5 Reasons Why Breastfeeding Didn’t Work For Me.

So here I am two months postpartum with my second baby and breastfeeding has not turned out to be what I thought it would……again.

I fully support, admire and respect mamas who can successfully breastfeed, choose to breastfeed and love every second of it. While I hate feeling like I have to explain my personal journey with breastfeeding, I do it in hopes that I can encourage another mama who is struggling with these very feelings.

I’ve shared before about how breastfeeding didn’t work with Hudson, my firstborn son. I’ll be honest in looking back-I really have no idea WHY it didn’t work out. All I know now is Hudson is a healthy 16 month old that thrived on formula. With Hudson I pushed through extreme postpartum anxiety and pumped for 12 weeks. 12 weeks! That is insane. I have no idea how I did that.

Jack, my second son, was a big boy from birth, 9 pounds, 2 ounces and 22 inches. As I write this, he’s at least 13 pounds at 2 months old. Jack had a beautiful latch from the moment he was born, literally. Within 10 minutes he was on the boob and wouldn’t get off for at least 2 hours. He continued this for the first few days of his life. But I was truly a newbie to breastfeeding since Hudson only ever latched a handful of times.

baby-21167_640

I endured the painful, cracked nipples that got so infected my midwife prescribed me antibiotics. I would swear, cry and sometimes yell every time Jack would latch. I was so engorged I felt like I had the flu for a week! I went to the free breastfeeding clinic and had a sweet friend (whose a lactation consultant) stop by a few times in the coming weeks to help. Those were great resources for me and eventually the pain went away. Jack became a very efficient nurser. He could nurse for 5 minutes on each side and be satisfied! But that eventually started to change. I want to share reasons WHY breastfeeding has not been for me and where I am with it now at 2 months postpartum.

  1. The pain. I had both my sons without any pain medication. I don’t say that to pat myself on the back but med free birth is freaking painful. The second time around I remember yelling at my husband between contractions that I NEVER wanted to do this again. I still feel that way. You know what else can be quite painful? BREASTFEEDING in the beginning. It does get better but holy crap, pushing through the first 3 weeks is tough in all honesty. That might sound really discouraging but I’m keeping things real-I was not prepared for the pain.
  2. Pumping. Chances are (if you’re anything like me ) you’re going to want your partner to help. It’s nice to have a break in the middle of the night or be able to leave your house and have someone else feed your baby. But if you’re avoiding formula that means you have to express your milk. To avoid tanking your supply you have to pump as often as your baby would feed. This can be time consuming and a pain in the butt. I have a 2 month old AND a 16 month old to take care of. There are days that I simply forget to pump enough and then my supply starts to tank. No bueno!
  3. Worrying about how much milk baby is getting. All I knew was bottles with Hudson so it was all new to me to figure out if Jack was getting enough milk with nursing. I hated it and I found myself topping him up with expressed milk anyways. That was time consuming and counterproductive to nursing.
  4. Postpartum Depression and Anxiety. These are both things that I have and am struggling with, currently. They come in waves and while I have support, breastfeeding has only made these worse for me. I’m not new to these struggles and I know that removing things that compound postpartum depression/anxiety is very important.
  5. I just didn’t enjoy it. Everything you read says that breastfeeding is all about the bond you create with your child. I didn’t find that to be true, for me. I’m not saying it isn’t true for others but for me, this wasn’t the case. I was really disappointed by that with my second son, this time around because I thought something was wrong with me. Initially I really enjoyed those first couple days of his life with him nursing but eventually I found myself feeling the opposite with breastfeeding. I began to dread it. I also stopped reading those articles on how breastfeeding is the BEST way to bond with your baby. Bond with your baby however you can, that is what matters! I also was NOT comfortable trying to breastfeed anywhere except my own home. I just couldn’t get the hang of it. I was more of a, take everything off type person and you can’t really do that in public. Well, you can but I didn’t want to do that.
adult-baby-bed-225744

Eventually, Jack started losing interest in nursing. It began slow with him dropping a feed and only taking a bottle. When I found myself pumping every 2-4 hours and Jack only nursing once or twice a day, I knew our breastfeeding days were coming to an end. I’m currently in the process of weaning myself off the pump. I know I am not my best self when I’m struggling to breastfeed or pump exclusively. I want to be the best mom that I can be and I can be her when I’m not breastfeeding or pumping. I love bottles and formula. They are literally lifesavers for ME and my sons.

