“I will never cloth diaper, that’s so gross!”

You might think this gem was said by my husband, Adam, since this article is about getting fathers on board with cloth diapering but nope, it was me. I never would have dreamed of cloth diapering. Folding cloth and using pins? No thanks! I imagined myself using a washboard and bucket and scrubbing the diapers by hand. When I said this to Adam he nodded in agreement then added, “and then there’s the poop.”

But I’m writing this article because we have obviously chose to cloth diaper. This decision came when our daughter, Ariel, turned 2 months old. We had been battling diaper rash pretty much since she was born. The disposable wipes just seemed to make it worse. While trying to doctor her diaper rash with some Desitin I remembered back to when I was in the hospital and a nurse told me to use wet cloths once in a while instead of disposable wipes all the time. So we switched to cloth wipes, we used our extra baby wash clothes and dipped them in water and guess what? Her diaper rash was gone in two days! I was amazed and started looking into cloth diapering. But how would I approach the subject with my husband who seemed to be more against cloth than myself? After changing Ariel one night I sat down on the couch next to Adam and said, “I think I want to try cloth diapering.” He raised an eyebrow, “I don't know about that? What about the poop?” The poop factor is very important because, you know, poop is gross. “I’ll clean them,” I said as I reached for the laptop and prepared to buy my very first cloth diaper, a Bumgenius 4.0. I eagerly awaited for the package to come in. The diaper was beautiful and I couldn’t wait to put it on my little girl!

We used it as her nighttime diaper for several days and I thought it was great. My husband thought it was okay but we both agreed we couldn’t really get a feel for what it would be like to cloth diaper full-time. His tepid approval was enough to convince me though to order 18 more diapers, all Bumgenius 4.0s. Once they arrived I showed my husband how to put them on. He did fine except the first time he put them on when I wasn't there. He put it on backwards and she leaked everywhere. Now, two months later, all three of us love cloth diapers. My husband loves how much money we’re saving and that Ariel has had virtually zero blowouts since we switched. She had them EVERY SINGLE day while using disposables. Adam even tells everyone how awesome they are and I love it! I really knew he was a fan the day we completely ran out of diapers and we had to use disposables for the day. He kept asking me when her diapers would be ready and as soon as they were dry enough he put a cloth diaper back on her.

As far as getting your own husband on board with cloth diapering it is best to mention the savings by switching to cloth. That seems to be the biggest concern with men. Also, it would help to buy diapers that most resemble a disposable diaper, like an All In One or Pocket diaper, like the Bumgenius 4.0. It is very easy to use. As far as cleanup, I’m the one who handles all the poop and I’m fine with that. I never asked him to wash any diapers but he actually has a couple times without me even saying anything. Score! Another issue, that doesn’t really get addressed is the comfort of your little one. I mean, would you rather wear comfortable, cotton underwear or Depends?

You know your husband better than anyone else. Do your research and be open and willing to answer any questions he may have. Like you, he wants the best for your little one. Besides, the poop won’t be as bad as he thinks! Good Luck!

Bio: Felicia lives in Louisiana with her husband, Adam; her adorable 4 month old daughter, Ariel and her two dogs, Tink and Rocky.


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I Got My Husband to Cloth Diaper and You Can Too!

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So you are taking the plunge. Your baby is showing all the readiness signs. You are done with cloth laundry. You've bought the mini potty. Your sticker chart is ready to go. You've read all the posts about potty training you can find. They were called something like:

Potty Train your 18 month old in three days. How I potty trained my 16 month old in a week. How to potty train your 20 month old on a Tuesday afternoon.

You've seen all the posts on Pinterest. It's all over your social media feed: cute pictures of potty trained toddlers on the potty. Reading a book. You may have gotten e-mails with instructions on how to potty train a toddler. You are so excited to get started, and figure your experience will be like those internet posting parents. After a few days you'll be able to say “done!” and show off your potty wise toddler to all your friends and family.

