Naturally Mama.

From one natural mama to another…

Making the switch to cloth diapers… is it really worth it? November 19, 2010

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During my last pregnancy, I decided I was going to take better care of my body and my health. This blossomed into buying organic foods and natural cleaning products which in turn made me think about every single thing I did and how it affected my body and this earth. Not only my body, but the bodies and health of my Husband, daughter and soon-to-be-born son. Lots of changes and conscious decisions were to come.

One decision that I made was that I was not going to use disposable diapers. Nope. No way, no how. They are filling up landfills. Since disposable diapers were made in 1961, none of them have decomposed. They are full of toxic chemicals and known carcinogens. They cause diaper rashes and allergies. So, it was going to be cloth for us. But…  I was confused about how they worked. I was so accustomed to just undoing those handy velcro tabs on a disposable, slipping the diaper off, slipping a new one on and then the old one was the trash man’s job. I was also confused about how to wash cloth diapers, too. Special detergents, extra rinse cycles and something called ‘stripping’…? This is where I begin to ask myself: “Is it really going to be worth it? Can I even do this?”

I figured I could handle that stuff later. With the Internet these days, you can pretty much figure out anything, right? …And how sad would it be if I couldn’t figure out how to use a DIAPER? So, I pushed my confusion and insecurities aside. It was time to check out what was available in the cloth diaper market.

After looking around online I was extremely surprised, first of all, how many brands and patterns there were. I mean, some of these diapers are stinkin’ adorable! Skulls, leopard print, hot pink and electric blue… Pretty much any color or patten I desired, it was available. My next surprise in store was how many different types there were. Old-style pre-folds with covers, fitted diapers with covers, all-in-ones (just like a disposable, but you wash it), all-in-twos (just the like all in one but the cover comes apart and you don’t have to change to cover with every diaper change)… some of them had an insert that went inside a pocket, and there were also some made of wool called ‘soakers’. There were so many different styles! Velcro, buttons, snaps… it was a little overwhelming.

My third surprise: sizing. There were different sizes and there were also one-size diapers (which I was really excited to learn about!) that adjusted with snaps from 8lbs-35ish lbs. The surprises didn’t end there. These diapers cost anywhere from $10 to $35. EACH! For the sake of our tight little family budget, his is where I really had to evaluate: “Was this truly going to be worth it? Is this something that I want to do?” I did not want to buy these diapers if they were going to sit in a closet. I knew they would save us so much money and wouldn’t contribute to hurting the environment. I knew that if so many other moms could do it, so could I.

So, I took the plunge. I bought 8 Bumgenius diapers. I chose Bumgenius over some more stylish diapers because A) I got a really good deal on them and B) a friend of mine used nothing but BG, raved about them and brought hers over to my house and showed me how to use them. It was a comfort zone thing for me, I guess. So, the diapers sit for a few months since my son’s still in my belly. I prepared myself: read washing instructions, how to put them on, take them off, strip them when needed, etc. I was prepared!

Or so I thought. Fast forward a few months and I’m in early labor. I’m trying to be sure that I have everything ready for my baby, and I think about diapering. I remember all we have is cloth get overwhelmed. I start to panic a little and wonder if they will even fit him. My daughter was only 6 lbs when she was born and the diapers say 8 lbs+! “Honey, get to the store now! Buy some diapers!”, I yell. “‘I’ll let the initial new baby phase run its course and then I will try cloth”, I thought to myself. A month passed and he was still in disposables. I looked at them every now and again, with an inkling of guilt I might add, as I’m folding baby clothes in my son’s room and then I feel overwhelmed again. We had a lot going on and I figured I shouldn’t add another element to it all. I would try soon.

By the middle/end of the next month, I decided I was ready. I put one on and it fit him just fine. And looked so cute! I started with him in cloth for a couple of diapers a day and went up from there. I have to admit that all of my worry and apprehension regarding cloth diapers makes me feel a bit silly now, looking back. It’s easy, convenient and I feel good doing it. I still don’t have enough cloth diapers to exclusively cloth diaper him full time just yet, but now that I’ve washed quite a few loads of them, handled pee and poop (which isn’t really that gross just yet because to me, breastfed baby poop smells like cheese anyway), I can’t wait to build up my stash 🙂 I look at other mom’s cloth diaper stashes online and get so excited to buy more. Full time cloth diapering, here I come!

For those of you who are confused about cloth diapering, have questions or don’t understand how they work or what you need, I’ve compiled a few wonderful sites below full of easy-to-read and understand information. Enjoy!


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