Do You Cloth Diaper?
I recently got inspired to talk about cloth diapers because the website Romper reached out to me about giving some tips and tricks for families that are wanting to make the switch to cloth diapers. I was really excited about it because before I started my doula career back in Okinawa; I owned a cloth diaper store called Chisai Bums! I LOVED teaching Cloth Diaper 101 classes and helping families figure out what diaper style was going to work for them. It was one of the first steps that made me realize how much I really enjoyed helping expecting families prepare for their baby.
Choosing to cloth diaper comes from many different areas in families lifestyles. Some choose to make the switch because of the money you can save. Many families can save around $1,000 just by cloth diapering their child. Other families choose to cloth diaper because of the environmental impact that disposable diapers have on our landfills. Then there are families that do it because the prints are just too cute to pass on. Whatever a family’s reason is, it can be overwhelming to figure out what system is going to work for you and what you actually do need.
One the first things we have our clients do is RESEARCH, RESEARCH, and RESEARCH again. YouTube is my favorite place for this because you can see what they look like, how people put them on and take them off, and what accessories you are going to need. There are many different videos on YouTube about cloth diapers; this 7 part video series is my to go for teaching families the different kinds. After learning about cloth diapers you need to pick the system you want to use. I always suggest expecting parents to buy a few different kinds. Buy a pack of pre-folds with a few covers and at least two Snappies. Try out some All-In-Ones (AIO), Pockets, All-In-Two (AI2), and even some fitted diapers. If you are unsure about the poop factor, you can buy some Bioliners or even Hybrid diapers. The options are endless and cloth diapering isn’t one size fits all (Ok, some diapers are one size fits all but this isn't what we are talking about). You can do it only at home and use disposables while on the go, or you can use cloth during the day and disposables at night. You can cloth diaper anyway you want to!
Now that you have bought your diapers and have shared all the cute patterns on your social media, you need to wash them. This seems to be the hardest part of cloth diapering because it can be little complex from time to time because your water might be too hard or the soap you are using has fabric softener in it. So before you start washing, check out this Facebook group. It is nothing information on how to figure out what kind of water you have, which soap is going to work best and how to come up with a great wash routine. Also, join a local cloth diaper group. More than likely, they are going to have the same water as you and they will know what soap is going to work best for your water type and where you can purchase them.
Last but not least is actually cloth diapering a baby! A few of our favorite tips is to make sure you always make sure their little (or chunky) thighs are not inside the diaper. A cloth diaper should sit just like underwear does. If their thighs are inside the diaper it can cause gapping and the diaper will leak. Another tip is to have at least two pail liners and two wet bags. The second you put everything in the washer, the baby will need a diaper change and you will need somewhere to put it until it’s time to wash again. Our last tip is to not let it stress you out. If you are having a hard time balancing a new baby and cloth diapers, then stop and try again later or hire a cloth diaper laundry service. You can always use disposables during the newborn stage and choose to cloth diaper when they are a few months old. Again, it's completely up to you how you want to diaper your child.
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