Monday, July 26, 2010

Cloth Diapers: How I got started

I have been asked about cloth diapering from time to time and I thought I would write a post about how I got started and some basic info. I am by no means an expert as I've only been doing this for about 6 months and have only tried a handful of brands. I will post more as I try out new diapers.

I have to say I absolutely LOVE cloth diapers!! I started out looking into them because of the financial aspect, you save a TON of money with cloth diapers, even if you choose to use the more expensive kind (which is what I use most of the time). If you choose the more expensive kind the up-front cost can be large, but you still end up saving quite a bit of money over the long term. On top of that, if you use those diapers for your next child the savings is even more significant! Don't have much money for diapers-you can get started with prefolds for about $50!!

Once I started researching cloth diapers I found out how much better they actually are for baby's bottom. Disposables are made of plastic, and as we know the "scientists" are always discovering a new dangerous chemical in plastics that we previously thought were safe. Yes even your "cloth-like" disposables are full of plastic. In addition to the plastic, disposables are full of all sorts of chemicals-that's why they can absorb so much. You know those little beads that come out and get on baby's bottom if you leave the diaper on too long? Chemicals! The chemicals are what cause most diaper rash. Now I'm not saying your baby will never have diaper rash in a cloth diaper (we are battling one right now, the only one she has had that wasn't from a disposable) but you will most certainly have LESS diaper rash in cloth.

Add to that the reusable, sustainable, "green" factor and cloth diapers were definitely worth trying out. I won't lie, the "green" factor was far from my main motivator but it is definitely a nice benefit-for us and the environment.

I bought several diapers off ebay (new), most were made by work-at-home-moms. None of my first diapers were a major brand name. I will suggest that if you buy WAHM diapers from ebay or etsy you research the maker thoroughly, there are blogs and forums that review these diapers (I'll post more resources later). The ones I bought were supposed to be all-in-ones but needed a cover, this was fine but I do prefer true all-in-ones.

When Sofia was born my only name-brand cloth diapers were two Fuzzi-Bunz I got from a friend as a baby gift. I would quickly find out that these were the only ones I owned at the time suitable for nighttime use, and that brand is still my nighttime choice (although I now have more than two!).

I didn't start cloth-diapering as soon as she was born. I intended to but I got very sick and in part forgot, in part just didn't want to deal with it so I waited until I felt better. Well a couple months later I decided I better try all these cloth diapers I bought. My first day went horrible (I tell you this to encourage you if you had an initial bad experience). Every last diaper I owned was quite discouraging. So I washed them and put them up, thinking I was giving up on cloth diapering. And there they sat for several weeks....

Eventually the frugal part of me won out and I just couldn't look at those diapers that I had spent money on not getting used and continue spending more money on the disposables. I talked to a cloth diapering friend and did some research online and figured out a few mistakes I had made. 1. I washed them in regular detergent and 2. I hadn't made sure they were snug around the legs and stomach. (I also figured out eventually that some of them just had to have a cover). Once I got these issues sorted out cloth diapering was a success and I LOVED it!!

Now, once I reached that point I wanted to try out different brands of diapers, I eventually added BumGenius all-in-ones, BumGenius organic one-size AIOs, Flip, Kissaluv (which I don't like), Fuzzi Bunz one size (in addition to my sized FB), and BumGenius one-size pocket. I also got my older daughter who still wore pull-ups at night to switch over to Happy Heinies cloth pullups! I also purchased wet bags (planet wise), changing pads (Fuzzi Bunz) and made cloth wipes (more on this later).

That is my story and now I am a "die hard" cloth diaper mom!! I have even (recently) tried the prefold-which aren't as bad as I expected. I write this post to encourage those who are interested in trying cloth diapers and to maybe get someone thinking about it who hadn't previously but it is in no way to pressure, judge, or otherwise belittle moms who do not choose to cloth diaper. This, like everything in parenting, is something that each person must decide what works for their family!!

Coming soon: Cloth Diaper lingo
                      Cloth Diaper washing and stripping
                      Cloth Diaper reviews
                      What to do about diaper rash
                      Cloth Diaper resources
                     ....and more (I'll link from here with new posts)

My absolute favorite cloth diaper store is Kelly's Closet!

Feel free to ask questions-I will probably include them in a later post!

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