Do you have a friend who is just getting into cloth diapering? Or perhaps YOU are? I love this article written by Tiffany of Simple Baby. Tiffany sells cloth diapers and other natural products on her site (I am pining after this awesome cup for my little one!). I think this article is great because it talks about the things you face when you first decide to cloth diaper. Seriously, this story sounds almost exactly like mine! Anyway, get to know Tiffany through her awesome writing and visit her store!
My name is Tiffany, and I am a bed sharing, co-sleeping, breastfeeding, cloth diapering, coo coo cachew Crunchy Mama. Yes that’s right, I am doing absolutely everything I said I would never do. I haven’t always been this way. In fact I overheard my husband telling somebody at our local Great Cloth Diaper Change location – of which I was a co-organizer, “When I met her 10 years ago, she was a doctor loving, medicine popping, city girl. Now I have a granola wife.”
Several years ago, I happened to stumble upon the Fuzzibunz website. I had no intention of E VER cloth diapering my children. I think I was actually doing research for a broke and pregnant friend that wanted to cloth diaper to save money. That was the only way, I would ever consider cloth diapering at the time. I viewed cloth diapering as a cry of financial desperation. Especially since I, like most people, had only been exposed to your typical Birdseye flats and diaper pins, that you find in the big box retailers. Needless to say, my interests were peaked when I saw the creative “new” cloth diaper that was available. OH how things in the matter of only 6 or 7 years.
Last January, when I found out that I was pregnant, I remembered that moment in time 7 years ago, and decided to do some more investigating. By this time, I had already started to make my metamorphosis to Domestic Goddess Green Edition. 5 years prior we had begun to switch to all natural cleansers, and we had recently moved to all organic milk and dairy. With a baby on the way, I was also looking into ways to cut costs, eliminate debt, and plan ahead for our child. I was greatly surprised with what I found. Not only was Fuzzibunz still in business, but there was an even greater selection of cloth diapers available. It only made sense to me both ecologically and economically to try attempt to do this.
First Challenge: POOP
So I started doing some research about how people handle poopy cloth diapers. Somewhere in my research I found that breastfed baby poop, does not need to be rinsed before laundering. REALLY!?!?! SCORE! I already knew I was going to breastfeed, so to know that I only have to throw this thing in, was a double score.
Second Challenge: How will I convince the husband?
My husband is the 2nd of 5 boys and has continually professed to be the baby whisperer and child care expert. This was based on his experience with his two youngest brothers. He will tell you he had to wash their diapers out in the toilet, and deal with pins, AND he adamantly exclaimed that he would never do that again. Ok Ok, I was in sales for several years. This is an objection that needs to be overcome, because this WAS happening.
So I casually mention to him that there is a new type of cloth diaper out that doesn’t use pins. I feel the bronco raring up; I know he’s going to start bucking very shortly. I continue by saying, if I were to handle the laundry aspect. Here comes the bend at the knees, I tighten the rope. “Would you be willing to do cloth diapers?” And here we go, hold on tight this ride is going to get bumpy. The response I got, “Are you kidding? You can but I will never change a diaper”
Did I mention back there that I am hard headed. I was so confident that cloth was the way to go that I became the master negotiator in my house.
The deals I made to make this work were:
1. I will handle washing the diapers, there will be no need for you to rinse.
2. When we go out we can use disposables
3. I will even fold them if it makes it easier.
The only thing I didn’t do was back down. He was bitter about the whole situation just about the entire pregnancy, but once we got started he did change his tune.
Challenge 3: Ney Sayers
Why are women so catty when it comes to a first time mom? I totally heard the typical:
· “I give you a week.”
· “Are you crazy?”
· “What are you thinking?”
Some arguments I used were:
1. We have dogs we clean up the carpet after them when they make a mess
2. We live 45 minutes from Wal-Mart. I can have one cloth diaper done in 30 minutes, if we run out of diapers.
3. Why are you complaining, you won’t be doing anything but changing a baby?
4. I am talking about saving us thousands
5. Disposables never biodegradable.
D-Day: Diapers in Action
Let’s face it there is an upfront cost for cloth diapers. I am a thrifty person, and I could not stomach spending $600 bucks on diapers all at once. So my sister sent me a link to a eBay listing in China – 4 One Size pocket diapers for $20, no shipping. I JUMPED on it.
So we get my sweet baby home and I am all excited to put him in his first cloth diaper. Only to find that this cloth diaper is waaay too big and makes him look like a weeble wobble. He wouldn’t even fit into his clothes because of it. My husband was ELATED, about this and proposed that it I should accept defeat and move him into disposables only.
Without any better choices this is exactly what I did. That was until I, I was talking to a friend of mine, who mentioned that most babies don’t fit One Size diapers until they are a few months old. The light at the end of the tunnel turned on for me, it was dim, but it was on.
I started looking around for other options. I happened upon some trimmer pockets and we started to try those. The problem was that the insert was never in there perfect and one way or another they would leak. My husband refused to deal with them. Did I mention that I am a hard head?
Determined to find something that worked, I decided to try one of everything. I drug my son and my husband to a 3 hour Cloth Diaper Boot camp. Where we learned about All in Ones (AIO). I had heard about these, but had heard that they were horrible to dry. Apparently, those were the old school ones, and some drastic changes had been made -$85 later we have 2 AIOs to try, a Sophie on order, and some Teething Bling.
This is where my husband’s tune began to change. My son was still being breastfeed exclusively so he noticed that I had yet to use that diaper sprayer setup that I had him install in the spare bathroom, and that diapers laundry didn’t include bending over and flushing a toilet. When we started using the AIO diapers, he noticed that there was no more stuffing, and diapers when straight from the washer to the dryer.
Don’t think I missed this attitude shift. I saw that this bucking bronco was starting to tire, and I seized the opportunity to tighten my grip one more time and go in for the kill. My husband is a complete comic book nut, my hall is lined with boxes of them. So I did what any good wife would do. I immediately ordered two custom AIOs from a lady on Facebook. They were Batman and Superman AIOs, the Batman one even had a utility belt.
The final straw for my husband were when he realized that disposable diapers were continually leaking at night, and that we were daily changing the sheets on our King Sized bed. I searched high and low for the right solution. I finally found it in Wool. At night, my son goes completely green. His daddy puts him into a hemp fitted diaper, and wool wrapper.
What I have learned
There is a natural evolution to everything. While some people love disposable diapers, I cannot stand them really. They leak, cost you thousands, and like a virus never ever go away. While we did not go directly to cloth diapers like some, we made our own evolution. From basic modern cloth diapers (pockets) to what I call advanced cloth diapering (Fitted diapers and Wool). Just a few days ago, I found that my husband was even telling me which diapers were his favorites, and planning our next cloth diaper purchase. I am pretty sure that my next baby will be cloth diapered from birth. It’s funny how the ideas of others can influence our mindset so greatly, but then when we actually do something ourselves we find out that it really wasn’t all that bad after all.
My name is Tiffany Carra. I currently work away from the house in a 9-5 job and balance cloth diapering, breastfeeding, and chasing my diabetic, toddler son while owning and operating www.simplebaby.com. I blog about our story atwww.crunchyandsweet.com I also am a chapter leader for my local chapter of Birth Network National. A non – profit organization that promotes the Mother Friendly Care Initiative.