My cloth diapering story began not too long ago-kinda. It was kind of a perfect storm of events that got us going on cloth diapers.
In September, I found out my husband and I were going to have another baby. It was a shock and we had been planning on waiting until he had a more stable job before we expanded our family. The prospect of having two children in diapers was a little distressing, especially considering the cost of diapering one baby alone.
My son will be 18 months when our daughter is born. It would be ideal to have him potty trained but I honestly don’t see that as a realistic idea. I knew we were going to have to diaper both of them for a few months at least.
There were other issues going on. My son is on solid food and solid food means stinky poo.
Sadly his room wreaked!
We did everything to try and reduce the smell. I would sprinkle baking soda in his diaper pail, we bought an automatic air freshener, we’d empty the pail before it was full. These all did minimal things. I was concerned about taking the trash out with the bag only half full. We live on one income and it was almost like wasting trash bags to only use half of it. We found the best solution was to wrap all the poopy diapers in a plastic shopping bag and then throw them away.
I’m not a big environmentalist but I do believe we have stewardship over the land and we need to do our best to take care of it. After going through a HUGE stash of plastic shopping bags and even running out, the whole process started to bother me. I knew diapers took a long time to decompose and I knew that plastic bags took a long time to break down and here I was wrapping one in the other and sending them off to the landfill. On top of that, our son’s room STILL smelled just not as much.
I had a friend who cloth diapered and she mentioned it one day on her blog. At first I thought it was weird that she would switch her older daughter to cloth diapers but then I got to thinking. With cloth diapers, the stinky poo goes down the toilet; the start up cost can be high but overall it’s more cost efficient; and I wouldn’t be throwing away so much stuff. This seemed like a good idea.
At first I didn’t know what was what or what was needed or pretty much anything. I emailed my friend and asked around to see what people enjoyed using and what the different styles were.
I was also looking around on the internet for patterns because I knew how to sew and I wanted to reduce the start up cost. That’s when I came across the Rita Rump Pocket pattern. While it’s not a true pocket diaper because it needs a cover, it was perfect for what I wanted. I could stuff the diaper as much as I wanted, I could turn it into just a fitted diaper or I could try and make it a real pocket or AIO/AI2 diaper with the pattern.
After a lot of research I decided to just use the diaper as she shows with diaper pins and flannel. I was able to find a ton of flannel on sale at various fabric stores and the diaper pins were super cheap.
It took a while to find a diaper cover and I had originally wanted to just make some diaper wraps but that proved to be a bit difficult. I bought some Dappi covers and they worked well so we were set. Once I made some wool covers we started cloth diapering over night as well.
After I had gathered all the supplies and even sewn all the diapers I was still too nervous to start cloth diapering. I would use maybe one a day. On Facebook a challenge came from Cotton Babies called “Change Three Things.” It asked people to commit to change at least three cloth diapers a day. I decided to join the movement and began cloth diapering every day, all day. It was the little push that helped get me to commit to cloth diapering and I am so glad it came around.
It’s been a few months since we started and we still have some disposable diapers around for babysitters and such but we are exclusively using the cloth diapers. Our cloth diapers aren’t as easy to use as some of the fancier onces on the market. Because I wanted to reduce the cost to start up, I had to sacrifice convenience and we use pins and nylon or plastic pants.
So I think my happiest moment was when my husband learned and then started doing it on his own with our son. It’s been nice, we’ve had a lot of support. My mom just recently bought us some Bummis for our son and she is excited to find cute patterns for our daughter due in May.
I’m glad I was able to get our start up cost under $100 (this is about 24 diapers, 6 covers and 50 inserts). I’m also glad that my son has taken to it just fine. While he may not be potty trained yet, I am excited to get started on it and hopefully the cloth diapers will help speed up that process.
My sons room does not stink anymore and the cloth diapers don’t really stink either. We aren’t using as many garbage bags and we’re saving money right and left because of this one choice.
Cloth diapering seemed like a sacrifice at first but I’m glad we made the switch.
This one change has helped in so many areas.
Cyndie chose a Thirsties Duo Wrap from Wee Little Changes as her cloth diaper.