04 July 2011

My Embarrassing Cloth Diaper Start

Welcome to the First Annual Freedom of Cloth Carnival

This post was written for inclusion in the Freedom of Cloth Carnival hosted at Natural Parents Network by Melissa of The New Mommy Files and Shannon of The Artful Mama. This year’s carnival will run from Sunday, July 3rd through Saturday, July 9th. Participants are sharing everything they know and love about cloth diapering, including how cloth has inspired them.

First, I'd like to take a look at my stash. This will help you visualize what I am talking about and also show you how many options you have when it comes to cloth diapers. Oh wait, that's probably not a good thing...

My Stash

This is what I have:

1 - Econobum set that included 3 prefolds and a PUL cover (Not a fan. I don't think the cover covers enough).
1 - Sugarpeas snap in diaper (I rarely use it, but it's not bad).
1 - Kissaluvs fitted diaper (I used to use this a lot, but as time went on I found it didn't stay put very well and would often come off when I was taking off the cover. The absorbancy is decent, but I don't use it anymore because of that issue.)
1 - Thirsties Fab Fitted diaper (I like it).
1 - Thirsties Sized Diaper Cover (I also like this).
1 - Thirsties Duo Wrap (Overall, I've been very pleased with the Thirsties products I have).
1 - Thirsties Duo Diaper (This was my favorite diaper for a while, but now it seems to sag, causing leaks, no matter who wears it. Not sure if that's from wear and tear or what, but now I just use it as a cover or swim diaper)
1 - Happy Heiney's Fitted Diaper (I think it's a Heiny Huggers. I loved it, but it is sized so Piper outgrew it.)
1 - Flip Diaper (Love it, though I usually just use the cover).
1 - Pair of Wool "longies" made by a WAHM (work at home mom). 
1 - Kissaluvs Wool Lovers cover (I like this one a lot).
1 - Swaddlebees Hemp Doubler (Love it, never had a problem).
1 - Punkin Butt Hemp Doubler (Also love this. I rely on it a lot for Heidi).
2 - Covers I made myself from fleece (one is really crappy and I don't use it, the other is "good enough").
3 - Pooters hemp fitted diapers, each with two hemp doublers (Also not a fan. Poor fit on Heidi and gave Piper lines in her thighs).
3 - Mother-ease Doublers (one bamboo and two cotton)
4 - Hemp Babies Doublers (They do absolutely nothing for either of my children).
5 - Mother-ease fitted diapers (assorted types such as bamboo, cotton and organic cotton).
10 - Unbleached Indian prefolds
10 - Kawaii pocket diapers (I have the 'Goodnight Heavy Wetters' as well as 'Heavy Duty' ones)
20 - Microfiber inserts that came with my Kawaii diapers

Let's pretend that's it.

And now for my embarrassing reveal:

When I started cloth diapering, I wanted to do it as cheaply as possible (who wouldn't?). The first thing I did was purchase a package of gDiaper covers and a package of Gerber flat diapers. I figured that I would use the flats as inserts in the gDiapers, rather than buying their seemingly expensive inserts. Why did I do it this way? Essentially, I wanted to see what I was buying before I bought it and this was the only way to do that since there are no stores that sell cloth diapers where I used to live. Little did I know how much of a heavy wetter Heidi would be...

This system failed miserably. Fortunately, my friend Terri at Random Mama Brain happened to tell me that prefolds were more absorbent than flats, so I went out and purchased a pack of Gerber prefolds. Still didn't work for Heidi, but good news! These held Piper's pee fairly decently. However, this didn't last very long and soon I had leaks almost all the time with both of them. This is when Terri introduced me to Kawaii diapers.

My nightmare was over and I finally felt like I was really cloth diapering! Initially, I purchased 10 Kawaii Goodnight Heavy Wetter diapers, which are one size, and they were fabulous. I was able to use them on both Heidi and Piper because with a one size diaper, you can adjust the size to meet the need of the baby. Fabulous. Around this time I also took the plunge and tried Jillian's Drawers' 'Changing Diapers, Changing Minds' program. To date, I have not found a more reasonable trial package for cloth, though there are other websites out there that offer trial programs.

