Monday, January 31, 2011

Off to a Fluffy Start: Cloth Diapering a newborn!

Reader Contributed Article

When I decided to cloth diaper I wanted to start with cloth from day one of my daughter’s life. After she was born I faced three problems; meconium, cord stump and getting the right fit. I could easily see how any first time, cloth diapering, sleep deprived parent would throw their hands up and surrender to a disposable. That is exactly why I decided to write this blog post, I want to help parents get over the cloth diaper hump. Here are the things that worked for me in those first few weeks of cloth diapering my newborn daughter.

#1 Meconium: Babies first poop, black sticky, pretty much like tar. This stuff can stain a sparkling white cloth diaper in a matter of seconds. I used both AIOs and pre-folds with covers on my youngest and found it equally difficult to remove the stains with only regular washing. I did try rinsing the meconium before putting in the diaper pail but this didn’t help much.

My two favorite stain busters were and still are lemon juice and sunshine. Here’s what I do;

• First wash your diapers per manufacturer’s specifications and after final rinse lay them in the sun for a couple hours. The CD world refers to this as sunning your
diapers.
• If the stains are still there try a few sprays of lemon juice after washing and lay them in the sun. You will need to wash your diapers again to remove the juice.

#2 Cord Stump: It drove me crazy that the cord stump was rubbing the top of my cloth diapers because I was afraid it was hurting the baby. What saved my sanity were cloth diapers with a snap-down center to prevent the cord from rubbing. Now be warned most of this type of diapers only fit for a few weeks, so my advice is to buy them used.

#3 The Right Fit: My daughter was 7lbs 11oz at birth, which I believe is an average size baby; however I struggled with the fit of most OS cloth diapers. I wasn’t able to get them tight enough on the waist or the leg gussets wouldn’t hold in that liquid breastfeed poop. Every diaper change became an entire outfit change. Then I had a light bulb moment and remembered a cloth diapering guru (mommy that had CD’ed three children from birth) telling me that x-small/small covers and infant pre-folds would give me the best fit for the first few weeks or in my case months. Switching to the covers and pre-folds kept me from giving up the cloth. It was wonderful to have dry clothes at diaper changing time. With anything new we try, there is going to be a learning curve, don’t give up, and remember you are doing a wonderful thing for your child.

Leia’s BIO:
I am a wife and SAHM of three daughters living in Northeastern Colorado. I like to think of myself as a waste not, want not kind of girl and love to share my ideas with others.

You can read more of Leia's articles by becoming a Follower of her Blog, Little Green Helper.

7 comments:

RaeO said...

Great post. I did give up on cloth diapering during the NB stage because I couldn't get the right fit with the one-size diapers I had. Next time around, I'll use flats or prefolds and will stick with it from the start! Also, I didn't know about the lemon juice tip...thanks!

Catherine said...

Great post! I am hoping to cd in the hospital with baby #2, and I needed these pointers! Just curious, anyone have a cloth diaper ready in the delivery room? Have I lost my mind?

gina w. said...

Thanks for the info! I'm planning on cd'ing from day one with this little one too! We started at 3 weeks last time b/c she was 9 lbs at birth and that's when my small diapers started fitting!

Anyone ever use a disposable diaper liner until the meconium is gone? Might save a little of the sunning headache... not that you don't already have to do it with infant poop! :)

Jill said...

Catherine, I'm right there with you. As long as the hospital doesn't care (and maybe even if they do), I plan on having a diaper with us. As to the umbilical cord stump, it is DEAD TISSUE since it's technically 'mommy's tissue', so I wouldn't worry about it, it has zero feeling. After all, clothing rubs on it ALL DAY LONG unless you let your kid go naked, the diaper isn't any worse than the clothing!

Jill said...

Oh and NOW there are CD rental programs for newborn diapers, as an FYI to those out there interested!

Nicole said...

I used Lil Joeys, BG XS, and GMD NB prefolds with NB Proraps when my son first got home from the hospital. I admire anyone who plans to have cloth ready at the hospital- I just used their sposies until we got home and the meconium poop was gone!

elizlind said...

Awesome post. And I agree check out a newborn rental program. That's what I did. Even the hospital I had my son at uses cloth!

 
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