Ask the Expert, Modern Cloth Diapering, Parenting, Parenting Hacks

Ask the Expert – Poornima Kishan

Hello! On this fortnight’s Ask the Expert Session, I am so happy to bring to you someone who has taken the Indian Cloth Diapering scene by a storm – meet Poornima Kishan, the lovely lady behind Cloth Diaper Shop, India. If you follow any of the India based cloth diapering groups, I’m pretty sure she is no stranger to you. She’s known for how helpful she is especially when you are new to cloth diapering and don’t know where or how to get going.

Poornima is a mom of two kids and started out as one of the first cloth diaper vendors in India a few years back. It wasn’t long before she came up with her own brand of cloth diapers, called CDS, that are designed in India and made in China (for fair wages). She even has products (flats and prefolds) that are completely made in India under the brand name – Kaupina.

Poornima has always been someone who has looked at living a greener life and her passion for starting a cloth diaper store/brand came as no surprise. As a cloth diapering mom herself, she started incorporating ideas/suggestions from friends and customers and started designing her own brand of diapers. The response was phenomenal and when she launched FAP(AIO) , Marvy (AI2) for the first time, they sold over 500 diapers in less than 3 days time. She strongly believes that CDS is a customer-centric company.

Here’s my Q&A Session with her.


1. What are some reasons why you think someone should give cloth diapering a go?

Cloth Diapers are more convenient than langots which are prominently used in Indian households. They are water proof and give the same comfort (or probably more) as a disposable diaper. They can be washed and reused unlike disposable diapers which are one of the top most contributors to landfill waste.

People tend to think cloth diapering is complicated, but it’s just like any garment we use. So it’s way easier to use than what people think.

2. A lot of people who are new to cloth diapering tend to find them pricey or don’t want to invest a lot in one go, what is your advice to them?

With the amount of information that’s available and the different varieties of cloth diapers available in the market, it is easy to be overwhelmed. I would always suggest taking the plunge and trying a diaper or two from a few different brands and then learn by practice to see it works for you. One thing to be remembered  though, like everything else, there is a learning curve here too.  It takes a while for you to figure what works for you depending on many factors like the size of your baby, what kind of a wetter he/she is, how often you do laundry, etc.

3. Can you share some tips for building a decent cloth diaper stash without spending big bucks?

Our ever humble flats (square piece of fabric of one layer that is folded and fastened using pins/snappis) are one of the best cloth diapering methods. With a little patience one can master the art of folding flats and the possibility of usage is endless. Throw in a few AIOs, AI2s, Pockets, Covers  and you have a combination of stash which will work for all seasons and everyone.

4. Can you give us some tips on a solid wash routine that can be followed?

This is the routine that I follow –

Shake solids into toilet. If needed, spray any remaining off with diaper sprayer or use a piece of toilet tissue to plop any removable ick off. Remove pocket inserts , rinse the diapers, store them in ventilated place if you are washing them the next day or line dry if washing is gonna take more than a day.

Due to bacterial growth we recommend diapers should not be left unwashed longer than 3 days. Once you are ready to wash, the fun begins. Remember that what is a perfect wash routine for one parent may not be for another. There are so many factors that play into a cloth diapering wash routine – type of washer, type of water, whether you use liquid detergent on other clothing, how hot your water gets and get this, even the chemical makeup of your own babies poo factors in (there is a difference between breastfeed poo and formula poo).

Listed below is the routine that works best for us: Start with a cold prewash or just a short cold wash {this is to remove any remaining solids and prevent staining. If you use a front loading washer, choose delicate cycle to allow washer to add the most amount of water possible. Follow with a hot cycle {water temp. can not exceed 40 deg centigrade } and recommended detergent (do not use too much detergent. Excess detergent can cause diapers to leak, stink and cause rashes).

Sometimes we follow up with another hot wash with no detergent to get them extra clean. Finish with a rinse {or double rinse if you only did one wash} on cold. Tumble on low or hang dry. DO NOT USE FABRIC SOFTENER ON DIAPERS.

5. What kind and amount of detergent should be used to wash cloth diapers? Also, how many diapers can be washed in one go?

There are a variety of cloth diaper safe detergents in the market and because each washer, water type and cloth diaper wash routine is different, we recommend you stick what works best for you and your cloth diapers.

We recommend rustic art, Tide Plus, Krya in no particular order. Basically detergents which do not have any enzymes, optical brighteners, fragrance.

5 -8 diapers and double the inserts, so approximately 20 diapers make one load. Diapers are heavily soiled clothing. Make sure you wash them as a soiled load than a gentle load. As mentioned above, use enough detergent and give them an extra rinse cycle once in a while.Agitation is very important in washing you cloth diapers. Even if you are hand washing make sure diapers have been agitated well in every cycle. This will help your arms and shoulders become strong. 😛

6. Can you share some tips for prolonging the life cycle of cloth diapers?

Adequate Stash: Many people think having a small stash is enough. With a small stash of 10 -12 diapers the rotation is more frequent and so is the wear and tear. So having 20 -30 diapers will help as one diaper will be used only twice or thrice a week .

Identifying a good routine: Figure out a routine that works for you and stick to it.

Storing used diapers: In a humid place like India, the chance of natural fabrics getting moulds or disintegrating is much more than in other cold countries. So, it is always recommended to rinse and line dry the diapers immediately until you wash. Washing the diapers every 2-3 days to save water works too.

Sunning: Sunning the diapers in direct sunlight will affect the life of elastic, PUL and the fabrics also become very stiff. Sunning in direct sunlight is recommended only if you are treating your diapers to remove tough stains. For daily routine, line drying them in a good sunlight balcony is more than enough.

7. What kind of diapers would you recommend using at a newborn stage?

In New Born Stage, we need more diapers as babies wet /soil the nappies frequently. Parents would need some thing which is easy to wash and dry so that it can be back on rotation soon.

Using Flats /Prefolds: Using more flats, cotton/bamboo/hemp prefolds turn out to be simpler as they dry quickly and are natural fabrics. Add a fleece liner on top for stay dry and easier poop cleaning.

NB sized prefolds work well as inserts for a pocket or cover when the baby grows up. Flats come handy during the monsoon too. Even after it has been heavily used these become beautiful rags 😉

Covers: Covers are versatile . They can be used with any of the above. Having at least half a dozen of the NB size will be super helpful. So, When the baby puts on weight, it will just be the covers that need to be de-stashed.

NB Pockets/AIO/AI2: These are super convenient but come with a not-so-great price tag considering they won’t fit after the baby weighs 6-7kg. So, having a few of them is good enough .

8. We know you have sell absolutely fabulous diapers, which one is your favorite and why?

I simply adore our new FAP design because it took very long time to come up with design. They are have a narrow crotch and fit really well. They’re so trim, they even fit under skinny jeans.


Thank you Poornima, for your time and for sharing your knowledge of cloth diapers with us.

You can follow Cloth Diaper Shop on Facebook here. They even have a friendly Chat Page to help you troubleshoot and generally be updated about all that’s happening in CDS.

Psst, she is also one of the vendors in India selling Menstrual Cups, if you haven’t given them a go, you really are missing out on comfort (and happiness) you never knew existed.


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