When I was pregnant, my husband told me he wanted to cloth diaper our baby. I thought he was crazy. My mom cloth diapered my youngest brother. I was 11 when he was born, so I remember the flats, pins, and Gerber plastic pants quite vividly. I did not like them. I did not want to do that with my baby. I refused. My husband said, “But what about the environment? We can’t ignore that. Disposables are disgusting and take up so much space in the landfill. Think about it.”
Ugh. I wanted to humor him, but I did not want to use pins on my baby’s diapers. I did not want to swish poop off in the toilet. I was not having it. Sorry, husband!
One day I was doing some research on the Internet and I came across a website about cloth diapering. Hello! I did not realize cloth diapers looked like that! So I started doing more research. I read about chemicals, I read about cost savings, I read about environmental factors, I certainly noticed the cute factor. I was finding myself excited about cloth diapers!
It had been a few months since my husband had brought this up, and I wasn’t sure whether he was still interested and whether he’d like the steep startup costs. Thankfully he was still interested and excited that I had finally come around. Thus began my search for cloth diapers.
Then came the hard part. He didn’t care what type of cloth diapers we used, just that we used them and didn’t spend a small fortune on them (ha!). So I got to decide all on my own. Of course I asked for his input when I was reading up on cloth, but he felt as lost as I did. We eventually decided to not make a decision and ordered a bunch of diapers so we could try out different types and fits.
The first two cloth diapers I ever purchased were Ecobumz (which I ended up hating). I thought they were so cute and soft when I finally got them in the mail. It was so exciting to get my first fluffy mail! I was instantly hooked. I then bought some Fuzzibunz Perfect Size (they were a no-go too), Rumparooz (still using them!), Happy Heinys (nope), a Kawaii GNHW (nope), and BumGenius 4.0s (we still love BGs, but have moved to the AIOs).
Of course after cloth diapering our new baby girl, we decided we liked certain diapers better than others. I have used a ton of different fitteds, prefolds, pockets, AI2s, and AIOs over the last year. We have finally settled into a stash of mostly BG Freetimes, some BG Elementals, a few BG 3.0 AIOS, a couple BG 4.0s, some Rumparooz pockets, Grovia AIOs, some Econobums prefolds and covers, some Baby Beehinds fitteds, two Thirsties Duo Wraps, and fleece covers/longies. We have diapers for daytime, diapers for nighttime, diapers for outings, diapers for daycare. If I could swim in them, I would!
I’m lucky in that my husband fully supports my quest to find the perfect cloth diapering system for our now toddler (eek! How is she getting so big?!). I do know he sometimes thinks, “Another cloth diaper? Don’t we have enough already?” But he’s okay with it. I’ve bought, sold, and restashed twice now. Doing this, I’ve spent about $300 on our current stash (accounting for the few hundred I’ve made selling my diapers), which is awesome. My friends who have used disposable diapers for their babies have spent over $600-700 for their diapers in the same amount of time. And I can use my diapers for the next (someday) baby, too!
Deciding to cloth diaper isn’t the hard part. It’s deciding HOW you are going to cloth diaper that takes time, trial and error, and money. What works for one baby, doesn’t work for all. And what works when your baby is small, doesn’t always work when he or she gets bigger. But that’s what makes this so much fun! I can always rotate my stash, trying out new prints or colors or that awesome new diaper on the market. I can’t wait to buy newborn diapers when I get pregnant next time!
Bio: Jennifer Esposito – I’ve been cloth diapering my daughter, Adele, for a little over a year. She wore her first cloth diaper when she was 6 days old and was in them full time at 3 weeks. I’ve been married to my best friend for 4 years. I’m an editor by trade, and during my free time I like to run, sew, or read.