As I approach the nearing arrival of baby #8, I have to say that cloth diapers are, once again, on my mind! (Who am I kidding- has there actually been a stretch of time with no diapers at all in our home over the past, say 17 years?) I don’t think so!
I can hardly believe that our cloth diaper journey began that long ago. At the time, I loved the idea of reducing waste, of having soft sweet cloth against my baby’s skin, and of folding tidy little stacks of cute diapers at the end of the day. It all seemed quaint and idyllic and I was sure I’d be a wholehearted cloth diaper aficionado.
I had the most adorable bundle of handmade diapers sewn up for us by my Mom, and I gave it a good shot…for a while.
But I found myself running into roadblocks pretty quick. Like- what do you do when you go out?
Carrying a wet diaper home in a plastic bag just seemed like too much for me at the time. All right then- I’ll use cloth half the time, just when we’re at home.
Then it was the nighttime dilemma. Soaking through layers of diaper, extra liners, sleepers and bedding that all needed to be washed the next day quickly became a chore I was no longer up for. Time for another adjustment to the plan: I’d just use a disposable diaper at nighttime.
I thought that if we used our cloth diapers even once or twice/day, we’d be saving a little money and would be sparing the landfills of at least some waste. The trouble with that is that we’d go for much longer stretches between needing to wash the diapers, which made for a pretty stinky diaper pail and, let’s face it- a pretty unpleasant load to wash.
Before long, we were using cloth diapers less & less often…and then not at all.The bottom line is, I didn’t have support and just couldn’t figure out a system that worked for me.
I muddled through half-heartedly this way- with my first four babies! (I remind myself that this season of my life was nearly pre-internet, and the availability cloth diaper resources were nothing like it is now. I know- all lame excuses to make me feel better about my lack of commitment and follow-through!)
However, the reality is that cloth diapering is a big commitment. It requires an initial investment of purchasing supplies and there’s a definite learning curve in finding a system that works for you, your baby and your family. It’s a team effort, and you need support.
The good news? This is such a great time to be going with cloth! There is an infinite sea of amazing products, a wealth of knowledgeable resources to draw from and incredible systems in place to help keep cloth-diapering a clean and easy process!
By the time I had my 5th (see, I really am a slow learner!) I found a friend who inspired me to give it a good try again- so I did. And we’ve never looked back. Cloth diapering has honestly become one of the highlights of the baby years for me, and I’ve come to love so many things about it!
For the next few weeks, I’ll share more of our story with hopes of inspiring & equipping you or those you know to consider starting out with a cloth diaper routine. The money saved, the impact on the environment with the reduction of garbage created and the benefits of natural fibers against your babies skin are just a few of the advantages. And the diapers are also just pretty darn cute, making our sweet babies even more endearing!
Do you have a story to share about how you’ve cloth-diapered or not?
We’d love to hear from you!