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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...

The Cloth Diaper Edition

Thursday, January 21, 2010
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......

11 comments to The Cloth Diaper Edition:

The Mommyologist said...

Good luck with the cloth, but don't beat yourself up too much if they don't work out! One sentence for ya: Sh!$ up the back!!

jss said...

When I mentioned cloth diapers to my husbanad, he looked at me as if I had just proposed we move to the moon. The idea of cloth diapering was so foreign, so unfathomable, he couldn't even wrap his mind around it to begin considering it. He shot me down right away.

Given that we're trying to do whatever we can to pinch pennies around here, cloth diapering just seemed to make sense. Plus, I really like the idea of no diaper rash.

I'll be interested to hear what you think about it after your baby finally arrives. Maybe I'll finally be able to talk my husband into it!

Babe_chilla said...

Mommyologist - my BFF says she has poo up the back issues only in disposables, interesting. We'll see how it goes. I'm channeling my inner zen...go with the flow. It's so not like me.

JSS - my husband was a bit like, huh? But when you actually do the research and check them out, they are really not that hard at all. Some of the versions are just as easy as a disposable, except you add the washing part.

I like the idea of using them for subsequent children as well!

Emily said...

Well, Hudson has been in cloth since day one. It IS more complex. I mean, it's harder for anyone who doesn't know cloth to change him. So, when friends come over and offer to change him- we usually have to decline. Only because people who aren't experienced with it usually don't do it right resulting in more laundry and more mess.Yesterday he came home from my dads with the prowrap on inside out AND backwards. Not to mention- the diaper itself was fastened pretty janky.

The good news? Breastfeeding and making your own baby food are time saving as well as $ saving. Seriously. I loved being out and not having to worry if I had formula, bottled water, clean bottles etc in tow. Also, making your own food is literally the easiest thing ever. I started at 6 months-and on Sundays I'd take fresh fruits and veggies and make the food. It would usually last a few weeks and was a fraction of the price of jarred food.

My mom and dad both bought jarred food for him while he was at their houses, which was fine.

Oh, and I recently read an article that says disposable diapers absorb by using a gel which, is made from the same stuff in tampons that causes TSS. I'm sure its bullshit and in order for it to actually happen you'd probably have to leave your kid in a diaper for like 10 hours at a time- but yeah.

So Not Mom-a-licious said...

So I was first coming over to say welcome to the SITStahood! I get to welcome all the newbies. But I may be a little late on this. Plus I've seen you around my place before, so wouldn't it be awkward for me to say hello!welcome when we already had relations?

On to my comment...

I totally started out like this. We had a big house, big bathtub and I told my husband I wanted the family there to help me deliver our son naturally. I told him we were going to use Nappies and that I would be the one to deal with changing diapers. After about 6 or 7 months of this, he turned to me one day and said "When did you become a tree hugger?!" To which I responded I am not, but I knew that I was strong physically (this was when I was still working out) and mentally (pain is what you make it). Needless to say, I gave up on both those ideas. For me is was a blessing as my son was delivered emergency C-sect. and he had hip dysplasia which required him to wear 2 diapers at once to help keep his hips forming properly. And now I'm just lazy so there are no hopes of doing the natural thing next time either.

But, you can do it! And you will probably be very proud and happy for yourself!

greenbabygreenmama said...

Great post! I think it's so interesting that having a baby makes us do things that we never would have dreamed about. My friends and parents thought I was crazy too, but you know what - it's usually the people who have no idea what they are talking about who are the most negative. Prove 'em wrong!

Amy said...

I have been doing cloth diapers since my son lost his umbilical cord and I haven't regreted my decision! When I go out or have someone (or the hubs) watch him, I use the cheapie Walmart 'sposie. Other than that - I use prefolds during the day because they are much easier to wash and I use pocket one-size diapers at night.
When we went to visit family for 2 weeks over the holidays, I used 'sposies exclusively. Poop up the back, leaks {I tried walmart, huggies, pampers...} cloth is definitely better and prefolds are better than the fancy nappies IMO. But as a plus side, I found out that it isn't the cloth diapers that makes my son wake up several times in the night, cause he did that with the 'sposies too. He just has sleep issues :(
Good luck with the cloth!

carma said...

That's a lot of diaper knowledge there! Just thankful my son is 14 years out of diapers :D

Welcome to SITS! We're glad you joined :-)

pixielation said...

I used cloth nappies for both my children, and they worked out perfectly. The "poo up the back" scenario happened a few times - but none of those times were with cloth nappies. They were all with disposable ones in the very earliest days, while the poo is still that disgusting mustard stuff which just goes everywhere!

Yes, there are drawbacks to cloth nappies - carrying the bag bag home heavier than you went out is one. But you don't have to be extreme. There were times when I decided that we'd use disposables because it would be easier. On the whole, if you've got a bugger/stroller then the weight you're carrying around isn't really an issue.

Mine slept in cloth diapers as well, and I tried a few different kinds for that. I tried a woollen one which left the bed damp in the morning despite its claims.

When they were still tiny I used small terry squares folded with a nappy nipper to hold them. I found these better than the shaped ones for tiny weeny bums.

Once they got a bit bigger then the types I used were all Motherease shaped nappies with the matching waterproof cover, and then with my second child I bought a few additional ones. I can't remember the brand, but they were shaped with fleece as the inner material. They were lovely.

I also never had nappy rash on either girl with washable nappies, and I did have it awfully when I used a certain so called "green" disposable nappy. "Nature Boy and Girl" or something like that. I decided that something in those nappies was irritating them, so if I used disposables, I had to buy pampers or the other commercial brands. That was slightly annoying!

I didn't find the washing too onerous, and with my first child we didn't even have a dryer, but we managed. People coming to our house would see the drying rack leaning against the hall radiator, so it was nice to get rid of that when we DID get a dryer!

I found the shaped nappies with extra inserts were the best in terms of washing and drying. I had one all in one nappy which wouldn't dry in a normal period of time, but if you have a dryer that's probably a moot point.

I would put the nappies in a nappy bucket with a lid, but it wasn't full of water or anything. That meant that when I dumped them into the washing machine I wasn't also juggling a huge heavy bucket of smelly water.

If there was poo - this is the nasty part! - and if the poo had gone off the liner and onto the nappy, then I would hold the nappy in the toilet and flush a few times, basically using the toilet as a washing bowl. Yep, it's gross. But if the poo is kept on the liner (it comes down to a combination of poo consistency and good liner placement!) then all you need to do is lift by the edges, drop and flush!

I hope my experience helps you a bit!

Theta Mom said...

So much info out there, good post! And I am your newest follower from The Mommyologist and the follow meme over at POM!

parentingBYdummies said...

It's official. I like you. Good writer. Interesting content. Eager beaver ripe for crushing with the realities of a new baby! Totally kidding on that last one. You seem very prepared and mindful of all sorts of things I wish I had thought of when I was 23 and pregnant with #1. Oh well, I've learned. And one thing I learned about was cloth diapering. I tried it with #3 when he started getting severe bouts of diarrhea and horrific diaper rash. I did a large review on the whole thing too on my blog so if you feel like combing the archives have at it. I did g-diapers, bum genius, an etsy seller, an more. Anyway, I didn't start when he was a newborn, but interested to see how that works out for you.

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