September 30, 2009

The Cloth Diaper Learning Curve

It is said that a child learns more in their first five years than at any other time in their life. I think the second biggest learning curve comes when you become a new parent and even more so when you make the decision to use cloth diapers!

Not knowing anyone else that used cloth, I began researching my options in the middle of my pregnancy. I combed the Internet as if I was compiling information for a thesis - comparing and contrasting products, reading hundreds of reviews and expert articles. Learning all the ‘CD’ terminology, I felt as if I was immersed in a new language!

When I was satisfied that I’d become a mini-expert myself, I ordered a whole set of prefolds and covers. When they arrived I looked up the various folding techniques, tried them on my teddy bear, found the easiest one and feeling smugly confident, put them away ready for when baby arrived. Ha...little did I know, that I was just on the bottom rung of the learning curve!

When my small 6lb 2oz bundle of joy arrived I wanted to put her in the cloth diapers from day one, but try as I might, the origami that had been so easy on teddy was impossible on this fragile little baby. They were just too bulky, cumbersome and I began to fret that my boxes of prefolds would go to waste. It took two months until she grew big enough for them to fit comfortably and I was confident in the whole process. least we were beginning the cloth journey and I moved a step up in my learning!

But the learning curve is a steep climb and I was not done yet! I started out using pins but as soon as my babe started to wriggle I knew I had to get an alternative which thankfully came easily in the form of the marvellous Snappi’s - these made me feel so much like a pro! But then I found that the liners, which I had initially ditched because of their inability to contain poop from a breastfed baby, were a necessity after 6 months and I had to order many more so that diapers were easier to clean. I also went through a range of about 4 different diaper covers before I found the one that really worked for us in the form of Thirsties. Then when I decided to use cloth at night, the research began again into Pocket Diapers and through trial of a selection we found our favourites to be Fuzzi Bunz, Happy Heiny’s and Knickernappies.

So nowadays, when cloth diapering seems like second nature, I look back on the journey and admire the view from somewhere near the top of the learning curve!

--written by Terri H.