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.
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.