Mommy to 2 little ones, attempting to increase their Spanish abilities through adventures together. ESL teacher who is always looking for creative ideas.
Thursday, June 30, 2011
My cloth diapering adventure has been mostly a self-taught method. There was no one beside me to hold my hand, but I did have one real-live friend who had experience with using cloth diapers. I suppose I thought, "if she can do it, I can too!" (I think this has been a theme throughout many adventures in my life!) Thank goodness I kept investigating and went through with it using Little Sister as my guinea pig.
I researched websites and found some Twitter friends to follow about cloth diapering, but was disappointed that I was not able to find more information in stores near me about specific products available to use in this new venture. Nevertheless, I was determined to at least try.
I had to purchase my All-in-one Cloth Diapers online, and I found Ebay to have what I needed for the best price. I have been pleased with the diapers also known as pocket diapers (I think!), because there is a cloth insert that is put into the diapers for extra absorption. I opted for velcro across the sides of the diapers (similiar to Pampers/Huggies/Luvs) and the only snaps I have are the three rows under the velcro, which is to help the diaper to be smaller or larger based on the babies size.
I must admit I used some of the disposable diapers I was given at a shower for the first two weeks or so of Little Sister's life. Then I realized that since she had been born at 9 lbs 4.8 oz and 22 3/4 inches long, she was practically the size of a 2 month old already, and I could begin using the cloth diapers. (Many folks suggest waiting to use the cloth diapers until the baby is big enough for the fit to be snug.) The diapers fit her from the beginning. I was in luck!
The advantages for choosing cloth diapers were that it is so much better for the environment than the huge mess the others leave in the landfills, taking years to biodegrade; more economical for our checkbook; and the babies who are cloth-diapered are usually potty-trained 6 months quicker than those who use disposable diapers.
The disadvantages for choosing cloth diapers is that you must be committed to this choice, the smell, and you must plan ahead. Everyday things must be tended to, meaning when the diaper is soiled, the insert must be taken out and put with the outside part of the diaper into the diaper pail (which for me is a plastic garbage bag inside a small fliptop garbage can). The diapers must be washed at least every other day too. I have a supply of about 40 right now and this helps me keep some ready while some are drying (if I have the advantage of using the sun, which takes a little longer than the dryer, but is cheaper too.) The smell can be bad, but the fliptop on the garbage can really helps. It's better than when we used the Diaper Genie with Big Brother. If I have a trip out of the house, I must take extra diapers of course, and have something to put the "used" ones in as well. (I opted for a velcro insulate lunch bag which works great for us!)
I wish now that I had known more about cloth diapering with Big Brother so that he could have taken advantage, and maybe have potty-trained earlier too, who knows!?! I am grateful that I do know now at least, and have been able to save so much money for my family and be better for the environment as well.
Not everyone understands my decision and at first my mom and my husband thought I was a little crazy (it wasn't the first time and it won't be the last, I assure you!) but they have even supported me and use the cloth ones I send when it is their time for diaper duty. Sometimes my husband will even "stuff" (put the inserts into the pockets of the diapers) at night as I put Big Brother and/or Little Sister to bed, as he watches TV.
Since as of this writing Little Sister is 13 months old, I am not sure how much longer we will be cloth diapering...in other words I am not sure when she will be potty training, but hopefully it will be an easier process because of the cloth diapers. Time will tell!
Do you or someone you know cloth diaper? What has been your experience?