Everyone makes mistakes, right? I have been cloth diapering for about two and a half years now. In that time, I have had some failures. There’s the time one of my homemade diapers leaked all over my dad, on a holiday. There was the time I poked my daughter with a pin, leaving an awful mark. Well, ok, that happened more than once. And then there’s the attempt to use a diaper with horrible reviews because they were inexpensive and easily available. Yes, I have made mistakes, but the important thing is to learn from my mistakes, at least, that’s what they say.
When I started cloth diapering, I tried making my own to save money. I downloaded a free pattern online and got to work. The first diapers I made looked really good, but they were flannel all over and still required a cover. I was too cheap to buy one, so I hunted around and learned that some people use fleece as a cover. Then, I got the brilliant idea to use fleece as the outer layer of the diaper and I would have an all in one! I thought I was the smartest person ever. That is, I thought so until the next family gathering. It was Thanksgiving Day and my whole family was over. My baby girl was in one of these homemade diapers and I was showing off how cute she looked. My dad then picked her up and held her while I finished getting dinner together. While she was sitting on his lap, she peed and it went straight through her diaper and all over my dad. He was not happy and ended up going home to change, and didn’t come back. Lesson learned, we will only use PUL for true waterproofing.
In addition to making mistakes in making my diapers, I made mistakes in closing them. Mostly, I was terrible with pins. I poked my kids with pins multiple times. My mother in law loved to tell a story about how she actually pinned a diaper to my husband when he was a baby and she didn’t realize it for an hour. I never messed up a pin closure that badly but I did poke my daughter once so hard that she was bleeding through a small band aid. It left a red mark for weeks after it healed and if you know where to look, you can still see a scar, over a year and a half later. Lesson learned, no more pinning for us.
But probably the biggest mistake I have made was using the brand of cloth diapers that Wal-Mart sold. They were inexpensive and easily available. I was too cheap to spend money on nicer diapers online, so I spent close to $75 or so buying Wal-Mart’s brand of cloth diapers. These diapers did work better than the homemade diaper that leaked all over my dad, but they were still pretty bad. In addition to not being absorbent at all, they fit funny on both of the kids I had in cloth at the time, and they were complicated. They consisted of a cover, plus a snap in liner and a snap in insert as well. All three pieces would constantly get lost in the wash and they were flimsy and tore easily. In addition, the Velcro tabs never held up in the wash, and they were constantly getting stuck to each other. The Velcro also wore out fast. Lesson learned, you get what you pay for, and cheaper isn’t always better.