March 23, 2017 by mamacravings
Before the birth of our second child, I was been determined to cloth diaper. I wanted to do so with our first son but never quite got comfortable with it. I wasn’t quite sure how to start and felt overwhelmed.
A lot has changed in the nearly 7 year gap between my boys. I came into Felix’s upcoming birth armed with Pinterest boards and podcasts and blog posts. I had studied all about the different types and brands. I had read every tip there was on the interwebs. I was ready to give birth and ready to cloth diaper.
Now that I am 3 months into real-life experience of covering a baby butt in cloth, I have my own advice to give.
Here are 3 simple tips that have made a big difference for me as a newbie in cloth diapering.
1. Research like it’s going out of style.
As I mentioned above, I was all over Pinterest and podcasts and blogs. I googled cloth diapering nearly every day. I was hungry for information, and it payed off. Before I took the actual plunge into putting my own squirmy newborn into cloth, I gathered what other families had tried.
I researched type, brand, care and routine. I armed myself with as much info as possible before baby Felix arrived. After he was born, I tried the things that I researched. I was flexible and didn’t allow myself to settle into a routine until I tried it on for our own practicality.
The research front loaded me with a lot of valuable information. As with any parenting technique, it was my actual experience and day-to-day living that prepared me to do what worked best for my family.
2. Buy a little before buying a lot.
Being fairly new to our city, I wasn’t sure that there was a big cloth diapering community. I asked a couple of friends I knew who had tried it, but their “babies” were now big kids, and all of their diapers had been passed onto other families.
I was really lucky that one dear friend was so gracious and mailed me her daughter’s diapers. They were actually passed down to her from another mutual friend. So, three of our little ones have been able to use them. There was a variety of brands (Bum Genius, Rumparooz and Thirsties) as well as types (All-in-Ones and Pockets). The variety gave me a few things to try out before I fully invested myself.
Word of mouth also built up my support system. Once I began saying that I would cloth diaper, I had several friends mention that they did the same. I had no idea some of these families cloth diapered! So, put it on social media. Tell your friends. You may be pleasantly surprised at who comes to your aid.
If you do not have anyone in your circle who has cloth diapered, don’t lose heart. It’s not necessary to be successful. As mentioned above, research what others have tried and buy one or two of each kind that you think may fit you and your baby.
I am so glad that I didn’t buy 30 diapers of what I initially thought would be my favorite (All-in-Ones). While they are very convenient, they take forever to dry. And that bugs me. I rotate them in, but I’ve found that the pocket diapers are much better for me. Now those are the only ones I buy.
3. You do not have to go all or nothing.
When cloth diapering, do not feel like you have to have an all or nothing mentality. We actually still use a paper diaper or two in the middle of the night. Why? We already have a box in his current size from when I was in the hospital, and my family didn’t want to add one more thing to overfull plate of 2 kids and mama being gone.
When I have come home from the hospital and worked on recovery and returning to day-to-day tasks, I started with one cloth diaper a day. It was really difficult after the stroke to do buttons. So, I used my velcro ones. I quickly worked back up to cloth diapering all day and a bit into the night. I am confident that we will be cloth diapering full-time in no time.
At first I was embarrassed that I couldn’t do full-time cloth. However, I quickly realized how unfair I was being to myself. Even one paper diaper saved makes a difference for all of the reasons I chose to cloth in the first place. Strive for authenticity not perfection. Be gentle with you. You’re trying something new. You’re taking on an unknown. It does not have to be all or nothing to be successful.
I am absolutely sold on the value and benefits of cloth diapering. My baby’s bum is happy and totally adorable covered in cloth. While I voiced confidence in my decision before Felix was born, it was very much a “fake it until you make it” attitude towards cloth diapering. Now that we are 3 months in, I can confidently say that it is worth it. He will be in cloth diapers for the duration.
What are your best cloth diapering tips? I’m still new, y’all. I need them! 🙂