Oh no, I’ve become my mother!

April 8, 2011

Why Choose Cloth Diapers

by Tara Dukaczewicz

The decision to cloth diaper was such a natural one for me.

It started long ago when I was just a child with a baby brother. My mother has always been so environmentally conscious, today she would have definitely been called “crunchy” back then she was called weird.

She was the mother that was stirring the giant black cauldron of tree sap in the front yard when the bus pulled up. My sister was so mortified about that, it has become a funny story that we all tell at family gatherings.

Looking back I see that my mother was ahead of her time.

She had the courage to nurse my three year brother in public in spite of the censure she received. She was a bedsharing, baby wearing, extended breast feeding, organic gardening mama long before it became cool.  We spent our childhood at natural food co-ops and free-ranging our 250 acre farm.

One of the things I remember was the giant pail of prefolds emanating it’s stench behind the toilet, and my mom, her long hair pulled back and her sleeves rolled up, scrubbing them to pristine whiteness.

Many years passed and in my teenage rebellion I repudiated my gentle mama and preferred the mainstream ways of my friends. I lived in town, wouldn’t touch soil, wouldn’t be caught dead in a long skirt, and told mocking stories about my mother’s bizarre behavior.

Slowly, I found myself going back the ways that I left behind. Long skirts began to appear in my closet, the urge to bake bread would hit me at odd times. My sister also found this transformation in her life. She was the first to marry and have children. I remember visiting one day and my sister showed me the diapers she had been making, beautiful diapers with snap-in soakers and water proof outers.

My sister said “these aren’t like mom’s diapers”  That was the beginning for me although I didn’t know it.

When I became pregnant I was still firmly in the mainstream camp and didn’t consider cloth diapers. But my mother’s values had permanently made it’s mark, even my brother was a cloth diaper junkie, to my surprise.

I was always the most rebellious of all my mother’s six children and used disposables for my first child.  Three years passed, and countless nieces and nephews arrived and I became pregnant with my second child.

By this time I had outgrown my teen angst and embraced my latent crunchiness. i didn’t even consider formula feeding and didn’t buy a crib. Instead I shopped for the best baby sling and considered ways to make our family bed safe for a newborn.

One day, without even consciously thinking about it, I said to my sister:”Talk to me about cloth diapers”

That was the pivotal moment.

She deluged me with information, then my sister-in-law joined in. They sent me links and pictures. Our facebook accounts had long threads devoted to cloth diapers.

I placed my order: six smartipants, twelve unbleached prefolds, several fitteds from Loveybums and…WOOL! Oh my gosh, I became a woman possessed with everything cloth and everything wool.

My postman was inundated with packages and took to emailing me when I would get five or six at a time.  I found diaper pages and diaper blogs and diaper videos on youtube. Tutorials on folding flats and sewing pockets out of flannel receiving blankets became my entertainment.

My friends laugh and admire my baby’s adorable colorful butt. I became a convert to bamboo and natural fibers and have tried my hand at sewing and dyeing fabric. I have developed a pattern and opened a business page dedicated to fluff and baby products.

It has defined me as a mother and a woman. And I have found myself following in my mother’s bare footprints, as natural and crunchy as she was, I am now. And as gentle as she is, she merely nods and smiles, and says

“I always knew you would.”

Tara Dukaczewicz (say that 3x fast) chose a Bright Star Baby Ultimate Trim Fit AIO for her free diaper!




About Autumn Beck

Autumn is a wife, mother, homeschool teacher, friend and most important a follower of Christ. She began cloth diapering in 2005 and has experienced many joys and trials throughout the years. You can read more from Autumn over at https://www.facebook.com/beautifullyblessedlashes.

View all posts by Autumn Beck

20 Responses to “Oh no, I’ve become my mother!”

  1. Jason Says:

    When I was an infant, my mother put me in cloth diapers. Like most parents she would put cloth diapers on me until I was about two years of age, and then I’d wear cloth pull-on diapers (a.k.a training pants) until I was about five years of age.


  2. april Says:

    my mom used cloth diapers and plastic pants on me when i was a baby as she didnt mind washing them.they worked well for her she has told me.when i was 14 i started having bladder trouble and wetting the bed at night,so mom put me back into cloth diapers and plastic pants.she made at least 3 dozen thick cloth diapers for me and bought the teen or small adult size plastic pants.not only was i diapered at bed time,but i was also diapered for holidays and special occasions as well.every easter sunday it was the diaper,plastic pants and tights under my dress.i finially stopped the bedwetting after 16 and said no more!


  3. Lacey R Says:

    When I started CDing full time, I had to promise my mother that I would quit if it became too much. Well, we are over a year in, and doing better than ever. She stayed with us a couple of months ago and was so impressed by the diapers. She even used them on DD. We are planning on it for our new baby due in July and I am so excited. I love how you described your mom. What an inspiration! I hope my children will look back at me and feel the same way.


  4. Stephanie Says:

    Tara, this is a sweet story and your mom does sound like a wonderful lady!
    You mentioned that you love wool. Can you give any reccomendations for good wool covers that are also affordable?
    Thank you!


    • tara Says:

      Stephanie, I would check loveybums, they have seconds for sale. I bought two of them and have yet to find the flaws they have. also I bought my longies used from spot’s corner. just make sure to inspect the pictures carefully and ask questions if you have doubts. apparently a lot od people have had problems with that forum but I have had only good experiences. It’s on hyenacart.com. Good luck!


  5. Heather Says:

    is it possible for kids to become allergic to PUL??? I have twin girls who are one year and both have developed excema—both starting in the diaper area, and both beginning when we switched to Kawaii diapes with the PUL outer–before that we were using homemade diapers with a cover (some of the time, otherwise just the diapers). Any input would be great–thanks. :)
    By the way—LOVED the post–but I always do! They are so fun to read! :)


    • tara Says:

      I would imagine that PUL allergies or sensitivities could occur, I haven’t tried the kawaii dipes yet (they’re in the mail LOL) but maybe your girls have a sensitivity to these specific diapers? Maybe something like a fuzzibunz would be better. Or maybe wool or fleece as a cover.


      • Jaimee Says:

        Polyester allergies are very common. You could go with wool to rule it out, and watch the clothing you’re putting them in too, see if anything trends. If it is polyester, fleece, suede etc is out, but there are so many natural fiber options that are awsome! Etsy has tons of wool covers, for affordable prices, or if you’re handy with a sewing machine you can make them our of thrift store wool sweaters for little to nothing. I hope you can get them straitened out soon!


  6. Cyndel Jones Says:

    My mom CDed us as well, and nursed, and we had many many gardens as a child…when we had a yard…there were a few times we ended up in apartments and didn’t have a place for a garden. We ground wheat and made bread from scratch, made our own laundry detergent. All great memories. I didn’t think it was weird. I nursed my son for 13 months , but I didn’t consider cloth diapering my oldest…partially because I’m lazy, partially because mom never pushed it, she CD’d because they were dirt poor when I was born, and my brother was an accident, they were planning to wait a couple of years because of money, same with the nursing.
    She didn’t really like CDing because she had to use Gerber rubber pants and they cause major rashes with both me and brother because of the heat, we didn’t have air conditioning, so she did disposables at night, and only CD’d at home. She didn’t know about wool, and PUL wasn’t around, so she did what she could.
    I started to research CD’s when I was ready for a second child, but hubby was hesitant because of money. The more I read the more I was excited…but also intimidated, as we live in an apartment and I don’t have the security of my own washer and drier for prepping, stripping etc. Also I wont be able to cloth diaper for the first few days as our laundry mat is up two flights of steps and hubby refuses to wash cloth diapers, the thought makes him shudder. But after a few days I can walk up with him carrying the diapers and I can do the laundry. Maybe he will be more willing to help in the future…we’ll see, baby comes next month and we’ll see how things go…but however they go with hubby, I’m excited about starting cloth diapering.


  7. Melody Dyck Says:

    Hey I was just wondering if you have ever tried the bububebe diapers out of prince albert saskatchewan? And if you have what you thought.


  8. Heidi Says:

    So I have been using cloth diapers and I have made my own covers. And for cleaning the I use Borax and vinager and baking soda and just this last time I bought some PUL and it has pulled the plastic laminate away from the fabric and also my daughter has seem to start to react to the PUL. What should I use for a cover? She seems to have very sensitive skin and I tryed the wool and it worked ok but her as soon as she wets it goes through.


    • tara Says:

      Heidi, it sounds like your wool needs to be lanolyzed. I use lansinoh, just a pea sized amount in a baby food jar with warm water. then I shake it up until it is dissolved then add it to a bowl of room temp water. then put the wool in and let it soak for an hour then i take it out and press the water out between two towels and let it dry flat. it should be ok after that. wool doesn’t need to be washed after every use, only once a month or so (I am sometimes lazy and let it go for a couple months) there are tutorials on youtube if these directions aren’t clear.


      • Jaimee Says:

        Vinegar is a PUL killer! The acid will cause the PUL to wear out very prematurally. I hope you have some good luck with your efforts!


  9. Sara Betz Says:

    My mother cloth diapered me for about a week. Then the dryer practically exploded one night from trying to dry a load of flats. The door dramatically flew open and spit out the offending diapers. That was it…Pampers and Huggies dominated our house from that day on.

    I used sposies on my son but longed to do something different because the smell of sposies is truly disgusting to me. Six years later when my daughter was born she spent a month in a NICU and was CLEARLY allergic to sposies. Luckily, we were at SLCH in St Louis and Cotton Babies was opening their first retail store while we were there waiting for her to heal.

    I bought xs AIOs, prefolds, and Bummis xs covers. A Snappi and a bottle of Planet rounded out our first stash.

    My husband was unconvinced, but knows better than to get in my way when I want to do something. He agreed that something had to give with the diapering situation…after a month in sposies her bottom actually bled, poor thing.

    After 2 days, he was convinced, but my mother was cautious. After another 2 days, she was convinced and has since become one of our diaper collection’s biggest fans. She’ll wash my daughter’s diapers when she stays over and likes to admire the colors/prints. When I opened my shop, the became one of my biggest promoters.

    So, there’s hope for all of us, I suppose.


  10. Brandy Says:

    I loved this story! It gives me hope for the weird looks I sometimes get from my children!


  11. tara dukaczewicz Says:

    Thank you, Autumn, for the opportunity to honor my mother. She has no idea I wrote this and I can’t wait to send it to her.


  12. tanya apodaca melby Says:

    What a great mother to become!!!!!! :)


  13. elizabeth atkisson Says:

    LOVED reading this!!!! : ) I would be so honored if my kids look back on their childhoods one day and remember me as “gentle” – what a sweet description of your mama!


  14. Cindi Says:

    This post gave me the warm & fuzzies, made me smile and reminded me of my granny.


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