All right, folks! As you may have read in my previous post Best Laid Plans… I didn’t quite get onto the cloth diapering train as quickly as anticipated with my little one, but now I’m a week or two into cloth diapering and getting the hang of it!
Now that I know a little about it and how to get rolling with it, I thought I’d share what I’ve found helpful and what’s been a challenge for me. Hopefully this will help you out or at least inspire you (or make you smile, at the very least!).
Why It Took Me a Long Time to Get Started with Cloth Diapers:
- Fear – I’ll admit it. I was afraid to touch the poop! The idea of folding things up and throwing them away was much more pleasing to me. But, once you’re past the first few weeks of grossness and acclimation, you’re used to it and it just doesn’t seem like too big of a deal.
- Lack of knowledge – I hadn’t changed any diaper in over 21 years and was out of practice. I wasn’t sure how to even put on a diaper (even though I had been given a private class on cloth diapers!) and was nervous about doing it wrong.
- Time/Energy – There’s a lot of new stuff to learn as a first time mom, and sometimes it feels so hard to get things done and learning one more thing will make your brain explode! Also I felt cloth diapering would take a lot more time.
- Size of diapers – My baby seemed so tiny and the cloth diapers seemed so big! Newborns are tiny! 🙂
- Free diapers – We had gotten a crapload (hehe) of free diapers from baby showers, and I didn’t want them to go to waste. They also ended up stalling me because I didn’t have to learn cloth diapering and I had so many free diapers. Once we got to the last pack of disposables, my motivation greatly increased.
What I Figured Out One I Started Using Cloth Diapers:
- Not that gross – Apart from the occasional explosion (which is gross in disposables as well), cloth diapers are pretty much as yucky as disposables. The smell is about the same. The level of contact is increased for poopy diapers (some rinsing and soaping is required), but it’s really not as bad as I anticipated.
- Not too time-consuming – It takes maybe an extra 30-60 seconds per diaper change, plus about two minutes extra per poopy diaper, and maybe 10-20 min per day or two for washing, drying, and folding.
- You need more diapers than you think and/or need to wash pretty frequently – It looked like I had a lot of diapers until you realize they aren’t quite as absorbent as disposables and, therefore, need to be changed a bit more frequently.
- Not all cloth diapers are created the same – I found I like certain diaper styles better than others. And I learned that they leak if you don’t do it right!
- It was easy once I started – Yeah, the first couple days were confusing but I quickly got it down pat and now feel confident taking my little one out into public in a cloth diaper (most of the time…)
So, I don’t want this post to be ginormous, so I’m going to separate it into three parts. The next two will be on which diapers I liked/disliked and how to do the cleaning. I hope you enjoyed this and that it will inspire you to try out cloth diapers!
If you’re still not convinced, compare the price of a pack of diapers with a cloth diaper and think about the fact that you can reuse that sucker a heck of a lot of times. I believe I read that you save about $1,500 per child by doing cloth diapering, not to mention saving the environment! It’s totally worth it!