap out.
If you happen to in live in an area of the country that has soft water or have a whole house water softening system you may be washing in soft water. Lucky for you, your detergent may be more effective. You should use the amount recommend by the detergent manufacturer and skip any additives that would further soften your water. Powdered detergent contains more softeners so you may want to use a liquid.
Since soft water causes more suds, if you have an HE, you should opt for a detergent that is HE formulated.
We recommend an extra rinse to be sure all the detergent is rinsed out.
Hard water is a very common problem, affecting water in more than 85% of the country. If you suspect you have hard water you can test your water with hard water test strips or a comprehensive hard water test kit from a hardware or home improvement store.
If you have hard water we recommend that you add a water softener such as Colgon or Rain Drops to your wash cycle. It can be found in most laundry aisles. Use the amount recommended by the manufacturer for the size load you are washing.
Borax is also a common additive for softening water but we don’t often recommend it. Unless it is getting properly rinsed out it can be caustic on natural fibers particularly bamboo but also PUL, cotton and elastic.
Vinegar is another softening method that we don’t often recommend. Vinegar is great at neutralizing high alkaline levels in the wash since it is acidic. Unfortunately, if you are unfamiliar with the PH of your water you could be unknowingly causing additional wear to your diapers. Vinegar should not be used if your water is acidic/has a low PH. It will deteriorate PUL, TPU and elastics.
If you have hard water we recommend powdered detergents. They contain more built-in water softeners than liquids do, and typically rinse cleaner, especially in HE machines.
Your Washing Machine
The washing machine you use can make a huge impact on your washing success. Top loaders with an agitator work best but you can still find success with front-loading HE machines. With HE machines your biggest challenge will be getting enough water in the washer.
Top Loading Machine
If you have a top loader with an agitator you will want to make sure the drum is no more than half filled with diapers. You will still want to set it to a full load wash.
Select the appropriate water level for the amount of diapers you are washing. Make sure you are not overfilling your washing machine. A full load is somewhere between 18-24 diapers depending on the size of your washing machine. You need friction to get your diapers clean but too much will cause increased wear and possibly holes especially on the edges of your diaper. You may benefit from extra agitation for cleaning so we recommend choosing the longest cycle on a top loader.
Never use hot water in a pre-rinse as it will set stains, but warm water is better than cold, as body fluids are most soluble at body temperature (97-98 degrees F). Since most washers reduce the temperature by mixing hot and cold water this may mean you will need to use the hot water setting on your machine. The purpose of the prewash is to remove as much organic material (pee & poop) as possible therefore allowing your detergent to more effectively clean your diapers in the main wash.
We always recommend using a free and clear type of detergent without additives such as fabric softener, optical brighteners or artificial fragrances in your main wash. If you have hard water we recommend you add a water softener such as Colgon or Rain Drops to this cycle. Use the amount recommended by the manufacturer.
We always recommend doing an extra rinse at the end to get any extra detergent out.
You can also dry your diapers in the dryer on the medium heat setting. During your cloth diapering experience we recommend you don't use fabric dryer sheets. The oils stick to your fabric causing a reaction with the urine and stink issues.
If you are line drying, bring your diapers in as soon as they are dry, over exposure to UV rays can deteriorate your fibers. Also, remember to lay them horizontally to put less stress on the elastics. The weight of hanging them either vertically or by their sides will relax the elastics. If your diapers feel stiff or rough after line drying you can throw them in the dryer on air fluff or low for 10 minutes to soften them.
Regardless of whether you line dry or dry in the dryer, do not stretch the elastic while it’s hot as it will relax it.
High Efficiency (HE) Washing Machines
When washing diapers in an HE we recommend a pre-wash cycle using warm water. Never use hot water in a pre-rinse as it will set stains, but warm water is better than cold, as body fluids are most soluble at body temperature (97-98 degrees F). Since most washers reduce the temperature by mixing hot and cold water this may mean you will need to use the hot water setting on your machine. The purpose of the prewash is to remove as much organic material (pee & poop) as possible therefore allowing your detergent to more effectively clean your diapers in the main wash. You should use a short wash cycle for your prewash in an HE. These may be labeled “Speed Wash” or “Quick Wash” on your washing machine.
You should use a warm or hot water setting in your main wash cycle. We recommend you use a HE formulated free & clear detergent. Use the amount recommend by the manufacturer for the size load you are washing. In a front loader the agitation comes from the “fall” when the drum spins around. Because there is nothing forcing direct contact among the diapers you will want to make sure the washer has at least a half load of diapers. If you are struggling with getting enough water, cut back the number of diapers to make sure there is enough water for the diapers that are in there. We usually say a full load can be anywhere from 12-24 diapers, depending on the size of your washer. If you have hard water we recommend you add a water softener such as Colgon or Rain Drops to this cycle. Use the amount recommended by the manufacturer.
We still recommend an extra rinse when washing diapers particularly if you are using more detergent then is recommended on the detergent instructions for the brand you are using.
DO NOT USE Sanitize: The high temperatures used can lead to prematurely wearing out fabrics, elastics and snaps. You should only wash on temperatures below 140 degree Fahrenheit.
