While my two rugrats are being entertained by Daniel Tiger and his many weird animal/people friends, let’s talk about my newest foray into unconventional things. Mama cloth. Or cloth pads. Whatever you’d like to call it, I’ve been recently sucked in. Several of my crunchy mom friends use cloth pads, and when I first heard about it, I couldn’t believe it was a thing. Despite the fact that I’ve cloth diapered both of our girls from the beginning, it was once again one of those things I just didn’t know existed anymore.
To my conventional readers, you may be thinking I’m insane, but stick with me.
I wasn’t really even sure what to expect until I attended MommyCon Columbus in 2015. There was a stand there for a company called Pink Lemonade. I’d heard of them from my crunchy mom friends, so I went up to check them out. They were SO SOFT. And came in as many shapes and sizes as you can expect in any box in a grocery store. I was rethinking. I’ve never been a pad girl, but this birth hasn’t left me with many comfortable choices. I was intrigued. But we’re a rather low-budget family, especially when it comes to start up costs, so it was put off. Well, I recently began purchasing pads from a variety of places in different sizes. I was feeling confident about my liners, but I wasn’t sure what to expect of the heavier days with cloth pads.
Well, I just finished up my hell week this week, and I was super impressed. All my heavy day pads are from Pink Lemonade. All five of mine are minky (the softest thing in the world and gorgeous), but they offer several other options in fabric, including bamboo velour and cotton jersey. They’re not nearly as bulky as you would expect is necessary for pads specifically labeled for heavy days. I’m a bleeder and a cramper for the first 3-4 days, so I wasn’t really holding high hopes, but I vowed that no matter how much laundry it caused (I have a rather small collection), I was going to stick with cloth pads for the whole cycle. And I did it! These are my pads! Aren’t they beautiful? The picture was taken after being used & washed. Notice how there aren’t any stains.
During the day, I’d been using the 9in day pads and even on my heaviest day, they held up for 4-5 hours. Which is as much as I can ever expect from the disposables I had been using. I didn’t get the normal cramps that I do in my groin. I didn’t really have any cramps at all, which was a dream. The flaps use a single snap to hold them in place similar to the wings of a disposable pad. The first day, the wings felt a bit bulky, but I quickly got used to the added padding. As a nearly constant wearer of leggings and yoga pants – #momlife – they made no noticeable difference in the way I looked in the booty region, which was a big concern, because if I look like I’m wearing a diaper, it’s a dead no-go. They also don’t feel wet the way you would expect them to, so it isn’t a constant discomfort.
At night, I was concerned. I frequently woke up leaking from an overnight disposable pad from all sides. I had both a 10in “heavy” pad and an 11in labelled specifically for nighttime. I wasn’t sure what to expect, so I figured both was a good place to start. Going forward, I will definitely order 11in for nights, because I need the extra front-to-back coverage, but the 10in is great for at the end when I still need decent coverage. In all 7 nights, I never once leaked! I didn’t have to carefully roll from bed to insure that I wasn’t coating everything we own in bright red, and sprint to the bathroom before it exploded. It was so refreshing to wake up without panic, especially when I usually have a baby alarm clock that needs something right away. The nighttime pads were the slightest bit bulky, but since I wouldn’t plan to wear them anywhere, it really wasn’t much of a concern.
I know maybe it’s something you’re thinking of… Being incapable of leaving the house with cloth pads. But it really wasn’t really a concern. I grabbed a small wetbag (Applecheeks mini zip works PERFECTLY for me, but they also offer a collection of a few brands on PL’s site) that fit the day pads almost exactly and was small enough to tuck down into my small purse. It held the fresh one, and when I had to change, I just threw it in there and zipped it up. Wetbags are leak-proof, or should be, so no concerns about messes, and you don’t have to find a nearby trash can to carry a bloody pad to. Big win. I also have a small wetbag hanging in my bathroom for pads to hang out while waiting to be washed. It’s actually really easy.
Laundry was a breeze, really. I just threw them in with our clothes (but you could throw them in with towels or diapers or whatever else you’re washing), and washed according to the directions… Big plus, the directions are on a tag on the pad itself, so you don’t need to try to remember anything. Another bonus for me, they can be tumble dried, because living in an apartment in the sky, there isn’t much space for a clothes line. When they’re clean, I just toss them in little baskets in the closet in my bathroom.
Pink Lemonade also offers a points-based reward system, so for every period purchase you make, you get closer to some bonus funds. I don’t know about you, but I love getting discounts and freebies, so this is perfect for us.
My only complaint would be that sometimes it can take a week or two to ship, but from my understanding they’re made when you order, so that’s actually not a bad turnaround at all.
Overall, I think cloth pads have exceeded all my expectations for them. They’re comfortable, they’re easy to use, they’re cost effective in the long run, they’re able to provide the absorption I need, and I don’t have to worry about the chemicals I’m putting against my skin the way I do with disposables. I definitely need more pads in order to make sure I’m not washing every day, but I’ll be working on that over the next few months. I mean, I’ll be having a period for the foreseeable future, so no big deal, right?