No Ragrets Cloth Diapering- What Would You Do Differently Today?

Cloth diapers

Having cloth diapered for a total of 4+ years with two children it’s to be expected that I learned from mistakes and sometimes even regretted a decision or two.  I asked DDL readers on my Facebook page the question

“What is something you would do differently when it comes to cloth diapering today compared to when you first began?”
Were-the-Millers-No-Ragrets-Tattoo

I’m sharing a few nuggets of wisdom- maybe one of them will speak to you and help you cloth diaper with “no ragrets,” …not even a single letter.  You can read all of the responses on Facebook.  

Cloth diapers

The Response: “I wish I wouldn’t have spent a bunch of money on one kind of diaper that didn’t work very well.” -Kirsten M.

DDL Weighs In: Sometimes parents rely on a salesperson in the store or the raving review of a friend and decide that one brand will be the best for them.  Even though this can definitely work for some parents most wind up regretting that they didn’t try a few brands before settling on buying 24 of them!  Cloth diaper trials are one way to sample several brands, or buy used to try the diapers for cheap before making the investment.

jeans pocket

The Response: “With my first I bought all pockets thinking I’d love them. I hated them after about 2 months. Advice? Try a few different styles – you’ll be thankful later!!” -Viva La Cloth

DDL Weighs In: Like above, this reader thought pocket diapers would be the best for her family but realized later (after a heavy investment) that they hated them!  Even when you think, based on the the 1,000 reviews and blog posts you’ve read, that one style of diaper is IT for you, there is a chance it might not be.  Even if you just get 1-2 others to try before you invest in one style it might be worth it.

clothdiaperregretswool

The response: ” I would start wool earlier. It isn’t scary or difficult (hooray for Eucalan!), and the price is worth it.” -Kyra M.

DDL Weighs In: Wool is probably the MOST intimidating style of cloth diaper out there.  The care instructions are totally different than other cloth diapers and there is always that doubt “will wool really be waterproof and breathable?”  The answer is yes and yes!  Wool is great for babies who get heat rashes, works for winter and even summer (if you can believe that), and doubles as clothing if you buy shorties or longies.  Just like cloth diapers, wool can be addictive!

clothdiapreregrets3

The Response: “Ι would definitely do covers and prefolds. Less expensive, and you can reuse your favorite covers.” -Mary K.

DDL Weighs In: Though the shiny diapers with their bells and whistles dazzle new to cloth diapering parents, they can be quite expensive!  Even if you aren’t cloth diapering to save money prefolds and covers have a lot to offer beyond being cheap.  Prefolds are less likely to cause headaches when it comes to washing- they can take a serious beating without leaking or stinking.  Add a stash of covers that you love and cloth diaper with less drama.

buyallthediapers

The Response: “I’ve diapered 6 kids and my only regret is getting sucked in to diaper shopping, trying new brands.” -Catherine B.

DDL Weighs In: Buying All The Diapers is a real thing.  When brands release a new limited edition print every few months and new brands enter the market it is very tempting to buy “just one more.”  Keep in mind that one day your babies will be out of diapers- will your collection of diapers matter to you then?  If so then by all means, collect!  If you think your personality tends to go full addict then maybe try sticking to one style or brand to resist temptation.  Plus, the atmosphere in the groups for buying and selling can be toxic depending on the group.

clothdiaperregretsused

The Response: “I would have bought used to try out more diapers because you can really see how they wear and hold up after use.” -Jenna B.

DDL Weighs In: Buying used is a great idea for trying out brands and as this reader points out, for seeing how durable the diaper is!  No diaper can last forever but if you try used diapers that have little or no stretch in the elastics or show holes sooner than they should based on when they were bought it can be an indication that they aren’t going to hold up long.

clothdiaperregretscc

The Response: “I’d skip buying cheap diapers. Like totally. They don’t hold up. Spend a little extra on good quality diapers.” -Jessica C.

DDL Weighs In: This one is controversial but I can tell you that it is true, from personal experience and from the experiences of so many others.  When a diaper is extremely cheap it may be too good to be true.  Not only is it unlikely that the factory is doing effective quality control but the materials used to make the diaper are cheaper, the labor is cheaper, the warranty may not exist, and the customer service (if there) might not be that helpful when you need it.  Reputable brands tend to not only last longer but have warranties if problems do arise and employees at the phone lines to help you with any problems you have.  There are stories that tell opposite stories on both ends but these are not nearly as common as the scenario this reader represents.  No one wants to replace the diapers they just bought months earlier- don’t throw your money away!

spraypalregrets

The Response: “ Getting a spray pal and sprayer for sure, so much easier then dunk and swish.” -Samantha D.

