When you try something new or you’ve decided to break a habit, it’s a challenge! I thought trying cloth diapers would be hard for me, seeing I knew nothing AND I have used only disposable with my two children. I wrote about being ignorant about cloth diapers and the encouragement and support was amazing. Thanks to all of you that left advice and gave me ideas, recommendations, and suggestions. I read them all, several times! I have to say, my husband was not all about this transition. If I thought breaking my bad habit was going to be hard, I had no idea how I was going to help him through the process!
The first argument my hubby made (to try to sway me) was the cost and the extra laundry. I have to admit I wondered about this too. I couldn’t really argue his points because I didn’t know. I was doing this to be more eco-friendly, not because of cost or laundry. I had to research this out a little so I could inform him that I was making a good choice for our pocketbook and the environment. I soon found out this a frequently asked questions and the best explanation I have found comes from the Simple Dollar. It depends on how many children will use the cloth diapers, what style you buy, how often you change the diapers, and how many you decide to purchase. The cost of the detergent, average electricity, and water bill are all included in her comparison of cloth versus disposable and it comes out close to even. There is saving involved with there being more children and the kind you choose to buy. After reading this I wondered if I should indeed invest a great deal of money into a cloth system because my daughter is 19 months but then I learned the high resale and I was sold! To help moms sell their gently used cloth diapers and diapers systems I’ve even started a spot for this at my Green Mom Community! A mom-to-mom cloth diaper resale spot!
That didn’t really make me feel better about the extra laundry but after trying a few diapers I realized it is so easy to just throw them in the wash after the pale was full, no big deal. It means less trash and he’s usually complaining about the trash so this was my argument to him. Like he does laundry, why would he care? Ah, but then he said if I was being so “green” was I wasting water with my water consumption. Again, I had no argument other than, “We have an energy-efficient washer.” So again, I dove into research but the best explanation came from Jenny who wrote a great post over at 5MFGG about cloth diapers. I was happy for her take on the issue of water consumption because I kept reading articles about a study showing cloth wasn’t very environmentally friendly. I was worried but she basically debunks the study and points out the flaw. Phew, breath sigh of relief…I’m still making an eco-friendly choice.
Hubby, still not convinced but it’s because he can’t admit he’s wrong. I had to meet in the middle because after all, my changes and wants don’t have to necessarily impact him. So we still use disposable when dad changes her or we are out and about. Meaning, no we have not completely 100% gone cloth and are still adjusting and learning.
I’ve had the opportunity to try a few different styles and brands and have to say, the cloth is really soft! My daughter was a bit confused but seems to really like them. I like that she has this soft cotton against her skin versus the disposable. It’s a big difference in texture. If you’re like me and going to go cloth, late in the game, I recommend the All in Ones. I only say this because most of us that use disposable aren’t used to keeping track of an insert and don’t like any extra work. It’s not like an insert is any big deal and that using a pocket diaper is hard work. When you use pocket diapers with the inserts, it cuts down on the drying time, from my experience. Now, cloth diapers have their own language and there are so many styles, brands, and types but Cotton Babies, they break it down for you.
They’ve been fabulous and to help me, they sent me the BumGenius one size fits all, they’re most popular sell. At first, I didn’t know what the heck to do with the insert but duh, quickly figured out where to put it and that the idea was to wick away the moisture from my little one’s bum. This was a very quick and easy diaper to put on my little girl and the snaps allowed me to decide the best fit for her. If you’re looking to buy a diaper that will grow with your child, I give this a thumbs up. It seems expensive to buy just one at $18 a diaper but to help me wrap my head around the cost I thought resale and how that one diaper would have been with from the first day I brought her home, had I began right away. That is the savings! Also, I don’t have to change her as often anymore and that means I need fewer diapers. Cotton Babies offers packages sold in 3, 6 and 12 packs at a very reasonable cost. If I were to buy the 12 pack, I’d be set! Now, my sweetie is clever and quickly undid the Velcro and thought it was fun to play with. For some reason, she never has done this with disposable. I’m assuming it has to do with it being something new to her versus her being used to disposable.
I’ve also tried FuzziBunz, who happily sent me two medium-size cloth diapers with inserts. I have to be honest, I didn’t think I would like the snaps. I thought they would take too long and be a pain because I only have a second to change my wiggle worm. Guess what, not a problem and she doesn’t get them undone! After doing some research on FuzziBunz I learned they invented the pocket diaper, meaning the cloth diaper where you put the insert to wick away the moisture. They even hold the patent and have been on the market the longest. Impressive.The diaper insert was easier to put in then the BumGenius. The FuzziBunz washed very well and the first time I used it on my daughter, she had a BM. I love how Jennifer addresses the poop issue and cloth diapers! If that’s your hang up read what she has to say! Okay, back on track to the FuzziBunz, they rock. They were soft, easy to put on, washed well and the snaps are heavy duty. I use these at night because she doesn’t mess with the snaps and I’ve had no leaks. I add an extra insert for the night time and I don’t have to change her until morning. I can buy a 12 pack and it would probably be all I would need. What size would be my issue because these aren’t one size fits all?
My next step in being a late convert was the gdiaper. I had many people recommend this to me so I decided to buy one medium starter kit. I got two diapers and 10 flushable refills, which I can’t flush because we have septic. I wondered about this and thought it was the same thing as using a disposable but the insert is biodegradable and a disposable is not. So I am still being eco-savvy if I use this diaper.
The kit comes highly recommended and I know many people who use these. Doing a cost comparison with the refill kits and Seventh Generation diapers (which I love) are neck and neck. It really comes down to it being a personal choice because money-wise, you aren’t saving by using disposable. I did use these one night and they leaked so I would probably not choose to use these as my nighttime diaper.
Trying to green my diaper routine has been a learning experience and I cannot profess to be an expert but I’ve done a lot of research, done some great product reviews, and can say, the cloth is a great way to go! I thought it was just for the greenest of moms but I was wrong! Now I’m learning to make my own wipes and using some great cloth flannel wipes. Again, I’m experimenting with different recipes and ways of doing this. For the beginner who is just starting out (I’m raising my hand), there is one must-have and I’m thankful for the Green Baby Guide for informing me of a wet bag. A must for storing dirty diapers to avoid the stinkage!
Trying to be a green mom and to do right by my kids and the environment is not easy but nobody ever said that it was. Just start someone and even if I just use a cloth one day a week, I’ve done something good for the environment. It’s a start and being a late learner with this “green movement” stuff, I’m not doing so shabby! I’m just happy to have learned that there are great cloth diaper options out there and that it is possible, cost-effective, and good for the environment. Oh, and I don’t have to use pins!!! I had to climb the mental hurdle of thinking I just wasn’t a cloth diaper mom but for real, all moms can be cloth diaper moms!
Some great resources and places to purchase cloth diapers and supplies:
Green & Clean Mom Store (Smile)
Green Baby Guide for stain and laundry tips
Clothing Diapering 101
A blog on cloth diapering for tips and insights
Read all the comments on my post about me knowing nothing for more great suggestions, tips, places to go for help and what other moms have to say!