You'd never guess that we once used disposable diapers. A receipt for them hasn't crossed my desk in 2 years. However, we used to buy and use them. We felt bad about it, and disliked it, but we did it out of necessity in the beginning. Let's just say that moving when you're nearly 9 months pregnant may not be the best idea. Let's imagine you're due mid November and that your water breaks during the 3rd week of October. That your baby's clothes haven't been washed. The car seat is somewhere in the flotsam of moving-- still in the box. Let's say you planned on using cloth diapers, but didn't get them ordered yet. So you go to the hospital in a panic-and with no back up plan.
We were there 2 and a half years ago. Did we take disposables home? Sure we did. Then we used the one package we'd been given from our baby shower. Then we got some at the store. Ordered online in a huge box that would deliver to our door. I think about it now, and I cringe! The smell was horrible. The price was awful. The trash was horrendous. I'd get the baby changed and she'd go AGAIN. There had to be a better way. They were leaking all over me -- right out the legs, up the back, I was changing my clothes-- and hers-- with every diaper change. We tried different brands to no avail. They just didn't work for us.
My husband finally insisted that I go online and order the cloth diapers, knowing I wanted to try them, and said he'd help me get started. So we ordered a dozen prefolds, a contour, and a fitted, and a couple of covers. We used a Rubbermaid container to store the dirty ones until it was time to wash. You can do the math, right? 14 diapers gets you through a day, if you're lucky. So we started part-time. Once I was fully awake in the morning, I put a prefold and cover on my child. Once my husband came home for dinner, it was back to disposables. It was probably the best decision we ever made - it allowed us to feel like we were still getting a 'break' from using the 'hard' diapers when we needed it, and showed us just how easy, and cute the cloth diapers could be! This trend kept us washing every 2 days, and it was just enough to get us used to the idea of cloth diapering. It wasn't so hard after all! I could do this part time, easy! I was spending a lot less time dealing with blowouts and scrubbing tiny onesies and more time getting other things done.
After a few weeks we realized that we hated the disposable diapers - even part time. We started washing more frequently and checking into a cloth diaper service - maybe that was a better option? While looking up services in our area online, I discovered that we had a cloth diaper store locally! So we made our first trip to a cloth diaper store. We bought a couple more covers, 3 AIOs in small and 9 in medium. We figured if we hated the 3 diapers we got in small, we'd just return the mediums. It turned out, we loved them! We fought over who got to use the 'easy' diapers. We now had enough to only use a couple of disposables a day and began washing the diapers in earnest to try and use as few as possible. Our daughter outgrew the smalls and we bought a half a dozen more mediums. Doing the same amount of laundry we realized with a bit older baby, we could cruise through 2 days and only use disposables in an emergency or for traveling. We still bought some from time to time - but it wasn't a 'grocery list' necessity anymore. When I bought my last box online, I ordered a one size pocket diaper to try it out. Then we went BACK to the cloth diaper store and bought a dozen one size pocket diapers -- it's what my daughter got for Christmas her first year. We got a dozen more at Easter--she was outgrowing the medium AIOs. So we were down to 'traveling' disposables only. Then I realized that my clothes were getting dirty with her wearing disposables while traveling, and staying clean at home-- so we gave up traveling with them, and got some wetbags. We bought our last small pack of 'sposies' when we moved and our daughter was six months old. We only used them until we could get her cloth unpacked-- and gave the rest to a neighbor.
After that, I discovered 'diaper hunts' and 'contests' --I won some diapers, I won some gift certificates on Earth day. I discovered cloth wipes late and bought a few more different brands of diapers to try. I think by the time my daughter was potty learning, I had at least 45 pockets in rotation - I had to invest in a dozen snap diapers to wear outside in the summer so my daughter could go pant free and not get the velcro off! Right? The best part is, now that I'm expecting baby #2? I get a 'fluffgrade' for the new baby-- with only 17 small diapers, we DEFINITELY need a few more so we can wash every couple of days, at least until the pockets fit! Evil grin :)
Those hospital sposies? Forget about it. I'm addicted to fluff and I'll make sure the nurses know - pass those on to the lady next door - and mention I'm using cloth on my child - maybe she'll want to convert, too!
Jill is a stay at home mom to Keeley, 2 - who wears one cloth diaper at night and is day and nap time diaper free, and is expecting baby #2 in August. She and her husband Matthew are getting ready to celebrate their 10th wedding anniversary. Jill blogs about living life just over the edge of crunchy at: www.lifeisnotbubblewrapped.com