When I was pregnant and it was decided that I should leave my job to stay home with our children, I was looking for ways to reduce expenses. It didn’t take me long to realize that cloth diapers could play a major role in that equation. I will admit that I spent months reading and looking at pictures and trying to figure out what all of the diapering terms meant before I took a huge leap and actually ordered some. Disposables were fine for us with my older daughter and I’m not exactly a fan of laundry, so I was really having to wrap my head around the idea of washing diapers…and their contents. I kept referencing the Excel spreadsheet that I’d made, reassuring myself that the cost savings would be worth it.
My sweet husband was on board from the beginning and actually mentioned it to one of his coworkers whose wife was pregnant with their second baby. The coworker raved about their bumGenius diapers, so that was my first purchase. When they arrived, I was in love with how cute they were and how soft they felt – I was delighted at the thought of putting something so gentle against my baby’s skin.
The more I read, the more I realized that I would probably need some newborn sized diapers. I ordered Rumparooz Lil’ Joeys (love the darling whale print!), XS FuzziBunz and Kissaluvs Fitteds in size zeros, plus four covers. My husband, eight year old daughter and I spent a morning diapering one of her stuffed bunnies, practicing with the snaps and trying out the different styles of covers. I also bought several dozen inexpensive white washcloths to use as cloth wipes in a Prince Lionheart wipes warmer.
After Noah was born, the first cloth diaper we used was the Lil’ Joey and I was hooked. His behind was so fluffy and cute, and I never worried about the cost of diapers when he’d go through three or four in a row during one changing – I just laughed and figured on an extra load of laundry that day! Once I caught myself running low on cloth diapers and did a quick count as I loaded the washer to figure out exactly how many we’d been through that day: nineteen diapers and twenty wipes. Referencing my spreadsheet, which used the cost of the least expensive store brand, that day’s changes would have cost me about $3.50 and used a quarter of a package of disposables.
The Kissaluvs fitteds with a cover has worked the best for us, especially at night. Our heavy wetter would soak through microfiber inserts and then not only would we be changing him, but we’d be changing the bed, too! Plus, it was nice to use the same diaper all the time at night so we weren’t trying to figure out different configurations of closures while totally exhausted. Since Noah was born at 8lb 2.7oz and 22.5″, it wasn’t long until he outgrew the Lil Joeys, but I was glad to have them since the inner gussets really held in the newborn stool. Along the way, I added a couple of Applecheeks in size one, and the super-absorbent bamboo inserts made for a great overnight diaper.
One of the best things that happened was when a mom commented on how cute Noah’s diaper was, and how disposables had come a long way! I explained that it wasn’t a disposable, it was a cloth diaper, and it sparked a great discussion about how easy cloth was with a group of moms as we waited to pick up our older children (By the way, the cute diaper was a Bummis Super Whisper Wrap cover with the red rocket print.)
My precious Noah is now six weeks old and I feel like we’ve gotten in a groove with cloth diapering. We only carry cloth in our diaper bag and made our first out-of-town trip with cloth when we drove five hours to my parents’ house. We’ve experimented with some different washing routines and installed a clothesline to take advantage of the bright Texas sun. We’re certainly not experts – I’ve called the helpful ladies at Kelly’s twice now with questions! – but we’re confident in our ability to effectively cloth diaper and in the knowledge that this is saving our family money.
I’m Maryn Taylor, mom to an eight year old daughter who helps with cloth diapers and a six week old son who looks extra-cute wearing them.