Tuesday, February 28, 2012

we love her fluffy butt.

I knew that we wanted to cloth diaper our kiddos since.... my goodness, a few years ago when Neil and I wandered into a local cloth diaper store. We were amazed at the selection, and what was available to cloth diapering parents and babies. Yes, we hung out in cloth diaper stores before we ever even had kids. We're nerdy like that.

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(Ember, two months old, wearing a Thirsties Duo Wrap Snap Cover and probably either a prefold or Thirsties Insert inside. Let's not talk about her tiny, smiley, adorableness or I may cry...)

Here is why we cloth diaper, basically:

- We (Neil and I, to be clear here) think disposables are pretty gross. I know, I know, I really just said that. But hang on, don't go throwing food at me, hear me out. Have you ever looked into how disposables are made? What is in them? Take a few minutes, google it. Those would be sitting against my daughters genitals, more hours of the day than not. Yuck.

- Waste. We believe disposables are a lot of ridiculous trash. There are the arguments out there about the amount of water used when washing cloth diapers and the true energy savings there. But still, 'sposies are just a lot of trash. And we don't like it.

- Cloth diapering is just not a big deal. We constantly get comments about how gross it is, how nasty to have to wash dipes, how people can't handle the poop, on and on and on. Seriously, I have no idea why people think I'm wading through a nasty pile of baby urine and feces. Because I'm not. And really... think about it, even with disposables, you're doing to have to deal with poop. Seriously. Babies have blowouts in both cloth diapers and disposables. And actually, a lot of fellow cloth diapering mommas have claimed that they deal with much less blowouts using cloth than they did using disposables. I can honestly count less than ten actual blowouts with Ember so far in her nine months. But even so, it happens either way. Poop is a part of your life if you have a baby. POOP HAPPENS. If you find the cloth that works for you and your family though, I'm betting it just isn't that big of a deal.

- It's so dang cute. It is! I have to change my daughter's diaper all day long and in those first months, a couple times at night too. I have to cover that cute little booty and then I have to see what it's covered in. Might as well make it cute.

- Money. Cloth diapering has an upfront cost when you're first getting diapers, building your stash, etc. But then, for the most part, you're done (unless you become an addict, like me, which is easy to do if you get in too  deep.. ha). And you can cloth diaper really cheaply quite easily and you can also spend more if you want to. But even if you're going more expensive, you will typically save much more money than buying disposables. Not too mention if you plan on having more kids, most of your diaper stash can get you through them all if well cared for, talk about saving money! (And p.s: you can make some of your money back. Reselling is HUGE in the cloth diaper world.)

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(Ember, 6 months old, hanging out before bed in her size small Fuzzibunz. And that would be drool dripping down her diaper there. *ahem*)

And for anyone thinking they just can't afford cloth diapering right now:
Unfortunately, with Neil being laid off the last six or so months of my pregnancy, we were not able to gather the stash and buy the supplies that I would have liked to have to start cloth diapering Ember as soon as she was born. We were gifted many packages of prefolds and a diaper pail at my shower, and Toni took me to a local diaper swap and bought me a few diapers... so we had a few things. Nothing like what you need/want to comfortably cloth diaper a newborn and only wash every 2-3 days though!

I was warned by many people to just use disposables the first few days, since that new baby poop, especially at first with the meconium is so sticky and yuck. So we purchased some seventh generation disposable newborn diapers and I tried to make myself feel ok with it. Honestly, though, I'm one of those types of people who doesn't want to do something without being completely prepared. And since we didn't really have everything we needed, all ready to go, I was really putting off ever starting with cloth. Silly me.

Knowing what I know now, and all the tricks with newborn poop (olive oil on the bum works wonders for keeping meconium from sticking to skin) and washing up diapers, I will not use any sort of disposable on my future newborns. Some people decide to also because newborns can grow rather quick and grow out of the newborn size in just a couple to a few weeks. I would much rather have a newborn stash than disposables. I really dislike disposables!

It was Neil who actually got us going with cloth. We had completely run out of the newborn 'sposies and didn't have any extra money for more (does this sound familiar to anyone out there?). Neil reasoned with me, that we didn't need to go anywhere for a few days anyways, that we would probably have to wash every day, but it was time to just jump into this. I was still so overwhelmed about it but we went ahead and put her in a cute little fitted diaper that was purchased for us at the before mentioned swap and that was that.

