Wednesday, March 17, 2010

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10 Things I Wish I’d Known When I Started Cloth Diapering…


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.

22 comments:

Ashley said...

I really wish I had been more patient when I was pregnant with my son. I researched-some- and bought a huge amount of one kind of diaper before he was even born. I have decided to keep those diapers for now, our next baby might fit into them better. I have since learned what kinds of diaper(s) work best for us, and I know what to expect from my end of things when any other babies come around.

I can't say enough about how true these 10 points are, so I'll just leave it at that.

Mike and Jess said...

I LOVE this post. i have been cloth diapering for 3 months now--(my twins are 4 months) and these are all things i am learning to be true. Reading this made me smile!

Tami Pearson said...

i like you "poopsplosions" - we call them poocanos - like poo volcano. :)

Jess said...

This is a great list and very true. Especially about becoming addicted! I not only want all the cute diapers but every accessory too. It's bad!lol.

The Fleishers said...

Too true! I was so gung-ho to get "the best" types that I severely limited myself in the beginning. And I was neither patient nor did I save much when buying (sorry, honey). I CD much wiser now, which is a good thing since we just found out Baby #2 is on the way!

Joshua and Stephanie said...

This is a great article, its so true on all the points. I am going to have to save this to share with my friends that are always asking me about cloth diapering!

Mama Lungo said...

This is so very true!! I am new to cloth diapering and have become addicted! I have also had to learn to deal with the poo, adjust my laundry mindset and size up in clothes But I love cloth an will never go back!!

K8tmama said...

I definitely agree that there is more than one way to cloth diaper. I am slowly discovering what way works best for me and my baby. I started cloth using a system a friend introduced me to...in the end I didn't like it because of how it fit my baby compared to other systems. I jive with the try before you buy! I am still slowly experimenting and building my stash into something that works for me and my baby.
~@k8tmama

Crystal said...

Great tips! I wish I had read this before I started cloth diapering. I especially wish I had waited for bargains instead of buying right away.

Dani said...

great post! Those would be my 10 things - especially the 1st one!

Alycia said...

Every single one of those reasons is soo true! If only I read this BEFORE I became addicted....

Andrea said...

I wish I'd known not to let my toddler discover that the metal thing on the toilet is magical and can spray water allllll over the room.

Kelly said...

What a great post. Melody you really hit every point on the nose. I couldn't say it any better

Erin Houser said...

Thanks for this post! It was very helpful. I will be cloth diapering exclusively. Our first baby is due in just 4 weeks! I will also pass this post on to a friend who is cloth diapering.

Jennifer said...

Good advice regarding #1 and #2...it's nice to know you can get good deals if you wait and are patient. And I appreciate your honesty wrt #9 -- I've noticed the same thing!

JennyM said...

What great tips thanks for sharing. I wish I would have known some of these when I started. I agree Kelly's Closet staff have been very helpful in answering any questions.

fancygrlnancy said...

This is sooo true! I wish I had also found such great websites to get answers from like the cloth diaper whisperer.

Jenney said...

This is a great post. I love how you set it up and how it covers many many of the basic "bases". I have "talked" three new moms into cloth diapering recently and told them similar things, but you just have a way with words-love it!

Mandy All said...

Just an aside for #6, you can buy onesies extenders to help extend the wearable life of your baby's too-small-to-wear-over-cloth clothes.

Melanie said...

Thanks for this post. I am just starting out and these were some good tips. I definitely need to work on the patience part. I think that when I bought my first couple diapers I didn't do as much research as I should have.

hosiewosie said...

I agree- wish I was reading this before I started CDing! :-)

HIS Brave Storm said...

This is all so true! I'm onlt 5 weeks into cloth diapering and almost all of this applies to me. I fell for the gdiaper thing in the begininning because in all honesty it seemed simpler and was easy to understand. No foreign abbreviations and what not, as well as having flushable inserts made it all that much more appealing. I'm still using my gdiapers because I absolutely refuse to have the money invested be wasted, but I will not buy more and I'm changing diapers just about every hour and doing WAY TOO MUCH laundry but it's fine. Thanks to all the patient and friendly people at kelly's closet and daipershops fb page I now have an understanding of most things cloth and some Fluffy Mail on the way that will hopefully better meet my coth diapering needs.