When I had my first baby 6 years ago, I knew I wanted to cloth diaper. I didn’t trust what was in disposable diapers and especially once he arrived and I was doing 12 diaper changes a day, I felt the weight of seeing how much waste I was creating with disposables. But just like you, I had all the same warnings from friends and family about how gross and impractical it was, and I didn’t have any live support to help with my questions about choosing and troubleshooting them, so from the start I told myself I would start slow and cloth diaper part-time - because every diaper I could save from the landfill was a good thing, right?
I was the mom who wanted a drug-free birth and thought breastfeeding was going to be the most natural thing to happen between a mother and her baby - but none of it happened quite as I expected and my confidence as a parent was shaken. All of a sudden cloth diapering took a back seat. I remember how I had a stash of pre-prepped diapers and it wasn’t until his newborn shoot did I finally put one on him so that his bottom would look cute for the photos, and that’s when our journey really started. It was a steep learning curve and my husband refused to get on board, so we did part-time for at least the first year. Fast forward a few years, I had another little bundle of joy and we were full-time diapering straight out of the hospital and we loved it. My husband was finally on board too, for her health, because we both noticed that the skin around her bottom, that was full-time cloth diapered, was so much better than my son’s, who was part-time cloth diapered. In hindsight it made me realize that the exposure to the chemicals in disposable diapers really was causing an irritation to his skin, and for him it was more obvious that it may be for others, but make no mistake that it is having an effect on our babies’ health.
During this time I have helped many families start their cloth diapering journeys too, and I learned a lot about all the trials and tribulations that other families were experiencing, and how to fix them. When starting out, it’s not so easy to know when your diaper is leaking because it’s not well-fitted or because the inserts that came in the box are pretty rubbish. Every time we helped a family troubleshoot and they began to love cloth diapering, I felt an overwhelming sense of gratification - I wanted to do that for every family that has aspirations to be healthier and more eco-conscious. I wanted to make cloth diapering easy and as fool-proof as possible, so I designed a diaper that addresses a lot of the common pitfalls I’ve seen. My favorite feature is that it can pull up - because whose baby wants to lie still for a diaper change once they’re old enough to roll away!
Top 3 Tips On Getting Started
- Start with 6 diapers if you’re just starting out and if you like the brand, build your stash from there. Make sure to budget your stash for new colors and prints - consider yourself warned! 24 is commonly the magic number for a family that full-time cloth diapers and launders them every 2 days or so.
- Breastmilk poop is water soluble, so easy to wash out and hardly stains so it’s actually a great time to start with cloth diapers before starting weaning. Disposable liners are not necessary at this stage because it’s quite runny, unless you’re using a diaper cream, then it’s a good idea to protect your diapers with a liner.
- Cloth diapering is not all or nothing! It is a great thing if you can replace one disposable diaper a day with reusable, and even better if you can cloth at home and use disposables when out or traveling, so don’t paralyze yourself thinking this is a huge commitment - start small and you will become a pro in no time.
Top 3 Tips You Might Not Have Heard Before
- Direct sunlight is the best for natural bleaching! It also kills bacteria, so if you are so lucky, hang dry your covers and inserts facing the sun.
- Cloth is woven together so it has “pores”, which can get clogged with an ineffective wash routine or using nappy creams/oils without any barrier. If your diaper starts to leak in a short period of time after a few months of use, pour some water on your inserts to see if it is absorbing well or if it is repelling (you can see water droplets forming on the surface) - if it is, it’s time to do a ‘strip’ or deep clean to clear out those pores so they can absorb like new again!
- Cloth wipes are a great complement to cloth diapers because they can be tossed, stored and washed the same way as your diapers. It took me a while to get onboard with these too, so if you feel squeamish about wiping poopy bottoms with them, use cloth wipes just for the peepee changes :)