The appeal of cloth diapers is definitely strong, because my first two attempts failed miserably and yet I still came back a third time to give them a try. So why did I fail the first two times? Basically, I didn’t educate myself enough and didn’t find the right diaper to fit our needs.
I responded to an ad in a magazine for a very expensive fitted diaper. When it arrived in the mail I read the instructions and immediately had misgivings. It required a special laundry routine. It required a separate cover (oops, didn’t even think of that!). It was expensive so how could I afford an entire stash of these? When I put it on my 4 month old son, Benjamin, it looked huge and bulky compared to my slim and trim disposables. Within a week, I returned the diaper and told myself “we tried but cloth just isn’t for us.”
But I couldn’t deny that cloth cut down on waste. And I couldn’t forget how soft that diaper was. And I still balked at spending so much on disposables and always running out. Surely there were other natural, reusable cotton diapers we could afford? A few months later, after doing a quick Google search for cheap ways to diaper, the word “prefolds” jumped out at me over and over. I had seen those at Wal-mart! On my next shopping trip I grabbed a pack of Gerber prefolds, some metal diaper pins and then ordered six of the cheapest waterproof covers I could find online. We’re going to make this work I told myself.
And the train derailed again.
The Gerber prefolds leaked off and on. I stuck myself and Benjamin with pins so many times I was afraid we were going to get warts. The cheap PUL covers I bought had faulty laundry tabs and the velcro snagged on everything. And they were sized, so Benjamin outgrew them very quickly. What? I had to buy covers again?
But still I couldn’t quit. By this time, I’d learned there were a lot more choices out there and we just needed to find the right diaper. The winning combo for us? Higher quality Chinese prefolds trifolded in Flip one-size covers. Hooray! No pins needed! And no more leaks! And snaps were the bomb! Of course, we didn’t stop there. What cloth diapering mother ever does? My current stash is a smorgasbord of covers, pockets, fitteds, flats, AI2 diapers, hemp inserts and bamboo prefolds.
So here I am, four years later, hopelessly hooked on fluff. I’ve now cloth diapered three children and can hardly contain my excitement over getting to put cloth on a tiny newborn (baby #7 for us) for the first time in January!
I encourage every mama who hits a road block to reach out for help from the amazing online cloth diaper community, and be willing to try something new or totally different. Your solution might be just around the next corner.