Sunday, March 18, 2012

A Look Back at Cloth Diapers

I began using cloth diapers almost as soon as the stick turned positive. I had always known I would like to use them with my children. That was never a question but when I finally got pregnant and knew we were going to be parents I knew without a doubt that this was a journey I needed to take. So the first thing I did was research everything I could. 
Now this was Spring 09. There was a lot less out there even three years ago then there is now. Believe me. I knew all of 2 other Moms who had used cloth and of those one switched back to disposables as soon as her daughter hit about 9-10 months. I was so alone. That actually was a huge reason why I started this blog. Cloth diapers and breastfeeding were what really pushed me to start blogging. I realize now looking back I have written very little on cloth diaper or my experiences with them. So this post is hopefully going to change that a bit. In a blog where over half the posts are about breastfeeding, a good chunk on vaccines and circumcision, a huge chunk on healthy food, composting, organic, and gardening.. but almost nothing about the one thing that drove me to blog in the first place.
So where was I? Oh yes so alone. So I researched and I researched, I asked on forums and got no where. I even was publicly mocked for being "one of those greenie crunchy granola Moms". 
So when I felt I had a semi grasp on things I started registering for baby items. We at no time registered for disposable diapers, and instead were registered for prefolds, covers, and pocket diapers, and snappis. What we received was over 10 large giant packages of disposables by the time our son was born. Most from family some from friends. We gave them all away to other Moms we knew weren't cloth diapering. I don't have an actual pic of it but the pile looked like this.
We did however get one dozen prefolds from my boss with the statement "Here I got you these but as soon as you have that baby you will want real diapers and then just ask and I will get you some.. you can always use these for cleaning rags." 
I felt like I was just going to have to fight tooth and nail to make people listen to me.. I wasn't trying to convert the world (like I do now lol) I just wanted to be left alone to diaper as I wished. I had already gotten Hubby on board though he was skeptical. I think he really thought I would give in and he wouldn't have to learn how to use them. Right before Bug was born I showed Hubby how to change a prefold diaper on a teddy bear and when he saw how simple those were (and let me tell you those are the more complicated ones) he was totally gung ho for cloth. 
So I started trying to even make some of my own. I made a bunch of prefolds using a pattern I found online on how to convert old tee shirts into prefolds. 
I also made a fitted diaper out of receiving blankets. 
Then right before our son was born we were given the best gift of all. our good friends lent us all their cloth diapers to get started with. It was about 30 pockets and fitteds. Most were one size and Bug grew out of them quickly but it was enough to last until he was about 9-10 months and by then we had built up our own supply. 
Then right before he was born I bought four nb sized fitteds off another cloth Mom. They only fit him for a few weeks but it helped. 
By the time Bug was actually born we had a somewhat plan of how to do cloth but it was a epic journey full of twists and turns. We had to use disposables until we came home from the hospital because we had been told we could not use cloth there. I hated it but as soon as we got him home we gladly switched. We used prefolds for about the first 2 months. Then we switched to the pockets and fitteds. 
When he was about 3 months old our washer and dryer broke and for 3 weeks I hand washed cloth diapers in the tub and hung them to dry. All while going back to school for the first time in 5 years. We bought our new washer and dryer but not before using disposables for a week.. and oh wow I was so happy to go back to cloth. 
By the time he hit 12 months we had tried every kind of diaper there is just about. fitteds, pockets, prefolds, flips, bamboo, all in ones, pricey diapers, cheapy diapers, one size fits all and the pockets that are small medium or large. 
By about the time we started potty training the first time (15 months) we knew exactly which diapers worked best for our family. What had worked best for us was one size adjustable pocket diapers. The ones with adjustable thigh snaps were the best ones. Sunbaby and Alvababy ended up being our favorite brands for that reason. 
All in all we ended up using cloth for 29 months not counting the prep time before Bug was born. Cloth was overall an amazing experience. Hubby not only quickly got  used to it but now swears by it and wonders how people do disposables, with the leaks, blowouts, stinky chemical smell, running out all the time and always always having to buy more diapers. Bug preferred being in his cloth diapers and I definatly spent the last 3 years trying to convert as many other Moms as I could. Now 3 years later... almost every mother I know uses cloth. Why anyone wouldn't is beyond me. We have saved literally 1000's and 1000's of dollars and we will be going into baby number two with no cost at all except for maybe just a handful of cute pink and purple diapers if number two is a girl. 
So anyway our journey with cloth is over now.. at least for Bug. Hopefully soon we will have another little bundle of squirmy arms and legs to strap into a cloth diaper. As a sort of farewell to cloth we washed them all today and hung them on the line. It was nice to see them all hung up one last time.
So there you have it.. this chapter is closed but we will be opening it again with our second child. It is sad to say goodbye to diapers but really amazing to have a happy potty trained big boy in the house.

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