1. Try before you buy
What I thought I would like and what I ultimately liked were two very different things. I thought I would like gDiapers for their hybrid flexibility, but I ended up loving bumGenius All-in-ones and Blueberry Deluxe One Size pocket diapers instead. I thought I would prefer hook and loop (Velcro) for its ease, however, I much prefer snaps because they don’t “catch” in the wash.
Don’t go out and buy a bunch of one type of diaper from the very beginning. Try one or two of a variety of types – then place a big order when you decide what works best for your family.
2. Patience is a virtue: wait for the bargain
Especially for those on a limited budget, you should know that different diaper brands and diaper stores run a lot of “specials.” If you’re able to wait and be patient, you will probably get the diapers that you love for a discount, or with free shipping, or with some other bonus. Kelly’s Closet has a different discount/promotion almost every week! You just have to wait for “your” diaper to be the one on sale. You can add to your stash a little over time – this will help keep a low impact on your bank account.
3. Accessories are not included
While you don’t “have” to have accessories to cloth diaper, there are a few that really help. In my life, the diaper sprayer, various Planet Wise wet bags, and “cloth diaper friendly” diaper cream are the three things I couldn’t live without. It’s good to remember to add in your personal “extras” when making your decision and cloth diaper budget.
4. The Scoop on Poop
I’ll come right out and admit it; I was terrified of the poop. The reality is, you will have to deal with poop if you cloth diaper. With that said, you would also have to deal with poop if you use disposables (we call them poop-splosions in my house). Dealing with poop is just part of being a parent. So prepare yourself to get up close and personal, regardless of your choice of diapers.
5. How you wash your diapers matter
When I first started reading about all the complicated wash routines and the “cloth diaper friendly” detergents, I thought it was just a marketing technique to get me to buy more things that I really didn’t need. I planned to just do the diapers my regular way with regular detergent. But the hype is true; repelling and the stinkies are real!
You do need to do a “special” wash routine (basically just a few extra rinses – it’s best to keep it simple!) and use a cloth diaper friendly detergent. Rockin’ Green detergent is great and I would love to use it on all our clothes. Cloth diaper laundry really is not that bad; I actually enjoy hanging the diapers on the line, there’s something really fulfilling and wholesome about it. Just be prepared with a good laundry routine and cloth diaper friendly detergent.
6. If the onesie fits… it might not
Even the trimmest cloth diaper doesn’t fit as trimly as a disposable. Your baby’s bum will look a little “fluffy.” You will soon begin to see this as cute and accessorize accordingly, but for now, keep this in mind. When you purchase all those cute, tiny infant clothes in advance, remember you might need to size up with pants or look for things that are a little longer in the torso (Carter’s onesies tend to run long) to accommodate for the bigger (yet cuter) bum.
7. No question is stupid
At first, I was embarrassed by how little I knew. I was certain my questions were stupid. I soon realized two things: First, if you have a question, then other people probably have the same question so go ahead and ask! Second, the cloth diapering community is incredibly supportive, helpful, and kind. They are ready and willing to answer your questions (at least the people at Kelly’s Closet always have been for me!) and many of them enjoy talking about cloth diapering and helping out newbies. So go ahead and ask, because there are no stupid questions (in the world of cloth).
8. If you do it, they will come around
When I began to think about cloth diapering, I dreaded telling my family. I was sure they would think I was crazy. And, at first, they did. Ultimately they saw how easy it is, how cute cloth diapers can be, and how much better it is for the environment. Above all, they saw that it was important to me and my husband, and they wanted to support our choice. They all came around and they are all 100% supportive. Don’t be afraid to cloth diaper because of what other people think. They’ll probably come around much more quickly than you imagine.
9. You might save money… or you might just get addicted
Cloth diapering is supposed to save money, and if you buy some of the basic “systems,” it really does. But cloth diapers are really cute! There are all sorts of different kinds, and you will probably get sucked in and want to try all the cute new styles and prints. So buyer beware, cloth diapering is addictive, and you might not end up saving a ton of money if you are always buying the newest, cutest cloth diaper. But you’ll still be saving the environment!
10. There’s more than one way to cloth diaper
There are probably as many different cloth diapering “solutions” as there are cloth diapering families. What worked for my best friend and her son just isn’t quite right for me and my daughter. You can read and research all you want, but soon you’re just going to have to try it. Some things will work, others won’t; you’ll figure out your “solution” step by step. Be patient with yourself and with cloth diapers, and don’t be afraid to try something innovative!
By Melody S.