If You’re Frustrated: Don’t Throw in the Cloth Diaper Just Yet

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Cloth diapering…even though I’m still amidst the overflow of diapers and it really is just beginning with another due in 3 months, I have such sweet memories of cloth diapering.

…A cute array of colorful cloth diapers hanging on the line

…A big padded bum toddling around the house

…The softness of cloth

…Accessorizing my little one with her cloth diapers…who needs pants/shorts in the summer when you can just use cloth diapers as bloomers!?

…The “unscented” room (The stench of disposable diapers after a day or two is almost unbearable to me)

…Using diapers that truly hold in all of the newborn / young baby blowouts!

BUT I’ve also had those “I QUIT!” moments. Several of them, actually…

Lack of sleep obviously does not help in the heat of those moments but nevertheless they are frustrating. If you’ve cloth diapered, you’ve experienced it.

…The rash that NEVER seems to go away & is only aggravated by the use of cloth diapers

…Freshly washed diapers that don’t smell so fresh

…The overwhelming smell of ammonia after your little one wets her diaper just a bit

…Unexplained leaking—day or night

…Diapers that once worked so well but are now not so great

For those “I QUIT!” moments here are a few suggestions:

  • Use disposables. Take some time off from it all. I’ve done it. I’ve had to. Both for my sake and my daughter’s sake. It allowed me time to step back, figure out the cause, and make a more informed decision about what to do next instead of making a rash decision in the heat of the moment. If you need a week, take a week. If you need a month, take a month. It will be okay. Do what is best for you and your family.
  • Borrow diapers. Every cloth diapering mama has their FAVORITE cloth diaper BUT it does not mean that it will work well for your child. Instead of buying and buying and buying…borrow them before purchasing. It will save you a lot of frustration and money. My current cloth diaper favorites are ones that I borrowed and tested before buying. I have also saved a lot of money by borrowing ones that I knew (after only one use!) did not work AT ALL for my child.
  • Ask questions. Put out a message on facebook. All your cloth diapering moms will come to the rescue. Send us an email. We’ll do our best to help. Contact the manufacturer of your diapers. One of our favorites, Thirsties, is great with customer questions and giving assistance. Search through these websites (allaboutclothdiapers.com and diaperpin.com). There are many others out there. One thing you will find is that cloth diapering moms love to help other cloth diapering mamas out. And yes, I’ve been that mom that has been SO desperate that I sent pictures of my wash cycles because my cloth diapers wouldn’t rinse out. Seriously.
  • Try new products. What may have worked for your child for the first 6 months may not work as well now. We used Thirsties Duo Wraps exclusively for the first 8 months and LOVED them. Then she became more mobile. I now prefer Thirsties Duo Diapers because everything stays in place while she bustles around the house. And my laundry detergent that worked so well for months on end, all of a sudden seemed to stop working. So, along came another brand (Thirsties Pre-Wash and Super Wash) and I had clean smelling diapers again. Apparently, it is not uncommon for one to need to change their detergent after a couple of months. But DON’T throw out the old detergent. You can still use it. Just give your diapers a rest from it for a bit. Your new GREAT detergent may do the same thing for you in a couple of months and you can go back to using the old brand. I actually use my two detergents alternatingly these days.
  • Purchase a small amount if you are not completely sure. Start with just a few – buying 1-3 diapers will give you a good idea. Give them a try first before making a big investment and buying 12-24 diapers. Or purchase 1 of several different diapers.

There are obviously more suggestions for those times when you’re stuck: stripping, brand-specific washing instructions, recommendations for night time, etc. and we at Cheeky Bums are willing to help! If you have questions, feel free to ask!   We’ve tried SO many different diaper brands and ultimately chose our favorites to carry in our market.  Regardless of which diaper brand you have chosen, or whether this is your first or 10th child, the point is, DON’T throw in the cloth diaper, just yet. You are not alone.


This post is linked to  Monday Mania at The Healthy Home Economist, Homesteader Blog Carnival at The Morris Tribe, Homestead Blog Hop at The Prairies Homestead, Welcome Home Link Ups at Raising Arrows, Mentoring Mamas Monday at Simply Living for Him, Seasonal Celebrations at Natural Mother’s Network, Sunday School Blog Hop at Butter Believer, Traditional Tuesdays at Cooking TF, Fat Tuesdays at Real Food Forager,  WLWW Link-up at Women Living Well, Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways at Frugally Sustainable, Whole Foods Wednesday at Whole Lifestyle Nutrition, Simple Lives Thursday at Gnowfglins, Your Green Resource at Live Renewed

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9 Responses to “If You’re Frustrated: Don’t Throw in the Cloth Diaper Just Yet”
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  1. Nikki

    This is soooo timely! I’m in the “she has a rash that is aggravated by cloth” stage! I have an idea of what it might be, so I’m gonna try to fix it. I hope it’s not the detergent because I just bought a whole new thing of it!

  2. oh no! I’d start with stripping your diaper and letting her run around in her birthday suit for awhile 🙂 Hope you can figure it out! Don’t give up! – kelsi

  3. We are in the freshly washed stinky diaper phase right now. I’ve boiled them which helped for one wear and then I bleached them which seems to help the smell but not they leak more…..

  4. oh no! how frustrating… I’m not sure which brand you are using, but the bleaching (thought effective for smells) can wreak havoc on cloth diapers. I would give it a few weeks/washes and if you continue to have leaking issues since you’ve bleached them, I would contact the manufacturer. Generally, for smells, the best bet is some dilute tea tree oil, vingar and lemon juice, mixed in a spray bottle and applied liberally to the diapers. Then place them in the hot sun for day to “dry”. Hope you get it figured out!

  5. Sorry to hear about the leaking! I wouldn’t recommend bleach for stripping either (though you will read that people do this). But if you do have smell issues again, make sure that when you wash them that there is NO soap (no bubbles…nothing…only water running clear) with the final rinse. If it is not running clear, then a residue will remain on your diapers and the stink will come. Additionally, something that has helped me and that I do *occassionally* when I am having problems is to rinse out my diapers before putting them in the diaper pail/bag. This takes a little more time but I will rinse ALL diapers (even wet ones) and it really seems to help with the ammonia smell.

  6. Great little post- thank you for sharing this with us on Natural Mothers Network! I have a post to share about homemade diaper rash remedies your readers could try: http://naturalmothersnetwork.com/healthy-eating/healthy-recipes/diaper-rash-remedies/
    Hope this helps keep people on track!

  7. savingbymaking

    Try putting some baking soda in her bathwater too. Depending on the reason for the rash, it might do the trick–sounds bizarre, but it almost always works for my little guy!

  8. Jennifer Moore

    I fill my diaper pail half full of water with 1/2 cup vinegar for the diapers to soak in until the pail is full of dirty diapers. The vinegar soak removes the ammonia smell.