I knew I wanted to use cloth diapers while planning to start a family. When I lived away from my home I was briefly babysat for a family who used cloth diapers, so I thought I knew what I was getting into. In hindsight, the one kid who was still in diapers was almost potty trained so she didn't wear as many diapers and I wasn't doing the laundry.
When I became pregnant I began obsessively researching about cloth diapers. I quickly learned about the various types, how to care for them, etc. I informed everyone I was going to use cloth diapers and became a cloth diaper crusader before even using them. Thankfully, my husband was agreeable to the idea; although, every time he would talk about them he would say we're going to "try" them. Try? Why would we need to try them? In my mind we were using them… end of story!
With a couple months to go, I had the opportunity to visit family a couple hours away in an area that has one small shop which carries cloth diapers. I was a bit surprised when I discovered one-size diapers are bigger and bulkier than I expected. Then I began to worry. I realized there was a chance we wouldn't like them. I had been so caught up in baby and diaper excitement I really hadn't given it much serious thought. I then began to develop fear of the unknown. What if they were too bulky, looked huge, and were uncomfortable for our baby? What if they didn't fit well or leaked all the time? What if it was just too much work? I had skimmed over blogs about issues with build up and smell, but now I was worried.
I planned what I felt was the perfect stash to get us started, and diapers were arriving in the mail at a rapid rate. I reluctantly promised my husband not to open and wash all the diapers I purchased just in case we would want to send them back. Then we waited.
Our son was born on 12/29/09 and we began using the cloth diapers when we was 10 days old. His first diapers were 6 bumGenius Deluxe 3.0 All-In-Ones, 3 Thirsties Fab Fitted Diapers, and 1 Kissaluvs Fitted Diaper. We had a couple Thirsties Diaper Covers and a couple Thirsties Duo Wrap Diaper Covers. Obviously not enough to exclusively use cloth diapers, but enough to get started. Day 1 passed, day 2, and then a week. We were using cloth diapers... and LOVING them! We were having major issues with leaking using the disposables plus we were quickly amazed with how many we were using! It was easy to see within one week how much money we could be saving by using cloth diapers exclusively.
Additionally, we had far less leaks! With much relief I opened up the other box from Kelly's Closet and started washing the rest of our new stash. Our son quickly gained weight and we were able to use the one-size diapers just a couple weeks later when he was up to 10 pounds. Our one-diaper stash consist of several bumGenius 3.0 and FuzziBunz, plus a couple Rocky Mountain diapers. I love them all, however, the bumGenius 3.0’s are becoming a quick favorite. The hook and loop tabs make getting a diaper on a wiggling infant so easy.
It is such a relief to discover we really do love cloth diapers and we're going to stick with them. I believe being over-prepared [with all the reading I did early in my pregnancy] helped. I knew how to properly launder the diapers and I had my cloth diaper friendly detergent [Charlie's Soap] ready. I had 2 diaper pail liners and a wet bag for the diaper bag. I really liked being able to launch fully into using cloth diapers all at once. I was able to establish a routine and it was a super easy transition from the disposables. The only item we haven’t purchased yet is a diaper sprayer. Right now I'm comfortable with rinsing the diapers in the sink, but a sprayer will probably be a future purchase.
I've been saying "we" were using cloth diapers, but my husband is still slowing transitioning. I've found myself changing most diapers, disposable or cloth, just because I'm quicker and it seems like less of a hassle. He started helping with the cloth by taking a dirty diaper to the pail, but he wasn't thrilled with pulling the insert out of the pocket diaper. I've since arranged the diapers to have all the all-in-ones together for him to use. The next step was the laundry.
I showed him the special detergent and went over the general instructions, so he helped out with washing a load last week. He asked a couple questions before starting the cold rinse and again before the hot wash. Then he came to tell me the diapers would not be done as soon as expected because he forgot to add fabric softener. That's right. Panic!!!
Unfortunately, he already started another rinse cycle with fabric softener. Many hot washes and nearly a day later the diapers were stripped and ready to use again. A minor set back but the diapers survived! His first attempt to change a cloth diaper a few days ago was a bit of a struggle too. He almost put it on backwards and then didn't get it snug enough. He stepped back and let me fix the diaper while he watched and took some mental notes. I appreciate his efforts to try something totally new and I'm sure he's going to be a cloth diapering pro soon!
by Natalie G.