There are a lot of reasons to choose cloth diapers over disposable diapers. They're less expensive and more environmentally friendly than disposables, and if you take good care of them, you can even resell them as your baby grows out of them. But there are some common mistakes that new parents make that can cause them to get discouraged or even give up on cloth diapering entirely. Avoiding these mistakes will make your cloth diapering journey much easier.
Mistake #1: Buying Too Many Diapers Before Your Baby Is Born
Yes, of course you want to make sure that you're prepared when your baby arrives. But every baby is different, and that means that the cute fitted cloth diapers that your friend's baby loved may not be a good fit for your baby. If you invest in a large supply of cloth diapers before your baby is born, you may find yourself trying to resell them and buy new ones in a couple of months.
Instead, buy a few newborn-sized diapers (the one-size diapers probably won't fit a newborn right away) in different brands. If your baby is a heavy wetter, has sensitive skin, or is particularly chubby, skinny, or long, they may be a little harder to fit. Don't commit to buying a ton of one type of cloth diaper until you're sure you've found the perfect fit.
Mistake #2: Not Buying Your Baby Clothes With Cloth Diapers in Mind
No matter how cute your cloth diaper prints are, you're going to also want to dress your child up in adorable outfits. However, not all baby clothes are designed to fit over cloth diapers. You're safe enough with stretchy onesies and dresses, but when you're shopping for things like shorts and jeans, it's important to remember that they need to fit correctly over cloth diapers, not disposables.
Luckily, as cloth diapering becomes more common, so do clothes designed for babies who wear cloth diapers. You can find jeans, shorts, khakis and other clothing items that are made specifically to fit and look cute over cloth diapers.
Mistake #3: Using Dryer Sheets on Your Cloth Diapers
If you're in the habit of throwing a few dryer sheets in the dryer when you dry your clothes, you may not think twice about doing it with your cloth diapers. Unfortunately, that can cause problems. Dryer sheets work to make your clothes softer by coating the fibers of the clothing with synthetic chemicals. The problem is that these synthetic chemicals also repel liquid – the last thing that you want in a diaper.
Keep your diapers' absorbency intact by avoiding dryer sheets and not just on the diapers. Dryer sheets leave residue on the drum of your dryer that can transfer to your diapers even if you only use them on laundry that doesn't contain diapers. If you're worried about static, use dryer balls made out of felted wool. Add a few drops of essential oil to the balls to give the clothes a nice scent.
Cloth diapering is a great choice for your baby and your family. By avoiding these mistakes, you'll have an easier time getting used to using cloth diapers, and you'll be a pro in no time.