Cloth Diapering my Baby Series: Pre-birth to Week 2

Cloth Diapering my Baby Series: Pre-birth to Week 2

By Sarah Downey, Co-Founder of Glow Bug Cloth Diapers

Pre-birth Prep

From the day I found out I was pregnant with Evelyn, one of the things I was the most excited about was cloth diapering again since Gloria had been out of diapers for over three years and we have so many new and adorable prints!!  Also, when Gloria was in diapers, the whole philosophy of washing cloth diapers was so different. I only used a tablespoon of soap to wash her diapers and had to strip them twice a month because of ammonia. Her diapers always had stains and stank!  Now we know that the entire industry was wrong about washing and we base our washing advice on science. I was excited to do things right this time around.  (For more info on washing instructions, check out Fluff Love University here.

While I was still pregnant I prepped her diapers by washing them with Persil, filled to the fifth line inside the cap (check out the Fluff Love detergent index here to find a good detergent and how much to use) and 1/2 cup of borax because I did a water test strip and we have hard water where I live (get a free test strip from your local hardware store and then read this article if you have water over 150 ppm). I also dried all of her diapers and inserts on high heat in my dryer. I organized all of her diapers, wipes and wet bags to make it as easy as possible when she arrived so I already snapped down the rise to the smallest size and had all of her diapers stuffed with inserts etc. I made wipes solution with this awesome recipe and put it in spray bottles with a funnel all from the dollar store and placed a spray bottle at every place where I would be changing her including one for our hospital/diaper bag:
  • 8 parts water
  • 2 parts witch hazel
  • 1 part aloe juice
  • 1 part olive oil
  • 1 part baby shampoo

Cloth diapering at birth
We brought our Glow Bugs to the hospital and I was really worried about meconium staining them so I had a disposable liner in each diaper. The good news is that all the meconium that got on her diapers in those first few days washed out with no problem and no stains whatsoever. 
A friend of mine loaned me this amazing portable change table so we have two changing areas in the house plus her diaper bag stocked with:
  • Cloth wipes
  • A spray bottle with wipes solution to moisten the cloth wipes
  • Diapers 
  • Wet bags
  • Changes of clothes
  • Receiving blankets for under her in case she pees during a change 

We wanted to make sure she would be comfy in the diapers with her belly button clip so we adjusted them slightly looser around her belly. Once her plastic clip came off and her umbilical stump started to detach, she had a bit of bleeding around the edges (which my midwives assured me was totally normal) so we folded a cloth wipe to go against her belly so the PUL flap of the diapers wouldn't rub on the stump. 
I was really lucky that my husband was able to take a week of vacation after Evey was born so he was a huge help with washing. We have a lot of diapers so I knew we could go several days without washing but we decided we would just wash once her diaper pail was filled (which is about every 2-3 days at the point). I taped this note to the wall behind our washing machine to make it super easy for anyone who wanted to help us by running a load of diaper laundry.
I've also found that I ran out of my first batch of wipe solution after 1 week so that is now our "chemistry" project I do with my 9 year old daughter every weekend so I can refill the spray bottles. 
Week 1-2
Evey has started really going through a lot of diapers because she is nursing like a champ, yay!  I find it is easiest to change her after she finishes the first breast during a feed which also wakes her up quite a bit for the second breast after her diaper is changed. This way during the day she is getting changed every 2-3 hours. Right now we are either using one microfibre or one bamboo insert in each diaper during the day. At night, she has started sleeping in two 4 hour chunks (I know we are super lucky!!  Must be due to those magical third baby unicorns, lol) so now we are using a microfibre and a bamboo insert together in her diaper for those longer stretches to keep her dry and comfy. Her umbilical stump fell off when she was 8 days old so now we can do her diapers up a little tighter around her belly but not so tight that I can't get a few fingers in between the diaper and her waist band. We've washed her diapers several times since her meconium passed and so far have not had a single EBF stain which is awesome.

Oh, and if you want to use an old disposable wipes container and make your cloth wipes pop coming out of the container like disposables, I learned how to do this from the amazing Dirty Diaper Laundry: Everyone kept telling us it would be so much work with using our cloth diapers right from day one but i think it can be totally manageable as long as you are well prepared and have maybe a little bit of help the first week (thanks sweetie!).  The best part is getting to choose which gorgeous prints she will wear each day!! Isn't she cute?!?