How do you get started in cloth?

September 10, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Starting out 

Here I will answer the question of How do you get started in cloth?  Start now…

This is with the perspective of having had the baby and the cloth diaper stash is waiting.  Yes, you have enthusiastically collected diapers for the newborn babe.  And now?….

Before baby came along, you take the time to research the cost and options for baby stuff: cribs, clothes, highchairs, toys, bathtubs, and diapers.  Next, you started to collect these items and request them from happy gift givers who seemed more thrilled about baby’s arrival than you could be!

Baby makes his or her grand appearance and wow! life has a new routine to it.  Can you figure out when to pull that first cute cloth diaper from the pile and attach it to baby?

But wait – there are those newborn disposables someone got you, and we might as well use those up!  But wait – baby still has the umbilical cord to deal with and those cut aways on the disposables are the only thing built for that, right?  But wait – if I use those cloth diapers, I’ll have to wash them and I have only done the pre wash on them to get the natural oils out so they will be absorpent!  I don’t want to deal with the mess yet, do I?

Everything comes down to experience….   Let’s set up the baby story:  During day one, you’re learning to hold baby and you’re not so fond of giving baby over to someone else after he magically settled in your arms.  Learning to nurse or get baby on a bottle is distracting enough to this new routine!  During day two, you are recognizing some funny little grunts, hiccups, sneezes, burps, and cries he makes as he eases into his world.  During day three, you perhaps learn to bathe baby and you have found the little outfits which are your favourites, so its time to show them off and venture outside with baby.  And you want to start to add cloth diapering to this fun?

Here’s a hint: It’s quick to learn! You may change more diapers on this newborn baby than do anything else more frequently!  The learning curve is quick because you change baby so often!  I remember nursing took me a few weeks to get the hang of!  I still felt a pinch when my first daughter latched on 5 weeks after she was born!  My cloth diapering routine was learned in a weekend of 45 diaper changes and continued on after that, pretty much with the same way.  I admit to finding many new ways of folding a cloth diaper and dealing with leaks and blowouts in creative ways (I have an IKEA incident involving a lot of poop!)  I can relate to that experience later!

Tell someone when you’re going to start. Make yourself accountable to begin with those cloth diapers by telling a family member or friend about your desire to use cloth diapers.  Friends can be great at checking in with you to see if you have actually gone for it!  This can be the basis of your support system which encourages you to start and continue with cloth diapers.  For example, I have tried different ways to keep the goals I set for myself.  New Year’s resolutions are communicated to friends and family because I make them fun and a bit challenging.  This year, I challenged myself to try one new recipe each week and by July I had friends of friends asking me how it was going!  Now three friends are all sharing recipes online through different blogs and websites!

Baby ready to change to cloth

Ready for the cloth diaper change!

Do it yourself. Are you waiting for someone else to be the first to cloth diaper baby?  Sometimes when we get to witness your mate actually putting on the cloth diaper, then the anticipation of those first trials are gone.  Tell me if the novelty is still there after your 237th diaper change, because I really found it to become as routine as making baby smile – which still holds it novelty!  Watching friends with their babies can make cloth diapering more accessible too.  Wait till you see how squirmy the ten month old boy is and you’ll be thankful you have a co-operative newborn to start trying out the cloth diapers on.  By ten months of age, you’ll be a pro and we all love to become experts at something!  What can be amusing to watch is the grandparents who want to take over diapering and they attempt the cloth diaper routine too!  My own mother had a diaper service when we were growing up, but she didn’t want to deal with them around her place when we went to visit!  “No trouble, mom, I’ll change my daughter.”  Mom peeked over my shoulder at these prefolds and pretty covers and soon enough was ready to try this out!  Yet, I can’t figure out how she manages to put the covers on with the closures in the back?!

Remember baby’s health. Some days with baby are good and some days just seem horrid.  When you begin to look after yourself again, you can really focus on how baby is doing too.  Breastfeeding is widely encouraged as a healthy habit for babies.  Cloth diapers have begun to make the re-appearance for health reasons too.  Changing Ways has had clients using cloth on their baby because of a skin reaction to disposable diapers.  Imagine that!  Not having a choice but to use those cloth diapers!  Well, that did it for me personally.  I had been keeping an emergency stash of disposable diapers around the house expecting to pull them out on those horrid days or when baby had messed all our diaper covers and laundry day wasn’t until tomorrow.  I still have two thirds of that package left.  One more note about healthy boys and cloth diapers:  the cotton layer against baby helps the testicles to self regulate their temperature better.  There have been studies linking use of disposable diapers to infertility in men. See here for more from the University of Women’s Health.

So how do you really put on that first cloth diaper?  Tell me when you’re going to start and I’ll follow up with you!  Many good reasons to do so!  Show me the pictures!