Another post for you crunchy-ish feminine types out there. . .
When I first announced that I was looking at purchasing mama cloth, a friend suggested that I hold off on buying an entire stash and just buy one or two styles from a few different vendors. She wisely counseled that I would surely like one style or one brand more than others. I initially disregarded the advice, but I am so glad that I ultimately did listen to her - thank you, Jenny!
I hate shopping (I know, I know, am I really a girl?) so my first instinct was to simply purchase an insta-stash from one vendor. All the pads necessary for one price through one WAHM. Shopping doesn't get much easier than that. They were flannel topped, PUL protected pads that weren't all that cute, but I figured it wouldn't matter what I was wearing in my underpants. I had the purchase all lined up and ready to add to my Etsy cart.
Thankfully, I remembered my friend's advice and began looking half-heartedly at other pads. I found offerings that I visually liked a good deal better with pretty prints, tie-dye, even gorgeous swirly patterns. Of course, appearance was the only way I could judge the pads because I hadn't used any yet.
I also began to ponder which materials would feel better against my lady parts: flannel, cotton velour, OBV, or Minkee. Here's a hint: flannel is my least favorite because, well, I prefer a softer fabric. Along with the topper material, I started considering the backing. In the interest of maintaining a healthy airflow downstairs, I chose to avoid PUL for the most part and focused on fleece and wool backed pads.
I guess I prefer pretty things. . .even pretty menstrual pads. I mean, why choose an ugly and utilitarian one if you can have a really pretty one made with luxe fabrics? Appearance is important to me, but performance trumps appearance for me. This is where I began to learn about what materials are better for an absorbent, yet trim, core. Terry, hemp, and microfiber might be nice, but Zorb rocks! Seriously it ROCKS!
I ended up buying pads from several different vendors and I also purchased one pad from that first vendor I found, just in case it would out-perform the other heavy pads I picked up. Interestingly enough, it is a pad that I really hate. Hate, hate, hate! In fact, it's the last pad that I grab.
How can you mess up a cloth pad? I don't know, but this one sucks for a couple of different reasons. I don't like flannel pads at all. They aren't soft and they just don't wash & dry as well as other pads. Also, thanks to the PUL (I guess), it noisily crinkles. Flannel wraps around the single layer of PUL, but it sounds like a plasticky disposable pad - noisy and obnoxious. I don't remember PUL being so noisy when I used PUL diaper covers for the my son. How in the world does this cloth pad make such a racket? It also has the male and female snaps on what I consider to be the "wrong" side. Maybe it was created by a lefty? And I don't like the metal snaps because they seem harder to snap together than KAM polyresin plastic snaps.
I won't disclose the vendor's name in this blog because my opinion might not be yours and I don't think it's fair to slam a WAHM's product for no real reason. I mean, the pad does work. I just don't like it for my own persnickety reasons.
My point in sharing this story isn't to illustrate that I over analyze every freaking decision I make, though I think I did a good job of doing just that. It's to illustrate why you really should pick up a variety of cloth pads to find what you like. There definitely will be things that you like about some pads and things that you won't like about others. I guarantee that you'll have one that you LOVE (and, dare I say, you'll look forward to using!) and one that you always keep at the bottom of your stash.
Have fun shopping and I hope you get a truly happy period!