If you find yourself identifying with these thoughts or feelings, I want you to know you are NOT alone. There is nothing wrong with you. You aren’t a bad mom and you aren’t failing if you choose to stop breastfeeding. Feed your babies however you can. It all goes so quickly and I know I don’t want to waste my time feeling frustrated, guilty and sad all the time. Much love to all you mamas out there. You are doing amazing!

babies-921037__340

Did you hate breastfeeding? Did you love it? Why or why not? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

Dealing With Postpartum Body Image.

Body image. What do you feel when you read those words? Chances are you feel something. If you’re anything like me you feel confused, sometimes frustrated and tired.

Body image alone, apart from any life altering event ,is a huge topic for human beings-women in particular. In definition body image is:

“The subjective picture or mental image of one’s own body.”

Here are some statistics put together by the website statistic brain.com in February of 2017 about women and body image.

  • 91% of women today are unhappy with their bodies and resort to dieting.
  • 80% of women say that images of women in media make them feel insecure
  • There are 8 million people with eating disorders in the US today.
  • Total annual revenue of the weight loss industry today is $55,400,000,000

You can read more statistics from the article quoted above, here.

The way our society portrays “healthy body image” is very extreme. Either it’s about being supermodel thin, incredibly ripped, obsessed with fitness, health and nutrition OR being excessively overweight. Neither of those extremes seem healthy, do they? Where is the middle ground? It can all be so confusing.

So now, lets take something that is life altering such as having a baby and apply that to body image. I mean, where do we even begin? It’s inevitable that pregnancy and childbirth can (and will) drastically alter a woman’s body. I appreciate that God made us each so uniquely, no woman’s body will be the same in these course of events. Some women gain a little weight, some women gain a lot of weight. Some women “pop” immediately while other women won’t look pregnant until they are well into their 2nd trimester. Some women will look like they never had a baby, after giving birth while some women will continue to look pregnant or carry extra weight long into their postpartum journey. Some women develop stretch marks and extra skin that never goes away. There are also the issues of diastasis recti. 

belly-body-love-161485.jpg

 We are talking more and more about PPD (postpartum depression) and PPA (postpartum anxiety) which is absolutely fantastic. It’s great that these important issues are being discussed, women are being supported and getting help. I think part of the struggle in PPD and PPA definitely stems from body image. How do you accept yourself again after having a baby when sometimes your body may not look anything like what it did before? We can be so hard on ourselves as women. I love those quotes I see floating around about how every stretch mark and extra pound is worth that sweet little baby. And while it’s true that we would give up anything for our children, I know that it can be very difficult to have a positive view of one’s own body when it’s altered so much.

When I had my son, I quickly lost about half of what I had gained in pregnancy. I felt really good about losing that weight but honestly it happened on its own. I was really happy to see some of my old self again after my son was born. When I hit a plateau with weight loss a few months into postpartum, I was already in the thick of my struggle with PPA. I was also eating and drinking more than I usually would, to cope. I didn’t realize this at the time but looking back I can see where I didn’t make the best choices, health wise. I share these things because I take responsibility for my body. It is up to me what I eat and drink, after all.

clear-device-diet-53404.jpg

Whatever we see when we look in the mirror is often not what other people perceive. It’s good to remember that we are our harshest critic. But again, where is the balance? We want to be healthy, right? We want to feel physically capable of caring for our children and think about how our health is important in the long run.  Every woman’s journey with postpartum is incredibly unique. I’ve found that talking with friends and having a healthy perspective of how we may be different but can support each other, is so important. I have friends who work out HARD to get that pre-baby body back. I have friends who will meet me at the mall for a cheeseburger. I have friends who will only order a salad if we get dinner.

