Saturday, June 18, 2011

Guest Blogger Jena’s Note to Herself

Welcome to our first guest blogger, Jena! Fantastic job and great message about the choices we make when starting to cloth diaper.

Dear self of seven months ago:

I know you’re absolutely confused and overwhelmed by the variety of cloth diapers available out there. You’re actually paralyzed by the fear of making the wrong decision for the baby you’re about to meet, and you know that’s silly, but knowing it’s silly doesn’t help you become able to make your first decision about which diapers to buy. Well, second—you already made the decision to use cloth. Good choice, by the way—you’re going to love them.

See, here’s the thing. It’s kind of hard to make a wrong choice with cloth diapers, unless you order a bunch of huge diapers and forget she (yes, it’s a girl) is going to be pretty small at birth, which of course you wouldn’t do. Know what would suck? What would suck is to not have those diapers laundered and waiting for her when you two come home from the hospital. Especially since she’s going to arrive a week earlier than you would’ve thought to expect her.

You’re very lucky a friend gave you her first diaper stash—she took some of the weight off your shoulders. Those diapers will last for the first few months, and you’re going to love prefolds on your newborn girl, and you’d like to kiss the man who invented Snappis, because it means you don’t have to deal with those big clumsy pins. So you got eighteen or so newborn size prefolds, half a dozen covers (in x-small, small, and one-size), a dozen size one hemp fitteds and another half dozen size one cotton fitteds, plus a couple small all-in-ones and one one-size pocket diapers.

Choice is a good thing, when you’re not terrified of somehow screwing up something for your kid. And no, you wouldn’t have chosen the prefolds, because they’re just not as cute as some of the other diapers, but once they have a cover on them, they’re still adorable and they’re cheap. If your friend hadn’t loaned them to you, I’d advise you to start your stash with them anyway. Besides, the newborn size only fits about a month and then you’ll be using the trimmer fitteds.

Later, when friends can’t figure out which diapers to register for or purchase themselves for the first few months, you’re going to recommend at least twenty-four prefolds and three Snappis for the more budget-restricted and a combination of prefolds and hemp fitteds and covers for those with a not-so-restricted budget. You’ve heard that some pocket diapers work well on newborns, but you’re not convinced. They’d probably be a lot bulkier than you would’ve liked on your baby (and the prefolds were pretty darn bulky).

But you’re going to feel like such a wimp down the road, when you think of all those times you almost bought diapers but didn’t because they might be “wrong” for the baby. You won’t know if you don’t try; you don’t have to order a ton of them, but you might consider ordering with friends to get some of those buy-in-bulk deals, some of which are really good. Read reviews where possible, but go with your gut. When you have a question, find a site with a cloth diapering forum or discussion board and ask—or just Google it; I’m sure someone’s already asked it. Search for sales; cloth diaper sales do exist, often on those sale-a-day sites. In fact, you’re going to purchase your first pocket diapers through one of those sites. (Oh, and when you order, consider ordering extras as gifts for friends.)

When your daughter is almost six months old, you’ll be using three different brands of pocket diapers. You’ll only have two all-in-ones exclusively for your diaper bag (remember when you thought you’d want mostly all-in-ones?). You’re hooked. You can’t wait to pick out which diapers you’re going to order next. And your little girl looks adorable in them, like you knew she would.

Don’t worry. You can do this.


Jena lives in British Columbia, Canada, with her husband and their first baby, who was born Christmas morning and has been nothing but a delight since she arrived.