This is something I’ve always wanted to do for my baby and the environment. Unfortunately, at the beginning of motherhood I was so overwhelmed with new gadgets and a new baby that cloth diapering seemed to be something that might put me over the edge. I have recently found out that a complete meltdown likely would not have happened as cloth diapering so far has been a smooth sailing operation. In fact, I’m in love with it! It’s SO much easier than I could have ever anticipated and can you blame me for loving the bright colours and prints I get to put on my baby girl now?
This switch was not something I has planned. Although I always had that uneasy feeling of mom guilt every time I used a disposable diaper as I knew the ingredients sitting in them. I almost felt like a fraud considering every other aspect of my life seems to be based in nature and avoiding toxic materials as much as possible. I suppose the fact that I knew everything else in Delilah’s life was so healthy that this one aspect wouldn’t be an issue. For my baby, I was wrong. Delilah ended up with a diaper rash (after not having ANY up until 8 months of age) and it was red, angry, and ruthless. It covered the entire outline of her diaper and red bumps crawled up her belly and down her legs. I brought her to both her Doctor and Naturopath who each suggested this was an allergic reaction to the diapers she was wearing. Both care providers suggested a switch to different diapers and I knew inside that this was my chance to try cloth. Delilah was older now, I had the hang of this mothering thing, and I felt at this point I could handle an extra task of laundering dirty diapers.
Steve and I went to the health food store to pick up some items to relieve my little ones rash and then headed over to a local baby store that covers all things natural. The lady working at the store gave us a tutorial on cloth diapering and showed us all of the different style and brands. Steve and I quickly realized that cloth diapering had come a long way from what image we had in our minds (cream muslin wrapped cloth secured with large pins circa 1940). In fact, cloth diapers are basically the exact same as disposables in their make and style…. but better! There are a few types of cloth diapering options and the two that I chose to use are called All-in-One and Pocket diapers.
All-in-One diapers are exactly what their name claims. The absorbent cloth is stitched into the diaper so you simply put on baby, take off baby, throw in diaper pail (and into laundry once you’ve gathered a decent pile of dirty diaps). You cant really get more simple than that! The pocket style diapers are similar, although they have a small slit in the back of the diaper to slot in the absorbency pad. When using pocket diapers you “stuff your diapers” once they’ve finished being cleaned and dried just as you would fold any laundry coming out of the dryer. It’s one extra step, but quite honestly I fold enough laundry that I didn’t see or notice this as being an extra task at all. It is super fast and easy. Took me about 5 minutes to stuff the pocket diapers we have.
In terms of what brand we used, after my tutorial at the baby store it was quite clear that the easiest (and most adorable) system was Bum Genius. This line of diapers is beyond compare. The absorbency is phenomenal, they have a regular polyester and an organic line to choose from, and they offer both All-in-one and pocket style. The diapers are lined on the outside with bright coloured and patterned water proof material and the inside material is so unbelievably soft! Their design makes for an easy transition from disposable to cloth and they have snaps that adjust to baby’s size all the way from 8 lbs.-35 lbs. I can use these diapers on my girl and all subsequent babies which will save me tons of money in the diapering department!
I purchased four diapers to try them out before committing to a full set of 24. We used them for a few days before we realized that cloth diapering is DEFINITELY our style. Since then we’ve bought another 8 and are slowly growing our stockpile to the standard 24 count diaper stash that is suggested. I have to say that since beginning our cloth diapering journey I have become obsessed with it! I had read of other mothers claiming they fell in love with it too and never quite understood how diapering could be such a “fun process”, but I really do enjoy using them over disposables. My babies stubborn rash went away completely, I haven’t found the laundering process to be hard, and I didn’t have to purchase anything other than the diapers to get started. It’s really a great investment in many ways. It’s an investment in terms of the money you save over the years of diapering, an investment in your baby’s health, and for the environment. Had I known that cloth diapering was this easy, I would have probably done it from day 1! I’m at the very least so glad that I have switched over to this now, while my baby is still young and before I have my next babies.
Follow my cloth diapering blog series for the next few posts on cloth diapering, including a write up of all the ways I’m saving money using this diapering system!