I do not like to waste.
I guess with those things in mind, it was only a matter of time before I turned to cloth diapering. I have been doing cloth for quite some time now with Wesley.
I am not sure what took me so long to come to cloth diapering. Actually, I take that back, I do know…..
See, when Thomas and I decided one day to just take our chances, we made a baby. We were blessed to have quick success. I did not have any friends at the time that had children. I felt like I was journeying a path all alone, going where “no friend has gone before,” so everything was new. I did not have the privilege (or frustration most likely) of thinking for years what I would do when I finally became pregnant. True, I did have 9 months, but if you have had a kid, you know that time passes quickly, especially when you are trying to decide on the gazillion other things, from a name to a crib.
I remember researching cloth diapering when pregnant with Daniel. I also remember finding very little about the idea. It was, after all, 5 years ago, and although the approach has gained much more momentum since then, there was little at the time to read (or at least little that I could find). I knew not a single soul to question and the message boards that I discovered had so much jargon on it that I was completely lost and frustrated. I had no clue at the time what DNW, SAHM, WAHM, FFS, AIO, DDS, FLAG, OS, and things of the like meant (some I am still not sure of!). Once I randomly encountered a mom that was cloth diapering and I tried to pick her brain. She was so proud of herself (and not the good kind of pride). It was sickening. It all seriously hurt my brain.
When pregnant with Wesley, I had a few friends that had entered the world of parenthood. One of those friends had used cloth, and she had actually asked me a few questions before she started cloth diapering, since she knew I had done a little research. I shot her an e-mail with some details I thought could help, but I by no means had much to share. She, being braver than I, took the plunge with her first child regardless of knowing people who could help. When #2 came along for me, she assumed that I would go cloth, yet I did not.
Here was part of my reasoning: 1-She had some issues cloth diapering, so my one example was not a good one. She spent a small fortune to acquire her supply and then never really bought enough in the first place, so she was washing every night to the point of exhaustion (she has doubled her supply now in prep for her second child). This did not reflect well for me. She said it was a lot of work, and the last thing I wanted to do when adding a second child into my life was to add another task. 2-My good friends from college offered to have a diaper shower for me, being that it was my second boy and we had most all “big things.” This sounded nice.
After Wesley, I had one other friend that was pregnant that planned to use cloth. She had a little boy due about 6 weeks after me. One other college friend also planned on cloth and when Wesley was a few months old, we went to visit her before her baby was born and got a grand tour of her hand-me-down diapers that she acquired from her sister-in-law.
And somewhere along the line, the whole idea became trendy. People were popping up all over the place that were into cloth diapering. It was suddenly cool and information abounded.
Still, the cost was so disappointing for me. I know people argue that you save so much money, but when you only buy diapers on sale and with a coupon, not to mention you can even earn gift cards when you buy, the cost is not much, and it is certainly nothing near the amount websites that sell cloth diapers claim you save. Had someone just gifted me their whole lot of previously loved cloth diapers, I would have switched at that moment, but, as mentioned before, I knew no cloth users (or none that were not about to use the items for themselves!)
One day though, I found a cloth diaper on sale at a “don’t pay retail” store (see my favorite diaper pic of Wesley to the right, which was bought at that store). I thought that $10 off the retail price, along with no shipping costs, was a good price to pay if I wanted to experiment. I then found another, and another, and another, and before I knew it, I was building a supply at an extremely discounted rate, which I liked. A chance consignment sale provided me with a wet bag and some more covers (someone bought it all and never used it), and soon I had all that I needed to be completely cloth.
I feel pretty good about not throwing away diapers into the trash to take *forever* to deteriorate, which was my main motivation. I have definitely spent some cash building up a supply, and I can honestly say I need about double what I do actually possess in order to have breaks in laundering, but being that Wesley is not a newborn, my amount is sufficient. One thing that I love though: they are SO cute. It is slightly addicting to see the bright colors, different styles (I’ve now found what I prefer), and personality in cloth.
- It is work to wash them but not really more than washing anything else. If you already do laundry, you just have a little more. No big deal.
- They are cute and let moms of boys relish in some fun aspects that they do not normally get!
- Less waste and harm on the environment.
- Better for baby.
- Lots of prepping for new diapers, which is just plain annoying (another reason why I wish someone had just given me their old ones). You have to wash them so many times in so many ways to make them ready.
- Poop while out and about is not fun, unless you are officially in a bathroom with a changing table. Even then, still not as easy as disposables.
- Since Wesley is a heavy wetter, I feel like I have more leaks.
- Wesley’s pants fit better (skinny-minis usually lose pants but the little extra bulk of cloth helps them stay).
- You can not tell as easily if the diaper is dry/wet. Thomas still has no clue without taking it all off and looking. I guess he could stick his hand inside but that is a whole new complication :O)
- I wish I would have just bit the bullet and invested with Daniel ( I think that on a lot of baby items though. You live and you learn. This is just one of the cons to being the first of your circle of friends to take a plunge). I would have gotten even more bang for my buck.
- There are a lot of rules with cloth. Detergents to use, settings to dry on, creams to not use, ways to stack, etc. It can be overwhelming. Once you learn, however, you’ve got it.
- Our current rental home has the best set-up for cloth diapering. The laundry room is a random half-bath and exit from the house, so a toilet, sink, washer, dryer, and door access to a covered screened in porch and place to hang my diapers are all just within a few steps of one another. This was all just random fortune, and our previous home was not as accommodating to this process.
- The convenience, when you use the style I have chosen to use is just as simple as disposables. I just keep them together, inserts inside, and ready to grab and go for diaper change time (see below).
- I seriously smile when I see all the bright colors, when air drying or just sitting in a pile to be put on Wesley. I mean, I have a cow print. How is that not fun?