Thursday, April 11, 2013

Cloth diapers? Are you crazy?

After almost two years of using cloth diapers, I still get a kick out of the looks on others' faces when I change my son in a public restroom. Some are curious, others look at me like I have lost my mind. I've gotten used to all of the questions, and I always take time to answer them. I've even converted a few mamas over to cloth (does that sound too cultish???).

I have spent months teaching, offering advice, and answering questions. So I really can't help it if seeing their beautiful bebes on facebook a year later in their cute, colorful, fluffy diapers makes me proud. 

My daughter decided her baby needed a cloth diaper to match her brother's.

The most common question I get asked is "Why?" My response, in short, is "Why not?" although I know it's not really that simple, nothing ever is. We all have our reasons for doing what we do, and as far as cloth diapers go, here are mine. 

1) To try to be "greener." I never cared much about the environment until I had children. There's something about knowing that the actions we take today will directly affect what this world will be like for my children tomorrow. I want to leave a better Earth for my future generations to enjoy! Or at least not a worse one. I want to set an example for my children, so that they go out into the world with the same respect for it that Mr. Wannabe and I have. We aren't a poster family for the green movement, but we recycling, gardening, shopping local when possible, using earth friendly cleaners, recycled paper products, and now cloth diapers and wipes!

2) Money. Or lack of it. Or a simple desire to save a little. However you spin it, money is a great motivational tool. In reality though, cloth can get pricey if you aren't careful. Or if you throw your common sense out with your old disposables. There are mothers out there that stalk cloth diaper websites for rare or out of print diapers, such as a Ragababe Original Tie Dye AIO that has been known to fetch over $300 at online auctions. $300. For one diaper. One. Diaper. But if saving money, rather than spending as much as possible, is your motivation, keep it simple. We do prefolds and covers mostly, which is one of the cheapest methods. I have a few pocket diapers for daycare that I bought used on Diaper Swappers, but they aren't my go-to diapers. With the exception of the one size adjustable diapers, Rowan has sized up three times. When that happens, I sell what I have to buy what I need. So rarely do I spend more than what my original stash cost....which, by the way, was a grand total of $400, give or take. And that included accessories such as snappis, a wetbag, etc. Add up the cost of at LEAST 2 years of "sposies", then another year or 2 of pull ups.....well, you do the math.

3) I love that my son's little bootie is wrapped in soft, fluffy COTTON. Pure and simple. 

4) I admit, there's that bit of pride/ego in doing something everyone thinks is sooo difficult. Most people think I am either extremely brave, or crazy. Really, I'm neither. But sshhh...don't tell anyone that.

I happened to have a diaper to match the cake and hat!

What I was afraid of....and why I didn't need to be:

1) The laundry! Which, for the record, is NOT THAT BAD. Granted, we have a large family so it doesn't feel like much more than what I already was doing, but still. I do a load of diapers every three days. That's nothing! It took a little trial and error to find out what worked best for me, but once I settled into a routine it was smooth sailing. The ONLY time I have had stink or leak issues is when I listened to moms online that said Tide was bad, bad, bad. So I switched to some fancy, expensive brand (I tried Rockin Green and Charlies Soap), only to remind myself of the old adage "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." I also had issues when I started making my own homemade laundry soap about a year ago. That caused quick build up for me as well. I still use it, and absolutely LOVE it. Just not for the diaper laundry. Here's my wash routine: cold rinse, hot wash with Tide powder (1st
line for small load, 2nd for large load), then an extra rinse or two. I line dry my covers and pocket shells, and throw my inserts and prefolds in the dryer. Unless they are stained. The sun is the best stain remover ever. I'll line dry them, then throw them in the dryer for a few minutes just to fluff. Occasionally I strip with Dawn to remove build up, and if I get crazy busy and go a day or two too long between washes, I'll splash a little bleach in there. According to some websites, that's the ultimate diaper laundry sin, but it works for me. That's it. No stink, no leaks, no biggie.

2) The big big bootie. Yes, sposies are trimmer. When he was a wee little baby, his bottom was a little....fluffy. But as he has grown, it's not as noticeable. Or maybe I'm just used to it and it isn't as noticeable to me. Either way, it's a non-issue. 

3) Hmmm...I got nothin.

I used sposies with my first three, so I won't sit here and preach about how terrible they are. But I will say that my journey into the world of cloth has been a great learning experience, and that I would have done it three babies ago had I known what I know now. Which is why if anyone ever wants to know more, or wants help getting started, I would be more than happy to pass my knowledge on!

Some of the terms in this blog may have sounded like a foreign language to some of you (wetbags, snappis, AIO, prefolds). I hope to write another cloth diaper post soon about the diapers themselves, and all of their "accessories." So stay tuned!

Happy Thursday!

Mrs. Wannabe

No comments:

Post a Comment