Wednesday, March 31, 2010

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From Worry to Love in One Week!

I knew I wanted to use cloth diapers while planning to start a family. When I lived away from my home I was briefly babysat for a family who used cloth diapers, so I thought I knew what I was getting into. In hindsight, the one kid who was still in diapers was almost potty trained so she didn't wear as many diapers and I wasn't doing the laundry.

When I became pregnant I began obsessively researching about cloth diapers. I quickly learned about the various types, how to care for them, etc. I informed everyone I was going to use cloth diapers and became a cloth diaper crusader before even using them. Thankfully, my husband was agreeable to the idea; although, every time he would talk about them he would say we're going to "try" them. Try? Why would we need to try them? In my mind we were using them… end of story!

With a couple months to go, I had the opportunity to visit family a couple hours away in an area that has one small shop which carries cloth diapers. I was a bit surprised when I discovered one-size diapers are bigger and bulkier than I expected. Then I began to worry. I realized there was a chance we wouldn't like them. I had been so caught up in baby and diaper excitement I really hadn't given it much serious thought. I then began to develop fear of the unknown. What if they were too bulky, looked huge, and were uncomfortable for our baby? What if they didn't fit well or leaked all the time? What if it was just too much work? I had skimmed over blogs about issues with build up and smell, but now I was worried.

I planned what I felt was the perfect stash to get us started, and diapers were arriving in the mail at a rapid rate. I reluctantly promised my husband not to open and wash all the diapers I purchased just in case we would want to send them back. Then we waited.

Our son was born on 12/29/09 and we began using the cloth diapers when we was 10 days old. His first diapers were 6 bumGenius Deluxe 3.0 All-In-Ones, 3 Thirsties Fab Fitted Diapers, and 1 Kissaluvs Fitted Diaper. We had a couple Thirsties Diaper Covers and a couple Thirsties Duo Wrap Diaper Covers. Obviously not enough to exclusively use cloth diapers, but enough to get started. Day 1 passed, day 2, and then a week. We were using cloth diapers... and LOVING them! We were having major issues with leaking using the disposables plus we were quickly amazed with how many we were using! It was easy to see within one week how much money we could be saving by using cloth diapers exclusively.

Additionally, we had far less leaks! With much relief I opened up the other box from Kelly's Closet and started washing the rest of our new stash. Our son quickly gained weight and we were able to use the one-size diapers just a couple weeks later when he was up to 10 pounds. Our one-diaper stash consist of several bumGenius 3.0 and FuzziBunz, plus a couple Rocky Mountain diapers. I love them all, however, the bumGenius 3.0’s are becoming a quick favorite. The hook and loop tabs make getting a diaper on a wiggling infant so easy.

It is such a relief to discover we really do love cloth diapers and we're going to stick with them. I believe being over-prepared [with all the reading I did early in my pregnancy] helped. I knew how to properly launder the diapers and I had my cloth diaper friendly detergent [Charlie's Soap] ready. I had 2 diaper pail liners and a wet bag for the diaper bag. I really liked being able to launch fully into using cloth diapers all at once. I was able to establish a routine and it was a super easy transition from the disposables. The only item we haven’t purchased yet is a diaper sprayer. Right now I'm comfortable with rinsing the diapers in the sink, but a sprayer will probably be a future purchase.

I've been saying "we" were using cloth diapers, but my husband is still slowing transitioning. I've found myself changing most diapers, disposable or cloth, just because I'm quicker and it seems like less of a hassle. He started helping with the cloth by taking a dirty diaper to the pail, but he wasn't thrilled with pulling the insert out of the pocket diaper. I've since arranged the diapers to have all the all-in-ones together for him to use. The next step was the laundry.

I showed him the special detergent and went over the general instructions, so he helped out with washing a load last week. He asked a couple questions before starting the cold rinse and again before the hot wash. Then he came to tell me the diapers would not be done as soon as expected because he forgot to add fabric softener. That's right. Panic!!!

Unfortunately, he already started another rinse cycle with fabric softener. Many hot washes and nearly a day later the diapers were stripped and ready to use again. A minor set back but the diapers survived! His first attempt to change a cloth diaper a few days ago was a bit of a struggle too. He almost put it on backwards and then didn't get it snug enough. He stepped back and let me fix the diaper while he watched and took some mental notes. I appreciate his efforts to try something totally new and I'm sure he's going to be a cloth diapering pro soon!

by Natalie G.

