Monday, September 24, 2012

How Do I Get Started?

This is part four of a series called, "The Poop on Cloth Diapers." [To head back to the beginning, simply click on the series title in quotes]

Are you ready to jump in with all three feet?  No?

That's okay, because you don't have to. The beauty of cloth diapers is that you can start as comfortably as you'd like.  If you're comfortable with buying a whole bunch of diapers at once, awesome!  Just make sure you get some really cute ones.

If the thought of getting a whole bunch of cloth diapers all at once is terrifying, it's okay.  Here are a couple options you might be more comfortable with doing instead:

Some websites that sell cloth diapers even provide a trial service that lets you "test drive" cloth diapers for a few weeks at minimal cost to you.  So if you find out out cloth diapering isn't for you, you haven't wasted Junior's college fund.

Here's an example of a trial program offered by the website Jillian's Drawers.  Click on the link to read about their trial program.

If you're not feeling the trial programs, that's okay. We didn't either. Josh and I decided before Adelle was born that we were going to make cloth diapers work.  We were committed to using them because we decided that we wanted to spend the money upfront on cloth diapers instead of having to add the cost of disposables to our grocery budget every month.  

Josh and I were pretty intimidated by what we were getting ourselves into by choosing to use cloth diapers. We finally got up the gumption to try cloth diapers a week after Adelle was born.  We had five newborn sized all-in-ones and a dozen prefolds with covers.  And so we just started using them.  We found out quickly that the prefolds were not going to work yet.  She was simply too small for them, so they were leaking like crazy.  We also found out that one brand of the all-in-ones wasn't going to work yet either for the same reason.

At this point, we had only one brand that fit - Lil'Joeys.  But we had four of them, and they were working perfectly.  So Josh jumped onto Amazon and bought 4 more Lil' Joeys diapers, along with 2 more all-in-ones from a different company.  As soon as they were delivered to our house, we got them ready for wear and put them on kiddo.

one month old in her favs - lil' joeys
From there, our collection grew.  We tried a few more brands out, and Adelle grew into all of the diapers that didn't fit in the beginning.  While the first couple months were expensive, we haven't had to shell out money for any diapers since June.  And from the looks of things, we won't have to buy any more diapers for as long as Adelle is wearing them.

Based on our experience, here are my bits of advice to those of you who are ready to start using cloth diapers: 

1. Start easy. Get a couple of all-in-ones to try first.  They are the easiest cloth diaper to use [in my opinion] because they work most like disposables. From there, you can decide to venture onto other styles of diapers.

2. Get used to using cloth.  Use you mini-collection of diapers as often as possible.  We would use and wash the first four diapers we owned as soon as they all got dirty, and then started using them again as soon as they were dry.  By doing that, we got comfortable with using cloth diapers very quickly.  We also got used to what washing cloth diapers would be like.  The only difference was, once we got more of them, we didn't have to use the washer nearly as often.

3. Get a variety.  Each company designs their diapers differently.  While they all work well enough [or else they wouldn't sell!], some brands will work better for you personally. Trust me on this, you will end up using all of your cloth diapers, even if you don't like some brands as much as others. 

4. Think ahead.  By this I mean a couple things.  While buying a bunch of diapers right now seems like a lot of money to shell out, in a few months you shouldn't have to buy any diapers unless you want to.  Also, think way ahead to any future children.  Do you want any more kids?  The answer may affect you diaper buying decisions.  Are you okay if your potential future son is wearing pink flower patterned diapers?  if not, you probably want to consider buying more gender-neutral colors.

5. Read reviews objectively. While reviews of products are a wonderful thing, they are, ultimately, one person's opinion based on their experience.  Many brands of cloth diapers would have reviews that would contradict each other.  For me as a newbie at the whole cloth diaper thing, it was frustrating trying to sort fact from opinion.   While it probably is true that Sally Sue's child didn't fit in a particular brand of cloth diaper, it doesn't mean that brand is crap.  Babies come in a variety of shapes, which means that at particular times, particular designs of cloth diapers won't fit right.  There is also a possibility that Sally Sue may even have put the diaper on wrong.

Looking for Recommendations?  Here are my favorite diapers:

Newborn Sizes [These diapers are extra small, so they fit a newborn better]
-Rumparooz Lil' Joey All-In-Ones [these were the only diapers that fit Adelle for the first month]

-Kissaluvs Newborn All-In-Ones

-Kissaluvs Fitted Diapers, Size 0  [keeps runny poo in like nobody's business]

-Thirsties Duo Wrap Diaper Cover, Size 1 [to go with the Kissaluvs fitted diapers]

Regular Sizes [These are the diapers that babies will wear for the majority of the time they are in diapers]

-bumGenius All-In-Ones, One Size [There's a reason its the most popular diaper on the market - it really works]

-Bummis TotBots All-In-Ones, One Size

-Oso Cozy Better Fit Prefolds, Infant & Premium Size [these prefolds are designed shorter so they fit inside of diaper covers]

-Thirsties Duo Wrap Diapers Covers, Size 1 & 2 [to go with the Oso Cozy Prefolds]

Go out and get yourself some cloth diapers!  If this blog has been helpful for you, and you'd like to support it, you can do so by clicking on the Amazon links to buy the diapers recommended above.  By clicking on the links to buy them, a percentage comes back to me, which helps pay for this website.

Up next week is the last part of this series!  Thanks for sticking with me for all these weeks.  Next week I'll be covering all the accessories, what you really do need, and what else is pretty handy to have around.  

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