Wednesday, January 27, 2010

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Cloth Diaper Fashion

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.

32 comments:

Brena said...

We have had a bit of trial and error with clothing for my son. But now cloth diapers are such an important part of dressing him! He's too skinny to fit in any of his pants, the cloth diapers keep them from falling off!

Lauren said...

Ohhhh, clothes. The hardest part! I'm so glad that we have relatively mild winters here. And it's definitely easier to make it work for a girl's wardrobe. :)

If our next baby is a boy, I'm going to have to learn how to sew a basic baby pant pattern so the little dude can have some JEANS! ;)

Melody said...

I can't wait for summer so that my little girl (who is 5 months now) can show off some of her cute fluff in dresses! I'm not crazy about leggings, because I think the tightness just accentuates the giant bum. But I can usually make most pants and overalls work by just sizing up a bit!

Mrs. Poland said...

thank you for writing this!!! I thought I was the only one dealing with this issue. I have a 3 month old boy, and it does get tricky dressing him. I agree with the two piece jammies, sleepers work best. I have also found that I put him in undershirts more than onsies (that snap over the diaper) because its harder to get them to fit (Carters are great though, they are narrow and long so they fit nicely over a fluffy bum). I agree that dresses in the summer would be easiest for girls....I guess my little buy will be in just a t-shirt and his fluff :)

Kayla said...

You're definitely not alone! I can't wait til summer so I can put my daughter in dresses (no matching diaper cover needed!) to show off her fluff. I have the same problem you do with 2 piece sleepwear anytime I put her in tights...they ALWAYS either fold up under her diaper and get wet or pull so much that they pull her diaper down and we get leaks. Seriously, I cannot wait til warmer weather!!

Kelly and Nate said...

I have a really skinny kid, so cloth diapers make him actually fit his clothes. His pants don't fall down like they would in a disposable.

Erin Houser said...

Good tips. Our baby, due in April, is a surprise, but my Mom is buying clothes for both boy and girl already. I will definitely pass this post on to her, so she can shop wisely for our soon to be cloth diapered baby! Thanks!

Jackie said...

You're not alone! :) It took me a while to get the hang of what would fit my daughter the best with the fluffy bum (love it, so cute!)

Since we live in WI and it is pretty much always cold, I have been putting her in fleece a lot lately. I tend to have to buy a size up in those but I love fleece so I'm ok with that. We also always do one piece jammies, they just work so much better.

Megan said...

I've never cloth diapered a little baby before because my son was 16 months before we started. I must admit I'm a little worried about this aspect of it. Thanks for the encouragement.

Lil Mouse said...

To me it's become a way of life, I end up buying things a season ahead to save money and stretch in the waistband is key. I don't mind if she has a bubble butt, every one knows we have her in cloth diapers, and if they don't, why are they looking at her butt, anyway? We haven't had much trouble with our 2 piece jammies, but since ours will be doing potty training sooner rather than later, can't see hindering her pottying ability for the upcoming seasons with one piece jammies she can;t operate. They have been awesome, otherwise, though you are right. Now that ours is not crawling she will have some dresses, as well. otherwise she ended up just smacking her face on the floor!

Kippy said...

We too, found that we had leaks with two piece jammies. The downside to one piece jammies was that my little one can undo her diaper (BG 3.0) through the jammies. She has great dexterity! Our solution? Put a pair of bloomers, the kind that come with little girls dresses, over her diaper, under her jammies. She can't get to the diaper tabs as easily so she can't get them open. Problem solved!

fancygrlnancy said...

I have a boy... but I have thought about if baby #2 turns out a girl then YAY dresses with cd's look cute. My little man does wear baby legs on occation, but a girl would wear more. I had the same problem with 2 piece jammies curving over and going in the diapers. I prefer 1 piece also, but sometimes I will still use the 2 piece, but he then wears a fleece cover to be sure fit is good.

dannyscotland said...

I felt the same frustration as you did when I first realized that pants in particular did not fit my daughter correctly in her cloth. Then I found some great stretchy pants at two big box stores in my area, and not only are they inexpensive (so I can buy lots), they come in lots of colors (so I can buy lots). They work great over her diaper, and I buy them a size larger. Leggings work great one size up because she doesn't step on them. Thanks for sharing your great tips, and no, you aren't alone!

Melissa said...

I agree about the one piece pj's. I love all the cute two pieces but we just can't do it because of the diaper.
I have a boy and we do a lot of one piece suits with "yoga" like pants. The one piece suit keeps the pants from pulling on the diaper too much. In the summer we do the suit with shorts.
Can't wait to have a girl so I can buy dresses!

Amy said...

You're not alone!!! I love thinking about this too. I used to be very frustrated that my daughter pretty much can't wear jeans because they don't fit over her fluff, but she looks so cute in her stretchy pants or in some babylegs, it doesn't matter. Great post, and thanks for the tip on the pajamas. I was thinking about switching to two-piece jammies.

Erin G said...

just started CDing my daughter a few weeks ago and this post is great! I love LOVE the top picture of her cute fluffy bum. :)

Precious.

Mike said...

I didn't start cloth diapers till my daughter was over a year and a half. It was the beginning of summer and i quickly learned it would change things for our clothing choices! Our girl is SKINNY!!! Seriously, toothpicks for legs. I truly feel that she looks a bit funny in the bulkier cloth diapers because of the little sticks that she has coming out the bottom! I love those little legs and wouldn't change them, but have often thought, "hmmm, she would look cuter in these cloth diapers if she was a rolly, polly kind of baby!"

