I mentioned in this post that we have begun cloth diapering Gabriel. And I mentioned that I would do a post explaining more about it.
First, I wanted to submit Exhibit A in "Why We're Cloth Diapering":
WHO - pray tell - could resist a cute little cloth diapered bottom???
If that is not the cutest little thing...I just don't know what is!
We're 3 1/2 weeks into our cloth diapering adventure. I've waited this long to do this post because...well, I wanted to make sure that it "took." I was seriously so nervous that perhaps I'd spent our money on our cloth diaper stash...and then I'd chicken out or hate it and give up!
But, thankfully, that has not proven to be true. I'm really liking it. And even the parts I don't love (read: poo), are not near as bad as I feared they would be.
Now, I want to go back and recount how I actually came to this place. Because if anyone had told me several years ago that I would ever be at "this place" (of choosing to cloth diaper) I would have insisted they were nutso.
I am the girl who - when Elisabeth and Noah were each potty-training - if they had a poo accident in their underwear, I would throw the underwear away. THROW THE UNDERWEAR AWAY IN THE TRASH! My friend Kris would get onto me and tell me I should just wash it. My response: "I am not touching poopy underwear! Underwear is way too cheap at Walmart for me to ever touch poopy underwear!"
The fact that I've voluntarily - and happily - chosen to cloth diaper - and am enjoying it - just makes me shake my head at my silly self, and smile.
O.k., it all started about a year and a half ago. We'd begun the process to adopt an infant. Our first infant. I knew this meant we were going to be faced with some questions/issues we'd never faced before, since our other children were older at adoption. Diapering, however, was not one of the questions that was even on my radar screen yet. And then my friend Melissa asked me one day if we would choose to cloth diaper.
I'd never even considered such.
I had no idea.
Why did people do such a thing?
WHY would I want to do such a thing?
I did not think I did want to do such a thing...what would be the reasoning behind such madness?
I ran (via e-mail, you understand) to my friend Cara, my only friend IRL (in real life) who cloth diapers. I asked her all the above questions. She sent me a great, and very thoughtful, approximately 3-page document detailing everything you could want to know about cloth diapering. Cara did a great job explaining to me different types of cloth diapers, laundering, prices, etc....
I opened the document, read it once...and promptly closed it for 3 months.
I was overwhelmed. Cloth diapering, like so many other areas, has it's whole own language and a set of abbreviations that will boggle the mind of the uninitiated. Pre-folds, fitteds, covers, All-in-ones, all-in-twos, stripping, inserts, snappies, pockets....AYE-YI-YI!!!
And then one of my very favorite bloggers, Stephanie at Keeper of The Home, did a series on cloth diapering that I read...and re-read. ("Dispelling the Myths about Cloth Diapering" Part 1 and Part 2, and Q&As Part 1 and Part 2) And Stephanie actually crunched some numbers and showed how cloth diapering really is cheaper than using disposables. And for a numbers-girl like me, I needed to see that in black and white.
And then a couple of other blogs I read did series on cloth diapers also, that I read...and re-read: Amy at Raising Arrows and Katie and Kitchen Stewardship. And I opened up Cara's document again and read and re-read it.
And then I was ready to buy some cloth diapers.
And then we didn't get our tax refund for months...and months.
But what we did get? Disposable diapers...and more disposable diapers, as gifts when Gabriel arrived home.
And then we did receive our tax refund.
And then we ran out of disposable diapers that had been gifts...and we had to start buying our own.
It goes against every bone in my frugal body to (literally) throw money away. Don't get me wrong, we could spend that $28-$40 a month on disposables...but in trying to be good stewards of the money that the Lord gives us, we felt like we could/should do other things with our money than spend it on something we're going to throw away in short order.
When buying a diaper "stash", you can spend $10 to $20 per diaper. Yes, that's right...per diaper. But I knew from my friend Cara, that it didn't have to be that way. Upon her recommendation (and I found many on-line reviews to back her up) I ordered some Kawaii diapers from this website. We are the proud owners of Ultra Soft Cross-Over Square Tab diapers, in 5 different colors (with lavender being Jason's personal favorite. Or not.). I was debating how many diapers to order, but they happened to be having a Mother's Day Sale (isn't this what every mom wants for a mother's day present?!?!) and had a package of 24 diapers available. Free shipping. The price worked out to $5.41 per diaper.
Within 3 to 5 months, these cute little diapers will have paid for themselves!
So, money is my number one reason for wanting to cloth diaper. But in all the research I've done about the topic, I've also come to realize something else. I'm quick. Very quick, sometimes. But it had never even occurred to me that disposable diapers contained chemicals in them. Well, they do! The chemicals are what trap the moisture and make the diaper so absorbent. I sometimes found little gel pellets of the stuff on Gabriel's...well, you know what. While you can find lots of info online that will tell you the chemicals are fine and dandy and not to worry about them against your baby...you can also find lots of info that says the chemicals are not safe. Me? I'd rather not have chemicals on my babe's nether regions.
Thanks to one gazillion little snaps, our diapers are immensely adjustable, and fit babies anywhere between 8 and 36 pounds. So, they'll last us until potty-training...and assuming that will happen between 2 and 3 years old, that is a long time to not have to buy disposables. Every time I go to the store for our weekly shopping and don't have to pick up a package of diapers...I just get a big, silly grin on my face.
I took this the first time we put a cloth diaper on Gabriel...
...doesn't he look so happy with his new diapers?
Our diapers consist of the cute colored outer portion, and an insert...shown here, after Noah had just finished stacking up some freshly laundered ones:
Each cover has a pocket opening on the back where you insert the...insert.
My lovely assistant will demonstrate:
Once the diapered is "stuffed", you're ready for business!
Dirty diapers are deposited into this "wet bag" that hangs in our laundry area (aka "the far end of Jas and Joli's walk-thru closet").
This bag is a brilliant invention...
...you just throw it into the wash with your diapers. Voila!
I wash the diapers every other day...and really don't even notice the extra laundry. We're used to doing laundry around here.
I have lots more I could say about cloth diapering...but I'll stop there. If you have any questions, just let me know!
In short: I'm liking them!
Gabriel's liking them!
Our other children like them...
...and wish they could wear them also.
Or maybe they're just crazy and need to find something productive to do....
...like go help their mama with laundry.