Though I liked most of the diapers I tried, they were all a lot more expensive than the Kawaii brand, so I sprang for another 15 diapers from them of the 'Heavy Duty' variety. This allowed me to cloth diaper both Heidi and Piper full-time (with the addition of the few other diapers I had). Unfortunately, after a while Piper started to develop horrible indents where the elastic of the diaper surrounded her leg, mostly on the inner thigh. At this point, I decided to try using fitted diapers with covers on her thinking they just might not leave any marks. With luck, I was able to sell a bunch of my Kawaii diapers to Mama Goose in Ithaca and used that money to buy the Mother-ease fitted diapers I have and a couple of covers. They worked wonderfully for her and since then, I haven't looked back.

The lesson? Every baby is different and sometimes, it takes a few tries to get the right diaper for that baby. Also, never limit yourself to just one type of diaper. Your own unique style can encompass any number and combination of diapers!


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Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants on the following themes. Articles will go live on the scheduled theme day:
  • Sunday, July 3rd, 2011: Cloth Related Recipes — Writers share their best cloth-related recipes and tutorials.
  • Monday, July 4th, 2011: Choosing Your Cloth Style — Today’s posts discuss parents' individual journeys to finding the cloth diapering "style" that best suits their families.
  • Tuesday, July 5th, 2011: Cloth Diapering Must Haves — Parents talk about the most important items in their diapering “stash” and why they love them.
  • Wednesday, July 6th, 2011: Wordless Wednesday, Inspired by Cloth — We asked parents to share their favorite cloth-related photo with us and turned them into a fluffy Wordless Wednesday photo montage on Natural Parents Network. Link up your own Wordless Wednesday post there!
  • Thursday, July 7th, 2011: Cloth Through the Stages: From Infancy to Potty Independence — Today’s participants explain how cloth diapering has served their families throughout one or more stages of their children’s lives.
  • Friday, July 8th, 2011: Cloth Troubleshooting and Laundry Day — Seasoned cloth diapering parents share their best tips and tricks for handling common cloth problems and tackling the diaper laundry.
  • Saturday, July 9th, 2011: Inspired by Cloth — For today’s theme, we’ve asked writers to explore the ways cloth diapering has inspired them to become "greener" overall.


  1. I like your story - it is amazing how much of cloth diapering is really trial and error. Our first diapers were gDiapers - we used them for about a day before we realized they just wouldn't work for our family. Now through trial and error we have at least a few of each major diaper style.

  2. Thanks for sharing your story, even if you do find it a bit embarrassing. I think a lot of us start out in a similar way and have to find what works for us. It really is amazing how the exact same diaper can work like a dream for one baby and be absolutely useless for another. I'm glad you've found a system that works for you!

  3. I agree! Cloth diapering definitely takes practice to figure out what works for you- and what works for you might not work for your friend or even your other baby! Thanks for sharing your cloth adventures!

  4. "This is what I have...Let's pretend that's it." That is the best statement I've read about someone's stash. It is so true we all collect so much and try so many different options because no one diaper fits every situation or every child. There shouldn't be an expectation that a diaper should either. Great post!

  5. I actually KNOW for a fact that there are diapers I didn't count and yet, decided not to include them anyway because I hardly use them haha :)

  6. We have to try out everything before we settle on what works for our family. I did the trial and error thing, too. Thank you for sharing your stash experience!

  7. For anyone else reading, we used hemp inserts with our heavy wetter with pretty good success! But every family is so different :)

  8. Awesome post! I started super cheap, too--as in, I didn't start until I got some for free, lol.

    I actually do like gerber prefolds in gDiapers, BUT (of course there's a but), I stuff them with a microfiber towel (that I get 3/$1 at the local dollar store) because you're right--on their own, they're just not absorbent enough!

    Thanks for sharing your journey :D

  9. Dionna, I have used and still use hemp, but have found some hemp to be much better than others :)

    Heather I never even knew of the endless possibilities of the dollar store for cloth diapering until recently! Perhaps I should have gone that route... haha :)

  10. We went through a similar learning curve too! We tried the gdiapers for a few months (with the g cloth inserts too) and we got nothing but leaks. I was so bummed, I had invested a lot of money in the system. But, once we switched brands (we use grovia now), we haven't had any problems. And as a co-sleeping family, not waking up to leaks every morning and changing 2-3 wet outfits a day is worth the extra money.

  11. I felt the same way Rosemary, especially when I sold some of my gDiapers and only got a few dollars for them. But, that money still went towards buying the systems so it worked out in the end. And I agree...I would NOT want to be changing the sheets every single day because of diapers that don't work!