Tuesday, July 28, 2009

What I Wish I Knew Then

I wish I'd known how cute they could be...
When I think back on all the things I didn't know when I first started cloth diapering, I feel a little sorry for myself.
Poor deluded, ignorant, living in the dark ages me. How young and naive I was. It was 1999 and Mongoosine was going to be a mostly sustainable baby if it killed me, and so, living at home and with the help of my mother who cloth diapered me, we were going to ressurect my old cloth diapers and a few more prefolds and flats, some nine pair of plastic pants (smalls, mediums, and larges) 8 diaperpinswhich eventually grew into 12, some 9 of which I still occasionally come across, five of which are about 18" away at the moment, four of them bedecked with teal and green turtles, hooked to the lone white one. The other four are floating around here somewhere, pink and blue Winnie the Pooh honey pot pins.
We had a wetpail in the laundry room and handrinsed the poopy diapers in the toilet. That water was always bitingly cold. When the diapers began to get stinky smelly it was vinegar in the wet pail's water and bleach in the hot wash. Mongoosine's diapers were then hung on the line. The plastic pants were washed like dishes with lemon joy and hung out with the diapers.
If I could travel back in time and give myself just ONE piece of advise, well, lets keep this to diapering advice, shall we? My one piece of diapering advise would have been a diaper sprayer. I don't even know if they existed back in '99, but if they hadn't, it's not like a person couldn't have figured that one out on their own. Not exactly the height of technology, just the brilliance of application. No more hands sore, chapped, and cracking from being plunged into icy cold toilet basins and then washed with Lava soap in the hottest water I could stand. No ma'am. Diaper Sprayer.
Let's all say it again. Diaper Sprayer.
The second piece of advise I'd have given myself would be to look into these marvelous things called wrapping covers. Imagine, a world without nasty redmarks on my baby's legs from the gimpy (and less than adorable) plastic pants.
By the way, they say they've come a long way with plastic pants. That they're new and improved wth less abrasive elastic and higher quality material for the outer.
It's a lie. They still are decades behind, and not in the delightfully old school way that wool soakers and longies are behind the times. No, they're antiquated and kinda unpleasant. Sure, I still have 6 of them for those OMG-I'm-so-tired-I-could-die days when I get more than one diaperchange behind on the laundry and it's prefold and plastic pants or free-bird. But in general, plastic pants are my absolute last choice in grabbing a cloth diapering solution to my baby's bottom's needs.
I wish I'd known about AIOs, fitteds, covers, pockets, OS pockets and the wonderful absorbancy of materials like bamboo, hemp and microfiber. Truth be told, I'm not exactly sure how long microfiber has been around, and I don't think that bamboo and hemp were being readily used back then either. I might be misinformed. I haven't studied the history of cloth diapering innovations AT ALL, so feel free to correct me, but frankly, I wish that I'd known about these things.

This time, with Snapdragon, I have a different list of things I wish I had known.
I wish I'd known that ebay diapers (sunbaby) are apt to have snapfail and elastic that just isn't quite as snug as a girl would like. I wish I'd known how great a variety of clothdiapers were out there and to go for a wider variety up front so as to not get into a position of having only 60% of the stash which my mother bought me (and don't get me wrong, I'm entirely grateful and without his Sunbaby diapers, I can't imagine how we'd make this cloth diapering thing work!) be usable at any rise adjustment, or, even less.
I wish someone had told me about newborn sized diapers that have a litle snap down part to not irritate the cord stump so we could have started with cloth from change one instead of impatiently trying to wait for that nasty cord to fall off.
I'd also have told myself not to get too terribly attached to the idea of one size. Yes, I love one size and have nothing to say against them, but his es baby QD AIO (quick drying) is divine, and his Berry Plush AIO (which also has a snap in soaker and can be used as a cover) make me squee with delight for their wonderful trimness and how precise the fit is. Once I had heard of the longterm versatility of one size, I couldn't imagine why anyone would want sized diapers, but now I totally get it, and I so wish I'd known it sooner!

Lastly, I wish I'd known about the online shops like Kelly's Closet and their registry options a few weeks/months before my baby shower, because lets face it, a Rumparooz and a Dream Eze would make far finer shower gifts than bibs and an exerssaucer.

What do you wish you'd known when you first started cloth diapering?

For more great Cloth Diaper Carnival posts, don't forget to go to:

6 reflections:

Upstatemomof3 said...

I wish my family would actually buy the things I registered for at Kelly's Closet. UGH!!! It is all stuff we need for the trip but they just complain that they don't know what to buy. :(

Denise said...

I LOVE those old diaper pins with the animals...unfortunately we only have one turtle pin amongst our plain yellow & white ones.

I have some of the Gerber vinyl pants & while they are sooo much better than the old fashioned rubber pants of yesteryear, they are still the very last cover I use & I only use them when I totally run out of other options.

Ammie said...

:) I love both fitteds and OS, AIOs and fluffy cotton nappies that require covers. Yes, wrapping covers are great! We use pull on covers as a last resort, and they are tricky to remove without making a mess. Love the Thirsties!

~ April ~ EnchantedDandelions said...

When I was pregnant with Abbie (born March 2005), I had no clue that all the different options existed, either. So, I went with Gerber prefolds (the kind with the polyester batting in the middle) and the plastic pants, as that was the only thing available locally. They left horrible red marks (no, grooves!) on Abbie's chubby thighs, and the prefolds were barely absorbent. I ended up switching to disposables part-time until she was about a year old.

But seeing how much I was spending on even the cheapest disposables, and knowing that baby #2 would be due in a few months, I really started venturing out online to search for diapers, which fortunately, over time, I was able to purchase used one at a time to build my stash.

Still wish I had a diaper sprayer, though, but there's not enough room behind our toilet to install one. :(

OOOH, one more thing (sorry, I'm rambling), CLOTH WIPES. For some reason, I stuck with disposable wipes LONG after I switched to cloth diapers. I'm not sure why it took so long for me to take the plunge. And now it's all we use... close to a dozen a day on average.

~ April ~ EnchantedDandelions said...

Also, thank you so much for your diaper name suggestions. Yours was definitely at the top of the list... but I decided to go with Dandelion Diapers to stay simple.

Do you use prefolds at all? If so, maybe we can work out something down the road so you could review one once I get a bunch made up. :)

Jeff9 said...

The best way to clean cloth diapers is to pre-rinse them off in the toilet using a Hand Bathroom Bidet Sprayer. So convenient and if you are trying to help the environment (and your pocket book) you can give it a double whammy by virtually eliminating toilet paper use by using it on yourself also. I'm not sure how many people know this but that is what they were originally created for. I think Dr. Oz on Oprah said it best: "if you had pee or poop on your hand, you wouldn't wipe it off with paper, would you? You'd wash it off" Available at http://www.bathroomsprayers.com they come in an inexpensive kit and can be installed without a plumber. Now we're talking green and helping the environment without any pain. One review: http://jonathanandandrea.blogspot.com/2009/04/spray-it-or-scrub-it.html