Wednesday, August 19, 2009

1 Week in: My Cloth Diapering Discoveries

Anyone who knows me well will tell you I like new things. I'm that person who tries a fresh shampoo and raves about it, reads a book and recommends it, and hears about a new idea and researches it. In fact, if you want more info about something, I like nothing better than to be asked to help you out. Give me 30 minutes and I'll have something for you. ;0) This isn't some grand desire to be a know-it-all; I just love to gather information and discuss new discoveries with people!

Now that my life is more kid and budget-focused, my "new" tends to be more focused on ideas, techniques, and strategies for living, rather than on things. My husband, Tim, finds himself patiently listening to explanations and details about these new interests. This passion for whatever I find currently engaging is one of the things Tim loves about me, but I'm certain it's a bit wearying at times. As I've turned more toward budgeting, meal planning, and parenting ideas, he's been incredibly supportive. I'm sure he listens with only one ear tuned in at times, but he encourages me to pursue these interests with enthusiasm. When I started looking into cloth diapering and went on and on about my discoveries, Tim zeroed in on the cost benefits and said, "Let's look into it."

As I've mentioned previously, cloth diapering choices are overwhelming! I initially looked into it, thought, "Wow. Interesting. I'd like to try it," but didn't know where to start. After a couple of weeks, I decided to look into CD again (and remember Tim saying, "Good for you.") and discovered the Diaper Daisy Trial.
One week into the trial (, here are some of my discoveries:

Every cloth diaper option has it's pros and cons.
This is why no one will definitely tell you what "works best." Truthfully, you have to take into consideration your lifestyle, budget, future children, and personal preferences. This is where the diaper trial is so handy! With several options on hand to try and 2 weeks, you can make an educated decision.

Looks can be deceiving. If you'd asked me what diapers I expected to like a week ago, I would have said, "One-size, All-in-ones (AIO), diapers with snaps, and pocket diapers." These more modern and attractive looking diapers appealed to me. After using the diapers at home and out and about, washing them, reassembling them, and handling them, I'm surprised. For my tall, chubby guy, I prefer sized, AIOs, and prefolds with covers (still cute!). Since I also anticipate future babies, these seem more budget-wise for my family. If you need a tutorial on different type of diapers, visit this link:

Disposable diapers were not hassle-free. People keep referring to the ease of disposables and the yuck-factor involved with cloth. Truthfully, diapering is gross. Keep in mind that I have an 8 month-old, so I can't vouch for newborn cloth diaper changing. I did, however, change disposables on a toddler and baby for quite a few months and felt like I was drowning in diapers! There was never enough room in the diaper pail and it wasn't always convenient to get to. We put the pail in the garage to cut down on smell and flies were attracted to it. The bag needed to be changed frequently - ick! I was constantly buying diapers and estimated we spent about $60 a month to diaper 2 kids using Luvs and generics. Plus (and maybe I shouldn't admit this), there's always that temptation that a disposable "isn't really that wet" because of the cost.

Reusing and washing cloth diapers is satisfying in it's own way. Perhaps I feel this way because because I'm enamored by the newness of cloth diapering. But it feels good to change the diaper whenever it seems necessary without worrying about cost and to avoid all the waste that comes from disposables. It's relatively easy to wash cloth diapers and they come out smelling fresh and new. For me, this feels like a natural extension of caring for my baby.

Cloth Diapers are soft and luxurious compared to disposables. These cloth diapers feel so great against the skin and I feel good about wrapping my baby in them. Plus, the covers are adorable!

There are certainly cons to going with cloth diapering.
  • Cloth diapers add bulk, although all-in-ones and some pricier styles are much slimmer.
  • There's a learning curve, especially with prefolds.
  • The up-front cost is higher.
  • Personally, I think pulling the inserts out of pocket diapers is gross.
  • Night/nap time diapering takes some trial and error.
  • Sizing is approximate and babies are all so different.
  • If your partner isn't on board, this isn't the option for you.
My website resource for the day: Practical, detailed answers to just about any cloth diapering question!

2 examples of the "Pocket Diaper" with different sized inserts. You can slip 1 or more inserts into the diaper, depending on needed absorbency. When it's soiled, the whole diaper goes into the laundry.

Next Up: My detailed Cloth Diaper Review. I'll give you the scoop on what I consider to be the pros and cons of each diaper style.


Emily said...

I think you are BRAVE and BOLD for trying out cloth diapering. Lots of people here in hippie granola Seattle are doing it too, but I haven't taken the bait yet. I will be interested to continue reading about your adventures!

Pamela said...

We switched to cloth when my third babe had a wicked, seemingly uncurable rash. Two days into cloth? Rash was gone.

If you like the pocket diapers, but don't like pulling the insert, try Smartipants. They make a pocket where the insert comes out in the wash. I'm mostly a prefold girl, but when we're out, pockets are a little easier. I am totally sold on the Smartipants. They have great customer service, too. Also, my 4 mo is a crazy heavy wetter, and he can wear these overnight.

Anyway. I don't work for Smartipants, just wanted to say that...I bought my three pack, but I really do love them.