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Thursday, April 11, 2013

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5 Things About Newborn Cloth I Wish I Knew Then

As a first time mom, I am discovering quickly that motherhood never goes according to plan. That ideal birth plan you had? Plan on a C-section. Think co-sleeping is a little crazy? Plan on having your baby in your bed night one. Want to cloth diaper from birth? Try 5 weeks.

Now that our sweet girl is approaching her 8 week birthday, I put together a top 5 list of things about newborn cloth I wish I knew when we started.

#5- Laundry doesn’t have to be complicated.
I spent a week when I was pregnant researching cloth diaper safe laundry detergent. Yes friends, an entire week on laundry detergent. I visited multiple local stores, staring glassy eyed at aisles of mainstream detergent only to come up short. I read blog post after blog post about wash routines (cold rinse or hot rinse?) and what I have learned is no two routines are the same. My best advice is to start simple and through trial and error, you will find what works for you. If you keep it simple, diaper laundry won’t feel like a chore.

#4- Diaper sprayers are powerful, and necessary.
Getting DH on board with cloth was a bit of a struggle. It got worse with the first poopy diaper. “You are going to put THAT in our washing machine?” Diaper sprayer to the rescue! DH installed our sprayer in less than 5 mins and holy jet spray, batman, that baby packs a punch. So much so that the first time I used it, I sprayed the poo from the diaper directly onto our shower curtain. I’ve since nailed down my technique for keeping the poo in the toilet and my diapers are stain free because of it.

#3- All the research in the world will not prepare you for the real deal.
In preparing for DD’s arrival, I gathered a stash of a little bit of everything. I had prefolds and fitteds, cute covers and snappis. I had a drawer of AIOs and hybrids and even some OS dipes I got for free with my purchase. I was ready. My 8 lb 3 oz girl came home on a Saturday and that night, she had a kissaluvs fitted on her cute little bum. In the days following, we quickly decided we were an AIO family. They are trim, easy and the fit is a no-brainer. Until your little bundle arrives, there is really no telling what system will work for you. Every baby and every family is different. Keep an open mind and you will find what works for you.

#2- It doesn’t matter what others may say or think, it’s YOUR baby.
I did not shout from the rooftops that we were a cloth diaper family. It’s just not my style. When it came up in conversation, I would meekly mention that we were planning on using cloth and the conversation would grow quiet until someone changed the topic. Luckily, my friends and family are very supportive. If you have a hater in your life, just remind yourself that it’s your baby and your decision. If they don’t like it, they don’t have to change her diaper. As a parent, our decisions will be questioned on an almost daily basis and this is no different. Stand tall and let your cloth flag fly!

#1- Disposables are ok too.
Gasp. That’s right, this is my #1. Unfortunately for us, we battled thrush and yeast diaper rash for almost 4 weeks straight and I chose to keep her in sposies during this time. Of course I was DYING to get her in her cute cloth that I spent months agonizing over. But in the end, the first month of a newborn’s life is hard enough on her parents (hello, sleep deprivation!). Don’t add to that stress if you don’t need to. Waiting to start cloth full time until she was 5 weeks old was the best decision I made because I could enjoy it and more importantly, enjoy her.

The beauty of life is it doesn’t go according to plan. But if you keep an open mind, you can make cloth work for you.

Lindsay is a first time mom to a 2 month old little girl and a crazy dog. She lives with her quiet husband in Illinois and is slowly navigating the journey of motherhood one cloth diaper change at a time. Follow her adventures at thedogatewhat.blogspot.com.

3 comments:

BabyFord said...

I waited until about five Weeks to also, now i'm totally in love with it!

Sandy Wojcik said...

I have been thinking about cloth diapering one and off for a while now. Nathan is 10 1/2 weeks.....I'm sure it's never "too late."
Is it something you can do half the time? Or is it like an "all in" kind of thing?

Kaitlyn said...

Sandy - with my son, I didn't start until he was 1 year old. We did cloth at home and disposables at daycare. (I never even asked if they would...kick myself now because they do with my daughter!)

So, yes, it's possible to do it part time and to start later!