Regular use of bleach will likely harm the PUL (outer fabric), elastics and natural fibers in your diapers by reducing the integrity of your fabric and causing premature and excessive wearing. We recommend that you only use bleach when necessary to disinfect pre-loved diapers by adding ¼ cup bleach to a warm wash cycle with regular detergent. Add 1-2 extra rinses to the end of your wash cycle to assure the bleach is sufficiently rinsed from your fabric.
If your baby is exclusively breastfed, the poop is completely water soluble. You can toss these dirty diapers directly in your pail or Hanging Wet Bag before putting them in the wash. Once your baby is eating solid food, their poop becomes more “sticky” and then it's absolutely necessary to remove the majority from your diapers by spraying, rinsing or scraping before washing them. At this stage some people like to use our Biodegradable Diaper Liners to catch the poop to make washing easier.
Wash your baby’s diaper area with a gentle, fragrance free soap and let them air dry without a diaper on. Letting your baby’s skin completely dry between diaper changes will help reduce the chance for diaper rash.
Use cloth wipes with either a wipes solution or water instead of disposable wipes. Even most of the “gentle” or “natural” disposable wipes contain chemicals and fragrances that could irritate baby’s skin.
Use Smart Bottoms’ Stay Dry liners to wick moisture away from your baby’s skin or to protect the diaper when using diaper cream. We only recommend using diaper creams that do not contain petroleum or zinc oxide. Coconut Oil and Olive Oil may also be used as a moisture barrier. Using a stay dry liner or barrier cream/oil will help prevent moisture rash when cloth diapering overnight.
Change your detergent. We recommend using a fragrance and dye free detergent on your diapers. If you are using a detergent that contains enzymes, your baby may be sensitive to them.
Make sure your diapers are getting clean. You can usually tell if your diapers are getting clean by the way they smell. If they smell off-putting when they shouldn’t, they are likely not getting clean. Ammonia and bacteria in your diapers can cause a rash. Refer to our wash instructions or call our office for help with your wash routine.
Diaper rashes may vary in appearance and severity. If the rash seems to be painful or is persistent, please speak to your pediatrician to eliminate the possibility of yeast, food allergy, or other serious condition.
shudder when they think of chemicals on their baby. Disposables contain dozens
of harsh chemicals that can cause irritation, rashes and chafing. Smart Bottoms
cloth diapers are made with certified organic cotton and manufactured in the
USA. Our cloth diapers are a natural, safe, and allergen-free option for your
2.Safe for the Environment
helps reduce your carbon footprint and cuts down on excessive waste. Mother
Nature will thank you when you switch to cloth. Check out these alarming stats:
Disposable diapers are the third largest single consumer item in landfills, and
represent about 4% of solid waste. In a house with a child in diapers,
disposables make up 50% of household waste. Whoa, that's a lot of crap. (Pun
At first, cloth
may seem more expensive but in reality, it's an investment for your family and
subsequent children. Since Smart Bottoms all-in-one cloth diapers essentially
grow with the baby because of our four rise settings, you can reuse these
diapers from birth to potty! Hand-me-downs aren't just for clothing, they're
for cloth, too! Parents around the world have saved thousands of dollars
because they've re-used Smart Bottoms cloth diapers as they expand their
Let's say you
decide to use disposables for your little one for three years. You'd spend
roughly $2,000, assuming diapers are .24 cents a pop. You're a Smarty Pants
though, so you decide to use Smart Bottoms cloth diapers and only spend about
$900 during the duration of three years. When it comes to Baby #2, you decide
to continue using cloth and only replace a few diapers which puts your total
spend at $1,200. If you weren't a Smarty Pants and chose to keep using
disposables for Baby #2, your total spend by the time he/she reaches potty
learning at age three would be $4,000.
So which sounds
better, spending $4,000 on two babies, or just over $1,000? ;-)
4.Easy to use
So many parents
rave about the ease of using cloth! Thanks to the elastic band, the amount of
blowouts are significantly reduced. Smart Bottoms cloth diapers also make
changing baby easy because of our rise settings and snap systems. Never worry
about a caregiver or parent putting a diaper on backwards! (No judgement,
sometimes this happens with disposables!)
washing and drying? Easy. It's common practice to throw diapers in with towels
and other bathroom laundry. When it comes to drying, air dry either on a line
or throw it in the dryer on low heat, and you're good to go. Smart Bottoms
cloth diapers are safe and sturdy against everyday wear.
Cotton is the most heavily sprayed crop in the world. Since our skin is capable of absorbing up to 80% of everything it comes into contact with we want you to feel safe knowing that the diapers you are putting on your baby are pure and chemical free. Our certified 100% organic cotton fabric is milled to our specifications in South Carolina and is finished using only boiling water. What you get is a super soft, super absorbent diaper without any nasty chemicals.
Because our cotton fabric is so pure, it still contains natural oils and will take several washes before it is ready to use the first time. We believe it is much safer to wash your diapers a few extra times than for us to strip the fabric with harsh chemicals. We are pretty sure most of you would agree with us!
There are a variety of ways to store your cloth diapers both in the short and long term. Parents who currently use Smart Bottoms cloth diapers like to put them on a shelf to display (wooden DVD shelves are a perfect size!) or in uncovered bins and also drawers.
Those who store them long term while in family planning mode often lay their washed and completely dry cloth diapers flat and unbuttoned; then they stack them in a pillowcase. This method helps prevent creasing in the elastic.