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Since we haven’t been cloth diapering all that long in the grand scheme of things, I’m personally still learning a ton. That said, there are several things that I had to learn the hard way, and if I can spare you my pain, that would make me happy.
- Cloth diapers come in about 8 bazillion different types. Not all of them are crazy hard to master – pick something simple, to begin with until you get the hang of it.
- Make sure that everyone changing your kid is on board with the diaper you choose. I know what you’re thinking, “My kid, my diapers, my money – they can suck it”, but really unless you want your kid in disposables or running naked through the yard, make sure everyone is on board. My first system was so complicated that my husband, who gets up early on Saturdays with my son to let me sleep in, DIDN’T TAKE THE KID OUT OF HIS SLEEP SACK FOR AN HOUR because he was afraid of coming face to face with the new diaper. So. Grandparents, spouse, daycare people – get them on board before you buy a whole bunch of a brand.
- The absorbent part, whether it’s a prefold or a liner MUST stay tucked under the waterproof layer. Do not leave just a teeny-tiny bit of hemp showing above the diaper at night because the kid was squirming unless you feel like doing a load of laundry in the morning. That absorbent part will become wet, and it will transfer that wetness to PJs, sleep sacks, sheets, everything unless it is firmly ensconced inside the lovely waterproof layer or cover meant to contain it.
- Folds and creases are your enemies. My son has eczema. The whole reason we switched to cloth was to let his poor backside heal from the damage that disposable diapers did to it. Well, a crease in cloth liner caused a flare up the other day, and tonight when I put his nighttime diaper on him after his bath, it was a weeping open sore. A sore I was unsure how to treat beyond slathering it in Neosporin, because it was coming in contact with the soon-to-be-wet liner that caused it in the first place*. Do yourself and your kid a favor, and run a finger over the liner before you fasten the diaper to uncrease it.
- You will get diaper envy. It happens, trust me. Once you see how many cute diapers there are out there, you will want to go nuts and own each and every one for yourself. Just remind yourself that they’ll get pooped on before you wipe out your savings account.
*Does anyone know if I could put a band-aid in there? Will it adhere all night? Gauze and tape? I’m worried about infection it was so bad tonight and he SOBBED when I put the diaper over it. I need a way to keep the front section above his penis dry for a few days to let it heal if anyone has a suggestion.