The journey of a lifetime begins with a single step. The same is true of my cloth diapering journey. That first step was going to a local cloth diapering store and buying my first diaper. It was a small blue Bottombumper. Yeah I learned a valuable lesson with that diaper. I do not like side snaps whatsoever. Lesson learned.
Every part of my cloth diapering journey has been like that. A step forward and a valuable lesson, tip, or trick learned. First thing I had to learn was how to prep my diapers. What lessons did I learn there? Well that diapers are fairly resilient first of all. I was terrified I would destroy them by making one mistake. Well a lot of mistakes later such as forgetting them outside over night while sunning, forgetting them in the washer for a day, or in the case of one blue Happy Heiny letting them hang out under the deck hidden for six months. It still works to this day.
The next step of my journey was once Destructo was born and I was learning how to get a good fit on cloth diapers. My best tip and words of advice is when you think you have the diaper on tight enough, put it on tighter. The red marks won't actually hurt the baby as much as I used to think they would. For more tips and tricks I had written in a previous blog post, click here. Click it. You know you want to.
So finally my diapers are prepped and I have put my first one on my kiddo. Well the next logical step is to fall in love with a totally different type of diaper than I currently own. WHAT you say? Yeah. I confess it. I am in love with hybrids. I had mostly pocket diapers as this is what my family who cared for Destructo while I worked preferred. But then for some reason that I still can't remember, I tried the Grovia hybrid. My mind was blown.
First off with hybrids it takes up far less room in a diaper bag when you are out and about. When you need an make shift swim diaper, wah lah just unsnap the insert. You can get by with far less diapers since you can reuse shells if it is just wet diapers. They are as convenient as all in ones since you don't have to stuff pockets but dry much quicker.
A valuable step in my cloth diapering journey was learning to contend with the criticism. I mean for real whatever poop catcher you use is truly no ones business. But people like to make things that aren't as main stream their business. My very favorite criticism is "But I don't want to get poop on my hands." Yeah you might want to think twice about having kids. The gross factor is very high with kiddos. I have been spit up on while changing a poop diaper and then as I got him cleaned up, he peed on me. The trifecta of nasty. See this post for more stats and facts to contend with these types of situations.
Things went along swimmingly for six months. Then one morning I took an overnight diaper off and nearly fell over from the ammonia smell. That was a huge learning experience. My top tricks of the trade for nasty ammonia issues rinse all diapers even just pee diapers. Leave your wet bag open. Know your water type (and if it is hard water use Calgon.) Don't use too much soap especially in hard water. For more info about my wash routine and what I did to conquer ammonia, read here.
Once I got that figured out, the next leap in my journey was figuring out how to deal with my son's recurrent yeast infections. That boy pooped a billion times a day and kept yeast from getting diaper rash so easily. I learned that a barrier diaper cream is a necessity. Coconut oil works wonders but for overnight I preferred Grandma El's. Sun, drying the diapers on high for short periods of time, and tea tree oil and/or grapefruit seed extract. You can read more here.
A diaper sprayer is a necessity in my house. When spraying diapers, put them very low in the toilet to avoid poop water going everywhere. Oh but once you start spraying diapers, don't hang your wet bag on a door. Trust me they get heavy. For more cloth diapering accessories I like, go here.
Overall cloth diapering is a journey of a thousand steps. I constantly realize better ways to do things and find new diapers I must have or different styles I want to try. It has also been a fun journey the second time around since Destructo was a skinny chicken legged little dude and Owl is a chunker with chubby legs. I get to learn a whole new way of getting diapers to fit properly. Cloth diapering... it's an addiction.
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