cloth diaper storage schemes can help you control your own stash. Because, something as cute as cloth shouldn’t be shoved into a corner somewhere!
It may take some experimenting to determine exactly what works for your family. Get creative! My next project is going to be to modge podge scrapbook paper on the bins to make them more bright and colorful. I’m also going to add fun labels, detailing what goes in each bin. Having an aesthetically pleasing and fully functioning storage system will make cloth diapering more manageable and, dare I say, maybe even fun. No one ever said that changing diapers can’t be a fun experience. Happy organizing!
- When we first started out, my husband’s only requirement was that all the diapers went off and on just like disposables and that they all needed to work exactly the same. Our beginner stash consisted of 18 pocket diapers that could easily be contained in one very cute wicker basket. We just put the cloth wipes and wipes solution on top of the pile. Easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy and very attractive.
- After spending some time getting comfortable with cloth we branched out and bought some prefolds and covers. This was also around the time that our first son potty trained and our second son was born. So, the diapers moved into the nursery closet and out of their basket. We used a hanging sweater organizer to easily separate out all the different types of diapers. This option works great if you have plenty of closet space and want to keep your stash out of sight.
- Going a little cloth crazy, I decided to add an AI2 system to our stash along with some bamboo fitteds and doublers. My poor hubby was getting overwhelmed. To ease the confusion, I switched to a toy storage rack with separate bins. This gave me dedicated space for each type of diaper: AI2 inserts in one, prefolds in another, covers in a third, pockets in a fourth, and all the bamboo and other doublers in a fifth bin. A large bin holds all the accessories- cloth wipes, wipes solution, burp rags, reusable nursing pads, and our beloved CJ’s Butter. Now my husband knows what he’s grabbing for and diaper changes are streamlined. Bonus: the top holds books!
- Last but not least, one final option I set up for a friend. She had some plastic storage drawers that we used to divide out separate types of diapers. If I were doing this for my stash, I would put the pockets and fitted in one drawer, the prefolds and covers in second drawer, and the AI2 inserts and doublers in the final drawer. We put all the accessories in a basket in the top so they were easily available. This is an especially low-cost option that would work well for a large stash.
Eventually, though, it can no longer be ignored. The alarm bells sound: WARNING! It’s a LEAK! And in just a few short seconds you are catapulted from enjoying your day to taking all sorts of drastic steps in order to fix said leak.
The important thing to know is that, in my experience at least, leaks from my pocket cloth diapers are pretty uncommon, as well as usually fairly simple to fix. Very rarely is leaking cause by the scary word, REPELLING (yep, the capitals are there on purpose), so don’t pull of the boiling water, scrubbing brushes or dish-detergent just yet – you are likely to actually cause damage that way, not fix it (I am speaking from experience here).
In future, follow these handy step-by-step instructions when you face diapering malfunctions:
Step One: Stay calm. Go have a cup of coffee.
Step Two: LOOK at the diaper closely. Did you put it on correctly? Is all of the white, stay-dry inner tucked inside? If you have a little Mister, is he also (ahem) properly tucked inside?
The fit of a diaper can really affect how well it works. If you use one-size diapers like me, it might be worth playing around with the different rise settings a little. Also, try laying baby on the changing table and moving his or her little legs around. Do you see any gaps between the legs and the leg holes? Liquid can leak out if the fit around the legs isn’t decent enough (not too tight so as to cause red marks, though). Be willing to experiment a bit. Babies can not only thicken up at the waist, but also thin out a bit occasionally. We have be known to not only have to adjust how tight we out the diapers on at the waist, but we have also moved up to the next rise setting, then back down to the previous one a few weeks later. Be willing to be flexible with how you achieve a good fit!
It is also worth doing a little inspection of the diaper itself. How is the elastic holding up? Over time, some elastics can degrade, and stop the leg-holes from fitting nicely around those chubby thighs. Also, check the inside (the shiny side) of the PUL. Can you spot any holes or cracks? This is an unlikely cause of leaking, but it is good to be aware that drying your PUL diapers in a tumble dryer, washing in too-hot water or even leaving them out in the sun for too long (it happened to me!) can cause the PUL to crack and allow wetness through.
Step Three: FEEL the diaper. More specifically, the insert inside the diaper. Is it soaking wet? If so, your bub might be filling the inserts to capacity. No diaper can hold an infinite amount of pee! Try stuffing with another insert, adding a booster or changing baby more often.
Step Four: SMELL the diaper. Got that fishy ammonia smell (believe me, you’ll know it if you’ve got it!)? Ammonia can be a sign of build-up, and build-up can cause leaks. Now might be a good time to try stripping, but BE GENTLE! No need to go at the problem with guns blazing. If at first you don’t succeed, you can up the ante gradually. Many a diaper has been ruined by gung-ho mommies attacking their poor defenseless dipes with bottles of bleach and jugs of boiling water.
Seriously – if you are a mom (or a dad), you have plenty more important things to worry about than the odd leaky diaper. It happens. Just remind yourself it is not the end of the world that there is most likely a simple explanation for it… and go treat yourself to a cappuccino.