30 October, 2011

Reduce, Reuse, Cloth Diapers

The idea came to me close to five years ago when the first of my girlfriends from college started having babies.  A few of them debated about cloth diapering.  I don't think any of them ended up going that route, but the seed was planted in my head.



Time passed and I hadn't really thought about cloth diapers again until Eric and I began reading blog about the environment, green living, simple living, and parenting. Cloth diapers were a buzz in many arenas.  They can save thousands of dollars, and even more as you have more children to re-use them.  And save thousands of pounds of plastic/chemical waste in landfills.  The drawback? Extra laundry.  Extra laundry that demands eco friendly detergents, and air drying.  Hmmm. Not too difficult a choice for us.

Despite all the pros, we wondered if *real* people actually use cloth diapers.  Ya know, people who work, people who travel, people whose kids have explosive diarrhea.

That's when my friend-in-real-life Ashley started writing about cloth diapering her babe, and I discovered a real person (THAT I KNEW!) cloth diapered.  I brought the idea up to Eric a bit more seriously.  We had so many questions. We knew that Ashely took the baby on trips in cloth diapers, how hard could it be?

We started scouring the Internet for details on the realities of cloth diapering. The ugly truth, if you will.  Nothing.

Most cloth diaper websites are either a sales pitch or a how-to instruction manual.  Most mommy bloggers share how much they love their adorably-clad baby-bummies, with no real detail other than half-naked baby photos showing off designer diaper prints.  No one wrote about diaper rash, how often to wash, how many you need, pros and cons of different styles, the time investment, leaks, if it was gross or easy to clean, etc.




That's when I mustered up the courage to write my now blogger friend, Bethany, to ask her details about diapering with two kids under three since she is constantly writing about her love for cloth diapers. She was gracious enough to open up her blog to a whole series of posts about the topic. Here's one on the realistic expectations of cloth diapering.  Her years of experience were beyond helpful!

After her tutorials, I felt confident enough to tackle www.kellyscloset.com to decide exactly which type of diapers were right for us.  So. Many. Choices.  pockets, pre-folds, velcro, snaps, oh my!



Eventually we decided on two brands.  They are not the cheapest, nor are they the most versatile.  But they are easy to use, easy to clean, and come highly recommended.  For first time parents, and first time cloth diaper users we figured easier is better.  We want something we'll be happy with so we'll stick with it.



Last week I made my final list of products to purchase: Tiny diapers. One-sized diapers. Sprayer. Wet bag. Pail liner. Cloth wipes. Rash cream. Detergent.  I mapped out all the promotions, sales and coupons that Kellys Closet was running.  In placing 3 separate orders I managed 3 free diapers, $30 off, free shipping, and earned enough "points" for another free $40 of goods.  Win!  Our total start up cost after the promotions is about $450 for all those goodies (which includes 20 diapers and 18 wipes).

Eric and I spent an hour or so re-reading all the washing and wearing instructions.  We practiced stuffing and folding them, and putting pretend babies in them.  Then did our first of a few pre-washes and line dry.  Not only do the diaper companies recommend pre-washes to increase the fabric's absorbency, it is good practice for us to see how much time and space it takes to wash and line dry these bad boys.  We are going to try another method of line drying tomorrow!

Can't wait to use them on baby girl's happy hiney!

Have tips to share?  We'd LOVE to hear from you.  Leave your thoughts below or email me!



2 comments:

  1. Cute! And now I have Jack Johnson 'Reduce, Reuse, Recycle' stuck in my head. Thanks! 

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  2. So so so so so excited to read this! And to see those lovely photos. I am more than a bit jealous over the brand new and pretty diapers you have!

    Tips:

    Bring at few cute ones to the hospital.  Have Eric keep one in his cargo shorts pocket.  He needs to have one on hand when they clean up the baby!  You won't regret the pretty diaper on the baby instead of the unpretty Pampers!  Its not hard to do this at all, seriously, just wipe the poo out with a paper towel in hospital sink!

    Tip Two: only dry things with PUL/TPU.  All the wipes, stuffins, etc can be dried in the dryer, no issue.  You should dry all PUL/TPU things for at least a little while montly to "relaminate them"/ teeny-melt them and reseal any holes.  Its not a big deal to do the dryer for anything with snaps, either...

    Tip 3: You are supposed to quit dryer sheets when you cloth diaper.  I found that using Mrs Meyers/Caldrea fabric softener helped some for my clothes as I weaned my way off cloth diapes!

    Tip 4: Don't buy any more cloth until Black Friday - they have good sales!! (and use my link so I can shop more, too :))

    Tip 5: This seems hard... but even though I have super cloth love... I was lured by a 5.00 Huggies sale at the grocery last week - I had to call a friend to talk me off the ledge!  If you have paper, you'll use them.  If you only have cloth, you'll use them.  Really, just say no to the pampers coupons!  Especially in the first three months -they have WAY more leaks!!!!!

    Tip 6: The Bummis are awesome!  They make great photo ops and also my go to for the diaper bag since they just are so simple.

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Thanks for reading! We'd love to hear from you!