Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Things I wish I had known about cloth diapers!

When my husband and I started our journey on cloth diapering (with pocket diapers) I really had no idea what I was doing. These are the things I wish I had known before we started our journey:

  • If your baby’s diaper is leaking out of the legs it means that you should either move up to the next size or move down a size if you are using a one size pocket diaper. When we first got our son’s diapers we had them on the newborn setting. He was 8 weeks old when we started and after about a week or two he started leaking around the legs. That lasted for about eight days until I called the manufacturer. I was informed that the likely problem was that his diapers were too small. So up to the next size we went! Such an easy fix but as a newbie I simply had no clue. 
  • While it’s okay to put the pockets of the diapers in the dryer for a short low heat cycle (that helps kill any bacteria that might be lingering on your fluff) you should not dry them for any great length in the dryer. When I first got my diapers (mind you this was at least over two and a half years ago) it was suggested to air dry your diapers. I’m naturally a rule breaker so I thought that since it was only a suggestion I’d do it the faster way and dry them for the same length as the inserts. Not a good idea. This breaks down the PUL which causes leaks through the actual shell part of the diaper. Now I dry them on low heat for a 30 minute cycle and even after re-waterproofing them they’re still fine. 
  • Using cloth wipes are easier than you would think. We entered into the world of fluff slowly. First it was 24 of our one size pocket diapers and then about a year later we entered into the world of cloth wipes. The decision was made because of Buggie’s sensitive skin. I wanted a way to control what was going on his sensitive little bottom and going the cloth wipes way was it. Plus, it was so much fun choosing the wipes! I’m in love with fleece wipes. You don’t need as many per changing and they are so soft on the skin. 
  • When using diaper rash creams, the suggestion to use a liner is really a good one. I experimented with whether or not I could get away with using a cream with no liner protecting the cloth diaper. Not such a good idea. You see, the cream leaves behind an oily residue that can hinder the diapers performance. If you do have this problem, try stripping your cloth diapers. I use the blue, original Dawn dish soap. Does the trick every time. 
  • There are so many different diaper detergents that you don’t really need to be a loyal fan of just one in the beginning. Experiment. Don’t be afraid to try other detergents in the beginning. You don’t need to be loyal to the first detergent you try. I used the same detergent for the last two years because I was afraid to try something new. Many companies offer trial sizes of their detergents and after trying one I decided to make the switch to a less expensive and better detergent. 
  • You really should buy a wetbag – you’ll use it! It really is easy to cloth diaper out in pubic. I was so afraid public cloth diapering with Buggie in the beginning that used disposables solely. Then I got more comfortable cloth diapering so I started using gallon Ziploc bags. Soon I was so confident bringing my cloth diapers with me that I just took the plunge and bought a wetbag. It was a great decision, I’m not wasting money on Ziploc bags and the bag I chose is SO DARN CUTE! (Yes, part of the reason why I like using cloth diapers and wipes is because of the patterns and fabrics that are available!) 
As you can see there were definitely things that I wish I had understood before I started cloth diapering. Hopefully if you’re starting your fluffy journey my little list will be helpful to you! Happy cloth diapering!

Elizabeth (aka Bert) is a stay-at-home-mom and contributing writer for She Thinks Media. She lives in the Twin Cities with her husband, Ben, her son Buggie, and daughter Lady Bug.  When she's not trying to convince Buggie to expand his interests beyond Thomas the Train or put his pants back on she's writing about her experiences as a mom on her blog, First Time Mom (FTM). After all, Bert maintains there's a first time for everything, even if you  have more than one child! 

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