Tuesday, March 27, 2012

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On Fluff & Grit

My grandmother was a fiercely independent and resourceful woman. Once, when a family member expressed concern that she was taking on too much, my eighty-five year old Grandma tersely emailed (yes, emailed) back, “I have a system and everything is under control”. That’s the kind of person she was and that’s the kind of person I have always aspired (but mostly failed) to be.

When my son CJ was first born I thought I had the cloth diapering situation under control. I had gone to an orientation session at my friendly local cloth diaper store, read the equivalent of the Encyclopedia Britannica in cloth diapering info on the internet, and I had my new stash of Rumparooz Lil Joeys and Grovia AIOs all washed and neatly arranged in the top drawer of the changing table. Everything was in order and I was fully convinced that my cloth diapering experience would be blissful. Then we brought CJ home, put that first cute cloth diaper on his little behind, and swiftly came to the realization that the situation was most certainly not under control.

We were plagued by leaks—lots and lots of them. Not only was CJ a heavy wetter but the cloth diapers we had selected just didn’t seem to fit him right. My cloth diapering system, so carefully researched and planned, had failed me. Full of postpartum hormones, I was enraged. This wasn’t how it was supposed to be! In fact, it was the complete opposite. Too tired to do anything else, I gritted my teeth and lived my life one wet outfit at a time.

After a few urine-soaked weeks, my dear husband (a genius even in a sleep-deprived state) decided not to take the leaks lying down. He tried something new: in the nursery he found a stack of Bummis prefolds that a friend had lent me (and that I had promptly put into a drawer and forgotten about, as I was not a prefold person) and a Thirsties Duo Wrap that I had received at my baby shower. A little help from the internet and—voila!—our baby was wearing his first prefold. My husband pronounced it good. After a couple of hours without having to do a complete wardrobe change, I pronounced it good as well. It took me a long time to get used to the prefolds but for a leak-free existence I was willing to learn a little origami.



This breakthrough gave me the confidence to branch out and try new things until I found diapers that worked for every occasion. Prefolds for every day. Kissaluvs Countours for when we’re out and about. Thirsties Duo Fab Fitteds with a Fab Doubler for naps. Kissaluvs Marvels One Size stuffed with a Thirsties Hemp insert and a Best Bottom Stay Dry Insert for nights. That’s my system and I’m happy to report that things are currently under control.

Who could have predicted that diapers would help me grow as a person? Cloth diapering was a challenge for me at first; there were times when I wanted to quit all together. However, conquering leaks and learning how to use a prefold unearthed in me more grit and determination than I could have imagined. Perhaps I am more similar to my Grandmother than I thought.

This is what I have learned about cloth diapering: It ain’t always perfect. But then, neither is life. However, with perseverance, resourcefulness, and some of that can’t-quit attitude you can find a system that works for you.

Eva is an amateur housewife and stay-at-home mom but is learning fast. While her nine-month-old son CJ is sleeping she can be found sewing baby items for her Etsy store, renovating her home, or napping on the sofa.

1 comment:

Paige said...

This makes me nervous! My baby is due in August and I have started buying my newborn stash already because I don't have cloth diaper store nearby and I have to order online. So I really hope my system works...

But, I have prefolds as well, so hopefully if all else fails, that will be my go to diaper as well!