Well, I did it. I became a cloth diapering mom. Thanks to my friend Angie whose status a few weeks ago read, "I love cloth diapering... so wonderful not to have to go spend $30+ on diapers for the month. Just need to pull em out of the dryer!! :)"
It piqued my curiosity and I got sucked in! Not that it took a big fight; I'm easily swayed towards anything that saves us money. It's just my way of pitching in! Ok, maybe it's a subconscious fear of my husband sending me back to work for my old boss. Just kidding, he loves me way too much to do such a tortuous thing!
Anyway, let me start by saying that when I was pregnant with Julia, we planned on doing cloth diapers because it seemed the way to go as far as saving money. I knew nothing about it besides what I remember my mom doing with my younger siblings. I envisioned having to handwash them myself, which was disgusting, and that got us looking into diaper services. Well, at least around these parts, they don't realy exist anymore, and if you do find one, it's not much cheaper than disposables. Some well-meaning family members ended up talking us out of it, and supplied us with several months worth of Pampers, which we felt was a huge blessing! So, we never looked back.
Fast forward to a few weeks ago, when I read that post and started wanting to know more. I really didn't think I would change my mind that easily. But, the more I researched and got my questions answered, the more I realized that it's not at all what people think. Actually, it was a no-brainer.
Disposable diapers for one child, from birth to potty training, cost an average of $3000. Cloth diapering, on the other hand, can cost as little as $300, and the diapers can be reused for additional children.
Cloth diapers are nothing like what they used to be when our parents and grandparents used them. Just take a look at some pictures online and you'll see that they really have come a long way. In fact, they are SO much cuter that it's actually FUN. AND, some of them are adjustable/one-size so you don't have to keep buying all new ones as your baby grows. They are much more absorbent than they used to be, and way better for the environment. Now I'm no green freak, but it's pretty staggering to think about all the landfills that disposables are filling up because it takes then 500 years to break down.
"But what about washing poopy diapers?" I think that's what turns most people off. Well, so far I haven't had to touch any poop yet, and I'm no expert. In fact, it seems like I'm actually touching LESS poop because it stays in the diaper instead of on Josiah's bum. And because he's not eating solids yet, it can go straight in the wash without doing any harm to the diaper or the washing machine. When his poo starts getting harder, the only extra step is dumping it in the toilet first. Big deal, I'm already doing that with Julia's panties when she has an accident.
"What about all the extra laundry?" I already do 4 loads of laundry a week, so why not just make it one a day? I won't go into details, but diaper laundry is so much easier than any other load. If you do the math, that saves about $70/hr to do cloth instead of disposables. I don't know about you, but that's a pretty penny.
Just like any other time I find out about a great money-saving strategy, I always wish I'd known about it sooner. Well, that's definitely the case here. I wish I would've learned the truth about modern cloth diapering 3 years ago and done it with Julia. Would've saved us a chunk of change!
Don't get me wrong, I still have some Pampers to use on occasion. But for the most part, I've made the switch and am SO glad. It feels really good to know that I'm doing something positive for the environment, plus it probably feels a LOT softer on Josiah's skin!
I do realize that I have just become part of a minority group. I don't have a single friend around here that does cloth. But, I do have a couple in other states/cities, and there are plenty of online mommy communities that have been helpful. I had no idea how many options there were out there for doing cloth. It was pretty overwhelming until I decided to just jump in and try it out!
I'm not saying it's for everybody, but it's definitely worth looking into if you have a child that isn't potty trained yet!
Ok, so here's a couple pix of my little prince in his new duds:
Questions, comments, cheapshots? ;)