Original post written by Cherie Mercer and shared on Mommie Miracles
5 Things I Wish I Knew Before Cloth Diapering
- They aren’t as gross as you think they are.
I know what you’re thinking if you don’t cloth diaper… ew who wants to deal with the poop and wash them?!
To be honest that wasn’t my big issue. I just didn’t like the idea of my kids smelling faintly of pee that never goes away. I didn’t like the idea of stains, and yes there can be staining, on something I’m putting on my kids bum.
If you start when your baby is exclusively breastfed you can just wash the whole diaper, you don’t even need to rinse it! But even when your baby gets older if you get in a good routine of rinsing right away its no worse than cleaning your baby’s bum with a disposable. I promise you whether you cloth diaper or use disposable you WILL get poo on you, sorry but that’s part of what you signed up for when you became a parent.
- Diaper rashes don’t have to be as common as they are.
I didn’t cloth diaper with my first and I didn’t start until my 2nd was older and her disposables were exploding all over her bed in a gross gel mess since she was such a heavy wetter.
My girls got rashes all the time. Like ALL the time!
At the time I was a new mom and it was normal. I expected it, I mean why else were people giving me tubs of diaper rash cream at my baby shower?! Obviously my kid was going it get a rash and I just had to deal with it when it came.
My girls got rashes because of all the chemicals in the disposable diapers. It didn’t matter if I left a wet diaper on M for 5 minutes or 5 hours she would get a rash. The wetness mixing with the chemicals on her sensitive skin was a recipe for disaster!
Now, I’m sure not all kids have the same problems, my girls admittedly have very sensitive skin, but that doesn’t mean that I had to be okay with it.
When I switched to cloth diapers I didn’t get anymore rashes… AT ALL!
I knew from the beginning I couldn’t use the same diaper rash cream because it can affect the absorbency so I went out and bought expensive diaper rash cream waiting with baited breath for the first incident. It never came. Like NEVER. M has not had a diaper rash since we switched to cloth! L hasn’t had one diaper rash in her entire life I don’t think except the time we went on vacation and used disposable since I couldn’t wash them properly on the road.
If I knew from the time I was pregnant with K that she didn’t have to suffer through rashes that sometimes got so bad she bled, I would have done cloth from the very beginning!
- How to properly wash my diapers!
This was one thing I tried to prepare myself for while I was contemplating the switch with M. I read blogs and watched videos and did my best to learn what I needed to for the switch.
When you are starting out you see articles about “stripping” your diapers and which detergents to use and which will apparently cause your diapers to self-destruct they’re so useless.
I’m going to tell you right now all of the diapers that I bought brand new and followed the proper washing routine have never had to be stripped with the expensive soaps that are inevitably linked to the blogs.
Those who know me know that I exclusively use Lil Helper Diapers and they are so helpful they have made youtube videos that cover absolutely everything you will ever ask concerning cloth diapers.
Rather than try to write it all out here is a video of the CEO of Lil Helper Cloth Diapers talking about how to properly wash your diapers:
Now I don’t use any other diapers but if I did I would wash them all the same way since this is a very effective routine!
- They’re no harder than disposable.
I think the idea of cloth diapers can be daunting.
It’s not the norm. Admittedly it is much more accepted now than it was just a decade ago, it’s kind of become a trend, but that doesn’t take any of the mystery out of it for those who use what I affectionately call “paper diapers”.
The idea of going out of the house with cloth can feel overwhelming. What if they need a diaper change? What if they poop? What if they leak?
Now when you leave the house with a kid you’re going to need to change them. No matter how well I try and time things I always have to have extra diapers with me when I’m out. For a while, I was taking cloth wipes with me but since I use water with mine and wet them as I use them at home it’s been easier to just buy wipes from the store.
The only “extra” thing that you really need when you cloth diaper is a wet bag. That is simply a bag that can hold wet things without getting everything it touches wet. In a pinch, I’ve used a plastic bag from the store.
I like to tell all my friends they need a wet bag even if they don’t cloth diaper because they’re SO useful! I use mine for wet bathing suits and it my kids need a change of clothes I throw the dirty ones in there so whatever mess they’ve gotten into isn’t getting into my bag!
So you have your wet bag and you’re out with you fluffy bottomed babe and they poop…
If I am in a store I go and change them, snap my diaper up so everything in contained and deal with it at home. If I am at my mom’s or sisters I’ll rinse the poop out there and put the diaper in the wet bag and move on.
So essentially it’s the same as a disposable. The only difference is you don’t throw it out, you tuck it nicely in a cute wet bag and then wash it at home. And I have never had the smell emanate from the wet bag while carrying a little bomb with me.
At home it’s even easier! I put all my pee diapers right into the hanging wet bag I use until I wash them and I rinse the poop right away and put them in the bag as well. I don’t need a diaper genie and I don’t need to worry about having my trash stink because the stink is down the toilet where it belongs!
- Not all cloth diapers are made equally!
Now, this is the big thing I REALLY wish I knew from the beginning. Just like Huggies and Pampers and Luv’s and whatever other paper diapers are out there, there are a lot of different cloth diapers.
Not only are there different brands but there are different types! So many to look at and choose from it can become cripplingly overwhelming! I bought so many different kinds when I started. I went on BST pages and bought whatever I thought was a good deal. I snatched up adorable prints oblivious to the type or if it worked for me.
Pocket diapers are the cheapest. They are fine to start out with if that’s what you can afford but to be honest I spent a decent amount of money to get a lot and then I gave them all away. GAVE THEM AWAY! So for me buying cheap didn’t save me any money!
I didn’t like stuffing them and I didn’t like that the kinds I got would leak. I’m telling you though I bought whatever was a good “deal”. I tried just about every brand there is out there and then one day I stumbled across a review for Lil Helper Diapers.
In the review it stated that they had a “God Forbid Clause” where if you bought them and then you lost the baby they would refund you all your money no questions asked. It was a risk-free way to try their diapers. The pure sweetness of that had me sold. I bought a pack of them and from that day forward I was hooked.
Slowly I replaced all of my diapers that I had previously bought. I donated them to different foundations, mailed them to moms from my mom’s group and gave what I had left to a friend at church.
If I had done better research I would have only bought Lil Helper Diapers and saved so much money! I have used the ones I have now through potty training M and with L from birth! They are so cute and soft and they have charcoal inserts so there is virtually no staining!
I guess as a little extra I’ll give you a number 6. for what I wish I knew before cloth diapering. I really wish I knew how much I would love it!
I love seeing my girls toddle around with a fluffy bum. I love just throwing a tee shirt on them and having them “dressed”.
I love that even when money gets tight I never have to worry if we’re going to have enough diapers.
I love that my girls NEVER have rashes anymore!
I love that L gets excited to pick out her diaper in the morning and she loves them just as much as I do.
Maybe cloth diapering isn’t right for everyone, and that’s fine, but maybe, just maybe, it’s worth looking into!
The link below is my personal referral link for Lil Helper Diapers if you are interested in checking them out!
(Cherie’s code will only work in the USA)
What do you wish you knew before cloth diapering?
Leave a comment below!