If you did any kind of research before you had your baby, you probably decided long before your baby was born where the baby was going to sleep, what brand of car seat to buy, what outfit you and your baby would wear home from the hospital, and whether you were going to breastfeed or give your baby formula.
But when it came to diapering, were you overwhelmed? Do you remember all the choices that were available and how impossible it was to remember the difference between a pocket and prefold, all-in-one or all-in-two? If you ended up cloth diapering, now you probably spout out terms like that just as easily as you say slice of pizza or cup of coffee.
You were probably also overwhelmed by the thought of having a newborn in the days and weeks before your due date. What would you do all day with a helpless infant in your arms? Would you bond with the baby? Would the baby cry all the time? And now, looking back at those early days, you remember some challenges, but you wonder why you worried so much.
Change is overwhelming. It's hard to wrap your mind around a completely new experience like having a baby or cloth diapering. When you only have a few options to choose from (bed, crib, or cosleeper; breast milk or formula), it's easier to make a decision than when you have a multitude of options (prefold, pocket, cover, hook and loop, snaps, snappi, microfiber, organic, etc.)
So when it comes to cloth diapering, the thought of the unknown can make you shut down. When faced with a tough decision, it's easy to decide to do what's familiar.
Let me tell you, the process of cloth diapering is much easier than making a decision to cloth diaper. In other words, it's the decision that's hard. But putting on a cloth diaper, taking it off, and tossing it in the diaper pail--that's just as easy as using a disposable. By the time you've reached that point, the hard part is over.
So how do you get over the hurdle and decide whether cloth diapering is for you?
- Get information from a good resource -There are thousands of cloth diaper resources out there. Forums where cloth diaper addicts (yes, once you start it's hard to stop) discuss everything from cute colors to stain removal can be helpful, but everyone has an opinion, and they may contradict one another, leaving you just as overwhelmed as you were when you started.
Stop into Green Baby and ask Liz any question in the book--I can assure you she can help you out with any cloth diapering challenge you have!
If you're looking for an online resource, my favorite is Cotton Babies. It's a little more streamlined. It has several different styles of diapers to choose from--just enough to give you a wide range of options when it comes to style and price, but it doesn't leave you feeling like a kid in a candy store. Cotton Babies also has a comprehensive How-To page where you can easily look up the answers to any question you may have.
- Borrow a stash - Do you have friends who have used cloth diapers? Ask them if you can borrow some of their stash. Try out different styles and types of diapers. Get firsthand experience with them. Once you've seen how simple the process is, become addicted to the adorable prints and colors, and witnessed how cloth holds in poop explosions like nothing else, you'll be donating your disposables and starting your own stash. Because I started my own stash this way, now I've become a pro at using all kinds of cloth diapers. Give me a prefold and a snappi and I'm good to go, but I prefer to leave all-in-ones when I'm leaving my babies with Big T or a babysitter. I loved Fuzzi Bunz for the adjustable leg elastic when my newborn was having breastfed-blow-outs. I have a stash of one-size pocket diapers that I could quickly adjust to put on Baby T or snap to a smaller size when diapering Little M.
|Look ma--no pants! (See how cute cloth diapers can be?)|
I can't tell you the number of times I've had to change Little M's entire outfit because he leaked while wearing a disposable. In fact, that's one of the main reasons I started cloth diapering him so early. He hated getting his clothes changed, so blowouts were a miserable experience for both of us. When I go out, whether I'm traveling by airplane or just going to the store, I know I'm not going to have a mishap if I throw a cloth diaper on him. If I'm using disposables, I feel like I'm playing Russian roulette.
I still have to send the kids to daycare wearing disposables, so I have to buy a box periodically. I can't tell you how much I cringe when I have to pay money for disposables, knowing that I'm basically investing in crap--something I'm just going to throw away. If you wash your own diapers, you may spend extra money on your water bill, but you're saving money by avoiding weekly diaper runs. If you use a diaper service, you may be spending money weekly, but at least you're saving on the cost of buying disposables, gas, and laundering your baby's clothes every time there is a "pooplosion." And you have all the cute covers to sell when your baby has begun to use the potty. (Not to mention the tons--yes, literally tons--of diapers you are saving from ending up in a landfill over the course of your child's diaper "career.")
Still undecided? That's because change is hard. It's a new year. Take the plunge into cloth diapering. Once you try it, you'll be hooked. The hard part is making the decision. The easy part is doing the cloth diapering. Yes, there are some challenges. But isn't showering, doing laundry and vacuuming challenging once you have a newborn? Isn't washing every outfit that's on the receiving end of a disposable "pooplosion" challenging? Parenting has its fair share of challenges, yet we love it. Cloth diapering is much easier than parenting!
|Little M wearing cute wool soakers|
I received no compensation for this post, but I have entered it in a contest at http://jenniferlabit.com/2011/12/12/all-i-want-for-christmas-is-to-tell-the-world-about-cloth-diapers/. You can be a part of the contest, too! Leave a comment below this blog post telling me why you think cloth diapering is so much cheaper and easier than using disposables. If this post is chosen as the winner, one commenter will win 12 bumGenius one-size cloth diapers!