Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Cloth diapers? Is this the 1950s?!

Yes, that is what one of my gamer friends said to me several weeks ago when I told them that I needed to take a quick break to get the diapers in the dryer.  To be honest, I was originally opposed to the idea of cloth diapering.  I had memories of my Mom folding giant sheets of diapers to fit my sister's bottom and her swishing each one in the toilet to get it clean.  YUCK!

We have several friends who were enthusiastic about cloth diapering, all of whom are stay-at-home Moms.  Don't get me wrong...I have all the respect in the world for those who can stay home and raise their children.  It's just not for me.  And I figured that my experience would be very different from theirs, with only a few hours each night to get the diapers washed. 

Luciano was more enthusiastic about the idea.  My friend Pookie was supportive but not pushy.  Then Ang sent me a link to a video of a morning show hostess who tried FuzziBunz for 30 days and raved about it.  It finally clicked for me...here's a woman with a career, a child, and cloth diapers.  Maybe I can make this work.  So I did some research.  (Thank you Itsy Bitsy Bums for all the GREAT information!)  These were NOT my mother's diapers! 

A lengthy and enthusiastic e-mail from Pookie answered a lot of my questions and encouraged me onward.  Ang also provided some great support and advice.  Danah gave us her stash of Kissaluvs newborn diapers for the first couple weeks before he would fit the one-size diapers.  And you know what?  It's working.  Not once have I had to swish a diaper in the toilet.  (This may change when he starts solid food...I plan to invest in a diaper sprayer, if needed!)

I'm sure there will be more on this topic as we start daycare, solid food, and potty training.  For now, I'm a believer in cloth!  I'm also amazed at how many of my friends are also using cloth diapers.

Everyone has their own reasons for choosing cloth or disposables.  Here are our top reasons we love cloth:
  1. Cost savings.  The average child will cost $1500-$2500 in disposable diapers before they are potty-trained.  We spent less than $500 on our gear and will still have it for future children.  Plus, there is a great resale market for cloth diapers, especially those with easily-replaced elastic like Fuzzibunz.
  2. Health.  Since we put Giovanni in Fuzzibunz (about 2 months ago now), he has not had a single diaper rash.  There are also no nasty/harmful chemicals used in the production of cloth diapers.
  3. The environment.  Yes, this was a consideration, but far from my top reason.  Keeping thousands of plastic diapers out of the landfills?  Sounds like winning to me!

Here are the specifics on our CD gear.  We have to wash every 2-3 days.
  • 22 FuzziBunz One-Size diapers
  • 8 hemp doublers for overnights (We could get by with fewer now that he's sleeping through the night.)
  • 30 FuzziBunz Wonder Wipes (I think I'd just go with cheaper, plain flannel wipes if I did it again.  The jersey knit side shrunk more than the fleece side, so they don't fold quite right anymore.  We also don't need nearly so many now that he's no longer pooping in every diaper.)
  • Homemade wipe solution (Take a clean, old peanut butter jar.  Fill to the bottom line with witch hazel, a couple Tbsp.  Add a couple drops each of tea tree oil and lavender oil.  Fill to the top with water.  Add a squirt of baby wash.  Shake to mix and pour into a squirt bottle.  Spray each wipe prior to use.)
  • 2 wet bags for travel  (We may add one more to the rotation once he starts daycare.)
  • 2 dry pails for storage at home
  • 2 portable changing pads for on-the-go diaper changes
  • Rockin' Green Hard Rock detergent