Adventures in Cloth Diapering

Four years ago, I was a new mother. I (along with my own mother) thought cloth diapers sounded like a wonderful idea for my new baby! I got a book. I read the book. I am an avid researcher, and I’ll read and obsess over something until I know all the facts! After I did my research, I decided that I wanted to be as economical as I could if I was going to do cloth diapers. For those of you who have no clue about such a subject, there are many different types of cloth diapers. To make a long story short, I won’t go through all the different types of cloth diapers because then I would end up writing a book. So, I chose the pre-folds. This is pretty much a thick piece of cloth with three sections which will be folded into the diaper. With the pre-fold, I needed a cute little Snappi. This is the modern replacement for diaper pins. It’s a single stretchy diaper holder that attaches to the diaper by three little prongs with sharp teeth on the ends. The Snappi attaches to the diaper to hold it in place without sticking the baby. I also needed to buy diaper covers to go over the cloth. You know, to prevent wetness on baby clothes. I started out with four covers. They came in all sorts of cute little designs. I had about 12 pre-fold diapers in a small size for ages newborn to around 3 or 4 months. I was ready to go.

The idea of cloth diapers was much more appealing than the actual process for me. I got lazy very quickly. I am so impressed by mama’s who continue to do cloth. (Yay for you!!) I did them from about 3 weeks to about 4 months with my first son.

Reasons I quit so soon the first time vs. Reasons to Venture On:

-Laundry.

I had to wash them about every other day. The baby will go through about 6-10 diapers in a day. This number fluctuates, obviously, but at first, this was what I was up against. So that meant if I wanted to do cloth all the time, I had to wash my diapers every day or every other day.

VS

Doing a load of laundry does save money in the long run. Laundry is pennies compared to the cost of a bag of diapers. Even the cheapest ones add up.

-To wash the diapers, you have to first put them on a cold water rinse. Then, with my homemade laundry soap, I would wash them in hot water. Then either dry them on the clothesline (for sun-bleaching purposes) or dry them in the dryer.

VS

Regardless, I’d still save money on cloth.

-Ew factor.

When the babies poopied, you have to literally get the poop out of the diaper and flush it. Enough said.

VS

It’s my own baby’s poop. I’m really not that grossed out by it. Some people are! And that’s ok. But it really isn’t that much of a hardship to scrape a mess out of the diaper. It takes all of 10 seconds in my laundry sink.

-Frequency.

As soon as the baby is wet, I’d change the cloth diaper because I could feel it. Sometimes with disposable diapers, I think we can just forget about them for a few hours and not change as frequently.

VS

I suppose it is better to change more often though! Less incidence of diaper rash with a clean, dry hiney!

-Convenience.

Boy am I lazy. It just became easier to throw a diaper away and get a new one then to think about going through the rigamarole of cloth.

VS

If I had a plan in place, cloth would really be just as easy. Just throw in the designated diaper laundry bag, and do laundry! I’m doing 100 loads of laundry a day anyway, so what’s one more really?

With my second son, I had so many diapers from my baby showers that I didn’t even have to think about cloth. I did a few weeks here and there, but nothing for very long. I feel kind of bad about that, sorry buddy.

Fast forward to third son. He is currently 5 months old. I was at a postpartum mommy meeting with my midwifery group last week, (Roots and Wings Midwifery woohoo!) and was inspired to start cloth again with my baby. I was motivated by these lovely ladies to start back again. Thanks, girls!

Each Mama did a different version of cloth that worked for her. I think that’s just great. Just like anything, you have to find your own rhythm and discover what works for you.

Give me your feedback “cloth” Mamas! I’d love to hear your experiences. In the meanwhile, I’m going to carry on and try to push through to my goal of cloth diapering full time.

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