My first child wore disposables for the first eleven months of his life while we lived in an apartment, then wore disposables on a few vacations after that. My second child never wore a single disposable diaper in her nearly four years in diapers. I had two very different experiences diapering them both, and both experiences were great in their own ways. There are so many tips and tricks I picked up along the way but today I wanted to write about what is still, after all these years:
my BIGGEST tip: don’t buy all one brand and/or style of diaper for your stash.
I know your mom, friend, blogger, facebook group etc swore by one brand/type and that’s great for them! Really! Finding something you love is amazing. And as a brand owner myself, I am over the moon when someone has a stash of all Eco Accoutrements diapers (of course!!). But I am here to tell you: that doesn’t often work out. That is the unicorn of diapering.
I talk about cloth diapering with hundreds of families every year, and unfortunately you know what happens more often than falling in love with your giant stash of one brand does?
“We tried cloth diapering, but it didn’t work out. We had so many leak issues.”
Then upon further discussion I find out: they did one of two things usually,
- were using “one sized” diapers on a baby under 13 lbs (I could write a whole other post on that lol)
- They had a stash of all one brand or style (ex. all pocket diapers from one company, all All In Ones etc.)
and my heart hurts for them, because they could have avoided a lot of frustration if they had tested out multiple varieties (plus it’s a whole lot of fun to try new ones!)
Every baby is shaped so differently, and even your specific baby’s shape will change at various stages in their life.
On top of that fact, they also have different absorbency needs. Some kids also develop red marks from elastics in some diapers, yet not in others. Some kids do great in pocket diapers, yet some get rashes from the stay dry polyester inners. etc.
What fits your 3 month old baby like a dream, may not serve your 18 month old well. What curves perfectly around the legs of your first baby’s chunky thighs may not fit great on your smaller second baby… and so on.
If you had asked what my favourite diaper was when my son was 6 months old, my answer would have been different than if you had asked when he was 2 years old. Same as when my daughter was 3 days old, or when she was 1 year old. Which is ok! This is why having a varied stash was so beneficial.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. “Who in the world can afford that?!”
This is where the world of second hand buying became so important for us. We could buy 2-3 fitted diapers, 2 covers, 6 prefolds etc. as needed to fill up our stash. Check your local Babywearing groups for cloth diaper BST threads, or Facebook cloth diaper swap groups.
When we began cloth diapering our son we started out with just 12 prefolds and 3 PUL covers from Bummis. From there we added on with 1-2 used diapers every few weeks. Diapering does not need to be overwhelming, or complicated and expensive. In the end, you need a waterproof outer cover and something absorbent inside.. that’s it! Find a combo that works for you, whatever that ends up being.
Ask around, trust your gut. Don’t be afraid to try new things, or sell what doesn’t work for you (or don’t, if you can afford to hold on to it it may work for you later on! Some diapers that didn’t work for my daughter when she was younger worked great on her as a toddler).
The moral of the story? Try, try, try again. It’s ok to have a leak or a blow out. You didn’t fail, your diaper isn’t broken, there’s a learning curve. Google some fit check tips and try again.
OR, that diaper style or type simply may not be for you or your baby.. no matter what that cloth diaper group you’re in swears by! 😉 It’s ok to set a brand or style aside and say “yep, that’s not for us” and try something new. Promise.
Much love and fluffy bums,
About the Cloth Diaper Podcast
The Cloth Diaper Podcast is a regular podcast sharing stories from cloth diaper parents, brands and retailers from around the world.
The Cloth Diaper Podcast is not affiliated with any school of thought of diaper laundry but instead focus on the power of peer-to-peer story telling to empower you to make your own cloth diaper journey.
Cloth Diapering is not this or that, but rather many different experiences.
Cloth Diaper Podcast is located in Northern BC, Canada on the traditional territories of the Lheidli T'enneh First Nations. Black Lives Matter. Every Child Matters. & We are strong advocates for radical change as requested by those who experience social injustice. Listen first.
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