It all started with a bad kiddie pool experience.
At the first signs of warmer weather, my husband and I practically rushed to the store and bought the plastic pool and a pack of disposable swim diapers. Eager to let my 6-month-old “swim” for the first time, we soon filled the pool, stripped my son, slid on the diaper and dipped him in. Of course, he had a blast.
Then he got that all-too-familiar look on his face. Despite scooping him up as quickly as I could, our new wading pool got much more broken in than I expected as a brown cloud disseminated in the water. Anticipating a full summer of pools and lakes, I knew this wasn’t going to cut it, and I turned once again to the grand idea that I had done plenty of Internet-browsing about before the birth of my first baby: Cloth diapers.
I settled on a Bummi Swimmi because it was cute, not too expensive, and because it velcroed on and off like the disposable diapers I was accustomed to. For the rest of the summer, the pack of disposable swim diapers sat on the shelf and the Swimmi went with us. It felt so nice to just throw it in with the wash and know I wasn’t adding to the trash pile (or buying more diapers) with each outing.
Cloth diapering was something I was interested in while I was pregnant, but, thanks to a lot of sarcastic comments from others and an overwhelming amount of choices, I abandoned the idea completely by the time my son was born.
Following a summer of success with the cloth swim diaper, however, I finally decided to invest in a single pocket diaper to try outside the pool. I started out where most other moms don’t: overnights. When the diaper did its job better than I expected, I finally, and cautiously, took the plunge and invested in a few other types of diapers so that I could use cloth evenings and weekends.
At first, I regretted not having done it sooner — it seemed like all those diapers I’d bought and thrown away were such an unfortunate waste. But, in retrospect, I see that had I juggled figuring out cloth with all the other juggling that comes with becoming a mother — no sleep, breastfeeding, etc. — I might have given up.
After my son turned one and I felt like I had mothering figured out enough to delve into something new, we went “full time” and started taking the diapers to day care, too. We’re having great success, and hopefully when another baby comes along we’ll be able to cloth diaper exclusively from the beginning.
It is a shame that all the misconceptions about cloth diapering made me shy away from it at first, but coming around to cloth gradually and on my own timetable has made it a more doable, and pleasant, experience.
By Jessica W.