To cloth diaper or not to cloth diaper?
That is the question. When I was pregnant, I intended for everything to be natural. So naturally, I added cloth diapers to my registry. I received loads of these Gerber brand cotton cloths. Only to have them still sitting in their packages 6 months into learning my new baby boy. Opting instead to utilize the convenient biodegradable versions of the disposable diapers. Simultaneously placing ‘Learning To Cloth Diaper’ on my To Do List. It was never the right time. I would often wonder if I’d ever muster up the will to go for it and be a cloth-diapering Mama.
Pineapples (Kevin Hart voice).
I just wasn’t ready. I had ALL of the excuses…I
t wasn’t until a visit to a beloved sister-friend’s space in Portland, Oregon that I finally made up my mind to revisit ‘To Cloth Diaper?’ on my To Do List. My sister-friend introduced me to what I now know as an all-in-one cloth diapering system from G Diapers with the cotton inserts. I tried it on him one night and was pleased with the results (sans poop). It was very absorbent and all I had to do was throw the whole thing in the wash. How convenient! That was easy! Yet somehow I knew poop would be a different lesson…
When we returned home, I will admit, I did not jump into the unopened Gerber cloth packages right away. I was on single rope and that was double-dutch to me. I didn’t want to get hit by the rope! They still looked like a bunch of blankets or large rags to me. Clearly, I needed to learn the ropes (#firsttimemama, #newmom, #anxiousmuch? #fixitJesus) and what better way than YouTube University?
I looked up a bunch of videos on how to use cloth diapers. I thought I had the folds down pact, but when I went to put the…contraption…on him…I knew I had just set myse–us up for failure.
“Whatever! Let’s just try it”, Myself said.
And guess what!?
We made it to dawn!
I was ALL THE WAY content.
Thankful that he…WE…were getting a good nights sleep…rolling over to get back to dream world forgetting that we were in “Trial Mode“.
I remembered when I started hearing gas noises escaping my baby’s booty. I popped right on up because I was NOT about to be in Trial Mode with poop. I just wasn’t going out like that. Awakening only to find a completely soaked (like a towel in a hot yoga class) cloth diaper thing and a huge baby-pee spot on my blanket!
Not easily defeated and post Mommy-Freak-Out (MFO), I went for it again.
This time, WITH poop!
Red err Brown Alert!
The poop started leaking out of the sides. Oh my goodness! I snatched my baby up so fast! Things got so real! Straight to the tub, he went! What a mess!
I can laugh about it now but in that moment, all of my new built up loyalty towards cloth-diapering went out the window and hit the cement in pieces. Bump that!
But this is all part of the process. You fall, you get back up and you try again. You figure these things out and you master them. That’s our role as parents right? To instill these lessons in our youths often using ourselves as examples.
“What message would I really be sending if, every time I passed a cloth diaper I broke out in hives? In that moment, I knew our journey wasn’t over.”
If you know anything about transitioning, it is a shift from what you once knew to what you are learning. Adapting as you go along. Striving for your best each day. That’s what has been happening in my household. What I do now is, if we are home, he is cloth diapered and when we travel, I will use the disposable ones (I’m not at 100% cloth yet… baby steps).
Since then, there has been more poop but not as bad as the first time. If you can imagine using a rag to clean up a mess on a counter and the absorbency that it provides vs. using a paper towel–that is the role the cloth serves WHEN the folds are legit and the diaper fits snugly (that was the mistake I made when it started leaking out of the sides ::shudders::).
Clean up is pretty simple too. I store the soiled cloths separately for 1-2 days max. I do a pre-wash of the diapers using only water (no detergent) on the cold cycle to rinse them out and then I do a cycle with detergent (I use whatever eco-friendly brand I can find) on the warm/hot cycle.
I still have the G-diaper all-in-one system my sister-friend provided us with. I will invest in more later on down the line. For now, the old school Gerber cloths and protective barrier is serving its purpose in my household.
I change the cloths every 3-4 hours or so at home so there have not been any spills since.
I have also freed up extra money now that was being spent in excess relying solely on disposable diapers. Now, I can distribute those funds elsewhere like towards food or date-night. It is the little things Mamas. Plus it is environmentally friendly and all that good stuff.
I will end with this:
Dear Like-Minded Mamas,
Cloth-diaper. At least try it. Then you will have another story to tell your little one(s). Best of luck to you! Enjoy the process!
“Empress” Tabia B.
About The Author
“Empress” Tabia Beckett is a bold young millennial woman with a unique and versatile background. She is dedicated to making an impact on the world and leaving a lasting impression on those she crosses paths with by imparting her wisdom and planting seeds of holistic counsel.She is currently a holistic health practitioner, licensed massage therapist and is in training to be a Doula. She challenges her clients to see beyond the limitations of their circumstance so they can conquer their fears and challenges to thrive.She has contributed to two works of literature and has been featured on multiple platforms where she’s provided her expertise in the areas of womb wellness, alternative remedies, holistic living, mental health, generational issues and personal development.She is a first-time mom of a now 8 month old and in between world travel, she resides in New York City.