Nearly every mama friend that I’ve talked to has expressed their desire to lose weight or see a change with their body, post baby. I need all these women in my life because it keeps things real. Their journey might not be mine but it’s good to dialogue, encourage and not compare. I talk with my sister and my mom every day, through text. They are such a great encouragement to me, in my health journey. We share common goals and ideas of how to have a healthy lifestyle while practicing balance. I can bounce ideas off of them and they share new ideas, recipes or goals with me. It’s important to have a community of support during postpartum.

artist-botanic-bright-924001

Will you do something for me today, mama? Go to the mirror and find five things you love about your body. If it takes you an hour or the entire day, do it anyways. You don’t have to share them with anyone but yourself. I’m going to do it too. I hope you are able to see the beauty that is there. I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

My Journey With Extreme Postpartum Anxiety.

7 hours of active labour, 45 minutes of pushing, no medication and one beautiful baby boy later-I was a mama. I don’t remember much right after he came out. I know that one of my midwives plopped him on my chest and I remember a moment of looking into his very clear, bright eyes. He was very awake. Then they took him away to do whatever measurements and other things they do. I was busy shaking uncontrollably while someone gave me a shot of pitocin in my thigh to help deliver the placenta. I was released to go home 4 hours later.

In the first few weeks that followed my son’s birth, I felt really good. I dropped about half of my pregnancy weight. I wasn’t overwhelmed (yet) by the feedings every 2 hours, my husband was a champion helper and for the most part, things seemed to be going well. People told me I looked really great and I love sharing my birth story. I was really proud of myself that I had accomplished what I set out to try, which was having an all natural birth. I had no idea my world was about to change.

It was around the 4 to 5 week mark that things began to crumble. My parents were in town to meet my son for the first time and we had planned his baby dedication at our church. Sleep deprivation had started to take its toll on me. Breastfeeding had not worked out and I felt like a failure. I was up every 2 hours at night pumping, then I would spend another half hour feeding my son and then by the time I fell asleep I managed maybe a half hour before it was time to pump and feed again. I would sit in the dark of my living room, feeling absolute terror come over me. I felt so incredibly alone and then I remember the anger that came. I would feel rage inside when anyone would tell me to just “go rest” or “sleep when the baby sleeps.” I would fight the urge to scream at the top of my lungs at random moments throughout the day. I would lay awake at night and my mind would race. I would have absolutely horrendous thoughts of my husband dying, me dying or something happening to my son. I would hear him crying when he wasn’t crying.

By the night before my son’s dedication, I was going on 9 hours of sleep in 72 hours. That’s an average of 3 hours of sleep per 24 hours. All our friends and family would be at the dedication the next day and then we were to have a big family lunch/dinner afterwards. I was up all night, in the throes of the worst panic attack I’d ever had. My son was also not taking breast milk or formula at this point, to make matters worse. With the help of my husband, we made it to the dedication the next morning, but barely. I pasted a smile on my face and pretended to hear what people were saying to me. I could barely stand when we made it onto the church platform. All I saw before me was a blur of faces.

adult-alone-black-and-white-551588.jpg

I was screaming inside.

That afternoon at home, while my son napped, I sat on my couch with tears streaming down my face. My husband sat across from me, worried and tense. I began to tell him in words what I was feeling. Things like not wanting to wake up to face another day or thinking about banging my head against the wall so I would knock myself out. Feelings of detachment and resentment towards my son. I felt like God had left me, that it was all a mistake. My husband looked at me and said, “You need to get help. Whatever that looks like, do it.” He was right.

