Directions are for idiots — or so I thought. As a general rule, I like to figure things out for myself without the help of instructions. This has typically worked for me except for when I started cloth diapering. After a couple months into it, I was so frustrated and I thought cloth diapers didn’t work. They always leaked, had horrendous stains and smelled awful. Then, I decided to get on the Cotton Babies website and read some directions. Little did I know I was making some common cloth diaper mistakes.
Mistake #1: Follow the “before use” instructions on the diaper label. I am never one to read or follow directions, as stated above, but these exact instructions help your diaper absorb liquid, and this is something you want to happen! I had a huge mess on my hands because I didn’t read these simple instructions. It was a bad experience.
Mistake #2: Not using the right detergent. I really thought cloth diaper detergent was just a gimmick to get me to buy more product, so I used regular laundry soap. First, I used my homemade version because that’s what I was used to and I thought it was the most basic detergent I could find. When that didn’t work, I used store detergent. My diapers leaked and smelled. After reading about washing instructions, I realized that using the right detergent wasn’t a ploy to get me to spend more money. It actually had a real purpose: it was free of perfumes and additives, which reduces the amount of residue and buildup in diapers. After switching detergent, I literally haven’t had any leaks!
Mistake #3: Not Sunning. This is the process of leaving your diapers outside in the sunlight to dry. When the sun’s rays hit cloth diapers, stains are magically removed. It is like bleaching your diapers without the harsh chemicals. Plus, the sun can get your diapers very white.
Mistake #4: Not educating the people around me. My mother didn’t understand why I was annoyed when she put rash cream on my baby without a barrier. I never explained to her how to use cloth diapers, let alone how to use rash cream with them. When the babysitter didn’t change my little one’s cloth diaper, it was because she didn’t know what to do. That was my fault for not explaining the process of cloth diapers. People want to help. They just need to be informed on cloth diapering.
Mistake #5: Not having the proper equipment. A diaper sprayer, wet bag, diaper pail, and drying rack are all cloth diapering essentials. I’ve used cloth diapers without these products, and sure, it can be done, but it’s much easier when you have the right tools.
Mistake #6: Not asking for help. If you run into a problem, ask for help. Call the Cotton Babies Customer Service Team at 314-892-1855 or search the web. Information is readily available at the click of a button.
There is a right way and a wrong to cloth diaper. Learn from my beginner mistakes so you can have a successful cloth diapering experience.