My pre-pregnancy self thought, “I will cloth diaper! Most def!” The reality was that we were far too overwhelmed becoming new parents and did not pre-prep a diaper system to start with our newborn. It was easier, and yes, more convenient to use disposables until about week 2 or 3. I did not feel good about it, but as I said before, that was what we needed to do at that time to bump our mental well-being.
I was excited to start cloth diapering though. I had done so much research about different types of covers, brands, and types of inserts. I had viewed videos on reviews and fitting and fixing elastics. I had read FB articles on how to strip and blah blah blah BLAH. Turns out… it is really not as difficult as I started to believe. There is just an overwhelming amount of information and opinions out there on cloth diapering… oh, and look at me just adding one more blip!
I stand by the fact that YOU, the parent, need to do what is best for YOU and YOUR baby. What works for me may not work for you. I think most of the time the best thing to do is just stop and slowly back away from all that information! Figure it out on your own. Although I have to say Anna from made right (here) gave me some awesome tips on cloth diapering. Momma friends are also a great resource.
My blee blah pieces of advice:
- buy second hand cloth diapers; save sooo many dollars
- get a collection of various brands to see which fit your bubbah best
- also get a collection of various inserts
- make peace with doing diaper laundry every other day, depending on your system
- once done laundering, pre-stuff your diapers for ease at change time
Second hand cloth diapers:
I found all of my cloth diapers (but one) on mom buy & swap pages on Facebook in my local region. I got one lot for very cheap, and the other lot generously given to me for free. I feel fine having my baby reuse another baby’s diapers. Most of the inserts were in good condition – those that weren’t got tossed. Ask around. Share them diapers!
I was fortunate with my diaper lots because they included a variety of brands: bumGenius, SwaddleBees, Beilesen, AMP, Charlie Banana, Applecheeks, gDiaper, and a generic brand called Sweet Doll Baby. I also bought myself one new cover and inserts from Kawaii.
bumGenius: I have both snaps and Velcro. We had a few leaks with them in the beginning because baby was just not big enough (we did not get newborn sized diapers), but we doubled up on inserts and it mostly fixed the problem. Now they fit well. Do not use diaper rash cream with this brand. It says so right on the tag, which I read after the fact. I’m not sure what exactly it does, but the fabric did get a little ruined.
SwaddleBees: There was only one of these in the lot, so I am not sure if they are all made the same. I found the fabric on the inside to stain very easily and it does not fully come out in the wash like the others. I would not pass this diaper on to another person. Fit was OK, but I had to use the thin liners to double, as it did not fit the others.
Beilesen: One size my butt! They fit well in the beginning, but now are too small, no matter which snap adjustments I make. And my baby is only three months old and is an average sized baby. Not sure what’s up with that.
AMP: Again, one size my butt! Opposite of Beilesen, this diaper was way too big in the beginning and is still too large now. The Velcro strips also do not cross over to stick to each other, so there is no way to get a snug enough fit until baby is older/bigger.
Charlie Banana: Fits nicely and snuggly and is not bulky like others. I like the diaper, though I have to use thinner liners because it is too small to fit the bigger ones.
Applecheeks: Oh, these are cute prints, but I was disappointed with these ones despite having heard great things from friends. They fit okay, but we had leaks every single time. I tried various combinations of liners, or just single liners, and still we had leaks. I gave up with these ones *sad face*.
gDiaper: Okay, these are supposed to be a hybrid between a disposable and a cloth diaper. They have biodegradable inserts that you stick inside a cloth cover. Sorry, but I have to say…NAH. These diapers did NOT work for me at all. Leaks, explosions everywhere. Liners bunched, blah blah, NEXT.
Sweet Doll Baby: This is a generic brand, and have been my favourite. They wash well, fit nicely, and I have had the least amount of nighttime leaks with them.
Kawaii: I decided to try this brand because I had not heard of it and it’s Canadian. This is the only one I bought new – fun print too! It fits nicely, washes well, and is not that bulky.
I have collected inserts of various materials and sizes. I have cotton, bamboo, hemp, and microfiber. I also have long ones, short ones, some as big as your head! I mean long, short, trifolds, and snap adjustable ones that can be long or short. I combine these in different ways. I would say the short cotton ones are my favourite, and the microfibers my least favourite. I like the bamboo ones, but they sometimes bunch, versus the others keeping their shape.
Special detergent? Unnecessary. Diaper stripping? Didn’t do it. Extra special stain remover? I have only used once on the SwaddleBees, which didn’t do what I needed it to anyway. I wash on hot with a pre-soak and use my normal detergent without perfumes, etc. Seems to be working so far.
Pre-stuff your diapers:
Yeah, do this. Watch a show on TV or something and stuff them diapers.
I also do not use single-use wipes unless we are out for a longer period of time and need to change baby on the go. These are wasteful things and are super easy to make. I found this recipe and use a stack of normal washcloths with them. Baby’s skin likes it and it is far less wasteful than the normal store-bought wipes.
What’s your diaper system like? What worked and what did not? Do you swear by a brand?