The first step I took was to do some research on post partum anxiety and depression. While I greatly identified with the description of “post natal anxiety” I did not feel as though I had depression. But the only way to really nail things down would be to talk to my doctor. When I went in for my appointment, the staff had me take a questionnaire that would give my doctor an idea of where I was at with my anxiety. (A family member who’d also been through similar experiences encouraged me to be completely honest about how I was feeling and I’m glad I was!) I was diagnosed with “extreme anxiety .” I had no idea it was as bad as it was until I spoke with my doctor. After some discussion, we decided together that I would try a small dose anti-depressant and meet back with my doctor in a month.

pexels-photo-576831

I was terrified to try medication because I grew up believing that this type of medication was unnecessary. I know it’s a common thought and belief among Christians and it’s one I identified with my entire life until now. I was SO wrong and I want to say this, it’s an incorrect belief and a dangerous one at that. I’m not going to debate theology, faith and medication on here. But until you’ve been through the trenches with something like depression, anxiety etc. I caution you to tread carefully with what you say to someone going through it who is choosing medication. It’s a highly personal decision to choose medication. It’s not one I took lightly.

Medication didn’t end up working for me the way that I thought it would. Perhaps I should’ve stuck it out longer but I found that it made my insomnia worse. I’m glad I tried it though and I know for some, it’s a game changer. I was able to try some all natural supplements like skullcap and a sleepy time tea that helped. Reading my bible, praying and having a relaxing bedtime routine also helped. I learned to ask for help when I needed it, with my son. And when we started sleep training him, things improved drastically for me, with my anxiety. Things didn’t improve over night. That is unrealistic. It was a day by day process. It still is! Some days I had to take things hour by hour and I still practice this when things feel overwhelming. I’ve found that talking about it helps and that so many moms have struggled with this.

Lack of sleep is a huge trigger for me as well as social situations that I feel forced into or that I find overwhelming. I still cancel plans or appointments at the last-minute if it’s been a rough day or night with my son or if I just feel like I need to. My son is 7 months old and I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve been to church since he was born. Sometimes I don’t answer text messages from anyone but my husband because I need a break from technology and social media. I’ve learned to safeguard myself by knowing what triggers my anxiety. I practice not feeling guilt about these decisions because self-care is the only way I can take care of my son. *Your normal and what helps you get through each day is not going to look like anyone else’s either, so don’t get caught up in that. I’ll be honest-until I had a child I didn’t understand the moms who never left home or weren’t a part of social gatherings or who talked about how hard motherhood was. I was so judgmental and naive. I would think to myself, “Why can’t she just get it together? What’s the big deal?” I would say things like, “Well my kid is going to be flexible and I’m going to have a life.” I ate all those words and I was very wrong to think that way. Again, until you go through something like this, you can’t really have an accurate opinion. You can have an opinion but it won’t be relatable or accurate. It doesn’t help anyone, especially the mom going through it.

We are pregnant again. I’m sharing this as I’m about 12 weeks along. While this isn’t exactly the way I envisioned things going, I’m believing that God knows so much better than I do! I’m learning to find the joy in it and appreciate the community of support that I have. I have my husband, family (in the US and Canada) a mama friend here, and 2 mama friends back home whose support has been invaluable through this journey. They’ve never compared, questioned, or judged my journey. God knew I needed these people and brought them along at all the right times! I am still struggling through the anxiety, honestly. I’ve felt a big setback being pregnant again and going through really bad morning sickness.  But I realize all the more why self-care is important and if I need to call my doctor again and figure out something new, I know that I can. I also know  that I have a great support system to draw from if I need them.

Untitled

That’s my mama with my son when he was about 6 weeks old! 

I love my son and while being a mom is the hardest job, it’s also the most rewarding.

If you are a mom experiencing something like this, don’t wait to get the help you need. You aren’t a failure for seeking help. You aren’t any less than the next mom. If anything, you are so BRAVE to take care of yourself. It’s not wrong to practice self-care. For me-it was crucial.

 There are some links below to connect you with information and help when dealing with post partum depression and anxiety. If at any time you feel like you might be a danger to yourself or your baby, please don’t hesitate to call 911 for help. Remember, you are never alone in this!

