Tuesday, July 20, 2010

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Former Fitted Fan Turns Pocket Convert

When I had my first child, fourteen years ago, all I knew about cloth diapers were that they were gross - I remembered the crisp, bleached white prefolds my mom received from the diaper service when my sister was a baby and, surprisingly, I remembered how uncomfortable rubber pants were from my own toddlerhood. However, as an adult, I became more and more focused on sustainable, natural living and five years ago, while preparing for the birth of my second child, I became aware of the changes in the cloth diapering world. I stocked up on various types of diapers and had a collection of nearly everything available at the time. My son was born at home and we used cloth from day one. I was such a fanatic that the thought of a paper diaper touching his little bum was too much, I just couldn’t do it. I quickly learned that I wasn’t too fond of the polyester fleece linings found in most AIOs and pockets and my favorite diapering combination became a nice, organic (or at least all natural) fitted with wool.

During his diapering career I swayed a few times and tried various AIOs or pockets when I wanted to switch things up. For a time, AIOs lined in organic velour worked well but I decidedly became a fitted snob and felt that even the synthetic nature of PUL was not as admirable as putting the most naturally luxurious fabrics on my child’s rear.

Enter Baby #3, who was born shortly after my second son turned three. It may have been that he was born early, in a hospital, rather than at home, as planned. And the hospital, of course, sent us home with preemie Pampers. And I used them. And of course I’d like to blame the hospital for all manner of things, but I’ll take some personal responsibility here – they were easier. While caring for a newborn and toddler, especially while running errands, they were my first choice. I still used my organic fitteds at home but soon realized that caring for wool became the very last thing on my list of to-dos. Aside from letting my little one go coverless around the house, I relied on disposables about half the time and I kept telling myself “it was easier” and “there was less laundry” and “it was only temporary”. Then my son turned a year old and I thought, “Enough already!”

I asked myself why I was using disposables every few days and the only thing I could come up with was how convenient they were. I reminded myself why I chose to use cloth in the first place and it had very little to do with convenience. I was not happy about throwing away a diaper that would never “go anywhere” but rather, sit in a landfill for hundreds of years. I was not happy that I had somehow lost sight of my ideals for the sake of a little convenience as soon as my life became busier.

I had to find a way to make cloth worth for me again and decided to stock up on some AIOs and pockets. I wanted to know what the big bumGenius deal was, as so many of my friends can’t seem to get enough of them and I’d never tried them. I also purchased plenty of one-sized pockets and it didn’t take long for a full-on conversion! As soon as the first load of PUL lined diapers came out of the dryer, I packed a few in the diaper bag, along with a wetbag and we went about our business. Making the switch back to full-time cloth was easier than I’d anticipated and even at home, I find that I grab a pocket or AIO before a fitted, these days.

I no longer have any qualms about putting synthetics on my little one – because, when it comes down to it, they keep him drier than fitteds, they’re as easy to use as disposables (but way cuter) and this should go without saying, but they’re much better for the environment than using even just one or two disposables per day. Once I let go of the self-imposed wool and fitted standard I was able to find a cloth solution that provided the convenience I so desperately needed, as well as the sustainability our planet so desperately needs.

By Valerie B.

12 comments:

Diana said...

I love this post-- it shows the need to change things and be flexible without guilt as our lives --and needs --change through different stages. I am currently pregnant with #5 and have a CD stash that I have used with my 22 month old and 3 y/o. I am currently using sposies because of decreased energy and the inability to keep up with CD laundry. Previously, though, morning sickness was a huge factor in dealing with CD laundry and smells. I have just purchased some prefolds and can't wait to use them when new little one gets here and get back into a CDing groove!

Ada said...

Flexibility is KEY! Great job mommin' to the OP!

Stephanie said...

I love how all of us make changes - especially on things we never would have thought about doing or changing years ago. I never thought I would co-sleep or cloth diaper, but I am/have done both. And I agree pockets are often more convenient - that is why I just ordered two more. I think I could get my husband to put on of those on, but he won't do the prefolds and covers (he changes 1 diaper a week, and normally puts a disposable on since I am not home).

Mama Stacy said...

Awesome post! Mostly because I'm right there with you! ;)

I started with BG 3.0s two years ago, and quickly lost the love. I tried every other pocket imaginable, then every AIO imaginable, and finally found the fitted love 1-1/2 years ago. I built up a stash of 124 fitted diapers (2 babies, but still....) and a huge stash of wool. But diapers started becoming a PAIN again, rather than the fun they were. And washing wool, while caring for 4 kids, is not easy!

I just re-found the pocket love in the last month, and I'm SOOOOOO happy I did! I'm using bamboo and prefolds as inserts (still hate microfiber stink), and I have started REALLY enjoying diapering again! YAY!!!! :D

Melissa said...

I love this post! I'm a 4th time mom, first time at using cloth. I tried to find the love for prefolds & covers, fitted, and what I felt was cloth in its most pure form. I couldn't. My little one soaked prefolds, didn't nap even in them because he felt the wet, my DH struggled to diaper him. I tried flips & pocket diapers & loved them both. I've given myself permission to do what is easiest for us, because it is still great & better than getting burnt out on cloth. The ease of use amazes & coverts others too.

Mrs said...

I started off with flats/prefolds and purchased one BG 3.0 OS.. from then on my addiction started! I have about 24 flats/prefolds that I only utilize on laundry day now. For some reason now they just give my little one the worst rash; my BG organics also give her a rash :(. Anyhoo I love my pockets!

Madeline said...

As a newbie, I never really understood the allure of fitteds, so thank you for explaining!

Amanda said...

I love this post because I sometimes feel a layer of condescension from "natural fiber only" moms when the truth is that variety is important because different families need different options. My baby goes to daycare and pockets work there where wool and fitteds won't and no sposies in the trash.

Laura said...

I enjoyed this post, because I've wavered between favoring fitteds with a cover and plain old pockets. Right now we're going through a pocket phase.

Lisa said...

I bought pockets for daycare and the husband/grandmas because that was my only option. I would prefer to use natural fabrics and I still use prefolds at home, but pockets are nice when you're on the go. I also send disposables to daycare as backups. It's important not to be too rigid, because even cloth diapering part-time can make a big impact!

Anna said...

Flexibility is definitely important. :) Glad you found the love of cloth diapering full time again!

Alycia said...

I could never just pick 1 diaper type- I have at least 3 of each kind! One diaper may not fit the same baby at all times, so you really do have to be flexible when it comes to using cloth. Great post!