Once you’ve settled into a routine, using cloth diapers is pretty no-brainer. Wash. Rinse. Rinse. Dry. Use. Repeat.
In that challenging period before I figured out not to over-think things, mistakes were made. My No. 1 mistake? Trusting that the other people changing my baby’s diaper would know everything I do. Will someone else be changing your baby in cloth diapers? Be especially cautious. It’s one thing when mom is the rookie. We still read, research, and, well, over-think. Dads, grandmas, and nursery workers might do things, however, that we never even dreamed they would.
Putting On the Diaper
- The best thing you can do if you’re about to leave your baby and your cloth stash in the hands of someone else is have the diapers pre-stuffed and ready to put on. If you don’t it’s quite possible you’ll come home at some point to a baby wearing a diaper with no insert. Even when the diaper is completely assembled, you still might find a rookie is apt to put the diaper on backwards. Something about the snaps throws them off, I think. A FuzziBunz diaper might be more fool-proof than others. I’ve had people put other diaper brands on inside out, too.
What Else They’ll Put On
- There’s something about a day care provider and butt cream. They just love the stuff. There must be some comfort for them in slathering it on generously. But beware: most widely available diaper creams can wreak havoc on your cloth diapers. This happened to me soon after my day care agreed to use cloth for my first son. I’d left his tube of zinc oxide cream with them even after he started wearing cloth. I knew it wasn’t “cloth approved” but didn’t think about them wanting to use it since he was usually pretty clear down there, but boy did they use it. That day’s diapers, though they still function, to this day have some staining left from that incident. Keep the stuff away from your diapers at all costs.
- It’s best that anyone who’s going to wash your cloth diapers gets a full explanation of the proper way to do it. A simple laundry mistake can take lots of re-washing to undo. After the rash cream got used with a few of my cloth diapers, I made the mistake of thinking outside the box for ways to wash it out. I ended up trying a degreaser cream from Lowe’s. I have to rinse my diapers countless times to get the orange smell out. My advice? When you’re a rookie, don’t add anything weird to your diaper laundry. It seems simple enough, but it’s important. Also, think carefully about where you wash. I once did laundry at a campground laundromat and ended up with immediate repelling issues.
You’ve done the research and read all the directions (along with a few hundred blog entries!), but make sure anyone else changing your baby gets all the little details, too. You’ll make things easier on your baby that way – and your diapers!
Jessica Wiant is now a stay-at-home mom of two who was once a working mom with a (cloth diapered!) son in daycare.
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