I don't know who these women are, but they are setting up false expectations for the rest of us. Perhaps you have a little potty training whiz (no pun intended) on your hands. So maybe all of those blog posts will hold true for you. But for the rest of us, with normal kids, we are just setting ourselves up for a horrible disappointment. Its just another insane standard that makes parents and toddlers feel inadequate. You may feel like a total failure when you head into potty training expecting to be done in three days. Instead your child has peed once on the potty and a dozen times on the floor. Or the couch. The bed. The table. Or my favorite, your lap. Now you have two outfits to change and wash. Oh, the laundry.

Don't get me wrong, Pinterest is great. But for those of us who live in the real world the potty training timeline may appear very different than that blogging mom who trained her kid in a weekend.

Expect it to take awhile. You may have a great day, where baby peed on the potty, every time, all day. You are on cloud nine. You are a fantastic potty trainer. Everything is right with the world. And then bam! The next day it's like the potty is the boogie man and your kid won't touch it. Or go anywhere near it. After spending a day washing trainers, then pants when you ran out of trainers, and then the floor when you got tired of finding clean pants, you are left in a puddle of depression crying and wondering what happened. Where's the fantastic potty training super hero mom? After about a week, or maybe two, or three, of these ups and downs, you start having some very dark thoughts about those “three day moms”. You start wondering if they made the whole thing up to get readers. Maybe they did. Maybe they didn't.

Like everything else with a toddler, potty training is not linear. Expect ups and downs. Expect wonderful days and very messy days. Give yourself a break and lower those expectations a bit. You may be successful at home, but not outside the home. Or just with daddy. Or just with mommy. Or just at day care. Or just in the mornings. You are not a failure, your child is not a failure. You two are just learning. Together.

I started potty training my daughter at 20 months. The first three weeks were an intense roller coaster of emotions. Every time I thought we had it in the bag (or the potty) a set back happened. For no apparent reason. I almost threw in the towel on several occasions. We are two months in and I still can't say I have a fully potty trained child 100% of the time. At this point I have just accepted the pooping in the tub. But I am so glad I stuck with it. Refusing to pull out the cloth diapers again, insisting on the potty, sent the message that I meant business. I know you know how to pee on the potty kid. You can do this. I can do this. Eventually, we did. Mostly.

Expect road bumps and setbacks. Don't let them discourage you- or worse, drive you to quit. Yes, it's been longer than your planned three days. And your kid is still hiding behind the curtains to poop. Don't let false expectations of you and your child lead you to quit- when you may be on the verge of success. It just may take a bit longer than those Pinterest mommies.

Bio: Alexis is a stay at home mom of a toddler and two dogs. She struggles to be the best mom she can everyday.


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Potty Training for the Rest of Us

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My son was born weighing 5lbs 8.8 oz and was 19 inches long. He was a tiny little thing when we brought him home from the hospital and has been affectionately referred to as our Little String Bean ever since. At 6 1/2 months he is still just over 14 pounds. This has made cloth diapering a bit of a challenge from the beginning. Before he was born I did my research and bought a few newborn diapers and prefolds but mostly focused on one-size pocket diapers thinking we would be able to start using them after the first month. Holding most of our one-size diapers up to my little guy with his tiny waist and little tiny legs was comical even at four months. Some of the pocket diapers seemed as big as he was! Thank goodness I had my prefolds!!! They were the only thing that saved us for the first few months and they are still a major part of our rotation.

Rumparooz Little Joey’s and my Blueberry Simplex were the best fitting AIO diapers by far at the beginning. I called my Simplex his “bulletproof diaper” and absolutely adored it. I treasured it and would only use it when we had to leave the house for any amount of time. For our everyday routine, Rumparooz newborn covers with Osocozy size one prefolds were the answer to our problems. They fit perfectly with a tweak to the Angel Fold and a Snappi. And they never leaked! As soon as our little guy got to the 7-8 pound mark he fit into Rumparooz pockets with aplix. The aplix has been the key to getting a perfect fit with a small waist and the double inner gussets as well as the trimness of the diaper fit his little legs better than any other pocket diaper.

