When I first started cloth diapering I had a pretty sizable stash of Fuzzi Bunz one size pocket diapers. Most had suggested 12-18 for starting out, but we ended up with 22 by chance. This brings me to item one that I wish I had known:
1) Start out with more than you think you need. I recommend this, because we went through, and still go through, a lot of diapers. As a new mother, I was thankful to have the extra diapers so that laundry could be spread out to every 2 or 3 days, rather than every day.
2) A good drying rack or two will be cheaper and serve you well when cleaning the diapers. Drying diapers on racks is not only useful for reducing energy use, but also extends the life of the diapers by not subjecting them to the dryer with every washing. I’ve found that having a compact drying rack is also useful for drying the diapers when traveling. It is a space and energy saving device.
3) Once babies reach a certain point (around 6 months or so) when they start wetting heavily, it becomes apparent that one insert might not be enough. Through trial and error, I learned that you can “double stuff” diapers by putting 2 inserts into the pocket. Some sage mommas also suggested the use of wool pants during the day and especially at night. Wool is naturally antibacterial and is very absorbent. If your child wets through their diaper, the wool will absorb the moisture while keeping baby dry. After that, just hang the wool and air dry. It will be ready to reuse again without needing to wash it (even up to 1 month)! On a side note, wool is also very good at keeping your body temperature even.
4) Sometimes diapers just get “that smell”. No matter how many times you wash them or even if you change the type of soap you use. If your diapers have that ammonia-funk I find it best to strip the washing machine of any oils that have built up by washing a few old rags on a large load. Be sure to use extra soap. Then, you should wash the diapers twice to strip them of any accumulated oils as well. This should return your diapers to a fresh clean state. For added cleaning and sanitizing power, hang the diapers to dry in the sunlight. The sun will naturally bleach and sanitize the diapers. I live in a cold climate and have found that a sunny window is sufficient to do the job as well.
5) When baby grows bigger and needs the elastic to be adjusted it saves time to move the buttons with each diaper change. Eventually, you will have them all done and very little extra time will have been spent as opposed to trying to do them all at once.
These are a few of the things that I wish I had known about cloth diapering with a pocket diaper.
For additional tips on how to cloth diaper successfully, please refer to: