Monday, March 7, 2011

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Plunging into cloth with an older baby

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.

8 comments:

Angie said...

Love your article! My hubby wanted to take the plunge from day one- we harangued me all through my pregnancy. I was too overwhelmed and also couldn't get past the misconceptions about cloth (ie safety pins and gigantic swaddling cloths and piles of poopy laundry!). When my daughter was six months old I came across an article in a pregnancy magazine about pocket diapers... we've made the switch and I'm thrilled! I'm still thrilled we didn't do it from day one, though- no regrets. Among many reasons (like your sleep deprived overwhelmed one, for starters!) I love that my stash consists of all size mediums, and I will not have to buy any other sizes, ever!

jessw said...

When I submitted this entry I forgot to mention that I am blogging on my own site, www.tangledupingreen.blogspot.com, too if anyone is interested in reading more about our adventures!

*Ross and Katy* said...

I am so glad you posted this! My hubby and I have debated getting a bummis swim diaper or just going to disposables, even though we're going to use cloth the rest of the time. You just secured our decision to buy a bummis :)

Maria and Michael's Mommy said...

I started CD'ing with my first at 13mths. I agree as a new mom I may have given up if I started from birth. I'm so happy that I made the switch. My daughter was in cloth for a year, and now my son since birth. (he's 9 1/2mths now) It's been a wonderful change for our family. My husband even told our tax lady about our diapers the other day. He's totally on board now after being a bit hesitant at first.
Thanks for the article!

Christy said...

I am with you. I wanted to do the hybrids, and this is my first child. After those failed me and the overwhelming info on cloth and the no time to figure it out with a newborn, I just turned to the disposables. But since my son turned six months last month, I have turned over to cloth with a little help from my friends. I think it helps to know others who cloth diaper and can be your mentors when you have no idea what you are doing.

Momma said...

Funny how you started with a "novelty" cloth diaper (the swimmis). I'll have to try them though! I had wondered if they'd even be worth it... they don't seem too much different than regular cloth to me.

Thanks for sharing!

Anna said...

Now I can't wait to buy some cloth diapers for my babies this summer!

Lara + Chris said...

I love this - I want to get one of those Bummis swim diapers for next summer!