We found that dresses were a good solution also. She just looked so funny in shorts and t-shirts because she was tiny on top, tiny from the legs down, but then HUGE right in the butt area!

Once winter came I found out that the cloth diapers were a blessing. She had always been way to skinny to wear almost ANY pants that were the proper length for her. Couldn't do anything with an elastic waist. So we had to do jeans with little belts. Well, the belt is cute, but also a pain in the butt at diaper changing time! With the cloth diapers - NO NEED for the belt! Those big 'ol diapers hold up any pants!!!!

Just wanted you to know you are not alone :)
Katie O.

Lauren said...

Good post, but I'm hoping to hear some helpful comments from veteran moms of boys. This is one of the hardest parts for me. My little one is so active, and sometimes it seems like his diapers are holding him back with all that extra material between his legs. Also, dresses aren't really an option (at least in our family) for our little boy. He's only 25% in height and 50% in weight, so the "right" size already runs long. It'd be disastrous to size up. What to do?? =)

Secret Mommy said...

I have a cloth diapered boy (well, now I have two!) and we've found the same thing with 2 piece jammies. Only "union-suit" or other one piece jams make it here now. As for clothing, we do a lot of sweat pants and stretchy knit styles with any kind of shirt. In the summer, around home we stick to dipes and t-shirts only and have a couple pair of knit shorts for out and about. For my newborn I also really love one-piece romper style outfits for daytime. Lots of brands make this style in both summer (short legs and sleeves) and winter (long legs and sleeves) styles. They work great and look cute.

Jennifer said...

I'm totally with you. For my little girl, dresses are the bestest! And I too, love to show off her fluff. When people ask about her cute "diaper cover", I am always very proud to announce that those ARE her diapers. If we're going somewhere, I always try to coordinate her diaper and have her wear something that shows it off. Since my daughter is learning to walk, I have found that a fluffy butt is a pretty good thing, and also that babylegs are a super great invention. I don't think you're weird for thinking of how to dress your baby, boy or girl. We all love to draw attention to our little darlings and let them shine. On a side note, I love the bubble butt look with cloth, and was able to spot a fellow CDing mom in the park because of it. Needless to say, we got along great!

Big Mama said...

as a mom of a boy .. the fluffy butt can be a problem in clothes... I have a peanut baby so the added bulk helps his clothes fit better... but I am in LOVE with babylegs! they rock!

MelR said...

Have you tried BabyLegs? They are the best! No need to worry about the waistband or length of the leg... and super cute!

Emily Elizabeth said...

what do you do about jeans?? i really wish I could throw jeans on my 1 year old some days, but it's a shimmy & a shake kind of adventure to get them over the fluff!! i wish I knew a brand of jeans that works... maybe I should just size-up and hem the cuffs myself... if they had an adjustable waistband do you think that would work?

i love little leggins and dresses on my little girl too- it's all she wears!

katpav said...

You are not alone in obsessing about this, but as the parent of two CDed boys, I have different decisions to make. Jeans rarely work unless they've got elastic waistbands and they're a couple sizes too big. Sweatpants are my go-to item this winter; they're warm and stretchy and fit nicely over those big bums. I also started making pj pants for them out of flannel and I add extra room in the bum area for those bulky nighttime diapers.

The Jacobsen Family! said...

This is one of the major things I'm dreading when we begin to cloth diaper our next baby... Thanks for giving some suggestions! =)

ONCE upon a time.... said...

i have a little boy but i found myself nodding in agreement to almost everything you said! one piece outfits didn't work, and pants have to be bought a size bigger and the legs rolled up to accommodate the diapers. however, on the jammies issue, i fell in love with a pair of firetruck pjs that were two piece and i couldn't resist. i just put a onesie on underneath and he stays dry! also it keeps him a bit warmer in his room (which has two outside walls and gets quite chilly at night). might work for your little sweetie!
--camille

Michele said...

Oh how I enjoyed reading this post! I know that it sounds silly, but these are concerns that I've also had about making the switch to cloth. Onesies are a staple at our house! It's reassuring to know that there are ways to make the bulk work.

Cari said...

It was funny all the research I did for cloth diapering, but I never thought about the clothes until after we were trying it out! But it's worked out really well because she's really petite in weight, but not in height. so her fluffy bum helps keep her pants on :).

I'm also loving the tunic style right now because we've been doing the same with her outgrown dresses.

girlsmom0406 said...

I definitely have to make my way through these comments. I have previously only cloth diapered a girl, which I founds pretty easy with dresses, leggings and yoga pants (and Children's Place adjustable waist jeans!). But now I have a boy, and I find myself looking at summer outfits since they are all on sale right now and thus far I can't bring myself to buy anything because I just don't know what size he'll be with the cloth booty. I'm not a huge sweats fan so hopefully we can make the regular shorts work

Amanda C

Ada said...

You are not alone! I had to do the same with Little Girl's clothes. When the next one arrives, if it's a girl, it'll be fluff-in-a-dress for sure.

Sarah said...

Our lifesaver has been onesie extenders from One Step Ahead. They add 4" in the crotch to go over the extra bulk of the cloth diapers.

Jess said...

I am having this same dilema, I think it's harder for boys cuse you cant just throw on a dress or leggings. Im trying to find some nice looking knit pants. Kicky pants look like a good choice. Im also planning on getting some babylegs. But leg warmers arent really what i want my little boy wearing outside.Maybe it's just me but I do think of them as being something girls wear.