Sunday, February 19, 2012

Step one towards change: cloth diapers

The first step we took towards changing, parenting, growing up, whatever you want to call it was to use cloth diapers.  To be honest I never would have even given this idea a thought without a little inspiration from a great friend.  Not only is this person an amazing mom, professional, and earth loving woman, she is truly someone that inspires and touches people she knows to go beyond anything that they ever would think they are/know/love.  When I first found out of her decision and subsequent journey, and discovered knowledge of the rationale behind the subject I was amazed.  I then found myself thinking that "I could do that!"  I have been a recycler and reuser for half my life, but really that was all I did.  How was I not doing more?  Why didn't I ever think about it before?
My next step was to research...and research...and research some more.  Believe me that for someone who, truthfully, didn't even realize that cloth diapers even existed anymore being bombarded with information was overwhelming.  For those people who have done the same I know that the feeling is mutual. 
Now try taking all that information and translating it into dude-who-is-lazy-as-hell speak and you will only begin to picture what my conversation with my husband was like in the early days.  I explained what my friend does, what I had read in online forums/chats/websites/reviews, and of course tried my best to explain (in my not so good at math cause I'm an OT way) the financial benefit.  To my surprise he agreed! 
Upfront costs aside, it has been an easy transition.  A little rinsing, a couple extra loads of laundry a week, and a little organizing is all it has taken.  Considering I am only a little bit less lazy than my husband I feel like this has been a huge accomplishment, and to say the least, I am very proud of us. 
I love to tell people about cloth diapers!  My first and foremost statement is "it's never too late!"
Our stash is small, but we have been plugging away with a pretty ecclectic mix of brands, styles, fabrics, and closures. 

In light of some recent discussions (including one today) I wanted to add some thoughts to this post.  First of all I am even more proud lately because I feel that I have helped 3 couples on their cloth journey thus far!  It's easy for me to talk cloth cause it is so much fun!  To help someone understand and clarify the cloth world (style, fabric, closures, brands, etc) has been extremely satisfying.  Besides my earlier truth about upfront costs aside I feel like I should explain my feelings of why we stuck with cloth diapers. 
To be truthful, once I found out about my friend's decision to use cloth, I felt like my beginning thoughts of "I could do that!" also included "challenge accepted!"  Then, once I realized that we conquered the challenge, I think the other stickler was the fact that we had put up those initial costs.  I felt like if we were going "in deep" we couldn't just change our minds!  I'm way too stubborn for that!  Granted cloth diapers can be resold without any problems, but I do know that I won't make all my money back. 
For the curious minds and those of you thinking about using cloth here is my quick and dirty lowdown explanation:
1) Try different brands, fabrics, closure, sizes.  Don't just invest in a big stash of one in particular because they all function differently.  Once you try a few, you will have a better idea of what you actually like and want to spend your money on.  There are cloth diapers out there for any budget.  (All-in-ones are great for daddy's, grandparents, and sitters!  One sizes are a great bang for your buck!)
2) Frequent daily deal sites (,,, etc) for scoring great deals and cheap buys on a variety of brands. 
3) A popular culprit of skin irritations are the chemicals on disposable wipes so try to commit to using cloth wipes (you're already washing diapers anyway).  Use only water or just a drop of baby wash in the peribottle you bring home from the hospital.  No need for extra purchases there!
4) There are tons of brands of wet bags and tons of corresponding sizes so grab a few, as well as for wipes on the go, to hold you over until your next laundry day.  \
5) Get this book:Changing Diapers: The Hip Mom's Guide To Modern Cloth Diapering.  It will help with #'s 1-4! 
I may add to this list here and there, but that's really it.  Oh yeah, this is one essential fact that even my husband always passes along:
6) Use the poop liners!  Really we love them.

Does anyone have any other questions?

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