Today, I am pleased to present my very first guest blogger, the lovely Jen E. from mommablogsalot.com. Jen blogs (a lot) about family, family products and green-friendly products as well as a host of other topics. She has written up an exciting account of her experience breaking into the cloth-diapering world as well as a list of links for more info. I love her practical and non-preachy approach to this topic, especially her unashamed use of the occasional disposable diaper. This proves that we do what we can which is leaps and bounds more than if we didn't do anything! (And being kind of a girly girl, I love the idea of pretty diaper covers!)
Why Cloth Diapers? Thoughts on diapering from the not-so fanatic cloth diapering mom
Jen's daughter helping with the now-famous cloth diapers!
I think people come to cloth diapering for different reasons. Maybe you are hoping to lead a more environmentally friendly lifestyle, save some long term money (by age 2 1/2 babies use about 7,000 diapers - costing about $2,000. Comparatively, we’ll spend about $500 or less on cloth diapers total) or avoid the weekly or monthly trips to the store to buy diapers. I know my husband loves never having to go out in the middle of the night or in bad weather to buy diapers last minute. All of these are great reasons to consider cloth diapering!
Of course it’s not all sunshine and roses. Nothing that smells like poop is ever an entirely happy story, if we’re going to be honest. I don’t think I liked cloth diapering per say for at least six months - and I’ve heard this is normal but I sort of wish someone had mentioned it to me when I was getting started. After using disposable diapers with my first child for the last three years, the transition to cloth with my second child was a little bit of a culture shock. The smells were different, the work was, yes, a little bit harder. And I was already tired, sleep deprived and grumpy.
But my husband, who wasn’t in the throes of post pregnancy hormones, convinced me to stick it out a while longer and before I knew it, cloth diapering had become a normal part of our life that I now wouldn’t trade for anything. The cost savings is exponential, the work just isn’t that hard and the diaper covers are seriously cute.
Cute diaper cover!
There are options to choose from as cloth diapering has become awfully trendy over the past few years. Find a style that works for you : prefold / diaper covers, all-in-ones, pocket diapers and even hybrid styles like the GDiapers - you have a lot to choose from! We use mostly prefolds with a few pocket diapers on hand as back ups when I’m running behind on my laundry. Mix and match and find a method that works for you - there is no right or wrong answer here!
If you are considering cloth diapers but are still on the fence, here are a few things to consider:
· First, understand that cloth diapering need not be all or nothing. Try it for a few months to see how you like it. Traditional prefold diapers can be used as spit up cloths if you decide to throw in the towel. Why not buy one or two covers and a 6 pack of diapers and give it a shot before going all in?
· We use cloth at home but disposables when we are on the go. Some people use cloth while out of the house, bringing a wet bag along with them, but I opt for convenience first and find the amount of diapers we end up using on the go isn’t very much in the long scheme of things (we buy disposables once every couple of months as opposed to weekly).
· Make your diapering schedule work for you. How often do you want to do laundry? Your baby will use about 8-10 diapers a day so if you only want to do laundry every other day, you’ll need at least 20 diapers - buy more diapers and a big diaper pail if you hope to do laundry less. We have about 2 dozen diapers for good measure and I wash diapers every 2-3 days. And remember if you fall behind on laundry, you can always throw your baby in a disposable while you get the laundry done - once in a blue moon (or more) won’t hurt anyone.
· You might consider a diaper service if you have one in your area. You might not end up saving any money that way, but if the environment is your first concern, this is definitely an option and perfect for anyone who doesn’t have the time to get the laundry done themselves.
· Don’t forget accessories! Just like in fashion, they will be your best friend. If you use prefolds - get yourself a package of snappis instead of the dreaded diaper pins and please please please pick up some diaper liners to ease in the clean up of poopy diapers once your baby is on solids (before solids, poopy diapers are water soluable, just toss the soiled diaper in the wash and all will be well). Liners are a god send and can be flushed or tossed quickly. You might also look into a diaper sprayer - I know a lot of people use and love these!
· There are a lot of accessories, detergents and options out there. Some cost more than others. Some work better than others. Just find what works for you and give it a shot. Change your mind as you get there and figure out what you like. For a diaper pail, we honestly just use a big trash can and wash it when we need to. They make cute diaper pail liners that can also be used on the go - but to me that just seemed to make things more complicated instead of easier. For detergent, you can use any laundry detergent that has no dyes, scents or softeners. We use whichever “free and clear” detergent is on sale that week. They all work fine. We also use a laundry booster like borax for good measure.
Here are some cloth diapering links to check out:
- Say goodbye to diaper pins and hello to the snappi - makes diaper changes a breeze!
- Imse Vimse is without a doubt our favorite diaper liner.
- A diaper sprayer which connects to your toilet for easy clean up
- Simple Mom is a great recource for anyone looking to try cloth diapering. She has loads of articles with tips on choosing diapers, cleaning them, setting up a diaper changing area, shopping for diapers and accessories, etc.
Even your kids will love the cloth diaper!