DDL Weighs In: The scariest part of cloth diapering (in theory) is dealing with the poop.  When I first started cloth diapering the diaper sprayer was an answer to that problem.  Then the Spray Pal came along and the two together can spray the poop off and keep the {poop water} overspray from hitting your or your bathroom walls.  Plenty of people have survived without one or both but they are certainly nice to have and if you wait too long to try them you too might regret not buying a set earlier.

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What about you- did you have any regrets from your early days of cloth diapering?  

 Image Credits:  Sloomb, Spray Pal, Hyperbole and a Half, Kim Rosas.  Quotes taken from DDL readers on January 10, 2014.
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  • Sharelle

    I would skip the microfiber, give flats a try sooner, try pins sooner, use cloth wipes, worry less about what people think and more about baby’s comfort. (I bought diapers based on cuteness, so my friends and family wouldnt think i was totally crazy. Baby and I were both miserable because cute and trim doesnt necessarily mean comfortable and absorbant. Huge headache!)

  • kitTitLil

    Not buying enough! My poor flats are useless at tthis point! Geting washed every couple days, barely absorb anything now! :/

  • Rachel R.

    I would buy mostly snaps instead of Velcro and avoid microfiber. I hated snaps at first but they hold up so much better than Velcro tabs and don’t collect lint or form diaper chains. I made the mistake of collecting too.

  • Idigia

    I would have started sooner. I was too shy with my first to even try!

  • Shannon

    I have three in cloth and have been cloth diapering for about 2.5 years now. I am still trying to find a style that works for each child. My biggest regret was selling off most of the stash and switching to receiving blankets. Don’t get me wrong the blankets work well, however my previous stash I had sold consisted of over 100 prefolds (nearly new) and now I feel like I’m always running out of diapers and grabbing for sposies since we have been having leak issues.Even with wool – my 1 year old butt planted herself on the floor and boom all of the urine came out through the cover on the hind end (even though I had hemp in there and it was very well prepped). Cloth diapering is still a mystery to me – some days I feel like yes I finally figured it out — next day it’s just a mess. I also regret wasting time with cheap pocket diapers – they needed a cover within a few weeks due to weak PUL – I like pins far more than snaps as well (lost a snap on such a beautiful expensive diaper and couldn’t use it anymore). I also regret EVER using snappis… Even on a prefold one day the snappi came off on my toddler and was basically floating around in her cover (plastic pants) thank goodness the situation didn’t get worse. :
    Long story short — I am learning with CDing that simple is best (for us). Don’t over think it. I think I actually had the best results using a prefold and regular snap cover vs using hemp now and Zorb II.

  • Ariel

    I wouldn’t have bothered with Gerber prefolds and just gone with flats to begin with. I was so intimidated by all the folding, but it’s turned out to not be so bad, and even the fsts are better than the Gerber prefolds sold in most stores. I was so mad when I realized that the pads are made from pillow stuffing, which doesn’t absorb anything at all, one newborn pee and we were leaking on our clothes. Just glad we didn’t end up with rashes from it. And I would have gone ahead and knitted up some wool covers while I had nothing but time.

  • I really wish I’d gone straight to flats — I didn’t start with them until my son was about 18 months, and they were heaven in our cloth diapering time before a washer/dryer. (Frankly, we only had a washer/dryer for his last 6 months or so in diapers.) I sort of jumped into cloth diapering without quite as much research when we started at 9 months, and I just didn’t know. We were mostly prefolds/covers.

    If I end up having another baby (coin toss at this point), I’m definitely advocating for going straight to mostly flats, with maybe some other styles thrown in for convenience.

  • c.fster.nana

    Has anyone had to use a Snuza Hero baby monitor? My daughter and son in law have to with their babies and it won’t work using cloth diapers. With pockets or AIO’s they are too thick and the monitor sets off false alarms. With flats, fitteds, or prefolds and covers the monitor gets too wet and they are afraid this will ruin the battery. It would really be nice to use cloth for the new baby.

  • Ally

    I too wish I had tried flats earlier; I’ve been CDing for 6 years now, and I’ve tried nearly everything, and most of it worked just fine for us, but oh, the ease and cheapness of washing (and drying) flats! Drama-free CD. Easy, super inexpensive, trim and neat and truly one-size.

  • Katherine Lynn Adams

    read a lot of comments! i’m so happy to hear how many people wished they’d tried flats sooner 🙂 we found the flat love about 6 months ago and i’m never leaving. I have a handful of fitteds for night time but my entire day stash is flats. Having #2 in a few months and my stash is have fitteds and half flats. I’ve tried all the other styles and seriously nothing compares! i get a perfect fit every time 😀 and PINS omg im never using a snappi again, it snagged on of my wool covers so bad once and i tried pins instead and i’ve never looked back.