When The Bough Breaks-A Documentary on PPD and Anxiety

Post Partum Support International

Post Partum Questionaire

8 Natural Ways To Increase Milk Supply

Ok, Mamas. You want to increase your milk supply? Are you struggling to get your milk supply back up after illness? I’ve got some all natural ways you can increase that milk supply that really work!

Lets.Get.Real.First.

Breastfeeding is a journey. It wasn’t something that really happened for me with either of my boys. I did all the things I was told to do but at the end of the day a bottle was what worked the best for us. I honestly wasn’t even thinking about increasing my milk supply at this point. You know, I want to say whatever your situation is that YOU ARE DOING AMAZING!

pexels-photo-235243.jpeg

However you can feed your baby, feed your baby. That is what matters.  I went back and forth with the decision to be done breastfeeding/pumping with boy my boys. Ultimately it was a decision I made for my mental and emotional health because I’ve struggled hard with postpartum anxiety and depression . I’ll share more on that another time!

What was interesting for me was that I’ve had a great milk supply both times even though I struggled to breastfeed. So began my relationship with pumping exclusively. I pumped with Hudson for 12 weeks. I didn’t make it as long with Jack but I was able to combination feed Jack for about 6 weeks. It was more work than I’d ever imagined. Once I got into a routine with pumping I started to research natural ways to build my milk supply.

  1. Drink Water: You will read this in every blog post, website and article on increasing supply because it’s so important. How can you make more liquid if you aren’t hydrating yourself?! I would immediately notice a difference in my milk supply if I drank even a few ounces less of water than my usual. I made it a habit to chug 8 ounces after every pumping session and in between sessions I had my water bottle nearby. 
  2. More Milk PlusI saw immediate results with this tincture, as in within 24 hours I would was pumping at least 2-4 (per side) more ounces a session. It contains galactagogues which are herbs that promote milk production. Makes sure it has goat’s rue in it. This tastes disgusting and I had to choke it down with orange juice. They make capsules. But I had excellent results with this tincture alone.
  3. Fenugreek and Blessed Thistle  These are the most common supplements for boosting milk supply. I had to stop taking fenugreek because it hurt my stomach and also made Hudson uncomfortable. The More Milk Plus has fenugreek in it but it didn’t bother me as much. I took 2 capsules of Blessed Thistle 3x a day.
  4.  Brewers Yeast: another galactagogue! I saw great results when I added brewers yeast to my daily supplement routine. The tablets are kinda gross and I found them a bit hard to swallow so if you hate pills, these might not be for you. Nurse, Nurse, Nurse or Pump, pump and pump some more: If you can successfully breastfeed, keep that baby on there as he’s the best option you have for stimulating production and increasing milk supply. If you are pumping exclusively try not to miss a session. Treat pumping as you would a feeding. As often as your baby eats, pump. 
  5. Power Pump: This is an interesting one. I tried it and I was surprised at how much more milk I could get. Pump for 10 minutes, hold off for 20, pump for 20, hold off for a half hour. I would advise waiting an hour after feeding baby, to power pump so you give yourself a chance to build up again.
  6. EAT: Keep yourself fed and eat whole foods. Flax, almonds, oats, smoothies, and protein are all great for milk supply. I never did the lactation cookie thing because that was too much work for me. But if they work for you that is great! 
  7. SLEEP: Obviously sleep is important. Easier said than done right? You have a brand new baby and sleep seems like a luxury. I used to get so mad when people would tell me to sleep when the baby sleeps. It’s literally impossible sometimes, especially if you have other children. I did find ways to lay in bed and rest when my husband was home. That helped and it was better than nothing. 
  8. Relax: Taking hot baths was a way I was able to relax at the end of the day. Self care is important and you aren’t selfish for taking care of yourself! Go say that to yourself in the mirror! Find a way to de-stress and relax because cortisol (the stress hormone) won’t do anything good for your milk supply. I was a really stressed out new mama and I’m positive my supply would have really suffered if I haven’t been proactive in ways to boost it. 

