I’m not going to talk about cloth diapering today. I’m sure you’re checking the post title and image thinking but that’s the title of the post! Well, cloth diapering has been talked about to death online. In fact, if you are considering cloth diapering, I’m sure you are sufficiently overwhelmed already with all of the information that’s out there. I’m going to make it nice and easy for you…
Relax, it’s not that hard.
First-time diaperers tend to be so caught up in doing it the right way that they don’t take the time to figure out their way. I have three children. Two wore cloth diapers and one still does. My way of doing things has been completely different with each. One was skinny and so I used prefolds for a tight custom fit. One had sensitive skin, so we switched to bamboo to suck away any extra moisture. One couldn’t care less and had rhino skin, so we used run-of-the-mill AIOs.
So I’m not going to tell you how to cloth diaper your baby. I’m not going to go over all of the cost benefits. We aren’t going to talk about the different styles of cloth diapers such as Pockets, AIOs, Prefolds, and Flat Folds (I honestly couldn’t help you on that last one anyways). Today I am going to tell you about the stuff that no one tells you. The things that you don’t discover till you’re knee deep in poopy diapers. The good stuff.
The Insider Info on Cloth Diapering Clothes
Baby clothes sold at your average store are not made to fit over fluffy bums. Although super adorable when running around in only a diaper, cloth diapers are hard to fit in clothes. In the beginning, it isn’t so bad. Those footie pajamas have a lot of stretch. It’s when they get into wearing miniature people clothes that the problem arises. Baby denim? Forget about it. To get pants to fit over that bum, the legs are so long you have to roll the cuff. Once you’ve got the cuffs rolled, your baby will look like a harem dancer.
They sell special baby pants for cloth diaperers, but the price tag is insane. Here are some DIY solutions:
You can sew some cloth diaper pants from scratch or use existing pants and remove the back seam, adding a panel like these show (that was my go-to method).
You can make quick pants out of upcycled fleece or wool and then not only do you have pants, but they are leak proof too! We used these at night as jammie pants.
The Insider Info on Wipes
So you’re already doing laundry, why not add cloth wipes as well? I am almost embarrassed to admit this, but cloth wipes didn’t even occur to me until #3 arrived. Like you, I searched endlessly for all the information I could get my hands on. You know what worked the best for wipes? Go to a fabric store, grab the cheapest flannel you can get your hands on and make your own. You can serge the edges or turn twice and stitch. It doesn’t need to be fancy. It doesn’t have to be pretty. It doesn’t need bells and whistles. I had fancy, pretty, bells and whistles baby wipes. They weren’t worth it. Flannel… plain and simple.
Simple-Sew Flannel Wipes
While we are talking plain and simple, you may be wondering what to put on your wipes. Water. Maybe a tiny bit of baby soap and coconut oil. I was amazed at the sheer number of wipes solution recipes that are floating around out there. Do they work? Maybe. But why put more junk on your poor baby’s bum than you need to? Water.
The Insider Info on Swim Diapers
It’s not until you’re ready to hit the beach with the baby in arms that you realize that you need swim diapers. Although naked bums in the sand can be cute, it can also be a bit toasty. It’s also playing with fire as you never know what may come out of your cherub’s hind end in a public place. My ridiculously easy solution: Use a pocket diaper, but take the inserts out. I tried using just a cover and found that the PUL (waterproof lining) tends to stick to the baby’s bum. If you use an actual diaper it will absorb half the lake and hang to your baby’s ankles. A pocket diaper with no insert works beautifully.
If you still need a bit more direction, Midwest Punk Homestead has some great posts on what you need and how to diaper. There is also a great podcast by Pantry Paratus that is worth giving a listen to. I also have two favorite books that were excellent resources, Confessions of a Cloth Diaper Convert: A Simple, Comprehensive Guide to Using Cloth Diapers and Changing Diapers: The Hip Mom’s Guide to Modern Cloth Diapering.
What are some other things that no one told you about on the hundreds of cloth diapering sites? What would you share with someone who is just getting started?