Today’s guest post is written by my blogging and in real life friend, Grateful for Grace. She shares her take on going back to cloth diapers.
I am a cloth diapering re-vert, not exactly a convert. I’d used them before, but I came back around. It had been ten years and three kids since I used cloth diapers. I researched more this time (the internet grew up with my first cd baby, so that certainly helped) and found a great diaper. I reverted back to cloth to help my family’s budget. We have six amazing children and my husband helps run a summer camp, so we aren’t rolling in dough, even if we are rolling in happiness.
I flirted with the idea of going back to cloth diapers with each new kid, but just couldn’t do it. I had been too frustrated by persistent leaks. Constant leaks equal messes, laundry, and headaches. I simply didn’t trust cloth diapers any more. To even consider going back meant I was serious about saving my family money because last time I was not happy long term. Gratefully, Autumn came into my life and showed me how much the cloth diaper has changed in the last ten years.
Reverting back to cloth has been truly enjoyable and I’ve seen a few differences this time around.
First, there really are leak proof cloth diapers. This astounds me still, even after using cloth for seven months. The fact that I haven’t had to deal with a single poopy leak makes me giggle. Sure, maybe I’m too easily entertained, but it does make a mama happy when she doesn’t have to worry about poopy clothes/bedding/laps. This fact alone (ok, and the money saving benefit) has convinced me cloth diapers are worth their weight in gold (or cotton or microfleece, whatever).
Secondly, diapers are so stinkin’ cute now that it can be addicting to keep buying them,even if you start using cloth to save money. I’ve resisted the urge, thus far, but it hasn’t been easy. At all. I share this to encourage you to stay the course with your reasons for choosing cloth, whatever your reasons.
Is your main reason: To save money? Then first, follow Autumn’s tips and second, only buy what you need. It’s probably best to not ‘window shop’ unless you should be buying. Trust me on this. To help the environment? Then be sure your laundering detergent is just as good. To guard your baby’s health? If that’s your only reason, well, I think you pretty much have free reign and you’re the envy of your cding friends. ;-)
Third, cloth diapering just doesn’t feel like the work it did the first time around. Granted, this could be because I’ve been changing diapers for over thirteen years (did I just say that?!), but I think it’s more than that. I think I am committed to making it work, so the extra effort (and three more loads of laundry a week when I already do two-three loads a day, is work) simply doesn’t feel that bad. Just as I don’t consider washing my hands every time I use the bathroom or change a diaper too much work, dunking a poopy diaper and doing three extra loads of laundry a week just don’t feel that burdensome.
Finding a leak proof diaper certainly cut down on the effort. I am also not as grossed out by dealing with the poop. This is partly helped by the kind of diaper I use now (vs. a prefold), but really poop is just poop and I can wash my hands.
Finally, whereas before I was just focusing on the financial side of my decision, now I am also excited about the testimony I am living out for my children. Last time, my eldest was three when I stopped using cloth. She doesn’t remember it at all. Now, however, I have a teenager and older kids watching and participating in using cloth diapers. They are learning how much money it saves the family (terrific math lessons), how easy they are to put on and take off (oh yes, I make them put diapers on their two year old brother), how much better it is for the environment (a lovely science lesson, thankyouverymuch) and how the poop isn’t really all that awful (ok, ok, they aren’t totally convinced of this yet).
I love letting Wee Babe pitter patter around camp and home with his clothed behind showing. I try to let others see my darling wet bag and diapers so I can encourage them, even if silently. Just as I made sure to breastfeed in public sometimes, I now want others to know cloth is do-able. Even with someone who does three times as much laundry.
This time around, I wish I had reverted back sooner. Using cloth is a stinkin’ fun way of life. Seriously.