I can now claim experience in cloth diapering for nearly a year and a half. Which doesn’t really seem like a great amount of time – but when you consider that I have probably changed a pretty large percentage of BG’s dirty pants, it adds up to several thousand diaper changes.
Don’t fault me for lingering over my coffee when Grandma comes to visit, hoping she realizes the kiddo is wet before I do… Because I do. Oh, how I do.
While I’m no expert, I have accrued my own stash of tips that I am more than eager to share with my friends who are starting the cloth diaper adventure. So! Here they are.
My Ten Diaper Tips.
I swear I tried to find a clever alliteration for you… But my thesaurus delivered up no witty alternative for Tips and while Dirty Dozen was tempting – I simply had to stop at ten…
I must live with this failure.
1. Pick a style and stick with it. It can be overwhelming when delving into cloth. There really is no need to get crazy. Find what you like, learn how to use it, and then stick with it. Buy larger sizes of the same thing when necessary or cute prints when you feel like it. The crazier you get with styles and types causes confusion when it comes time for laundry. Plus, keeping it simple makes it easier to recruit folding help…
2. When dealing with pocket diapers, or all-in-ones with removable liners, do remove your inserts before rinsing poo in the toilet. Unless your kiddo has diarrhea or is still having runny newborn poo*, all of what you need to rinse is on the surface of the inner liner. By removing the insert, you don’t absorb water that you don’t need and create unnecessary mess.
3. Get your hands dirty. Just do it. You can always wash your hands after. You will save time and frustration by just diving in and getting it over with rather than trying to avoid the ‘icky’ stuff. Welcome to parenthood – I’ve learned that the icky stuff is unavoidable.
4. Set your washer rinse settings before you load the wash with dirty diapers. That way, once you’ve loaded the washer with your icky pants and – if you’ve followed Tip #2 – have dirty hands, all you have to do is hit a button with an elbow or forehead and you’re good to go wash up! It took me a long time to figure this out. A lot longer than I care to admit…
5. Disassemble diaper parts before washing. I realize that some say that you don’t have to remove inserts in order to wash them and that they will shake apart in the wash. From my own experience, I recommend taking the extra minute to pull them all apart and throw them in as simply as possible. The easier it is for the water to get to all of the crooks and crevices, the better.
6. Change cloth diapers frequently. Cloth diapers are not like disposables – that’s why we like them, right? But, by the same token, they will not hold twelve hours worth of pee. You will have to change them more often. Otherwise, you might end up with a wet lap. I am in the habit of changing BG’s pants every two hours whether she seems to need it or not. I do notice on days when I’m feeling ill, particularly tired, or let’s just call it lazy, that we end up with leaks. This is my fault for not changing soon enough – not the diaper’s.
7. Use extra inserts at night and during naptime. Your baby may or may not need them. Then again, it could also gain the both of you an extra hour or two of sleep.
8. This one is for the partners. How about let’s call them the “Secondary Diaper Changers.” You know who you are. Let me give you a special bit of advice, based on a special bit of experience… Go ahead and change that poopy diaper instead of pretending that you don’t notice the smell. Maybe even rinse it out instead of leaving it for the “Primary Diaper Changer” to deal with. Trust me. It doesn’t take much to get an appreciate smile (or more) sometimes.
9. Use disposables for car rides, traveling, and trips. I had a hard time with this at first but finally wrangled my Mom Guilt into accepting it. My favorite brand is the Honest Company. I will admit that I tried them mostly because they are adorable – but they are also eco-friendly, sustainable and chlorine free. Slightly more pricey than other brands, but not considerably so especially since we only buy them on occasion.
10. Have a range of pants sizes. Unfortunately, they simply don’t cut cute little baby clothes for cloth diaper butts anymore – and your baby is going to have a badonk, no matter how tiny they may be. BG wears a size larger with her cloth diapers than she does when she wears a disposable. We even have some 3T hand-me-down leggings that we wear around the house that stay up just fine! It has been kind of nice, however, in that we can actually get some good use out of pants instead of wearing them for two minutes and then growing out of them. We start them big and end them small!
*I never thought I would be using the word “poo” so often in a blog. Poo. I am a twelve year old.