I had no idea that cloth diapering would become such a wonderful part of motherhood for me! In September, we celebrated our daughter CC’s birthday. In the days leading up to her birthday, my husband and I spent a few nights reminiscing as we looked through all the pictures we had taken in the past year. Now that her first birthday is over, I realized we also celebrated our “one year in cloth diapers” anniversary. Clearly, this isn’t a popular type of anniversary since I could not find a single card at the Hallmark store. Just joking! Between a nap or shopping for a cloth diaper card, the nap will win every time.
So what has the past year looked like for us?
- We used disposables (Huggies ~ free from our hospital stay) while in the hospital and then also when out and about during the first few weeks
- We used gDiapers tinies with flushable inserts the day we arrived home from the hospital until she was 12 days old.
- Baby CC moved into size small gDiapers when she was 12 days old. We continued to use flushable inserts until she was 1 month old and also at night until she moved into size medium.
- Baby CC moved into size Medium gDiapers when she was about 8 weeks old. The stage between size S and M was rough! She wore size S pouches in size M gPants for a while, but we kept getting leaks. I ended up buying a huge package of Target’s Up & Up brand of size 2 disposable diapers. When she moved into size M, we began using disposable diapers overnight because I didn’t want to purchase any more flushable inserts.
- At six months, we were very pleased with our gDiapers thus far. gDiapers were very user friendly and my husband enjoyed how easy they were to put on. Baby CC got occasional leaks out the legs or poop up the back (usually when she was sick or after her immunizations). We loved the Wooly Booly inserts or the gCloth on top of a Geffen baby insert.
- In April, I placed an order from Nicki’s Diapers and Green Mountain Diapers: flats, bamboo prefolds, and diaper covers. I wanted to try using cloth overnight because Baby CC’s poop would escape up and out the back of her disposable diaper at night. I was hoping that cloth will solve that problem. Plus, I had been intrigued by the Flats Challenge and liked the idea of a cloth diaper that is very easy to clean. I also wanted to learn how to fold flats on to my baby and use prefolds. They seemed simple enough (albeit with a steep learning curve) and the covers are so cute!
- I particpated in the Flats Challenge 2017 (May 15-21) and mostly made it through (although the last few blog posts never materialized….probably because Baby CC stopped sleeping through the night at that point…and hasn’t slept through the night since!).
- After the Flats Challenge, we started reaching for our gDiapers less and less. They became the first diaper on in the morning because they were so simple to put on, but I fell in love with the ease of Lalabye Baby diapers (especially when used as pocket diapers). I built up our Lalabye stash (a small, respectable stash of 20 as of the end of August) and I figured out how to use prefolds. We have six medium organic GMD prefolds and six medium bamboo Imagine prefolds. I am currently selling our gDiaper stash because the pouches are ready to be replaced and I would rather not spend $22 on pouches when I could buy a cute new diaper for the same price.
- We have been using cloth at night since slightly before the Flats Challenge. We used a Blueberry Coverall over a stretchy flat with a Geffen Hemp flat pad-folded inside and a fleece liner on top. At the beginning of July, I switched to Sbish OBF under a Disana wool cover. We have not had a leak since using cloth at night and I love using wool and a fitted at night. It works even when CC nurses 2-3 times at night.
- Now that CC is a year old, we use Lalabye (both inserts) during the day. The rise setting is almost open, snapped on the top set of snaps. I snap the waist snaps on green with only the blue showing. She is pretty skinny so the Lalabye diapers fit very well. Her first diaper of the day needs to be changed an hour after she is put into it at the absolute longest time. Every other diaper can be changed about 2 hours after it is put on. If we are going somewhere or I want to make absolute sure there are no leaks, I put a prefold (GMD medium or Imagine bamboo medium) on her with a cover. At nighttime, we are still using Sbish OBF medium and Disana soakers. We have yet to have a leak. We are also using cloth wipes exclusively at home now and have been since the summer. I just wet 4 wipes or so and set them on a plate right next to the changing table. We use about 8-10 wipes a day. We also have a diaper sprayer that attaches to the sink and a Spray-Pal. My husband has been incredible spraying off her poopy diapers! I am so thankful for his willingness to help me in this way!
What would I do differently?
For my next baby, I will probably not use gDiapers at all. They were such a great diaper for us to start with and gave me the confidence I needed to begin cloth diapering. I sold off my medium and large gDiaper stashes, though I do still have my newborn sizes and my size smalls. For my next baby, I am already s l o w l y starting to put together a newborn stash. I plan to use cloth diapers on my next baby right from the beginning (defined as the day we get home from the hospital) and I would like to use a mixture of diapers: prefolds, fitteds, wool, PUL/TPU covers, and several different types of AIOs. Mind you, I have no plans for another baby at this point so I am looking forward to shopping for an awesome newborn stash by taking advantage of all the sales throughout the year(s).
What advice would I offer a first-time-using-cloth-diapers mom?
I would tell a new-to-cloth mama that this isn’t a make-or-break sort of decision. You are still a great mom if you use cloth and you are still a great mom if you use disposables. The decision to cloth diaper (or not) should NOT bring about judgment! This is not a life or death type of parenting choice. That being said, the best piece of advice I can give is to try a bunch of different types of cloth diapers because what works for one mom and her family may not work for a different mom and her family. And lastly, don’t get discouraged! Every problem has a solution: every wash routine can be tweaked, every diaper can be stripped, and every child will survive just as well in a disposable diaper if that is what it takes to keep a mom’s sanity intact.