Saturday, August 28, 2010

Like Tweet

Why I Went Cloth, and You Can Too

I wanted to write this to hopefully encourage other parents who may be considering cloth diapers. I have been cloth diapering my youngest three children for a year and a half, and I love, love, love it.

I am a normal Mom. I really am. If, I can do it, so can you.
When I decided to go cloth, I found myself with a 4 year old, a 2 year old and 3 month old twins. My husband single handily supports the six of us. So, money.is.always.an.issue. I nursed the twins, so formula, was happily an expense we could avoid. But the diapers…oh the diapers! I found myself going through an obscene amount diapers. Between the babies and my two year old, I was going through about 210 diapers a week, and 840 disposable diapers a month. I even joined our local wholesale club simply for the diapers. But the cost still stung. Every time I bought the diapers, it hurt. I could not see throwing away (literally) money like that anymore. Life was as busy as it gets, but yet I made the decision to go cloth. And, I’ve never looked back.  After deciding to go cloth, I faced a few obstacles:

1) The Hubs:

My husband was going to be a tough sell. He’s one of those diaper-changing-gags-me types. So, the idea of washing diapers in our own house wasn’t going to be overly appealing to him. I knew if I was going to convince him, it would be with the numbers. So, I set about doing the math.

I realized that I was spending a little under $300 a month on diapers that I was ultimately throwing away. I factored in that my two year old would be potty training within the year, and would only require a diaper for naps, and a diaper for sleeping at night, as well as the fact that the babies wouldn’t always be using as many diapers in a day. I came to the rough estimate that we could save about $2640 the first year, and $1616 in the second year and $960 in the third year of cloth diapering. This totaled $5,216! WHAT? Oh, and this doesn’t even include the cost of wet wipes.

After an initial refusal, even he couldn’t deny the SAVINGS and came on board. And, I just asked him yesterday if he had any regrets, now that we’ve been at this for a year and a half. His response? “Why, would I regret it? It hasn't bothered me?” So, there you have it. Diapers are still diapers, only now there are no more out of pocket costs.

2) The naysayers:

“WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT TO YOURSELF?”

Admittedly, I was as busy as I had ever been in my life. Days were long and action packed. It did not seem like I needed to add anything else to my plate. But, cloth diapers seemed like the answer to our budget. People’s reactions ranged from supportive, to unsure to borderline rude. But, ultimately, we went with what we knew was right for us. And I’m so glad we did.

3) Figuring out how to cloth diaper:

This step in the process was very daunting. Once I started researching cloth diapers, I was overwhelmed. A process I had assumed simple, seemed to actually be quite complex. There were so many different brands and types and words that made no sense to me. What’s an insert? What’s a doubler? Bamboo what? Pocket vs. prefold vs. all in ones? A sprayer?

I needed to figure out which style/brand of diapers I wanted to buy, how many I would need, a place to store dirty diapers (both at home and on the go), how I would wash them, when I would wash them, and what accessories I would need. (The only accessory I was sure I needed were Baby Legs. Because, have you seen them?? Edible). But, other than that, I was lost.

Then, I found Kelly’s Closet and the Diaper Whisperer. This helped me so much! Seriously. Do your research, and read as much as you can on this site. It really does help to demystify cloth diapering.

4) The doubts:

The upfront cost was going to be considerable. To make it worth it, I needed to buy enough cloth diapers, to be able to exclusively cloth diaper the twins and the toddler. I didn’t have the luxury of trial and error, figuring out my brand of choice and slowly building my cloth diaper collection. (Every box of disposable diapers that I would buy would potentially eat into the savings we could accumulate by switching to cloth). Once we agreed to go cloth, the plan was to order the diapers and have them delivered before I needed to buy another box of disposable diapers.

I now tell people that switching to cloth diapers is one of the best parenting decisions I have ever made. What? Is that overly dramatic? It’s true. And, like all parenting decisions, this one came with its own share of hesitations. This was going to be a hefty bill, and I was really nervous to hit the submit button on my order. What if this was a mistake? What if I hated it? What if I couldn’t keep up with it? What if I didn’t build the right supply?

But I did my research, read tons of reviews and in the end, placed my order. The day my diapers arrived I was over the moon. I loved them immediately, and am happy to report, that love has only grown. Our diapers paid for themselves in eleven weeks. Everything after that was pure savings (or profit, depending upon how you look at it). I feel so good about putting them on my kiddos. I look forward to continuing to cloth diaper and truly wish I had made the switch sooner.

By Mary D.

26 comments:

Sarah Maughan said...

I was just thinking this morning that i need to catch up on MY blog about why i LOVE cloth diapering!

Amber Liddle said...

I have a friend who's contemplating them right now and I will have to send her the link to this! I too was way overwhelmed at first, it is good to have a great resource to read up on the pros and cons.

Christine said...

It's inspiring to read about someone who CDs multiple kids. My new little one is due in a few days, and when I feel overwhelmed at the idea of CD, reading something like this makes me realize that CDing only one kid is NOTHING!!! I'm very excited to do it, and I hope I love it as much as you do!

Jenny O said...

Cost was a big factor for us in using cloth, too. Ultimately it was what swayed my on-the-fence husband, although the cuteness convinced a lot of skeptical family members, too!

I would advise anyone who's thinking of cloth diapering not to worry too much about buying the "wrong" thing as I've found it relatively easy to buy brands/types I'd like to try used, and resell them if they don't work for us. I know I stressed a lot before my daughter was born over having the perfect stash in place, but at almost 15 months our stash is still evolving as I learn more and our needs change.

Andrea said...

