By Brooke Diaz
My GroVia cloth diapers package stared at me from the dining table. It scared me a little. Scratch that. It scared me A LOT.
Cloth diapers are something I’ve always wanted to try. I imagined my baby’s bitty bum in the cozy cloth and grinned from ear to ear. It would be natural and beautiful and not creating waste for hundreds of years.
It would be awesome.
But, people had shared their experiences, and I knew there would be a lot of work involved. As a mommy working full-time with two kids under the age of five, a 40-minute commute each way, and a hubby whose schedule is the exact opposite of mine, I worried about the amount of time it would take to transition from disposables to cloth diapers. While I wanted to help reduce waste, I had to be realistic about the amount of time I had available to dedicate to this eco-adventure.
Eventually, I got over it and dove right in. You know what? It’s a whole lot easier to cloth diaper than I imagined even in my original diaper dreams. (And the pointers below made the experience even easier!)
Prepping is prime
Perhaps the most time-consuming aspect of cloth diapering is getting started. Because of the natural oils in the cloth of GroVia’s cloth diapers, it is essential that you wash and dry them 5-6 times before the initial use (using a dye-free detergent like All Free is perfectly fine, by the way). That was big. Once I jumped that hurdle, I was well on my way.
Avoid the overnight sensation
Of course, I did what a first-time cloth diaperer probably shouldn’t: I started the cloth diaper transition with an overnighter (I know, right? Idiot!!). And I made the mistake of only using a biodegradable soaker pad and all-in-one shell. Next morning, all was drenched (including my frustrated, tear-streaked face). But, it was a “teaching moment”…I reached out to our lovely GroVia rep, Anne, and learned so much. Like this tidbit:
Layers, layers, layers
As my cloth diapering guru, Anne, sagely stated: “Overnights and naps are all about absorbency, so the more layers of cloth the less likely you are to have a wet child.”
She recommended adding a booster or pre-fold (aka old-school cloth diaper aka burp cloth) on top of my organic soaker pad and all-in-one shell. She also suggested bioliners—they’re a biodegradable gauze-y square to lay on top of all the other layers for extra absorbency and to more easily remove the dirtiest parts of cloth diaper changes.
Her advice worked like a charm.
Wet bags save the day (again)
In this age of modern-day cloth diapering, it’s no longer necessary to have a cloth diaper washing service launder for you. That’s great news! Because I can’t do laundry every day, I found it essential to have a wet bag or two on hand at all times to keep the soiled diapers sealed and stashed away for when I had time to do laundry.
The best cloth diapering support. Ever.
In my moments of cloth diapering panic (and there were many). Anne was incredibly supportive, encouraging and non-judgmental. She eagerly answered my questions and provided solutions. While Anne was my special cloth diapering guide, GroVia has loads of support in the way of a “live chat” feature on their homepage, a dedicated Facebook team and a Customer Service lead, Pat.
All in good time
While I have not completely transitioned to full-time cloth diapering, I can see a difference in the amount of waste created with my part-time efforts. I feel good knowing that I’m helping reduce waste and know that with time, I’ll get to 24/7 cloth diapering status.
It all begins with a baby step.
Think you’re ready to take the leap into cloth diapering? Check out our collection of reusable diapers and accessories and our 3 Simple Steps to Cloth Diapering Your Baby.
(All images courtesy of GroVia)