With baby #1, I was a reluctant convert to cloth. I knew very little, and only by my mom’s wisdom and encouragement even tried my first cloth diapers. I quickly discovered the love, but until we were actually approaching diaper freedom and I began searching (somewhat unsuccessfully) for cloth trainers, I had no idea of all the resources out there! (Or all the sales!) Now on baby # 2, and a totally addicted cloth diaper-er and vocal advocate, I try to spread the word on all the little tricks to make life easier that I wish I would have know the first time around! In hopes that something I have learned will encourage someone to try, or to not give upon cloth, here are my top ten “discoveries”.
- You don’t have to rinse EBF poop off your diapers, or keep them in a wet pail! It’s true, just peek at those dipes after your initial rinse and you will believe! (Hubby and I rinsed and soaked every time… thankfully we had a separate utility sink!)
- Pail liners make life much more pleasant. (We used a trash bag, and changed it out after a few washes worth of diapers…wasteful and smelly.)
- If you shake the insert out of a freshly dirtied diaper (or do a quick grab) on its way into a pail liner or wetbag, you never have to touch it (dirty) again! (This in combo with #’s 1, 2, 3, and 5 make life and laundry a breeze!)
- Cloth wipes make SOO much sense, and make life EASIER! (Natural reflex is to tuck a wipe inside dirty dipe…why have a separate and stinky trash can just for wipes?) I have a spray-bottle and a stack of bi-folded homemade and store-bought wipes at the changing table, spray the top one, grab, use, etc…all while one hand holds babies legs! There are many methods to make this simple.
- Dawn can be your BFF (Magic cure for stinkies and repelling! But, if you aren’t lucky enough to have a top-loader like me, word on the street is that you need to hand-wash with Dawn, and rinse well, as it is bad for a front-loader!)
- It is possible to find a night diapering solution that works for you…if you are committed to trying, which might mean many nights of frustration and failure. Might be bulky, but the reward of soft cloth butt over disposables has got to be worth it! (There are tons of suggestions out there for the trying, this site having been my first and favorite discovery!)
- Oftentimes leaks are due to poor fit or “technical difficulties” in the application of the diaper. (I found that when “others” changed DS he was more prone to leaks.) Some common errors for us were letting the liner stick out the back (leaks out the back), the front sides sticking out above the elastic back and tabs (side leaks), and pulling pj pants up over the top of diapers…which would result in waistbands dipping into diapers and wicking moisture (wet pj’s)!
- There are “detective” tricks to figure out the WHY’s of leaking! (Checking the saturation of the liner being the first trick…if it’s soaked, you need more soaker, if it’s not…try #’s 6 and/or 8!)
- Cloth diapers have resale value!!! It’s true! Go ahead, buy those cute tiny newborn ones and get started from day one. As long as you take good care of them, you can likely sell them to another mom when your diapering days are over!
- Cloth is addictive…while necessity and budget might start the journey, watch out. You might find yourself stalking websites for great deals, waiting for fluffy surprises in the mail, and going to great lengths to assure that you don’t have to put a papery, uncomfortable, chemical-laden, landfill plugging sposies your sweet babe. In fact, cloth diapers may get you thinking about other ways to make your life cleaner, greener, and more comfortable…
Lynnette Wright lives in remote Alaska, and is the lucky stay-at-home momma of boys ages 2 and 2 months. An originally reluctant convert to cloth, when not being entertained by her two boys, she likes to research new tricks and find deals on new diapers to “test” so that she can be a more fully educated advocate of cloth to others!