Cloth Diapering for Newbies

My Top 5 Tips to Successfully Cloth Diaper Your Tiny Human

Cloth diapering your tiny human can be so intimidating in the beginning. At first, you’ll probably be like “What is this mess? Why did I sign up for this? Who in their right mind would choose this for themselves?” Then, you’ll slowly take it all in and it will all make sense. You will join the Cloth Cult.

Just give it time, we (novice fluff families) were all in the same place as you are, I promise! There’s so many different types, absorbencies, and brands it’s hard not to get overwhelmed. With that, here are a few tips to help you get started on the right track.

 
 

 

#1 – DO YOUR RESEARCH

 

There are a ton of reference websites to learn all about how to cloth diaper that tiny tornado of yours. Remember I said it was intimidating? This is where that intimidation factor comes into play. To help make this period easier, we’ve provided a few of our favorite websites, blogs & links  for you to check out, tab, bookmark & reference:
 

    • Fluff Love University 
      This website is a Cloth Diapering Gold Mine! I frequent this site for almost any and all questions I have about cloth diapers. The “University” (so swanky) teaches you about cloth: how to wash, how to dry, and even recommendations on detergents to use and not to use.

 

      • All About Cloth Diapers
        All About Cloth Diapers is an awesome resource for all things fluff!
        All About Cloth Diapers is an awesome resource for all things fluff!

        A blog dedicated to well, All About Cloth Diapering! A close friend of Whole Life, the founder and lead writer, Jennifer, is a fellow mom with a passion for fluff and all it’s glory. All About Cloth Diapers posts great reviews, lifestyle articles and more for the cloth community. Be sure to check out the Big Book of Cloth Diaper Savings – a semi-annual Coupon Book just for cloth and all goods related to moms, babies & more! New to cloth and really need a Manual? All About Cloth Diapers also features the Ultimate Guide to Cloth Diapering you can snag here.

 

    • FaceBook    has a plethora of great cloth and fluff support groups. From forums, tips & tricks, support, cloth diapering blog pages & even Buy/Sell/Trade groups; FaceBook comes through with the goods on cloth.

 

    • Pinterest   has great reviews, popular articles and sponsor pages for almost any cloth diaper brand out there. See, Pinning wasn’t just for useless adorable crafts and party planning after all!

 
 
 

#2 – AT FIRST, TRY ALL* THE BRANDS, AND TRY NOT TO SETTLE WITH JUST ONE

 

One of the mistakes I made at the beginning was picking just one brand and certain type of diaper and sticking with them for too long.  I never branched out, until recently with my second child. Perhaps it was fear of the unknown or possible disappointment? Perhaps it was the slight chance that in the endeavor to find other brands my wallet would suffer the casualties of failed attempts? Either way, it was a newbie mistake to not venture.


We were always a “China Cheapie” pocket family. For those unfamiliar with this term, basically I’m referring to the inexpensive, sometimes less than average quality, originated from China – pocket diapers quickly accessible via the internet and/or co-ops. I had over 100 pocket diapers. It was a problem.


Then, a cloth diaper miracle happened. I tried others; an All In One (AIO), an Shells with Snap-in Inserts, and even Flour Sack Towels with Covers! (For those who just dropped their jaws for lack of understanding, I apologize! Just know the gist – I tried more than China Cheapies) We have now settled on one type and one brand. But it took time, it took trying and it resulted in de-stashing (to purge one’s cloth diaper stash), and then subsequently re-stash. Moral of the story – Try out first so you don’t have to do it later.

 
 

 

#3 – USE A RECOMMENDED & PROVEN WASH ROUTINE, AND STICK TO IT

 

This is a not a time to try, try again and keep trying after you’ve found what works. Your wash routine is the most important aspect of cloth diapering. Getting your diapers cleaned in the most efficient way possible is something that Fluff Love University specializes in. Luckily, they have taken most of the work out of the trial & error process for us; with wash routines for almost every washing machine that has been made in the past decade. Including those for washing machines & dryer sets beyond a decade old. I know, because I am representing with the “vintage” wash set. 

 

There are many methods to washing & drying cloth; including "sunning" or "sun bleaching". Our next Fluff Feature article will explain more!
There are many methods to washing & drying cloth; including “sunning” or “sun bleaching”. Our next Fluff Feature article will explain more!

The routine will look crazy, foreign, and confusing. If you don’t react with “What the fluff?” – I’ll be surprised. In comes this tip: write down your wash routine. I’ve been cloth diapering for over two years and have been loyal to that routine for just as long. The key to my sudsy success? My routine is still printed out and tacked to the wall next to the washer. Because when in doubt, write it out – just in case that mom brain hits.

 

Bonus TIP: Check out the detergent lists on these reference pages. You need a strong detergent to ensure your diapers are getting clean. This isn’t a time to skimp and thrift on that laundry detergent. Additionally, never ever use fabric softener or dryer sheets. Ever.
 
 

 

#4 – FIT CHECK YOUR DIPES

 

This is best done by someone who’s been around the ole’ cloth diapering block a time or two. Have a friend, family member, or fellow fluff fan check the sizing and fitting of your wee-one’s diaper. Getting a correct fit the first time using a cloth diaper can be difficult. It’s not you, it’s them (as in the diaper not the baby).

Size & Snap Check is important when preventing leaks and securing a snug fit!
Size & Snap Check is important when preventing leaks and securing a snug fit!

Which snap do you use? Is it too tight? Too loose? Is this even on right? It looks backwards, but fits forward?
It’s all been said and questioned before. If you don’t have anyone local to you that is experienced with cloth, take pictures from all angles and use a a cloth diaper group or forum to your disposal – pun intended! Most of these groups will be more than happy to help you get a correct fit. Like I said, we’ve all been there. Proper fit over pride folks. You don’t want leaks, so getting that fit right is important.

 

 

 

#5 – DON’T GIVE UP

 

Pretty please with a cherry print diaper on top – don’t give up! Absolutely, it’s hard at first. Sure, you will need to nail down a solid routine. But keep in mind, you decided to cloth diaper for a reason. Whether that was for financial benefit, environmental and sustainability motives, or you just find disposables to be a waste, danger, or nuisance; you believed that cloth was best for your child – and it still is! You can do it. Even better, you’re not alone in this cloth diapering journey. 

The ongoing learning curve can be overwhelming, but don't give up!
The ongoing learning curve can be overwhelming, but don’t give up!

Just remember to take it one step, one blog, and one butt change at a time. Soon enough you will be a Grovia Guru, BumGenius Genius, Champ with Charlie Bananas, and thrifty with Thirsties. We hope these five tips were the start to your successful journey to cloth diapering.  With fluff love and a cozy new cloth, good luck!

 

 

 

Enjoyed this feature article? If so, stay tuned for more about Cloth Diapering to include reviews & tips from yours truly!

 

Meet the Author:

Meet the Author - Abbey
Meet the Author – Abbey

This article was written by Abbey! Abbey is a mom of two who spends her days watching Scooby Doo with her toddler and breastfeeding her two month old. She writes on nutrition, fitness, and her crunchy life.

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