Friday, November 30, 2012

Cloth diapering, a year in review

I can't believe it's been over a year and I'm still cloth diapering. I remember when I first heard about it, and I was immediately appalled and intrigued. (I seem to have that reaction a lot.) These days, the idea of washing your diapers seems so medieval, primitive. Everyone uses disposable diapers because that's what is done. It's not really a hot button issue, just a way of life. Having a diaper cake at your baby shower is a right of passage for the pregnant mother. Once you get one, you are officially going to have a baby. Before that, it's all a mirage.

So of course I had to be different. Not because I love being different, just because I'm usually trying out stuff  I read about to prove someone wrong. Cloth diapering must be impossible, so let me do it. Wool diapers are  for barbarians, I'll buy 15. Elimination Communication is the love child of the devil and a madman. Babies will never, I repeat NEVER go to the bathroom on a potty. I've got to try this.

What is wrong with me? Why am I doing this to myself? Whatever brain abnormalities aside, I've learned a few things over this past year of cloth diapering that I'd like to share with you.

1.) Newborn cloth diapering is not for everyone. You have to want to do it. If it becomes overwhelming, stop. Love that baby and focus on more important things like establishing breastfeeding (if you are doing that) and getting some much needed sleep.

2.) You will eventually stop buying a new diaper every week. This usually happens when you have at least one of every diaper you just can't live without.

3.) Most likely your spouse will eventually jump on board. At first Mike thought I was a raving lunatic and now he's telling me we need to do diaper loads and begging me to put wool on her at night.

4.) Aplix (or velcro, as normal people like to call it) is not all created equal. My aplix Blueberry diapers are still going strong, but my Bumgenius one is no longer reliable. My daughter walked right out of it last night right before bath time. That being said, different people have different experiences with different diapers. Just know that you might not be able to use all of your diapers for multiple children.

5.) Never underestimate a hip snap with a crawling and walking baby. I HATE my Sweetpea diapers now because they don't have hip snaps and she is constantly leaking out in them.

6.) You are going to start hating some of the diapers you loved and vice versa.

7.) Cloth wipes are still easy and you never run out of them like disposables.

8.) Different one size diapers work better for different stages of your baby's development. I used to like Blueberry for nap time and now they don't hold in all the pee. Sweetpea's used to be my favorite day diaper and now I can't stand them.

9.) Buy the most expensive diaper you can afford that works well for your baby. I bought two really horrible diapers I will write about in another blog. They were super cute and really reasonable. Now they just sit in her diaper drawer and I curse at them every time she has a diaper change. I could have spent the money I used on the two of them to buy one really nice diaper.

10.) If you are traveling or your baby has a bad case of the runs, just go to the store and get some disposables. It's only a week here or there. No one gives you a trophy that says you 100% cloth diapered your baby's bum after they have potty trained, so save yourself the trouble of doing diaper laundry in a hotel at midnight and enjoy your life.

11.) This process is totally doable if you want to do it. If you find that it's too hard, you might need more diapers. At the beginning, I remember feeling pressure to make sure I had a load of diapers in so that she would have some for the next day. Now that I have enough (cough, cough) for a few days (a week), I feel more calm about washing. Everything is more fluid and I know that I'll be using these diapers for the future youngins to come. However, if you get more diapers and you still can't figure it out, don't worry. Sell your diapers on eBay and move on. You're not a horrible parent if you don't cloth diaper. (Email me first though, because maybe I'll want to buy your diapes!)

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