Thursday, July 2, 2009

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Why Didn’t I Think of This Sooner?

When I announced that I was switching to cloth diapers, my second child was nearly 10 months old. It seemed odd to my friends, since I had used disposable diapers for three years. I’ve been asked by many people why I switched to cloth, and I don’t have a simple answer. Yes, there’s cost savings, and yes, it’s great for the environment. It’s also healthier for my baby and an investment in the diapering needs of future children.

No, it’s not hard and no, I don’t scrub nasty diapers all day. The laundry isn’t time-consuming and it’s so much easier than I imagined.

For me, using cloth diapers started as a passing thought, and grew over several months. It cropped up as I carried a putrid plastic bag full of disposable diapers and wipes out to the garbage can. It reared up when I stood in a checkout line, ready to fork over $50 for another box of brand-name disposables. It nudged me as my son battled diaper rashes every few weeks, which in turn caused me to buy more diaper cream to treat it. It popped into my head as we reviewed our monthly budget, looking for ways to cut our expenses.

When you think about it, every disposable diaper used is money straight into the garbage can. It’s hard to find information about what’s really in disposable diapers and how it might harm our children in the long run. They are slimmer than ever, and urine turns into a gel upon contact with … something inside the lining. The ultra-absorbancy, through the magic of chemistry, is designed for the convenience of parents, so they can go as many hours as possible without changing a diaper. Keeping my children healthy and being a good steward of the environment ranks much higher on my priority list than stretching out the hours between diaper changes.

I was afraid that my son’s room would stink with cloth diapers in the pail, and I bought a special room spray in anticipation of that. Surprisingly, due to flushing solids and washing every two days, his room smells less like a dirty diaper than it did before the switch. Our large garbage can in the garage no longer holds 3-4 bags of dirty diapers leading up to garbage day, eliminating the horrible stench that used to escape when the lid was lifted.

I don’t have a huge stash of cloth diapers for two reasons: a) I wanted to try out a few types to see what works best, and b) I don’t want a big pile-up of stinky diapers in the pail. I have eight prefolds, three covers, one fitted, three all-in-ones and eight pocket diapers. The two types of pocket diapers I use are FuzziBunz and bumGenius. I thought I would like the AIO more, but they take too long to dry. FuzziBunz are by far my favorite. Prefolds are surprisingly easy to use with a Snappi, and I love the fun covers.

My son goes to daycare two days a week, and his center has been very supportive of using the cloth diapers. I send five pocket diapers in a clean pail liner each day with him, and I add a flushable liner (LOVE these!) to each diaper. I never have to worry about running out of diapers at home or at daycare, I don’t have to search for coupons and I don’t have to factor diapers into my budget anymore.

The most surprising thing for me has been that cloth diapers do not leak. I’m sure some kinds do, but so far, I’ve never had a leak – day or night. When my son was in disposables, we had to buy the expensive “overnight” diapers and he still woke up with a wet stomach every morning.

Many of my friends are expecting babies, and I’m trying to talk each of them into using cloth diapers. I wish I had done it years ago.


- By Kristin

29 comments:

ONCE upon a time.... said...

We started cloth when my son was 4 months and I am a convert myself! You reiterated all the reasons I chose cloth, too. However, I can't get his daycare on board yet. I like your idea of providing the pail and liner though. Maybe if I suggest it, they will go for it! I found two new types of diapers I LOVE--CLothmopolitan and Smartipants. Haven't tried the Smartipants myself but my two cousins give rave reviews! Clothmopolitan are SUPER absorbant and come in adorable prints! Thanks for a great blog!

Julie said...

Amen!! I LOVE LOVE LOVE this!!! I am on my fourth child, and he is my FIRST cloth diapered baby!! I so wish I had CDed ALLLL of my babies! My kids are 4, 3, 2 and 6 months. Just THINK of all the money I have THROWN AWAY in the past four years. It makes my tummy churn!!! I love this entry.. VERY well written!!

Christina C. said...

You sound just like me! I finally made the slow switch when my 27 month old (then he was around 19 months) broke out SO bad from just this one particular box of disposables! Got me wondering what the heck is in those to do that to him! Scared the bajeebas out of me!

I also think they do a better job at holding stuff in- I have not had ONE blowout with a cloth diaper when they used to be a daily occurrence with my 2nd son when he was in his super gross, gooey, exclusively breastfed newborn poops stage!

:)

The Chapman's said...

This was so helpful! I passed this onto a friend and it gave me some good ideas as i'm new to cloth diapering. so far, I LOVE IT!!!

Upstatemomof3 said...

I hear ya!! I totally wish I had used cloth with my son - but live and learn (and then get cloth :)).

James, Andrea, and Clara Smith said...

Thank you for the encouragement. I am VERY close to making the switch. I'm happy to hear that you do it on such a small stash. I'd like to not have to make a huge initial investment to make CDing work. I am picking out a sampler of diapers that I want to try. I hope it continues to go well for you--and me too!

Lauren said...

