Thursday, December 15, 2011

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Yes, I'm a Cloth Diaper Freak. And I Like It.

I remember lunch with a friend from high school. We were ‘all grown up’ and had our first children, who are almost the exact same age. We hadn’t seen each other in years. I remember going to the restroom with her so we could each change our kiddos before getting back on the road. She changed her little girl and it was a CLOTH diaper. I remember what I thought…"FREAK". I didn’t think she was crazy, I KNEW it.

Fast-forward six months and my son started suffering from a re-occurring rash that would. not. go. away. We were using THE major disposable brand…top notch for my kiddo, right? WRONG. His rash got so bad, the skin peeled away. I remember crying because he was crying. It hurt him so much when I changed him. But I slathered him up with some more Desitin and fastened on another disposable, thinking it would surely clear up like the doctor said. I was clueless. The doctor was baffled. Then I caught wind of the ‘major disposable diaper company’ in the news…other folks were having burn-like rashes…and it CLICKED. I remember thinking, “it’s the diaper”... switching to different disposible brands, and feeling like I failed.

Things are much different now. I’m a ‘freak’. I’m happy to declare that we are full-time cloth-diapering folks. I have a mystical diaper sprayer hanging on the side of my toilet. I’m talking tea tree oil. I know the difference between flats, pre-folds, AIO’s, and pockets. I ENJOY doing diaper laundry. I discovered CJ’s BUTTer (love it). And, I’m completely bewildered that I didn’t ‘get it’ in time for my first son…in fact, my second son was a year old when we finally went ‘all in’ with a full cloth stash. But more importantly, I realized that I just didn’t have all the facts before, and I simply shouldn’t have knocked it before I tried it.

Here’s the kicker. My husband was NOT on board. He’s a guy who would be happy to pay $2,000 over the course of diapering years to NOT think of poopy in his washer. He’s a toughie and an engineer-analytical-type. He picked apart ALL my facts and figures on whether or not switching to cloth would save us money. But when it came down to it, you can’t argue with the health of our little guys. He remembers the rash. So, we compromised. He will change cloth diapers, if I will spray them out and wash the loads. I’ve caught him wringing them out and hanging them to dry, so he’s getting into it (don’t tell him I said so). This week, I’m taking the plunge and adding cloth wipes to the mix. I really want to cut out as much exposure to chemicals I can’t pronounce as possible. I’m going to be really ‘crunchy’ here, and make my own wipes solution (water, olive oil, Burt’s Bees baby wash, drop of tea tree oil – EASY). I even started making my own diaper detergent on the CHEAP.

If being a cloth diaper ‘freak’ means doing everything I possibly can to care for my babies, then I’m ALL IN. Late, but I’m in.

Ariel Eldridge is a former art teacher-turned-stay-at-home-momma of two boys, 4 years and 16 mos, living in rural Indiana. “Crunchy” is no longer a meanie term at her house, because it turns out that natural is pretty stinkin’ cool.

5 comments:

Sarah J said...

What are you planning on making your detergent with and what kind of diapers do you use?

Beth @ Sand To Pearl said...

You're going to LOVE the cloth wipes! I switched late in the game, and I quickly fell in love.

Rahel Moore said...

Great article! I have a few questions for you.
How do you make your own diaper detergent and is it safe for PLU/TPU covers?
I have a 2 year old and a 7 month old. I use sposies (GASP) at night time. I was using the Thirsties Duo Fab fitted stuffed with 2 bamboo inserts and a Thirsties Duo cover. BULLETPROOF! However, I get the ammonia smell after a while and my sons bum is a bit red especially the tip of his man parts. :( I can't bare the thought of him being sore and having a hard time peeing.... Do you have any suggestions?
THANKS!

Anne said...

I completely just found your blog by accident.
Anyway I went ahead and read this since it was so short. I remember thinking very similarly a few years ago. "People who cloth diaper are crunchy freaks!' But over the last couple of years I've been teaching myself about the uncessary chemicals in our everyday lives and then my cousin clothed her daughter over the past year (baby girl just turned one!)and now we are expecting our first baby in 6 weeks and Im so excited about using cloth. My hubby wasn't on board at first but when visiting my cousin recently we went to a cloth store she recommended and he got hooked. I can't wait to be a crunchy freak now! :) He even asked me about possibly using cloth wipes without me leading him into it!
Happy clothing!
PS- I'd love to hear what you use to wash your cloth in. I read you make it??

Anne said...

I completely just found your blog by accident.
Anyway I went ahead and read this since it was so short. I remember thinking very similarly a few years ago. "People who cloth diaper are crunchy freaks!' But over the last couple of years I've been teaching myself about the uncessary chemicals in our everyday lives and then my cousin clothed her daughter over the past year (baby girl just turned one!)and now we are expecting our first baby in 6 weeks and Im so excited about using cloth. My hubby wasn't on board at first but when visiting my cousin recently we went to a cloth store she recommended and he got hooked. I can't wait to be a crunchy freak now! :) He even asked me about possibly using cloth wipes without me leading him into it!
Happy clothing!
PS- I'd love to hear what you use to wash your cloth in. I read you make it??