Ginn Cloth-Diapering 101: Guest Writer
When I found out that our friends Mark and Meg switched from disposables to cloth after having 2 kids, I invited Meg to share their “conversion” story for the blog. I am inspired by their efforts to keep it simple and inexpensive. Mark and Meg are the richly blessed parents of enchanting Emma (2 1/2) and handsome Hazen (10 months).
Our adventures in the realm of cloth….
When I was pregnant with my first child (Emma, now 2 1/2 years) I did some research on the cost associated with cloth diapers verses disposables. Being naturally thrifty, I was hoping to save a few bucks…without having to wash diapers myself, being that another natural tendency of mine is to fall behind on chores. I researched a few diaper laundry services and talked to family friends who had used a service a few years back when I nannied for their twin girls. But because I didn’t see much price difference between diaper washing services and disposables, and because I didn’t have friends currently using cloth diapers, disposables won out. Emma Grace was born into the world. Our sweet baby, we soon found, was not only sensitive of heart, but of skin. She had many severe diaper rashes which needed prescriptions to heal and left her with painful, open sores on her undercarriage.
Fast forward 18 months (yes, we thought we were nuts too!) and Hazen Josiah arrived at our home, decidedly 3 1/2 weeks ahead of schedule. With this go-get-em attitude about making his entrance into the world, we should have know Hazen was going to give us a run for our money from day one! The little guy was out to prove he was anything but a fragile preemie, and that included his diapering sessions. Hazen was “blowing out” diapers before leaving the hospital, and his first 6 months home were no different. Going through 3-5 outfits per day simply because of explosive BMs is one of those things you don’t spend much time thinking about before having children of your own. and while you love your babies with all your heart, it is in fact, still gross. No disposable could keep Hazen clean, and with his sister still in diapers too, the tab began running up.
Picking up diapers for my 2 little ones meant (for 2 boxes of diapers plus 2 bags of overnight diapers in respective sizes) $60 every 3-4 weeks. I’m not a math major, but I could tell it was adding up fast! By now a number of friends from church were using cloth diapers on their babies and doing the washing at home. They all raved about them, and continually reassured me it “wasn’t that much extra laundry.” So I did a bunch of research, a bunch of price comparisons, began actually reading those articles and personal stories about the chemicals in disposable diapers and the damage they do to the environment (all things I had heard before but chose to ignore for sake of pure laziness and apathy), and made the commitment to switch. I bought a whole bunch of prefold diapers, covers for both children as well as a couple diaper accessories to get me started. All totaled, if I used these new diapers for 3 1/2 months, I would have spent the same as I would have with disposables.
We’re approaching our 5th month in cloth diapers!! For those of you keeping track, that means I have to date saved over $120 I would have spent if still using disposables on a day-to-day basis! My husband and I both love the fact that we are saving money, protecting our kids from chemicals, saving Hazen’s outfits from nasty poop explosions and reducing landfill waste. The extra laundry of having 2 in diapers was about 2 extra loads per week, but now Emma is potty training and we’re down to only 1 load of dirties per week. Nothing to it. Emma has been almost rash free since the switch, and Hazen has never experienced diaper rash, except for one reaction to a perfume-y laundry soap we were using. Our future kids will all be in cloth from day one, no question in our minds about that.
Though we still use disposable diapers when we travel (and get a kick out of the kids pants sagging because the disposables are less poofy than their cloth counterparts), we are 100% convinced that cloth is the smarter choice, safer for your kids and lighter on your wallet. It is worth the extra work of washing them yourself, and honestly…as parents we are all pretty much guaranteed to be up to our elbows in poop anyway. I am finding more and more that the best things you can do for your family are those that other families rave about. Too much of our life is centered around what is most convenient, but when something really works, you see people become passionate about things you never bothered to care about. So see for yourself what all the fuss is about, you might just be surprised!
We found our diapers and accessories at….
- Peapods Natural Baby Store in St. Paul
- www.nickisdiapers.com (competitive prices and no shipping charges!)
Here’s what we use in our home with our cushy little tushies…
- Chinese Prefold Diapers (2-3 dozen is a good start! Wash 3-4 times before using and fold to fit babies of all sizes)
- Thirsties Diaper Covers (cute colors and easy to clean, also breathe very well which means less irritation for bottoms)
- ProWrap Classic Diaper Covers (these have a bigger back side so are good for doubling up at night time. they do however rub on skin if the diaper doesnt fill the entire inside)
- BumGenius 3.0 All-In-One Cloth Diapers (perfect for babysitters, grandparents or a quick change when you are on the go. Also work great for potty training because you can get them off and on so quickly!! They are more expensive, so you may want only a few, but probably another option is best for every day use)
- Snappi Diaper Fasteners (no pins required anymore)
- Bummis Flushable Diaper Liners (less to clean, just toss it in the toilet and flush it all away!)
- A plain garbage pail with lid
- An old nylon laundry bag we found in the closet
- Plastic bags from our huge stash for wet diapers when you are out and about
(Photos taken in March and April)