I am consistently reminded how easy prefolds are. Once you find your favorite fold, they can be put on almost as fast as a pocket. They are so easy to wash and dry and have been perfect on trips. We can fit so many more into a suitcase than pocket diapers and they take up less space in the wet bag too! Prefolds are one of the trimmest options we have found when diapering our little one. I was expecting my husband to fall in love with the ease of a pocket or AIO. To my surprise he reaches for a prefold and cover every single time.

As our cloth diapering adventure continues, we are finally able to use most of our pocket stash with no problem and being able to try out different styles and brands has been so much fun. We always return to our Rumparooz covers and a prefold though. He is still fitting into his newborn covers at almost 7 months which amazes me. I never saw myself going the prefold route. I had assumed I would be a pocket girl. Never say never! Prefolds and covers have never failed me and still are one of the best answers for our Little String Bean.

Bio: Katie Bigoney is a Registered Dental Hygienist who lives in Seattle and is enjoying her time with her little one while waiting for summer to arrive. She is passionate about cloth diapers and loves sharing her experiences with them.


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Adventures in Cloth Diapering a String Bean

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I consider myself a cloth diaper hoarder. Before my son was even born, I had a stash of about 40 diapers. After he arrived, I increased that to 72. I have officially been put on "cloth diaper suspension" by my husband. Once I laid out all of my diapers and had them all cleaned and ready to go, I was overwhelmed with where to put them all. I didn't want to jam them in the changing table drawer, because they obviously wouldn't fit. I didn't want to put them in the dresser because they would take up the drawers needed for his clothes. So, I recycled an old friend to help me organize my diapers.

I had an old hanging sweater organizer that I was about to throw out when I decided to give it a try to help with organizing my diapers. Once I hung it in my son's closet I knew it was a perfect fit. I started to jam my diapers in the organizer when I became overwhelmed again. What if I can't find the diaper I want when I am changing my son in a rush? So, I decided to organize them a bit more.

I was undecided how to stack the diapers. Should I do it by hook and loop and then snaps, or should I do it be size and style? Instead I decided to organize by brand. I have my Blueberry and GroVia's in the first cube, my bumGenius and Tots Bots in the second, more bumGenius along with FuzziBunz and Moraki in the third, and Kawaii and other brands in the fourth. My fifth cube is for extra inserts. I organized them this way because one day I am in a GroVia mood, when on another day I may just want bumGenius. It seems to work out well. And now that I have a free drawer on my changing table, I have a quick stash of one to two diapers per brand so that I can grab them quickly. I also have a huge overflow pile. I put these diapers on the top shelf of my son's closet. They are my back up diapers in case we need them. I usually switch these out with my other diapers every month so that they are used as well.

Once I do my wash, I rearrange my diapers again. I fill the drawer with diapers that I didn't use the few days before so that they all get equal wear. If there is one diaper that I did not like or am mad at for leaking, I usually put at the bottom of the stash so that I forget about it for a bit. Then when I am switching things out again, I see that old problem diaper and am determined to make it work this time. It is a fun game.

Everyone has their own system, but this seems to be the one that makes me excited each time I use a diaper or do laundry. I feel like a little kid when I am stuffing diapers and putting everything neatly away for future use. It feels like Christmas every couple of days!

Best of luck and happy cloth diapering to all of you!

Bio: I have been married to my husband, Carlos, for 10 years and we are the proud parents of 3 furr-babies. We live in West Chester, Pennsylvania. I am a first time mom to our 5 month old son, Maximus. It took us 8 long years to have him, but we knew our miracle would arrive at some point. Maximus came in to this world at 32 weeks and stayed in the NICU for 8 weeks. He fought very hard to be the healthy and strong baby he is today. I am fortunate enough to be able to stay at home with him full time so I can watch him grow in to an amazing little boy!


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Organizing a Stash for the Cloth Diaper Hoarder

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