Cloth Diapers: How to get started

The hardest part about cloth diapering is buying your first cloth diaper. You are about to spend a chunk of change on an investment and there are a ton of cloth diapers to choose from. Every blogger or mom that cloth diapers will tell you the best ones to use. This mom blogger is not going to tell you what kind of cloth diapers to use because it’s like telling someone what kind of underwear to buy. There aren’t many blogs telling women what kind of underwear is the best because it depends on what you like and what your booty fits into. Everyone likes something different. So just like you figured out what brand and type of underwear is best for you, it’s the exact same for cloth diapering.

I started researching cloth diapers when I was pregnant with my middle daughter (late 2009). There were a few diaper blogs and a few places to buy them online. You could not buy cloth diapers in any store, unless you count those Gerber flats that people bought as burp cloths.

How to get started

Assuming you’ve made the choice to cloth diaper (yay!) you need to find the right kind for you. What I did was make a bunch of newborn diapers and bought a few covers. I had a whole slew of what I thought were burp cloths, but were really flat diapers, and I took a disposable diaper and made a pattern. Then I read a bunch of how-to sew cloth diaper blogs and started making them. I am semi-handy with a sewing machine so why not?

Why did I do it this way? Because I knew that if I spent all that time making them I would for sure use them. Most of the cloth diapers that I thought I would buy didn’t fit babies until they were 8-10 pounds and since my oldest daughter (3 at the time) was such a tiny baby, it would be ages before my babies would fit into those all in one type diapers (AIOs). So I made a bunch of tiny diapers with a bunch of my leftover flats from my oldest so I’d pick up a few boy prints from the store when I was out (I was convinced I was having a boy!). When I was done I had 30 or so hand made diapers and a few covers. I was super excited. When my 8 pound 10 ounce baby GIRL was born hardly any of those 30 diapers fit her. Life is so funny, isn’t it?

As soon as I got home I started researching again out of necessity. I finally found a company (Thanks Mama) that did a sampler pack of five¬†different diapers…. Bum Genius, Fuzzy Bunz, Haute Pockets, Smarty Pants, and….. I can’t remember the 5th one. I used these 5¬†diapers, plus two someone gave me for 3 weeks. I washed them everyday. Yes, it was a huge pain, but I really wanted to be sure I liked what I was buying. After using these 7 diapers I knew I had two deal breakers:
1.) I did not want to have to take the inserts out of each diaper (for obvious reasons)
2.) I did NOT want velcro/hook & loop diapers. 5 of the seven diapers were the hook & loop diapers and wow… what a nightmare. Not only was it super annoying to have to hook the loops to their spot to wash/dry them, it was even more of a headache when you didn’t and you had a diaper chain. Also, in the three weeks that I used them they already showed signs of wear. I knew I wanted to cloth through two kids and there was no way (in my opinion) that I was going to be able to use those through two kids.

cloth diapers: Getting started

Purchase sampler packs so you can decide what you like (and don’t like)!

The only diaper at the time that fit the bill were SmartiPants Cloth Diapers. I bought 30 of them and they have lasted 5.5 years! My youngest daughter is potty trained, but I still put one on her at night just in case. After 5.5 years there were only 2 that had any issues. One of the elastic bands broke on one and another one had the button come through the fabric. That’s it. I could definitely get a good price if I ever sold them…. about half of them probably need the elastic replaced or tightened, which anyone who is handy with a sewing machine could fix. I would also replace all the inserts if I had to use them again.

Definitely worth the investment. I am sure I have saved thousands of dollars, but most important (to me) is the thousands of diapers I have not put into land fills.

How did you get started cloth diapering?

About the same time that I was figuring out cloth diapering, Kim Rosas was launching her Diaper Blog: Dirty Diaper Laundry. I wish I would have known about her at the time…. such an amazing website full of reviews, testimonials and videos! Check her out!

Michelle Smith: Your EcoFriendly Guide

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