Why I use cloth diapers, part one

I have a cousin and quite a few friends who are due in June or July and a couple of them have been asking me questions about cloth diapers. Therefore, I thought I would do a series of posts about cloth diapers this month, in an attempt to help answer questions that newbies to cloth might have. If you’re knowledgeable about cloth diapers and you are reading this, please feel free to chime in on the comments, whether you agree with me or not! I think discussion and commentary can be very helpful for the learning process.

I think a good start to this segment would be to explain just why we cloth diaper and how we ended up taking this path. I should also make clear that we’re not an anti-disposable household; it just didn’t work for us as well as cloth this time around.

When I was pregnant with Noah, I didn’t really consider cloth diapers. I knew modern cloth diapers existed from reading parenting communities and having “crunchy” friends. I did think they were cute and saved money, but I was daunted by the idea of more laundry, and disposables just seemed easy. Use, toss, done. Then, when Noah was three months old, Joshua and I were both laid off and jobs were scarce in our town. Suddenly, we were pretty worried about how we would get diapers among everything else we needed and my mind turned to the alternative solution: cloth.

It wasn’t an immediate switch. First, you need the initial funds to be able to purchase a decent-sized stash. I was a little overwhelmed at the thought of prefolds and covers, and AIOs (all-in-ones, diapers that need no cover or stuffing and are the most like disposables, especially if they have velcro-like closures) seemed like the best bet. Those are, however, some of the more expensive diapers available.

I posted to cloth diaper communities asking for ideas on cheaper options and some wonderful women decided that they would send me some diapers in the mail as a “starter stash”. I was also linked to this starter prefold stash on Cottonbabies that was basically enough diapers to get through a day, as long as I could get over my fear of prefolds. I still remember getting the donated diapers in the mail – various old pockets that were past their prime but still functional, covers that were basically “free for shipping” (you just pay shipping) but were, again, functional – and Joshua asking me how I knew these women. I said that I didn’t, but they wanted to help us out, and they did. I will forever be grateful to them.

A now-good friend of mine also sent me some new Bumgenius 3.0 pockets and I purchased some off of Diapers.com during a sale with a coupon (always the coupons, with me) and after slowly adding one or two diapers at a time, I ended up with a full stash of pockets and a handful of prefolds. I didn’t really figure out how to use prefolds properly at the time so they were always very bulky but I still loved seeing them with a cover on Noah. I can’t think of Bummis Whisper Wraps in the Froggy Pond or Star Baby prints without getting nostalgic. ;)

We cloth diapered Noah for about 18 months and then we had stink issues when we moved to Houston so I gave up. It was too difficult to combat for me and in hindsight, I see how easy they would have been to fix, but I’ve learned quite a bit since then. I sold them and switched to Huggies. (Cloth diapers often have decent resale value, even used.) I figured Noah would potty train within a year and it wouldn’t be a big deal.

The joke is on me though. Noah didn’t potty train until last November – just two months before his fourth birthday. *sigh*

With Olivia, the decision was made a little faster, but still a little delayed. More on that tomorrow…