Welcome back to the Cloth Diapering Expert Series. Now that you have an idea of the diapering style and fit you want, I'm going to talk about stashing and why it's beneficial to stick with only one brand of cloth diapers.
To Stash or Not to Stash?
It's a common recommendation. Even after you've read the Expert Series, you may think you'd like to sample some of the various diapers available. Before you do that, you should consider the following:
The decision to cloth diaper your baby is often done before the baby arrives. As you browse the web you will find blog or forum advice from helpful, well-intentioned parents saying, "Every diaper fits differently, so try different diapers to find the perfect fit for your baby. Build a diaper stash and after your baby is born, you decide which diaper fits best."
Sounds ideal but here's the problem...
Babies usually don't stay the same. They may start out short with lots of chub but later grow out of it and become tall and slender or the other way around. They may not be heavy wetters in the beginning, but after some time they can become super heavy wetters. They may sleep on their stomach some of the time, but not all of the time. Remember your baby will be using diapers for the first couple of years and all the while they grow and change. It's impossible to try to match a child to a diaper. The diaper must match the child and a well-designed diaper will fit any baby within the weight range it's made for.
If you build a cloth diaper stash and attempt to find the perfect diaper for your baby, it will cost you a lot more than investing in the right diaper system in the first place. To build a reasonable stash you should have at least one of each of the various diapers on the market. When you find the one you like and decide to buy a full set of that brand, your total investment needs to include the cost of your stash. Stash building means you will have a lot of money invested in diapers you will hardly ever use.
Heavy Wetters, Tummy Sleepers, Boy or Girl... Shouldn't Matter!
When choosing a cloth diapering system it is best to stick with one brand. Their products are designed to fit and work together to keep your baby dry. With a well-designed, leak-proof diapering system, it won't matter whether your baby is a heavy wetter or a tummy sleeper, or whether they are a boy or girl needing more absorbency in a particular area. A well-designed diaper works together with its cover to provide leak-proof protection no matter the circumstance. The only thing you need to add is an absorbent booster or liner to increase the absorbency when your baby is sleeping and a diaper change is not possible.
You don't need different diapers when your baby naps or sleeps for the night. That is simply not practical. What if your baby falls asleep in your arms or in the car seat? Do you really want to wake them because they don't have the right diaper on before you move them to the crib? That would be crazy.
You need to be able to rely on the diaper they are wearing to keep them dry until they're awake. You want a diaper where you can decide when it's time for a change; you don't want a diaper that dictates when you need to change it.
Stay tuned for the next issue of the Mother-ease Expert Series, where I tell you how best to care for your cloth!
Next Issue: How to Care for Cloth Diapers.