I am giggling to myself that I am about to write this post. Dressing your baby sounds like a silly, little thing to think about, but there are some major differences in clothing a cloth diapered bottom vs. the standard sposie bottom. Beyond the fun and frivolity, there are some practical issues to consider; in particular, knowing what to look for so you don’t spend money on clothing that just won’t work.
When I first started cloth diapering my daughter I quickly realized that clothing choices were going to involve a little more than just simply picking out what I liked. Cut, fabric and sizing play an important role when dressing the cloth diapered babe. There’s no denying the cloth diapered bum is a little fluffier or more padded than its disposable-clad counterpart.
I, like most cloth diapering parents, happen to love that big, round bottom, but it can be a little awkward with certain clothes. My first reaction was frustration with what I thought were limitations. However, after some trial and error and creativity on my part I’ve come up with some great clothing options and guidelines for my baby girl. Instead of her cloth diapers being a hindrance they have now become part of her fashion statement and we particularly love the outfits that allow us to show them off.
Moms of boys, bear with me. This is definitely geared towards girls, but hopefully there are some tips in here that will help you and/or inspire you to fill in the blanks in my clothing research with some advice for boys. With that being said…
Dresses, dresses, dresses. Dresses are key. They are my go-to outfit. In the summer, she wears her diaper and a dress; that’s all. Simple. Easy. Adorable! We love showing off that fluffy bum with bright colors and cute patterns. As the cooler weather approached we paired her dresses with leggings or pants, though I was sad to see the diapers get covered up.
Tunic Shirts. Not that an 11 month old pays much attention to the latest trends in fashion, but tunic style shirts are very popular right now and I love them. The slightly longer, flowier style of a tunic shirt looks so adorable with pants. And the bonus is that as both of my girls have outgrown some of their (and my) favorite dresses they can wear them as pseudo-tunic shirts with pants and get several more months out of them.
Pants. Pants require a little more thought. They need to be stretchy, giving and forgiving. Tight isn’t a problem, as in the case of leggings, as long as they’re stretchy. If the material has some sort of spandex they should be fine. There have been certain pants without spandex that I just couldn’t resist; with some I could simply buy them a size bigger and they work, but with others sizing-up doesn’t always work. I LOVE yoga pants because they look cute with t-shirts, tunic and dresses and she just looks so comfy in them (truth be told, Mama prefers to wear yoga pants, too). I’ve found that overalls are tough to fit over her fluffy bum and once they’re on, they look kind of, eh-hem, bulky.
I can’t believe how seriously I think about these things…please tell me I’m not alone! Alas, I must continue.
Sleepwear. This was a trial and error thing. I found that when I put her in two-piece pajamas she ended up with leaks up around her belly. This was because the waistband on the pants would go up over the diaper and end up curved around the top of the diaper. We now only do one-piece jammies and they work perfectly without any leaks. Plus, they’re roomy enough to go over the slightly bulkier overnight diapers and it’s okay to size-up if necessary.
I have to admit, choosing clothing for a baby in cloth diapers took a little getting used to. I had a couple of trips back to stores to return items that either didn’t fit or looked a little silly on my girl. However, much like choosing clothes for myself, when I find what works I try to stick to that type of style and sizing. Because of this she definitely has her own unique, signature style and even family members walk into stores and say, “oh that’s so Natalie!”
By Jennifer G.