Welcome to Dirty Diaper Laundry’s first Cloth Diaper Carnival. The topic this time is: “What you wish you knew then that you know now.” I know that most cloth diapering moms have probably felt the pain of buyer’s remorse, or other forms of regret. Or wish they would have figured out their wash routine sooner, etc. This is the place to share your story. If you haven’t done so already, it isn’t too late. Go ahead and write your story on your blog, and come back here. Use McLinky to add your link, and grab the code to add everyone else’s links to your page. It is that simple. Now, for my story!
I was lucky enough to stumble upon cloth diapering while I was pregnant. The exact time/ date/ place I do not recall. I do remember knowing when I saw that people still cloth diapered, and that the modern cloth diaper was easy to use, that I was going to do it. At that point I began researching like I was writing my thesis on cloth diapers! Actually, I probably did more research on cloth diapers than I ever did on my thesis for my B.A. Google became my best friend. I searched “How to cloth diaper” “How much does cloth diapering save” “Best cloth diapers” “Easiest cloth diapers” “How to get your husband to cloth diaper” My fingers knew how to type “cloth diapers” in their sleep.
My main goal was to get a really large stash started, for as little money as possible. After lots of researching, my plan was this: Buy prefolds and covers for the first few months. Then, get 24-30 Bum Genius 3.0 for the rest of the time. I just knew one-size diapers were it for me. I read reviews of Bum Genius for hours. Although there were some who did not like them, the majority of reviews were extremely positive.
I searched local craigslists and found a steal on a bunch of Bummis covers. I bought them, and had buyer’s remorse. They were in poor condition. Why didn’t I demand pictures? Newbie mistake. They were useable, but had velcro issues! The laundry tabs no longer stuck, and some of the velcro was even coming off. I assumed I was stuck with them. At this point I had not yet met my addiction: Diaper Swappers. I was already active on a cloth diapering board on Justmommies.com. A lady posted an awesome deal on infant prefolds! I went to the site and ordered them. Another mistake. These prefolds sucked. I didn’t know it at the time. Had I known how much they sucked, I would have gone with another brand.
Fast forward to when I had already bought up what I considered to be my stash. I had 36 bleached chinese infant prefolds (that sucked), 16 preemie unbleached indian prefolds, 3 xs thirsites covers, 20+ crappy used Bummis covers, 2 WAHM small AIOs (that sucked), 2 Blueberry OS, 1 wool cover (that I never used), and 12 Bum Genius 3.0.
Let me tell you what I would have done differently: First, I never, ever would have bought those crappy used covers. My mistake: not looking for pictures, not asking enough questions about the condition. What I should have done: bought used from Diaper Swappers where the condition is stated and there are pictures! I thought I needed that many covers. In reality, I was able to use only my XS Thirsites which I bought used from Jillian’s Drawers. Second mistake: thinking that diapers from Ebay would work! I bought 2 really cute skull AIO diapers. They wicked like crazy and they took forever to dry. What I should have done: never bought them! You get what you pay for people! Third mistake: Buying more prefolds than I needed, buying preemie prefolds (didn’t need them), and buying low quality prefolds. I was completely turned off of prefolds thanks to the ones I bought. They got full super fast, and the serging started coming undone. I never even needed the preemie prefolds. I used them 3 times. Another mistake regarding prefolds: Prepping by boiling. I spent 5 hours using 3 stockpots to boil 52 prefolds. I had to boil them 2-3 at a time for 10 minutes. By the time I was done boiling them, my entire house was steamed up. I essentially steam cleaned my wallpaper and paint. Yellow was dripping off of the walls. If only I had just washed them 10 times. I think in the end it would have saved me work. But alas, I was pregnant and decided climbing up and down 2 flights of stairs to wash the diapers over and over would be more work.
There are lots of regrets, but all in all, I have been very lucky in my cloth diapering journey. I didn’t have to fight my husband to start cloth diapering, I didn’t have to spend hundreds of dollars to fins the right diaper because in all honesty, I love almost all of them!
So dear friends, to sum it up: I would have told myself this: “Don’t buy site unseen diapers, you get what you pay for, and never boil prefolds in a tiny apartment.”
Now, go on to all of the other cloth diapering bloggers and read about what they wish they would have known. Let us know what you think!