So I did some research, talked to the lady down at Simple Cloth about which kind of diapers would be the best, and easiest for our family, and then convinced Bradford that he wouldn't have to change a single diaper if he let me go cloth and got started buying.
We decided to go with bumGenius to start with. The one size fits all diapers, that grow with baby. They have snaps to adjust the size, and most of the ones we have are Velcro and not snaps, like the newer ones. I just want to say that I love the velcro. I don't know why. But the snapie ones do have a tendency to leak if the diaper isn't on tight enough, and I don't want to cut off circulation to the poor babies leggies.
I was really, really overwhelmed with using cloth. In fact, even though I was dead set on using them, I was overly anxious about ACTUALLY having them. Using AND washing them. Because if you aren't aware, you can't just wash them like normal clothes. No fabric softener. No regular detergent. And definitely none of that Dreft shit. You have to wash them a certain way. It's overwhelming if you've never done it before! When my mom used cloth diapers, they had a diaper service that would take their diapers and bring them back nice, clean ones. I was overwhelmed at the thought of doing this all by myself. But the closer that it got to Ocho's birthday, the more I knew I needed to get my shit together and deal with it. So after I ordered the last of my 24 diapers (the recommended number of diapers for starting out), I sat down, and read, and read, and read the little card that the lady at Simple Cloth gives out when she sells diapers. Instructions on how to wash them, and what kind of detergent to use. So we stocked up on Country Save detergent (which I also adore), and I washed my first load of cloth diapers.
SUCCESS! None of my diapers fell apart in the washing machine or the dryer. I was so happy to sit on the couch and stuff all the diapers. I was ecstatic! Really. I was! So the first part was a success. But the real test would be putting Ocho in them and doing laundry all the time. So about a week after she was born, we started using the cloth diapers full time. Before that we had been using disposables (but 7th Generation, so better for baby and the environment!) until she could fit into her cloth dipes. But when we started using them full time, I got anxious again. Would I be able to keep up with the demand of needing diapers, and having to wash them on an almost daily basis (since we are "short" the 7 snappie diapers that don't fit well yet)?
In a short answer, fuck yes! I have ZERO problems taking the bag of diapers downstairs once a day -- or every other day, depending on how much she shits -- and throwing them in the washing machine. Even running the load twice every 3 or 4 days or so to help get rid of some of the stains from the poop isn't that big of a deal. And I really do enjoy sitting in bed, with Ocho sleeping next to me, and stuffing all the inserts into the diaper covers, and neatly putting them back into their little basket by her pack and play.
I have been seriously happy with the cloth diapers so far. Not to mention it helps fill out her outfits, so now it looks like she belongs in the clothes she wears instead of them looking like she could swim in them.
So first, a big THANK YOU to my bestie, Brooklyn, who helped me get into cloth diapers. And another big THANK YOU to my husband, Bradford, for letting me do it, and not complaining about my hippie ways.
Curious to know WHY I ultimately decided on cloth diapers? Well, you should be.
- They are good for the environment. Really. Do you know how many diapers end up in the land fill EACH DAY?! Think about it. How many times a day do you change your baby? I know I change Ocho AT LEAST 10 times a day. And she's 3 weeks old. So for three weeks, I've been changing at least 10 diapers a day. 70 diapers a week, 210 diapers since she's been born. And diaper changes go on until they are potty trained. Ri-baby wasn't potty trained until she was 3. Yea, after they get the hang of their eating and bodily functions, the number decreases. But still. So if, on average, you changed 10 diapers a day, for the first year of your childs life, give or take, that's over 3500 diapers a year. A YEAR. Then add night time pull ups after you've potty trained during the day. Yikes.
- Money. In this economy, who seriously has the extra cash to fund said 70 diapers a week? How much is the average pack of 40 diapers? About $20 after tax? So you're buying $40 worth of diapers every week and a half. That's over $1000 a year on just diapers. What could YOU spend an extra $1000 on? A down payment on a car? New clothes? Toys for your child? Food? Putting it into savings for a rainy day? But what about your water and electric to wash the diapers? Really? Washing your diapers on even a daily basis isn't going to amount to that much money, especially since you can just throw them in the washing machine with other clothes, like I do. Laundry soap? Pssh. The Country Save brand that we buy is about $15 a box or so. It's 80 full scoop loads. We use half a scoop for diapers. So that's 160 loads of laundry. That's about 5 months worth of diaper laundry. I have two boxes sitting in my laundry room right now. So 10 months worth of laundry for $30. See? Cheaper.
- They are better for baby. Yup. Cloth on the body is better for you instead of tissues and elastics. Try wearing some undies made from different kinds of films, tissues, elastics, tapes, and not to mention that absorbent gel shit and tell me that those are more comfortable than your nice cotton panties. I'll pay you $100 if they really ARE more comfortable. No I'm kidding about that, I won't. I need that money for bills. But if YOU wouldn't find that comfortable, why would your child? Not to mention they reduce diaper rashes. And they absorb the shit outta some pee. Not to mention that they are cushier and softer. Quite a bit more comfortable I would imagine!
- They are fucking cute. You ever see a babies butt in a cloth diaper?! ADORABLE! Plus, there are so many cloth diapers and covers on the market today, that you can basically dress your child in ANY kind of color or pattern you want and they'll STILL look super cute!
So there you have it. I encourage new parents to consider switching to cloth diapers when you decided to have your first baby. Hell, I encourage parents in general, new or not, to use cloth diapers. I spent about $400 on all my diapers. They are going to last until Ocho is potty trained. I'm not going to be wasting $1000 or more a year on disposables. And most children are potty trained around 3 or so (just a rough estimate, I didn't feel like looking up statistics right now). So $3000+ vs. $400 + the cost of laundry soap (About $30 a year for us).
So please new mama's and papa's, consider cloth diapering your babies butts. I promise, its not as hard as it seems. Not only will you be saving money, and the environment, but you'll have the satisfaction of knowing that you made your baby's butt cute and comfy!
To get you started, here is a handy link about cloth diapers!