Thank you so much for this post! As a mom of two and going on three I have been in the contemplating stage now for a few weeks... done the math, started on the research and I am feeling very overwhelmed! By the time number three arrives I will have a four year old, a two year old and then the newest! What brand is it that you have fallen in love with? Just trying to get real moms opinions.

Sabrina said...

Wow, your diapers paid themselves of in 11 weeks that is awesome. I have to say to the naysayers you put the diapers in the washer and it does all the work for you. How hard is that?

Mom of FIVE said...

I have boy/girl twins too! I switched to cloth when they were 2.5 months old and FINALLY big enough to fit into my onesize diapers. My husband also supports our family alone and we have 5 children our youngest being the twins at 9 months old. I too wish I had use cloth with all of my children! And yeah to nursing twins I am still hard at it with my too.

Our family said...

By the way, what brand of diapers did you go with?

Gina said...

Good job! It feels good to hear stories like yours. It is very encouraging for a first-time mom/first-time cloth diapering mom like me, and I'm sure for others, too.

kt said...

I am due in 4 weeks and my plan in cloth! I am really excited but am a little tired of all the people who are trying to rain on my parade. (Don't worry, we'll show them.) This made me feel like maybe I could do this and that it is a "real" mom thing to do. My husband is sold so that is one step I don't have to worry about!

Rae said...

What do you use for your 2 yr old? I have been using a fitted prefold and covers but sometimes get leaks at night...

Jennifer T said...

Thank you so much for sharing your story. I didn't have much of an option when it came to CDing my oldest child. He was highly allergic to sposies. But I ahd the option with my girls. I chose to CD them and would never look back.

Alycia said...

Good for you!! If you can do it with Twins and a Toddler, anyone can! Keep it up mama :-)

ktoussing said...

Great post. I too cloth diaper our twins & have found it just as easy as using disposables. I love all the money we save & never having to run out for diapers!

StephanieU said...

This is why I switched - money! I had two in diapers - a two year old and a 6 motnhd old - and I realized I could pay for my initial purchase in 5 months. So I went with it. I think we will definitely have all of my purchases paid for in less than a year, and that is with my 2 year old now potty trained 3-4 months into the cloth diapering.

The Lindsay Family said...

i have 2 in cloth a 22 month and a 4 month. I LOVE cloth and have no regrets, except that I didn't do it sooner. My husband supports us, and the savings is what spurred me into it, and there is no turning back now!

FYI, i am almost positive those are Fuzzibunz!

T Rex Mom said...

This is actually an inspiring post. I can heartily agree - switching to cloth has been one of the best things we've done for our daughter and our family. We even switched our potty trained toddler to pocket style trainers for night time.

Thank you! And I salute you, too!

Kelly said...

Great post! I love seeing other "real" moms encouraging words. Even though I am an old "pro" at cd'ing (6+ yrs), I am now with 2 in diapers (2 1/2 yo and 15 mo. old) I started so basic with my 1st, prefolds & white wraps,and a pail liner. That's all I used with him. I have moved on to pockets, AIOs, but still love my prefolds for infants & over night stuffers. Good luck to all that are considering the crazy, fun world of CDing. It will make diaper changing a fun time even when it's icky :)

Kelly said...

PS. Love the pictures of the kiddos.

And for those asking which diaper Mary chose, my guess from the pictures is she went with FuzziBunz. But only a guess.

PhotogMom said...

Also, I have read in multiple places that kiddos who are cloth CDed usually potty train sooner!! :) Another added bonus!! And forget about the expense of creams for rashes...cuz our kiddos won't get them (or hardly). And those darn baby legs...that's what will put us out of budget ;) I'm glad to see a boy in baby legs, I've been considering but thought it was mostly a 'girl thing.'

MieVee @ MummysReviews.com said...

I've always thought that cloth diapering is the best gift for my son, after breastmilk. It is great for his sensitive skin yet so kind on our wallets.

A cute cloth diaper is also my favourite baby shower gift to introduce other parents to modern cloth diapering.

Laundry Lady said...

Cloth Diapering and Breastfeeding were two things that enabled me to stay home with our daughter. There were a few diapers I bought and then regretted, and I know I'll save way more money on the second baby, since I won't have to buy nearly as many diapers the second time around. I try to compare the diapers I bought and wish I hadn't to when we would try a new brand of disposable when we travel. If I don't love it, I'll keep it as a back up, and it will probably get used eventually at some time down the road. I have virtually no diapers that just sit in the drawer. Even some really beat up second hand ones I bought at a consignment sale get used when my daughter has a rash and I don't want to risk my "good" diapers with rash cream.

Sarahjenne said...

I just love your pic of the twins and the toddler. It's hard to believe that so many people keep throwing away resources on disposables and keep exposing their children to those chemicals. It's easy to understand why people find it intimidating at first, though.

MultipleMum said...

I was in the same boat as you. A (nearly) four year old (toilet trained) a 2 year old (still in nappies) and then twins.

We started cloth with our second child, so I just bought a few more when we found out we were expecting twins and away we went.

It has certainly saved us a lot of money over the past couple of years (not to mention the stench of the bin full of disposable nappies. Ugh!)

I wrote a cloth nappy post at my blog a few months ago you may be interested in reading: http://cootaitlees.blogspot.com/2010/06/my-top-6-reasons-for-using-cloth.html

Tess said...

I had the same issue with having a husband that was going to be hard to convince but i got all of my information together and presented it to him all at once and with all of the overwhelming evidence why cloth diapering is best he couldn't help but agree.

Multi-VitaMom said...

I love the pictures of all three in CD's. I am slowly converting some of my friends, but surprisingly, many of my friends already CD. And in Los Angeles too!