Before Little Mama was born I came to the realization that in less than 9 months I was going to have 2 babies in diapers. I kinda felt like that cartoon character that when they think of the money they're going to spend dollar signs flash in their eye balls and that ka-ching sound rings in their ears. Yikes at roughly $18 per pack two little ones for 3 years (give or take) was going to be on hefty expense.
I did a little research at the time into cloth diapers and decided to try them out. I knew there was going to be some extra work (ewww) involved and I knew that it was going to a bit of change in my thinking like grab and go and what to do in public etc., but I felt the cost savings in cloth diapers to disposable would be worth it in the long run. Very proud of my vintage frugality I hoped online and ordered my very first set of cloth diapers and liners. I read all over blogs of other hip Mom's who had embraced this Green living and vintage idea and was encouraged and spurred on by their enthusiasm.
My package arrived the same day as my lunch date with my MIL and SIL, who is also a stay-at-homer. When I explained that I was bravely tackling cloth diapers with humility of a saint. I got the strangest looks from them, it was as if I had told them I had decided to join a commune. I shrugged it off. My MIL went into her war stories of her struggles with nappies and how she had wished she had Pampers when she was a young mom. Of course this went onto many reminiscent stories that would totally embarrass my Hubby over some wine spritzers.
When I eagerly unpacked the diapers they were adorable, nothing like the plain cloth diapers I remembered my baby brother in, no safety pins, no plastic pants. I strapped that puppy right on my Little Man and went about my business while he went about HIS business. I was almost excited and thrilled to change him! As I laid him down and unfastened the velcro I was appalled and disgusted. Not necessarily the best idea to try out cloth diapers after watermelon, lots and lots of watermelon! Being that I was only 3 months along in my pregnancy and suffering from morning sickness like crazy didn't help either. A wave of nausea hit me hard. I pulled the diaper off pinching the very edge (the only place I could grab that was completely soaked in filth) I started to panic, NOW WHAT??? So much for rolling the thing up and tossing it, I actually had to figure out how to get this mess out of the material! I tried shaking it off in the toilet, I looked at the sink with despair on my face as I imagined cleaning THAT up afterwards, I considered the shower and tried desperately to pull out the plug so that it would all go down the drain easily. I was clueless, all the while I had started heaving as my morning sickness started coming on full blast. I ended up making a huge mess, not only from the filthy cloth diaper, but from the sickness that was inevitably bound to come no matter how I tried to suppress the need to hurl. All in all that was my first and LAST time I would try cloth diapers for a very long time.
I have however recently renewed an interest in cloth diapers. With Little Man potty trained I only have Little Mama to worry about and although she does her fair share of dirty diaper making (she does LOVE to eat) I have found a brand that I actually do love and am currently using. I have also learned that going cloth doesn't mean having to go cloth 100% of the time. But, substituting the cloth does make a pack of diapers last a lot longer than they use to. I had honestly pretty much given up on the idea until my Mom had presented me a diaper and liner set that she had purchased at a baby boutique. I have to admit when she handed me the box I kinda rolled my eyes and may have actually said something along the lines of "been there done that," but she assured me that these were IMPROVED cloth diapers. I brought them home and set them on the shelf and left them there until I half heartily gave them a try when we were getting low on Huggies. I was actually impressed and after a few more tries I decided to buy some additional covers myself. I now incorporate them into my daily usage. I use the Flip diapers from Bum Genius
What I like most about them is the stay dry liner. They really do keep the wetness from Little Mama's bum and the best part is they don't stain. They look clean every time they come out of the wash and that really gives me peace of mind that I'm putting something "fresh" on my baby. I love the buttons instead of the velcro (which was made of a very sturdy velcro and sometimes left red marks on their upper chubby thighs). I tried the velcro and had a few times Little Mama had decided to strip and I found a really fun mess to clean up in the crib after nap time. She can't undo the buttons and so the diaper stays on nice and firm. The diaper features multiple snap points so that you can size the diaper from newborn to toddler so buying a cover really is an investment. What I love most of all is the inside of the cover has a waterproof material which repels stains and liquid, the covers dry faster and they don't stain if the inside liner moves or the mess is exceptionally...well exceptional.
The covers come in a cacophony of colors. The starter kit which features 2 covers and 6 stay-dry inserts is listed at $49.95 and individually the diapers are $16.95 which includes the liner and cover. I purchase mine from Diapers.com. I'm impressed with their shipping ;)
Tips I've learned the hard way and after a lot of Google searches:
- Cleaning is easier if put the liner in the bowl and the flush toilet while holding onto the diaper.
- Removable shower heads into the potty work great if you don't own one Bum Genius sells one specifically for cleaning dirty diapers
- Keep a bucket with a small scoop of Borax works great for keeping dirty diapers in between washing
- Hang drying keeps the diapers improves the longevity
- The liners are microfiber so avoid any fabric softeners as they reduce the absorbency
- I use disposables over night
- I also use disposables in public
Once you get use to the routine and have enough "inventory" that you're not stranded I really do think they're a good investment. I also feel better about not filling the landfills with diapers and really throwing money a way with each dirty diaper. It certainly helps stretch the budget! Certainly worth the try.