Maybe you’ve tried all these things and are still struggling? It’s ok, Mama. I’m with you in the trenches. Our struggles may be different but we find solidarity with each other in the overall struggle of being a mom which is the hardest job on the planet. Be able to come to a place where if it’s time to stop and make the switch to formula, this is ok. Only you can make that decision for yourself and you can trust those God-given mama instincts!

Talk to your partner so you have support during this emotional time. I found a lot of weight lifted off my shoulders when I talked things through with my husband. I knew I had given it my best when I made the decision to be done with breastmilk for both my boys. Healthy mama, healthy baby! You are doing an incredible job, wherever you are at with feeding your baby!

What are some ways you have naturally increased your milk supply? What has your journey with breastfeeding been like? I’d LOVE to hear from you in the comments below.

*As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. So when you click on a link and purchase something (anything) on Amazon, I make a small commission. Thank you for supporting all the hard work I do here At The Messy Housewife!

How I Beat Mastitis Three Times Without Antibiotics.

Mastitis. I physically cringe when I hear or read this word because I know all too well the pain it can bring.

WebMD describes mastitis as:

” ………..an infection of the tissue of the breast that occurs most frequently during the time of breastfeeding. It can occur when bacteria, often from the baby’s mouth, enter a milk duct through a crack in the nipple. Breast infections most commonly occur one to three months after the delivery of a baby, but they can occur in women who have not recently delivered as well as in women after menopause.”

baby-21167_640

Statistics show that mastitis most commonly rears its ugly head one to three months after the birth of a baby. For me, I was about 2 weeks into my son’s life when mastitis hit me and boy did it hit me HARD. One of the top reasons mastitis can occur is from having a ton of milk that is not being expressed-aka engorgement. This was the case for me. I have struggled with over supply with both my son’s.

Even though I pumped, I still had issues with engorgement. The strength of a baby’s suction is much more effective at removing milk from the breast. Since my son wasn’t breastfeeding I was at a higher risk of experiencing engorgement and a blocked duct.

I started realizing I most likely had mastitis when I began to experience these symptoms:

  • Sudden onset of high fever
  • Extreme body aches
  • Intense fatigue
  • Pain and tenderness in my armpit and infected part of the breast
  • Redness around the infected part of the breast
  • Feeling like I wanted to die (ok that’s dramatic but I felt awful!)
  • EDIT: each time I contracted mastitis the infected area was usually quite hard which meant the duct was obviously blocked

The thing about mastitis is how quickly it sets in. I remember a friend was visiting and while we were sitting on the couch chatting away, I started to feel like I was coming down with the flu. It hit me out of nowhere. I had heard about mastitis from my sister (who has 4 children) so I immediately texted her. At her suggestion, I started taking extra strength garlic (capsules) every 2 hours. A few other things I began doing immediately were:

  • Hot showers with water directed at infected area
  • Strong massage to direct any milk and infection out/away from breast
  • Hot baths with tea tree and lavender essential oils
  • Raw potato slices laid over the infected area and left on for at least 20 minutes
  • Applying a heated rice sock to the infected area before every pumping session
  • Pumped frequently (I was already pumping every 2 hours so I just continued)
  • If you can successfully breastfeed, I highly recommend resting in bed with that sweet baby and breastfeed as often and as long as you can manage.
  • REST

I have no scientific, medical or health reasons why raw potato slices aid in healing mastitis but it has worked every time for me. Perhaps it’s the cold temperature of the raw potato to reduce inflammation and swelling? I’m not sure but what I did was have my husband thinly slice raw potato (because I always almost die using our mandolin) then I soaked the slices in very cold water for 20 minutes. I put on a sports bra and inserted the slices against the infected area. I left those on for at least 20 minutes and did this every few hours. I felt immediate relief from the potato slices.

Garlic, Tea Tree and Lavender are all antifungal so it makes sense why they work so well in fighting off infections.

