I ﬁrst encountered cloth diapers while working in an overcrowded donation center at our local crisis pregnancy center. I was just recently married with no children yet, and I remember picking up a stack of prefolds and thinking, “Wow, they still make these? Who on earth would still be using cloth diapers in this day and age? I know I wouldn’t!” Just a few months later, I found my pregnant self wandering the baby aisles in the store, and I was shocked at the prices of disposable diapers. Since we were going to be living on just my husband’s salary as I stayed home with our baby, the task fell to me to ﬁgure out ways to save money. My midwife had suggested I look into cloth diapers because they are easy on the wallet, and I ﬁgured I should at least keep an open mind about it.
I had imagined cloth diapers to be the rubber pants anpins that my grandmother’s described, and at the time that wasn’t too appealing to me. After some fast and furious online research I found out that the cloth diapers of today are affordable and downright cute! I picked out the brand I wanted to try- a bumGenius 3.0 one-size pocket diaper . I also learned some other compelling reasons to cloth diaper: they’re better for the environment, softer for baby’s skin, and they harbor no harmful chemicals.
I was on board for cloth diapering, but my husband still wasn’t a big fan of cloth (or maybe it was just diapers in general!) So we started cloth diapering our newborn baby girl only part-time at ﬁrst with 12 bumGenius 3.0’s. I loved them from the get-go. Not only did they hold her breastmilk poop explosions almost every time (the disposables were laughably languishing in that area), but we saved a ton of money! They more than paid for themselves within just a few months. Soon enough I became a cloth diapering addict and was determined to cloth diaper full time, even at night and while traveling. My favorites have always been the one-size diaper, because they grew with my baby from birth to toddlerhood, and have even lasted through two babies now!
When I ﬁrst started cloth diapering I had no idea of the variety of choices! You can get them with snaps or velcro, in one size or ﬁtted sizes, all in ones (with the prefold sewn in), or covers with prefolds! I had previously said I would NEVER use prefolds, I had always thought those way too old fashioned. Well, funny thing is, now they are becoming my go-to diaper for my second child! I never realized how easy they are to use. The Flip diaper and Econobum have given us great results so far, no leaks, and no stuffing involved after wash time! Prefolds have deﬁnitely provided an affordable diaper for us as a family cloth diapering more than one child.
I didn’t personally know anyone cloth diapering when I started my journey, so online resources like www.theclothdiaperwhisperer.com have been invaluable to me as I have dealt with “ﬂuffy” issues. When we encountered leaks with our pocket diapers, I learned to strip them and tried different detergents thanks to other mom’s online suggestions. It’s so nice to have support from somewhere!
Using the cloth diaper has also helped us to expand our ideas of things to “reuse.” We now also use cloth wipes, cloth training pants, cloth napkins, more cloth towels instead of paper towels, and the list goes on! My husband ﬁnally did come around to appreciating all of the advantages of cloth and the savings it brings us. One day back when we were still part-time cloth diapering our ﬁrst child (she was around 3 months old), I remembering hearing hear my husband yell out to me, “Do you want me to put a fake one or a real one on Claire?” I paused in disbelief. Did my husband just refer to cloth diapers as the “real ones” and disposables as the “fake ones”? I yelled back to him, “Put a real one on her!” Ah, the sweet smell of success- he was ﬁnally convinced!
Julie B. is wife to Timothy and WAHM to Claire (2) and Wesley (9 months).