The hubs and I are considering cloth diapering. I'd like to go on about all the statistics that relate to how that will positively impact the earth, but I don't know them. I know they exist, and I know they are important, but what's good enough for me is knowing that I will not be contributing (at least on a massive scale) to the diapers plaguing our landfills. I did learn the other day that on average, you'll use 7200 cloth diapers in your child's life time. And I don't need math to tell me that's an awful lot of fecal filled plastic sacks to add to an already epic waste management problem.
I also don't need to do the math to understand what that will cost us. A fuk lot. Math doesn't give you ballparks like that, but who needs them. For those of you who are into math and junk, I did a rough calculation and we're looking at about $2000. This is assuming your kid is an average crapper, that you don't have more than 1 child, and that you are shopping around for discount diapers. Converesly, you can get cloth ones for around $500, with all sorts of selling your old ones, buying used ones, borrowing from people or looking for sales.
Not to mention, when I think about buying the "cheapest disposable diaper" I envision myself, my hubs and my daughter covered in crap. Literally. I mean, I'm no expert, but I've had the lovely experience of lifting up a baby and finding urine, or worse turds, on my leg or arm. And as it turns out, I'm having a baby which means I will be covered in both those things (and more, because we all know no matter what kind of diaper you have, it does not protect against projectile breast milk in reverse) often as it stands. So to limit the leakage, I doubt I'd be bargain basement diaper shopping. No, I'd totally coupon clip my way to saving on the ones that are the best defense, but I suspect those ones start at a heftier price.
And then of course, there is the fact that this is my child and her BRAND NEW skin I'm swaddling up in plastic and whatever else they make a diaper out of (I don't know, but I'm somehow sure it didn't start out that fluffy white colour). One of the best things I read when researching cloth diapers was "I don't wear plastic panties, why should my kids?". And I think maybe, that's true. I mean sure, I've never TRIED plastic panties, at least, not in my adult years (oh come on, we ALL had those little training pants), but I assume they aren't as comfortable and breathable as Pampers would have you think. And frankly, I half expect to find out diapers aren't BPA free sometime soon, or that they are laced with some other sort of life sucking chemical. Not because I'm a pessimist, but because last time I checked, everything we do is being put on the "this is going to kill you dead" list.
For these reasons, and the simple fact that this WHOLE thing is so new and foreign to me, so I figure why the hell not try it out, we're looking into cloth diapering. No promises though. If I find out they are, in fact, the worst things ever in life, I will consider going back to disposables. And I am SO not against disposables on certain occasions. Like when you've got a baby sitter coming by or, you know, you haven't done laundry because it was laundry or sleeping and sleeping of course wins (yup, naps already win over my daughters butt. Mother of the year award coming my way!). My approach to this whole pregnancy/delivery/motherhood thing is attempted flexibility. Talk to me in 5 months and ask me how that's going, ok? I'll probably be the crazy naked lady hanging upside down from the street lamp, crying about my youth and when things were easy. But maybe not.
So anyway, we went to Cloth Diapers 101, put on by New & Green Baby Co.I thought the 101 was indicative of the level of diapering knowledge we were going to cover, you know, the basics. And it sort of was. But mostly I think the 101 refers to how many types of cloth diapers (and I'm talking types here, not brands. That would be Cloth Diapers 5698) we would be covering in the evening. And that is in no was a negative towards New & Green. I don't think they were trying to overwhelm us, in fact I know they weren't. They were just doing their diaper due diligence. And they did a fine job.
We did the whole gamut of diapers. We talked about All-in-Ones, Prefolds, Pockets, One Size, Fitted, and G Diapers. We saw how to stuff extra material in for increased leakage protection, and felt the difference between hemp, cotton, bamboo and synthetic materials. We touched diapers to our cheeks (not THOSE cheeks geeze) to see how soft they really were, and we snapped, unsnapped and velcroed up and down like nobody's business. We also sweat a lot, but that's really got nothing to do with diapers and everything to do with stuffing a bunch of pregnant ladies in an over heated community centre meeting room.
We looked at bumGenius, Fuzzi Bunz and AMP, we looked at plastic covers and wool covers, and learned what a Snappi is. We sat, and after an hour and a half, had a pretty good grasp on what this whole diapering thing was about. I think. I mean, how will we really KNOW until she's here and I'm up to my elbows in diaper changes. We won't.
The fact is, after the class I was less intimidated by all the things out there and more excited to get started. Visa in hand I was ready to buy, but I refrained. We haven't settled on a type yet, or really even made a plan. But at least NOW I feel as though we've got something to go on. We're far too good at making decisions based on assumptions, and since we're becoming adults now (sure whatever) I figure it's high time we thought things through a little better (a little better then "hey let's buy a 100 year old house with lots of wood in a SUPER rainy climate" or "this fridge will fit in there, NOOOOO problem).
As an added bonus, my BFF has always used cloth diapers, and her daughter is almost 1. And that means, she's got a nice set of infant sized all-in-ones she is just DYING to lend us (that, her Ergo, her Peg Perago car seat and I am SURE other things are coming...we are SOOOOO lucky). So it means we can try it out on her pretty much right away (the baby, not my BFF) and see how we like it.
I think my family is laughing at me, with my hopes for natural child birth, my attempt at cloth diapering and my plan to make my own baby food. And not because they think any of that is stupid. Just because it doesn't seem like a me thing to do. Not that I make a habit of raping the earth, poisoning small creatures or being careless with my things. But because at the core of it all, I'm still a city girl with a couple tattoos, who enjoys the simplicity of having things done for me. If I could afford it, I'd have a house cleaner, and a gardener. There I said it, and I'm not ashamed. When given the option to go the easy way, I'll generally take that path. And natural child birth, cloth diapers and homemade baby food scream complicated. But for some reason, this seems like the way to go.
I know I'm in for a lot of hard work ahead. I'm thinking I'm in for an unfathomable amount of confusion and stress, exacerbated by a lack of sleep and the dependence of a whole new life. It's going to be bumpy and surely I'll falter and fall. I can't even begin to image what life will be like, because I have no experience, no frame of reference and no knowledge of my daughters personality. She could sleep like an angle but never want to eat, like my niece. She could be colicky and refuse to nap. She could be a HUGE combination of traits, and until I know what those are, I can hardly plan a course of action.
I can however prepare myself for the kind of family life I want to have. I can arm myself with knowledge and do what I think is best for us. The rest will just have to fall into place, however that shall be.
Apparently the proximity I'm getting to her arrival is increasing my loquacious nature......
It's like this, and like that....
I started this blog in an effort to track my experiences with pregnancy and beyond. Writing is therapeutic. Kind of like talking to myself without the people in WalMart thinking I'm crazy. If you find some entertainment in this along the way, then even better!
This is one woman's journey through unfathomable hunger, vivid sex dreams and a bulging belly...from conception to birth in 9 months or less...