While I try to avoid medicating fever, I did alternate ibuprofen and Tylenol at night so I could rest comfortably. Rest is the best thing you can do to give your body a chance to heal.

herbal-vitamin_925x

A personal side-note on antibiotics: I do not respond well to antibiotics. I believe they have their place in healthcare and can be lifesaving. I was antibiotic resistant by the time I hit my 20’s and began to experience candida overgrowth, bladder infections and more. I continued the frequent use of antibiotics until I began my journey into holistic and natural health.

When I experienced my first bout with mastitis I called my Dr.’s office and I I made an appointment for the next day. You know what? Within 24 hours I was fever free and only slightly sore in the infected area. I had continued all my natural remedies in the meantime. I contracted mastitis two more times in the following months but was able to beat it doing all the natural remedies I listed above.

 I am not a medical professional. I’m not advising that you don’t see your doctor for any illness you may be experiencing, resembling mastitis.

But I will gladly share some safe, all natural remedies that have worked so well for me. I hope you found this information useful. Have you ever had mastitis? What were some natural remedies that worked for you? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section below!

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. So when you click on a link and purchase something (anything) on Amazon, I make a small commission. Thank you for supporting all the hard work I do here At The Messy Housewife!

Cloth Diapers 101

baby-22199_640

When I was exposed to cloth diapers I was a nanny for a 17 month old little boy. He was cloth diapered and his mama had a fantastic set up! She showed me around her setup, how to put on the cloth diapers, launder them etc. I thought they were interesting. Little did I know I’d be a cloth diaper fanatic one day!

Before disposable diapers became marketed mainstream and cloth diapers were the norm, children began potty training at one year and were mostly done by 2 years of age.

“The current average age of potty training completion in the US is 35 months for girls, 39 months for boys.” (Ambulatory Pediatrics Journal, 2001)

baby-19534_640

Stats from The Barefoot Baby say that the average baby will be changed 6,1000 times before they are potty trained (think 6x a day for 25 months). For disposables that is anywhere from $1900 to $2900 per child, depending on what brand of diapers you buy. With cloth you are looking at a minimum of 24 diapers (enough to get you through 3 days at a time) and if you buy brand new a cost of $400 to $900 in one go.

We used disposables exclusively the first 2 months for both boys. We use them at night, on weekends and when we are on the go. It works for us. I’ve put together a basic list for cloth diaper beginners.

  • Have at least two large wet bags as well as one or two travel size ones. I use these in baby boy’s room. They are safe to throw right in with the diapers when I wash them.
  • RUBBER GLOVES-unless you wanna be touchin’ the gross stuff all the time!
  • Get a diaper sprayer or bidet-this one has worked GREAT for us! It was fairly easy for the husband to install and it gets the yuckies gone! More on that routine later.
  • ENOUGH cloth diapers!! Unless you want to be doing laundry every day, you need to have enough diapers to last you a few days.
  • A solid but simple wash routine. I use powder tide, hot/cold wash on delicate cycle and then hot/cold regular wash cycle. Hot water gets the nasties out! I dry my inserts on high. I hang my pockets to dry. Drying shells and pockets can wear down the inner PUL a lot faster.
  • A sense of humour. You will touch poop at some point. I had a moment the other day where I wasn’t sure if I there was mustard or poop on my sweater. Same colour. Seriously. What are you going to do? WELCOME TO PARENTHOOD.
  • It’s an investment of both your time and money. We didn’t start cloth diapers until 2 months in because being a brand new parent is enough work to begin with. I didn’t want to add a complicated wash routine to new life as mom. Also-newborns poop A LOT. This factors into much more laundry with cloth diapers. By 2 months poops slow down which makes the transition to cloth that much easier.
  • Have a setup you love. Check out my cloth diaper set up here.
  • Research different types of diapers. Don’t have time? I did some work for you already, here.

I really love cloth diapering. That being said-it’s not for everyone and that is ok! Do you cloth diaper? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section!

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. So when you click on a link and purchase something (anything) on Amazon, I make a small commission. Thank you for supporting all the hard work I do here At The Messy Housewife! SaveSave