I remember that nesting feeling... you know the intense cleaning and organizing that moms do to prepare for baby. We want to be as prepared as possible for an event that literally turns your world upside down. Even with cloth diapering, it's possible to get a good organizational system down. Don't allow cloth diapering to become a stressor or anxiety-provoking for you. Follow these 6 pro-tips, and girl, you'll be in a good spot!
1)Know When To Start Using Cloth Diapers
You should prepare for baby to use cloth diapers soon after birth. However, when I say day one, I don’t mean the day baby is born. There are several sticky situations that happen right after baby is born. Both boys and girls first poo is a sticky dark substance called meconium. Baby is expected to pass meconium within 24 hours after birth and the tar-like poops can continue until between 3-5 days after birth. Because of this, you'll want to avoid using cloth diapers until your baby begins switching to more yellowish seedy stools. Meconium is made of stuff your baby ingested while in utero. There's mucus, bile, amniotic fluid, skin cells, and the fine hair that covered baby's body in this poop. So it's stickiness begins to make sense when you consider it's ingredients. This combo of yuckiness can stain cloth diapers. So I suggest waiting until this has passed before beginning your cloth diapering.
Similarly, along gender lines, baby girls often experience a mini-cycle during their first few days of life. While in utero, mom's escalated estrogen can stimulate baby girl's uterus. This is totally normal, so just prepare for it. On the same token, many baby boys undergo circumcision procedures. In both cases, we want to avoid blood staining your cloth diapers. Circumcision care has some pretty specific ointments that you're given to help the area heal. Materials like petroleum jelly don't go in cloth diapers! Not only could it stain the diaper, but it also might make them less absorbent. We don't want to ruin our diapers (and our diapering experience) from the start.
My pro tip is to use the disposable diapers hospitals provide during baby's first two weeks of life. Take the diapers the hospital gives you. Clear the drawers. You paid for that birth - take all the stuff you can get for free - sanitizer, blankets, water cups, belly binder. Alllll the things!
Also, you're gonna encounter someone who was like... "This chick don’t know what she talkin about... ain’t no way she'll use cloth diapers in 2020." That lady is gonna be the one who brings disposable diapers to your baby shower. Give her a strong side-eye and then use them to get through baby's first weeks of life.
2)How big should my stash be?
If you decide to own your cloth diapers, my pro tip is to build a stash of at least 30 cloth diapers. Invest in what you need to be successful upfront. I wanted to see, touch, and feel the diapers that I was considering. I ordered about 3 random diapers - one each from various vendors that I thought were intriguing. After having them in hand, I chose a style of diaper that I thought I could live with. If you're still up in the air, consider getting a variety of diapers. For example, order 10 pre-folds, 10 all-in-ones, 10 fitted diapers with covers. As baby gets bigger and you develop a favorite, you can round out your stash to fill it with diapers you love.
Thirty diapers are my magic number because it will give you longer stretches through wash days. A newborn goes through 10-12 diapers a day. As baby grows, they'll go through fewer diapers a day. With a 30 diaper stash, you'll have at least two days before you have to wash. With a new baby, you need to build in spaces for sanity and grace upfront. You’ll be exhausted... but maybe dad can throw them in the wash while you rest.
3) Prep Your Diapers for Maximum Absorbancy
Our third pro tip is to wash your diapers before baby arrives or ask someone in your tribe to do it for you. Just as you might pre-wash baby clothes, some diapers may require washing to increase absorbency. The cloth community calls this prepping your diapers. Prepping - the process of washing the diapers several times before baby uses them – is done for two main reasons that stem from the fabric from which the diaper is constructed.
Natural diapers are made from cotton, hemp, and bamboo fabrics. Prepping diapers made from these is done to remove natural plant oils from the fibers. Cotton, hemp, and bamboo retain some of their natural plant oils. You know from middle school science class that oil and water don't mix! Oils stifle absorption and cause the diaper to repel liquid. Repelling can lead to leaks. We do not want that! To thwart leaks, it is important to wash the diapers to rid them of these oils prior to use on baby's bottom.
Similarly, Synthetic diapers are often made from microfiber, micro-suede, microfleece, and polyester. We wash these diapers a few times to rid them of any dirt or dust that may have gotten into the diaper during manufacturing and transit.
4) Use a Trash Can as a Diaper Pail
Pro Tip four is to skip expensive, well-known diaper apparatuses. Instead, buy a trash can with a step open lid as your diaper pail. No frilly diaper genies... save your money, homegirl... What you need is a trash can with a lid. With a new baby your hands are literally full. A step open can make it easy for you to release a diaper from your hands without unnecessary bending, straining, movements. This is also good after a c-section or while you're rocking a baby that took an hour to fall asleep. Also, using a trash can with a pail liner keeps your bathroom or laundry room fresher longer. I have yet to catch a whiff of dirty diapers when my diaper can was closed.
5) Buy a Folding Clothes Rack to Dry your Diapers.
Many cloth diapers do not go in the dryer. Instead, they'll need to air dry. My favorite time to hang diapers is before I go to bed. Place them throughout the dry rack, turn the fan on... boom! You’re done and ready for the next day. An additional tip... if your diapers have stains that you're having a hard time removing... place your dry rack outside in the sun or near a window. Sun has bleaching properties that are known to help remove stains!
6) Buy a diaper sprayer aka hand-held bidet.
Some people can't fathom rinsing poop from a diaper. A diaper sprayer takes much of the dread out of the process. These handheld sprayers pack enough punch to clean a diaper. In less than 2 minutes, you'll have a diaper that you're ok with touching and that's ready for the diaper pail.
That's it! These tips are sure to get you on a good start. Cloth diapering can be so enjoyable... and these 6 tips are gold to help you ease the transition and spend more time snuggling. Please Subscribe to our YouTube Channel, Like us on Facebook, and Follow us on Instagram.
Until next time...