New to or considering cloth diapering? Starting any new thing (especially as a new mom) can be really intimidating. When my oldest child was born, I had already purchased everything I needed for cloth diapering but was too anxious to start actually using them.
Here are four cloth diapering tips I would tell my younger self now that I’ve had four kids and cloth diapered them all.
1) Just start.
It took me three months with my first kid and when I finally gave it a go, it was much easier than I thought it would be. Yes, there was a tiny learning curve and my husband and I made some mistakes, but in the end, it took less than two weeks for us to get the hang of it. Luckily, infants provide plenty of practice!
2) You don’t have to buy everything at once.
I was a little bit gung-ho so before my baby was even born, I had bought two dozen Chinese prefolds in infant, premium, and toddler sizes; 6 diaper covers; a small and large wet bag, and an assortment of other accessories.
However, if that is not a feasible option for your family, or you’re just not sure if you’ll stick with cloth diapering and don’t want to buy all this stuff just to not use it, you can start with a subscription club and get one diaper at a time, buy a package, buy used diapers, or take advantage of Cotton Babies’ 30 day return policy. You can even sell back your diapers if you ultimately decide not to use cloth diapers.
3) It’s not all or nothing.
Whatever level of cloth diapering you’re comfortable with, do that. There is no one way to cloth diaper. There is no Cloth Diaper Police. Do what you find fits your family and lifestyle. Don’t know what that is yet? That’s ok. You can figure it out as you go along.
When I first started cloth diapering, I wasn’t confident enough to use cloth diapers when we left the house. However, after a couple of months, I realized that we were out of the house so much, we ended up being mostly in disposable diapers. That’s when I decided to go all in and I haven’t looked back since.
With each of my children, we have done different combinations ranging from only cloth diapers (even at night) to cloth diapers during the day and disposables at night. I really wish I had discovered Flip Disposable inserts when my kids were babies because I would have used those instead!
4) Give yourself time.
It takes time to get good at something. Like all things in life, you will make mistakes. That’s totally normal. If you stick it out for a week or two, you’ll get the hang of it and quickly become a pro.
True story: when my eldest was a few months old, my grandaunt was babysitting for me while I had to attend a board meeting. She never had children and my son was the first kid she had ever diapered – let alone cloth diapered.
One day, I came home to my son dressed very oddly (and very wet!) Turns out, she had put a cloth diaper on my son, buttoned a onesie over the diaper, and then put the diaper cover on over the onesie. Needless to say, that didn’t work very well.
I wish I could say that I was gracious and laughed it off at the time, but I was a stressed-out new mother and was likely ungrateful and mean to my poor grandaunt. She passed away a few years ago I would give anything to have her make that same mistake on my youngest. Now, it is one of my fondest memories of her and my children.
This is all just to say, the worst thing that can happen with a cloth diaper mistake is your kid is wet or a little “dirtier” than normal. It’s a temporary learning curve and over time, it will become another funny story about their childhood.