By Corrie Palmer:
The first time I ever saw a modern day cloth diaper was about three years ago. One of my friends had posted a photo of her newborn baby boy on Facebook in a tiny little diaper with a big G on his bottom. It was the cutest little baby bottom in a diaper I had ever seen! Day after day, she kept posting these adorable photos of her little guy in all these brightly colored diapers. I think I was secretly jealous of her baby’s bottom!
My third daughter was wearing disposable diapers at the time. Her diapers were NOT that cute. Functional, yes. Fashionable? Not really. Wasteful? Definitely.
I asked my friend about all these cloth diapers she used and she invited me over to her house for a play date with other local cloth diapering mom’s in our circle. I had no idea what I was about to get myself into! You see, it wasn’t just a play date, I later found out. It was a “convert this mama to cloth” party. And it worked! They all brought over their favorite diapers for me to try on my daughter. I was overwhelmed by the colors and styles and even bought a few while I was there. And that’s how my obsession started.
Within a month, I had a full daytime diaper stash. I had a couple of this brand, a couple of that, one minky (ooh, I loved the purple minky!) Washing and folding laundry was finally fun too. Sometimes I wouldn’t even put them away because they were so pretty to look at. I also started taking pictures… of diapers. My family now thought I was crazy.
In the beginning, we only used our cloth diapers around the house. They seemed to leak when my daughter would sit down after wetting them and at least once a day, she would wet on my husband’s lap. He wasn’t very happy about these new diapers and refused to use them when he changed her. We tried using them a few times on short errands but she would end up wetting them as soon as we pulled out of the driveway. I was getting really tired of washing the car seat cover too. I almost gave up cloth diapers because I didn’t understand how having to deal with accidents was worth the investment. Then a bigger part of me knew I should keep trying, and if I wanted to completely get rid of the disposable diapers, I would need to find a solution to these constant leaks. This meant trying more diapers.
I bought a used fitted diaper and was so impressed by how absorbent it was. I needed more! I also needed something to cover that diaper with so I grabbed a few PUL covers too. They were nice, but she started complaining of being hot. Summer in Texas is hot when you’re naked, but even more so when wrapped in plastic. The search continued for a better diaper cover and then I read something about wool. At first I had a hard time picturing myself dressing my daughter in sweater-pants (as my husband called them) in the middle of our 100 + degree summer. I had nothing to lose at this point, so I bought a little pair of wool pants to try out.
And she cried. She was not having it. It was scratchy and itchy and “ugg-a-lee”. My poor girl. She would swat at her legs like I stuck her in a fire ant bed. This was not good. I tried a few knit covers and she hated those too. I tried shorties. I tried more longies. In fact, each time the mailman delivered a package, she knew what was coming next. Me chasing her through the house saying “look at your pretty new woolies!” I was beginning to lose hope so we kept using the PUL diapers until I found wool that she would wear without crying. I felt like crying too, because I saw all these photos online of little ones wearing wool and they looked so happy!
One day, I was on Diaperswappers and found a pair of shorties that were in my price range, so I got them. They were interlock wool. I hadn’t tried interlock yet and was actually really scared to. The picture made them look like felt. You know, the stuff you can craft with? Really thick felt. Well, that’s what it was… felted wool. It arrived, and to my surprise, it was buttery soft. And she wore them! I may have even done a happy dance.
The first pair of wool that she would wear and not cry, was made by Wild Child Woolies. (She has since changed the name of her company to Wild Coconut Wear.) But these shorts were really amazing. They were soft, fuzzy and stretchy and just perfect. And they worked just as promised, with that fitted diaper I had. The best part of all, was that she soaked that diaper and her wool shorts did not leak. Not one single bit.
And in a last ditch effort for a pair of beautiful “sweater pants” I decided to finally try out a pair of knit longies from Sustainablebabyish. When they arrived, just as I expected, she ran to her room crying. But let me tell you, I have never felt wool as soft and silky and dreamy as these little pants. I slipped my arm up a leg hole to see how they felt on my skin and all I could say was “Oh my goodness, these are amazing.” We fought through the tears of trying them on, but after a minute or two, she stopped. She kept the pants on and did not act like she had prickly bugs eating her. I should have just started out with these we would have avoided all that distress.
Slowly I began selling those other colorful synthetic diapers and replacing them with more fitteds and wool. Within a couple months, I had interlock wool from Twee Baby, Rainbow Waters, Bumby, Little Green Honu, Sproutling Love, Guerilla Fluff and Woollybottoms. These were all functional, but some of them I just didn’t love as much as others. Some were softer, some were stretchier, some had prettier colors to chose from, some fit better than others. But in the end, we successfully found a cloth diapering solution and my husband no longer worried about our daughter leaking on his lap.