When I was pregnant with my (now 20-month-old) son, I had grand plans of exclusively cloth diapering. Saving money, helping out the environment, and my baby looking so darn adorable in a t-shirt and diaper — it seemed like the perfect diapering trifecta.
I immediately went out and spent a small fortune on the latest and greatest the cloth diapering world had to offer. Once my son was in my arms, without any research (or even reading the insert) I snapped the diaper on and sat back with a smile, so proud that I was a cloth diapering mama. Within a few minutes, I realized that he had peed out of the diaper and all over the front of his sweet little outfit, one that had taken me 15 minutes to finagle him into. My smile (and sense of pride) quickly faded into frustration and within two weeks I had sold my cloth diaper stash on Ebay, recouping only a portion of what I originally spent. Feeling defeated, I resigned to using disposables.
Fast forward nine months, when a dear cloth diapering friend sat me down, covering the ins and outs of the process, even loaning me enough diapers for a full trial run before making any additional purchases of my own. It was exactly what I needed to make the leap into cloth diapers again.
If you are considering cloth diapering, or maybe you’ve tried and failed, here are a few tips:
- You do not need to spend your life savings in order to cloth diaper. My $12 Kawaii Baby diapers work just as well as pricier options. Keep an eye out for deals, especially on cloth diapering websites such as Kelly’s Closet.
- Read the insert before using. For best absorbency, diapers need to be washed three times prior to use. If you do not pre-wash the diapers, your baby’s urine will wick out immediately. Guaranteed. The inserts also give information to help you get the best fit for your baby’s age/size.
- Install a kitchen sprayer to the back of your toilet using a t-shaped adapter (available at your local hardware store). Many of my cloth diapering friends hadn’t heard of this and once installed, it changed their lives. This allows you to spray the poop directly into the toilet, decreasing the chances that it will get on your hands, or worse under your fingernails!
- Purchase a few “wet bags” to store soiled diapers until laundering. My favorite is the Planet Wise brand. Every 2-3 days, empty the diapers into your washer, tossing in the empty bag. One quick wash cycle using cold water, one full cycle using hot water and an approved cloth diaper detergent (I like Rockin’ Green), and then one additional rinse cycle.
- Be careful with diaper creams. Use only those intended for cloth diapers.
My final and most important piece of advice —
You do not need to become a full fledged hippie just because you cloth diaper. Some people exclusively cloth diaper, some only when at home, some people use them during the day and then disposables at night. Do what works best for you! For our family, this means at church or the gym my son is in a disposable, or when my husband has him for an extended period of time.
All in all, I am so glad that I gave cloth diapering a second chance and that my wonderful friend showed me the ropes. My son looks adorable in his little puffy underpants and we have saved a lot of money at the same time.