The road to getting started with cloth diapers began when my husband and I began trying to become more "green". It had less to do with the environment, and more to do with providing the cleanest life, for our then 3 year old, that we could. It started out with eating organically, then trading out all plastic containers for glass, and using natural cleaners versus toxic chemicals. I still can't let go of Mr Clean, but hey, I'm not perfect. With our second baby on board it was even more important to us to be toxin free. Kids already combat so many toxins in the environment. One of the things I hated with my Petite (my oldest), was all the chemicals in disposable diapers. We combated SO MANY diaper rashes, some so bad to the point she would bleed. Mother's intuition told me it was the chemicals in the diapers. Honestly, 5 years ago, I didn't know there were other options. Cloth diapers, to me, were the folded squares my Mom used on me in the 70s.
Apparently that is what other people thought about cloth diapers. What kind of reaction did I get from family and friends when I said I wanted to cloth diaper? They thought I was certifiably crazy. Seriously...cookoo for Cocoa Puffs. My Mom told me it would be a huge hassle, adding more laundry to my already burgeoning laundry room. Friends just gave me that knowing eyebrow raise. I'm sure they thought..."Oh goodness, here she goes with the green thing again." My first encounter with modern cloth diapers was at a sip-n-see for my friend, Elizabeth. When she opened a gift bag of cloth diapers I remember thinking, "My goodness, what are those CUTE little diaper covers?!" No, silly, those ARE the diapers! They were so fun and she explained that you just stuff them and after use, throw the entire diaper in the washer. Really?! That easy? This all came flowing back to me the SECOND I found out I was pregnant again. I picked Elizabeth's brain and my friend, Bobbye's brain for months. They'd both CDed all their kids. What brands are best? How long have you CDed? Pros and Cons? Where do I find said diapers? I did tons of research. I stalked diaper websites and with a little luck happened upon The Nappy Shoppe's website one night.
I called, intending to leave a message, and got the owner, Sharni, instead. We set up an appointment for me to come in and learn all about the cloth diapers I was so anxious to set my hands on. I walked into Sharni's shop 2 days later eager to learn. She spent 2 hours going over every single category of diaper, every brand she carried, and the pros and cons of each. My special little beginning hurdle, my babies are born small (5lbs 5oz & 5lbs 15oz). Did cloth diapers come small enough?? With my oldest we were in NB sposies until she was almost 2 months old. I promptly went home and made an excel spreadsheet weighing the diapers against each other. Can you say OCD?! I needed the best bang for my buck. Sharni had a good laugh when I showed up to buy my diapers, spreadsheet in hand.
So what did I get? When all was said and done I came home with several Bum Genius 3.0 All In Ones size XS, 2 2-packs of Rumparooz Lil Joeys, a few Thirsties AIO size xs, and 2 Thirsties DUOs size 1. After we got our little Bean home, the Bum Genius AIOs became the hands down favorite. I'm so sad they are discontinuing them, because they are FABULOUS! Thanks to my Mom who bought us 20 more (yes, she finally got on board and is one of our BIGGEST supporters). This was a great NB stash of diapers. The BGs and the Lil Joeys were small enough to fit our tiny little newborn. In the first months, I learned all about what to do and what not to do. We had an unfortunate incident with a rogue dryer sheet stuck in the dryer. Nothing like stripping your diapers in the first few hazy weeks.
Here we are, 5 months in, and not looking back. Our stash now consists of a ton of Happy Heiny's One Size (my personal favorite!), a handful of Bum Genius 4.o One Size, and for night Thirsties Duos. I'm telling you, Beanie goes 10-12 hrs and 2 nursings in the DUOs and never leaks...awesome! My discovery of cloth diapering has also been a blessing in disguise, not only for our budget but for health reasons. We've discovered that our sweet Beanie has an allergy to paper diapers. She breaks out in massive red welts all over her body and her eczema gets so bad it will weep.
When people ask me...even sometimes when they don't...why I go to the "trouble" of cloth diapering these are my answers:
1. There are no chemicals touching my baby's bottom causing rashes or burns or who knows what undetectable problems. Would you want chemicals near your sensitive bits?!
2. Less $ out the door, which means not having to find an extra $80 every two weeks in my budget. Especially nice when you are a one income family.
3. I'm doing my part to keep the environment clean and enjoyable.
4. Call me vain, but I LOVE that her bootie always looks cute. I hate the look of an uncovered disposable diaper. I'm MORE than happy to show off my girl's cloth diapees. (on a side note: why are CDs available in white? if I wanted boring I'd buy disposables)
5. She will potty train faster. Because of disposables, kiddos don't feel when they are wet and are content to sit in the diaper all day. We had a bug of a time with the Petite and potty training.
The new mantra around our house is REDUCE-REUSE-RE DIAPER!
Crystal is a stay-at-home mommy to two girls, 5 year old "Petite" and 5 1/2 month old "Beanie." Her house has been filled with fluff and on Beanie's bottom since birth. You can read more about her on her blog crystalclearwindow.blogspot.com