5 Tips to Make Cloth Diapering Easier Than It Looks
What’s this? A disposable diaper shortage is coming?!
Thanks to a recent explosion at one of the factories in charge of producing acrylic acid, the chemical that they put into baby diapers to help keep them dry, they are predicting that getting disposable diapers into parents’ hands may soon be difficult.
Probably people are overreacting, and it’s the resultant diaper hoarding that may actually lead to the shortage, but still.
Let’s just pretend for a moment that this is real.
Or, that the zombie apocalypse we’ve been anticipating is finally here! You can’t go out into the open air to collect diapers for your baby without possibly having your brains eaten, your kiddo is still not potty trained because he can’t even hold his own head up straight, and you are tasked with coming up with a feasible solution!
What’s a girl to do?!
Might I suggest, cloth diapers?!
As a parent who has used both disposable and cloth, I can give you the inside scoop on how hard (or easy) it will be to make the change! And please note, I only made the switch myself when faced with a zombie-apocalypse-esque situation, so I feel your pain.
Deciding to Cloth Diaper: Insider Tips to Make It Easier Than It Looks
1. Get the right materials. Cloth diapering has grown immensely from the days of the thick white fabric held together by safety pins. Today there are a number of cloth diaper “systems” designed to make it an easier and more comfortable solution for both babies and their parents. So, do a little research and then consider getting a couple of the systems to test out to help you decide which you like best. You can often score great deals at Diaper.com on a variety of different brands.
2. Make a commitment. Yeah, it’s hard. You actually have to wash those little buggers out, you are probably going to have to do more laundry (unless you use a less cost effective service), and there is definitely going to be a frustrating adjustment period if you have been using disposables for life and want to switch. My advice? Tell yourself you are going to stick with it for 3 weeks. Even when your kid has an oozing mess of a poop that blows out the sides and up his back, promise yourself you won’t quit. If you make it to your designated day and think you’d rather drown yourself in the toilet then stand over it to rinse another dirty diaper in this lifetime, then give it up. They should have the probably-made-up-anyway-disposable-diaper-shortage sorted out by then anyway.
3. Consider the pros (and cons). Cloth diapered babies get fewer rashes, are easier to potty train, and save parents tons of cash over their diaper wearing lifetime. That’s what the experts say anyway. My baby had chronic, severe-rash-causing diarrhea due to food allergies. The skin on his bottom was weak and it was further irritated by the chemicals in disposable diapers. The only thing that helped the open wounds on his bottom was wearing cloth diapers. So, it wasn’t really optional for us. He was potty trained at age 2, in less than a week without me even really trying all that hard. But it’s not feasible or desirable for every family. If that’s the case, or if you just think gagging over the toilet while rinsing cloth diapers is a lame way to spend an afternoon, then skip it. And don’t bother feeling guilty about it; no one has time for all that noise.
4. Mix it up. Consider doing a hybrid approach to diapering. For us, taking cloth diapers on the road was just not gonna happen. We didn’t want to have to haul a poop bomb around the grocery store when we knew he inevitably busted one for us every time we left the house. So, we used cloth at home and disposables when we went out.
5. Think of the earth. Cloth diapering is arguably greener than disposable. Seriously, do you even know how long it takes for one of those bad boys to break down in a landfill?! You don’t want to
*cough* hundreds of years *cough*. And, apparently, they blow up sometimes too.
Cloth diapering not only keeps money in your wallet, but helps the planet too. It may even save lives and, possibly, your child will be smarter, cuter, healthier, and able to fly if he or she is cloth diapered.
If cloth diapering works for you, awesome. If not, awesome still. Either way you go, your kid will be golden so don’t sweat the small stuff, no kid ever grew up and hated his parents because they put him in pampers.