11 comments:

Diana said...

What a good sport hubby is! Kudos to both of you keep up the good work. :)

gnatalie said...

So many typos! Haha, I guess I should have known better than to try to write before I had adjusted to the sleep schedule that came with motherhood. Thanks Kelly and Serena for letting me share my CD story =)

Also, I wanted to share a comment my husband recently left on my blog. Since I wrote this post, he's become a diapering pro... "I have to say, I am completely and totally sold on the whole cloth diaper thing. While admittedly, I do not change that many diapers, not due to a lack of desire, more a lack of skill, I am amazed at their effectiveness. Just as good as disposable and better in some respects. Better for the environment, much less expensive over the long term, multi-baby usable and Sawyer looks adorable in them since they make his little butt look bigger and resemble a little sumo when he’s dressed. I was definitely skeptical at first but not anymore. Viva Les Cloth Diapers!"

PleaseRecycle said...

Why do men not get the fabric softener thing? I had already just about banned it from our house because I hate how it feels when towels have fabric softener of them (they should be absorbent, darn it!). But after having to strip diapers, I tossed all the fabric softener. It is no longer allowed in our house!

Glad you're not just "trying" anymore!

James, Andrea, and Clara Smith said...

That's great! I didn't have a washer and dryer at first and so didn't start CDing right away. I am so glad I got over that initial fear too. Cloth diapering is so much fun! I am very thankful for my husband being supportive, but yeah, cloth diapering is mostly my job. Although he's willing, sometimes it's just a hassel (especially when the changing table is disorganized). Do you use cloth wipes? I love them too. They are so easy to throw into the wash with the diapers. I used them at first in a wipes warmer, but that died. :( I now just dunk my wipes in a premade solution in a wipes container. Because there is tea tree oil in the solution, I have had zero problems with mildew or anything. Yay!

Thanks for sharing! Enjoy the rest of your Cloth Diapering journey!

Sabrina said...

I agree Bumgenius are the only diapers we have and really enjoy them. But what I want to know is what are the leggings called? They are so cute and you can show off you cute fluff.

SAPsMaMa said...

Don't worry hubby will get the hang of it! My dh was very much for the idea of cloth diapering but I did not do as much research on it as I had thought I had at first, I had only BGOS 3.0 diapers and so had to purchase newborn size right before dd was born cause the OS wouldn't fit how small she was!

dh still isn't as proficient as I am but he does very much enjoy cloth diapering, it doesn't seem like a chore at all it seems like a fun task, hanging up colored diapers and stuffing them together before going to bed on diaper wash day :) You'll definatly have some memories!

TheClothDiaperWhisperer said...

Sabrina: The leggings are called BabyLegs!

Tricia said...

That's great your husband is trying to learn! My husband has been great about CDing. He has needed lots of tutorials since I was the one who researched incessantly! We started with prefolds and covers, but now that our baby is fitting well in the OS diapers that is hubby's preference. He loves the Smartipants most because you don't have to pull out the inserts. I try to save our 3 Smartipants for him to use for that reason. I also stuff all the inserts after laundering so there isn't an extra step at changing time. The only thing that took convincing was the cloth wipes. I feel they are way easier than having to dispose of wipes separate from the diapers, but he was doing it..and going through a box every day and a half! Yikes. We had a 'how to use a cloth wipe efficiently' tutorial and are back on track. :)

Jenney said...

Good for your husband! Welcome to the cloth diapering world, and may you have many more sucess stories! Your little guys is very cute, and I love the matching diaper and Babylegs!

Katie said...

Your story is encouraging for another new mom and new to cloth diapering. I am determined, like you are, but I need to be okay with changing my mind if it doesn't work. Thanks for your honesty in the breakdown of "this might not work."

I'm worried it might not work because I'm using a shared quarter machine that cannot select any other cycle than ON or OFF. (shh...I don't know if I'm allowed but I'm doing it anyway!)

Thanks for sharing your story!

Ryan, Corrie, Max, and Jack said...

Something I did that has helped a fair amount with washing was to write out in GREAT detail EVERY. SINGLE. STEP. of my washing routine and put it up on the washer/dryer combo. It hasn't fixed everything, but it has helped.