Navigating Cloth Diapering as a New Parent: Advice from an Expert

by Bailey Bouwman

Are you a new parent or a cloth diaper curious family? If you've decided to try cloth diapering, you may have already started researching, but it can be overwhelming. As someone who's been there and done that, I want to share some things I wish I knew in my first year of cloth diapering.

This post is a reiteration of a previous entry I shared on my personal blog. 


Bailey Bouwman is a well-known member of the cloth diapering community, with years of experience and expertise under her belt. As a cloth diaper mom herself, Bailey is passionate about helping other parents navigate the world of cloth diapering, offering tips, advice, and support along the way. She is the author of several cloth diapering resources, including guides, blog posts, and a podcast, and has consulted with countless families on their cloth diapering journeys. Bailey's knowledge and expertise make her an invaluable resource for anyone looking to embrace the benefits of cloth diapering. And today, she owns Nest & Sprout a maternity and baby shop. 

You don't need an approved wash routine to succeed.

While wash routine guidelines can be helpful, don't be afraid to trust your instincts and make changes as needed. Think of cloth diaper laundry as just another load of laundry. If things go wrong, we can fix it. Reach out for support from the cloth diaper community, including the women behind your local baby boutique, classes at your midwife's office, or new moms on social media.

The best cloth diaper does not exist.

Don't get caught up in looking for the "best" cloth diaper. Every diaper exists because someone is passionate about it. Buy the diaper that is the prettiest to you and start there.

Cloth diaper experts are just people with experience.

Don't spend too much time looking for the right expert to solve all your problems. Instead, focus on building your own confidence to problem-solve on your own. Remember, cloth diaper experts are just parents like you passing down information - and we only know what we know from the people we've interacted with. 

This can make some expertise very limited in a certain perspective, and it's recognizing these limitations that can be our greatest strength. 

It's not all or nothing - use disposable diapers.

You don't have to go full-time cloth diapering. Many families find a mix of disposable and cloth diapering suits their lifestyle best. You can make a significant difference by using cloth diapers on the weekends or at home.

Starter kits like the one from Esembly Baby can be a great way to integrate cloth diapers into your life part time. 

Leave toxic cloth diaper communities and create the space you need.

Not all online communities are suitable for everyone. If you find yourself feeling pressured or overwhelmed, leave those spaces and create your own. Don't be afraid to start your own Facebook group or Instagram account to build a small, supportive community.

Repeat after me: You don't need an approved routine, the best cloth diaper doesn't exist, cloth diaper experts are just people with experience, it's not all or nothing, and leave toxic communities.

As a cloth diaper author, podcaster, and shop owner, I want to empower new parents to feel supported and confident in their cloth diapering journey. Remember, you can do this, and don't wait for the perfect moment.

Start with the pretty diapers, toss them in the laundry, and see where your cloth diaper journey takes you.

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