Why this podcast?
This podcast is a fun, easy to listen to one which also happens to have a lot of info on a broad range of topics. I like the chatty, informal style and appreciate that the panel of hosts brings experts on to share their knowledge as well as discussing their own experiences.
Why this episode?
I’m a member of a few expecting and new mum groups and I have noticed questions come up recently about cloth diapers so this seemed a fitting episode to feature.
Amy Kessler, a cloth diaper expert, joins the team to get into the most common mistakes new parents make when deciding to use cloth diapers.
Amy states that the main reasons people tend to choose cloth over disposable diapers are:
– Environmental: wanting to reduce their carbon footprint &
– Limiting chemical exposure: Disposable diapers contain a lot of chemicals which are linked to asthma, liver problems, infertility and cancer.
Other benefits of cloth are that, on average, cloth diapered babies tend to potty train earlier and experience less diaper rash.
Ok, I think it’s time to get into the top 10 mistakes, don’t you?
#1. Not trying more than one style
I love that Amy points out that every baby is different and that means their bodies are different too. The way they poo and pee and their body shape will influence what kind of diaper works for them and you may even need one style for daytime and another for nights.
#2. Not buying enough diapers
In relation to the above, Amy recommends buying a few of each style of diaper at first to see which work best for your baby. Once you have found the style or styles that fit them best you can stock up.
Amy recommends having a stash of thirty-six to forty diapers on hand.
Now, that seems like a lot but I do get where she is coming from.
You never know what life with a baby might throw at you and if you can’t do the laundry the day you planned to you don’t want to be stuck with no diapers.
That being said, I would not want those numbers to put you off. If you ned to start with less then do that. You can build up your stock slowly and even ask for cloth diapers as baby gifts.
#3. Not changing your baby’s cloth diaper often enough
Amy suggests that your baby’s diaper should be changed every two to three hours regardless of whether it is cloth or disposable.
If your baby is wet or has a dirty diaper, it should be changed.
#4. Using synthetic cloth for absorption
Synthetic materials are generally less absorbent and if they are designed to be more absorbent then they probably have a whole lot of synthetic things in them so either way, natural fibres are best.
#5. Not washing or drying diapers properly
People sometimes over-complicate this but Amy underlines that it is actually very simple. Wash in very hot water and use the same amount of laundry detergent as you would if you were washing clothes.
No softener or bleach that could build up in the diaper and, if possible, hang them out to dry in the sun rather than throwing them in the tumble drier.
The sun will help to naturally bleach out any stains as well as killing any leftover germs.
#6. Choosing the wrong size
One size fits all is a myth. You really need to find the one that fits your baby best.
Amy recommends having some newborn or even preemie diapers on hand for those first few weeks.
If you find you are experiencing a lot of leaks then you are most likely using a diaper that is too small rather than too big.
Sometimes you may find you need a larger diaper to last your baby through the night and a smaller size during the day.
#7. Using the wrong diaper cream
Go natural, Amy says. Avoid or use a very thin layer of creams containing zinc oxide or petroleum as this can build up on diapers. Look for ingredients like coconut oil or lanolin and, again, a thin layer is all you need.
Thin liners are also available but some bare bum time is really the best way to clear up or avoid rashes.
#8. Not getting rid of the poop soon enough
Yes, well, sorry but it was bound to come up eventually. Flushing away the poop as soon as possible is the way to go and your own baby’s poo is really no big deal.
#9. Not being prepared for cloth-diapering on the go
Whatever kind of diaper you end up using, make sure that you have a few spare with you when you are out and have them ready to go on.
You don’t want to be folding diapers or putting in inserts in the baby-changing room.
#10. All or nothing
It doesn’t have to be!!!
If cloth diapering seems like a big hassle or the initial financial investment is too big, start small and slowly build up or use cloth at home and disposable when you are out, cloth during the day and disposable at night.
Any diapers that are not going into the trash will make a positive impact on the environment and reducing your baby’s exposure to the chemicals found in disposables is great.
I find that reminding myself that it doesn’t have to be all or nothing is useful for pretty much everything and anything I encounter in life.
To wrap up
I encourage you to listen to the episode in full to help you figure out which cloth diapers might work for you. Amy goes into more detail about the various styles available and the panel shares their experiences so you get some first-hand feedback.
I’d love to hear from any of you who are currently on the cloth diaper journey. How are you finding it? Have there been any surprises?
Please comment and share any tips or tricks you may have picked up along the way.
Until next time!
Emily Wills is a doula based in Stockholm. She believes that birth can be a beautiful and empowering experience and started this blog as a way of sharing some really great podcasts. She is also a mother of three and an enthusiastic runner.