It turned out that diaper was the only one we had that technically truly fit her, and she was in some bulky stuff for a couple weeks until we got it all figured out. And at first, we were sometimes washing twice a day... but we slowly started buying diapers and supplies here and there and it worked out.

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(Ember, 8 months old, in her Kiwi Pie fitted.)

Just like the jeans you love and the ones that don't fit, cloth diapers aren't one type for everyone. There are tons and tons and tons of brands and types. It's overwhelming at first when you dive into it. You can get as involved and expensive as you want though. If I was to do it all over again, I would have purchased a newborn trial pack to try out various types of diapers and really figure out what we like.

We've used:
Thirsties (the duo wrap snap covers with prefolds and inserts), gdiapers, fuzzibunz, and a few different types of WAHM brands here and there as well.

As of right now, we use fitteds, mostly Goodmama and Kiwi Pie. We LOVE our fitted diapers and I have been able to find so many great deals on used but in almost new condition fitteds, which saves us money.
We go coverless at home or use fleece or wool soakers. But I've got a whole other post in the works all about wool and fleece because I freaking, ridiculously, insanely, love it.
When we're away from home, and don't feel like putting Ember in fitteds, we use Peachygreen all in one diapers. Great for when we're out all day or for the future when someone else is watching Ember.

Because I finally took the time to do the research and read up on everything a few months ago, all of what we use now (except those few lingering Fuzzibunz) is made with eco friendly fabrics and materials and are made in the USA or Cananda. For us, I just felt like, since we're doing this, let's do it right. No reason not to support american made products and definitely no reason not to look for more natural fabrics. We want to put our money where our mouth is when we can.

I purchase new diapers, detergent and accessories from a local shop when I can, and I also purchase used A LOT. I love diaper swaps, even if I'm not buying a lot, just hanging out with other cloth diapering mommas is fun. I have never really been able to go and drop a whole lot of money at once on diapers, I buy here and there and am still slowly building our stash.

This is all just my experience and thoughts on it... hopefully everyone who read this remembers it is all what has worked well for MY family.

So if you're just getting started learning about cloth diapering, I warn you... it IS overwhelming. If you're like me and grew up in a world of disposables, then it probably will overload your brain at first. Just take the time to learn and read and research. Ask millions of questions. Look for local groups, local swaps (these are so fun!) and check facebook too. Kansas City has a great cloth diapering group on facebook.
And like I said before, think about checking into a trial pack for when your newborn is here, so you can try a few different things and figure out what works for your family. Be prepared to change it up as you go and remember that if you really don't like something, you're not out the money - there is usually always another momma who will happily buy it from you.

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(Ember, 8 months old, in her Kiwi Pie fitted. Love that fluffy butt!)

Cloth diapering links I love:

Itsy Bitsy Bums - a local, online shop in Kansas City. They ship all over and have great selection and customer service. If you're local you can even make an appointment to go to their "warehouse" and check out all that they carry. They're very helpful and will guide through what you're looking for.

KC Cloth Community - If you're local, check out this facebook community. If you're not, look for one in your area or start one up if there isn't one!

Diaperswappers - LOVE this place. Tons of information and forums. It's also one of the places I purchased used diapers from other momma's online. And if you're into crafting at all, lots of knitting, sewing etc. help here.

*And please remember, these opinions and experiences are mine and my husband's own. We feel this way after lots of research and education and just do what we feel is best for our baby and family, as I'm sure you do too! If you also feel like we do, awesome! If not, it's ok too, carry on!

2 comments:

  1. Great post! I feel the same way as you about a lot of the reasons you cloth diaper (the amount of garbage disposables create is INSANE), and it does really save you money in the end, especially with multiple kiddos...I'm a bit sad to say that I don't cloth nearly as consistently with Violet as I did with Victor, but I just keep thinking that every cloth diaper I put other is one less 'sposie I have to throw out/buy, so even if it's just 50% or 75% of the time it's better than nothing. We really liked fitted diapers with Victor but have gotten lazy and now use mostly all-in-ones with him, and a mix with Violet. And I agree, it can get ADDICTING if you let it, ha!

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  2. Yes! I love cloth diapers! You should link this post to my Mommy Monday blog hop to share to the love for fluff with other mamas! :)

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