I started cloth diapering when my daughter was 22 months old. I wish I had known about cloth sooner!

Kelly said...

Way to go for making the change after using disposables for quite a while.

Terra Jones said...

We switched when my youngest was 9 months old...and I ask that question constantly ...lol :)

MaryAnne said...

I started using cloth when my daughter was 10 months old for many of the reasons you mention, and I've never regretted the decision!

Thrifty Mama B said...

Im another late bloomer when it came to using cloth. My son was 8 months before I switched. Glad to hear of daycares that do allow cloth to be used.

Good luck with getting your friends to switch!

Amanda said...

I also switched to cloth when DD was 10 months (but she is baby #1). Ugh....I remember the stinch of disposables in her room....it got to a point where it seemed like a permanent fixture. SOOOOO glad we don't deal with that anymore.

Amanda G.

EFalls said...

I am so impressed at how few diapers you have in your stash. That is amazing! And I'm so with you on the cloth diapers not leaking. I have some friends who use disposables and they always have leaks or blow outs. I have never had those with a cloth diaper. And good point about the purpose of disposables catering to the length between diaper changes. I thought that was insightful.

Kristin said...

I completely agree. I started cloth diapering my first at 2.5 years old and currently have my newborn in cloth. I just got so tired of the cost of the disposables...especially when my daughter was in diapers far longer than I though she would be. I must say I have found cloth diapering much easier and much more fun than I expected.

hammergirl5 said...

I can really relate to this one! My youngest DS is 1yo and we just made the switch a couple months ago! Oh how I wish I had known about these a LONG time ago, when oldest DS was a baby in 2004!

hammergirl5@aol.com

Valerie aka Mamalovelock said...

I love this post! You brought up several of the reasons we switched and I too wish I had done it years ago!

staci @ teaching money to kids said...

Whats funny is that I started using cloth diapers for my soon to be 3 yr. old son. I wanted to encourage him to be dry, so i was changing his diaper every 30 minutes. Some how he always managed to have some potty in that diaper no matter how I often I checked. We were going through like a dozen a day. Way expensive! So when I saw a few odds and ends at a yard sale, I htought it was worth a try. After trying them for a few weeks, I decided that I would make the investment and get enough for my 1 yr old and the baby we are trying for.
But to think I let someone talk me out of it when my first born was in diapers for three years. Imagine the money we would have saved. We have used an equivalent of 7 yrs worth of diapers (girl #1 for 3 yrs, Boy #1 for 3 yrs, & boy #2 for 1 yr), are we crazy?

Ashley said...

I am so glad I switched to cloth. It's amazing how my son no longer gets rashes like he did when he was in disposables. Plus, I feel so much better not having to send my fiance out on a diaper run. What a waste!

The McClelland's said...

I absolutely agree! My son was 19 months old when we started and its easier than I though it would be! It's so nice not to have to run to the store for diapers or count how many are left to see when I will need to grab more.

The best part of all is that I dont smell the stinky trash and gag while I replace the bag in the kids room.

Slee said...

I am glad that I didn't spend months in sposies before making the switch to cloth. of course, i wish i'd known about the modern cloth options now!

the monkey's mama said...

i think this is SO great to hear! So many moms, after hearing that cloth isn't as "bad" as it sounds, think it is now too late to cloth diaper if their child is past a certain age. I'm forwarding this to my friends to show them it is doable!

Instant Family of 4 said...

I feel the same way..Why didn't I think about this sooner!?!

Becky said...

Way to go K! It makes me a little giddy whenever I hear of someone switching! I'm so glad you like cloth!

Mama Campbell said...

I love this! I did not CD DD#1, but I started CD DD#2 at 2 months (now 5 months) and never looked back! We had to use disposables during our move last week/weekend and she was so cranky and got a rash. Within 1 day of being able to use cloth again, the rash disappeared and a smile reappeared! SO much better at preventing leaks/blowouts, keeping the poopy smell from permeating the room, and the savings. LOVE IT!

Marshe' said...

I love this blog! Thank you for the info I wish I cloth diapered my 1st born (2 1/2yrs) It would have saved us so much on money and diaper rashes lol

angelina said...

beautiful red hair!

Denise said...

I wish I had discovered how easy cloth diapering is several kids ago...I really enjoy using cloth & I NEVER enjoyed disposables, just seemed like the only real option.

We switched when my youngest was 14 months, any future babies will be in cloth from day one!

dirtydiaperlaundry.com said...

I am so glad I found out about cloth diapers while I was pregnant. I wonder if I hadn't, would I do it after the fact? I would hope so since it is now a "passion" of mine.

I try to tell other moms it is never too late to start. When they are older there is a benefit: you can start out in size Medium, which will last a long time. You don't have to buy xs and small diapers.

But those are the most fun!

Thanks for a great post!

Jennifer said...

Great post! I'm so glad I started using cloth diapers! I didn't start til Ty was 9 months but I'm loving it! I wish I would have used them sooner, I'm just happy that I started on my first!