I made my first big purchase for new baby yesterday, and I'm disproportionately excited about it! After lots, I mean LOTS, of research on the subject, I've decided I'm going to cloth diaper! At this point, you are probably thinking one of two things: 1) She's lost her mind! What is this, 1935? OR 2) Cloth diapering is no big deal! If you are of the #1 mind frame, there is a chance I won't be changing your mind about the issue. You can continue to read on as to why I decided to go this route, or you can go back to what you were doing before this. If you are of the #2 mind frame (no pun intended) then you are probably already a cloth diaperer, or have at least considered it. The biggest reason I've decided to go with CD (cloth diapering) is for financial reasons.
I'll do the math for you. I just bought 30 Kawaii bamboo minky pocket diapers with 2 bamboo inserts for each diaper, and 4 heavy wetter/overnight diapers for $250. (Thanks to all of Eric's hard work, working overtime and a huge sale going on with Kawaii diapers!) This is a huge investment, and anyone who knows us, knows that we don't just throw that kind of money around. But we've done the math and understand that it's worth it. That's about $7 a diaper. We spent about $50 a month on diapers for Jackson. Jackson was in diapers for about 31 months (and still wears them for nap and bed time). That's about $1550 we've spent, so far, on diapering him. The 30 CDs we just bought are an adjustable "one size" kind of diaper that is made for babies 8-36 pounds, so, in theory, these should fit this new baby until it's potty trained. Chances are, there will be a gap in size from when the baby is first born, until they will fit into these new diapers. We haven't decided yet, but we will either use disposables until they are 8 pounds, or we will invest in the most adorable cloth diapers I have ever seen! They are called "Lil' Joey's" and they fit babies 4-12 pounds. If this new baby is anything like it's older brother, they will be able to wear them until about 5 months old. They are expensive little buggers though (about $15 a diaper, compared to $7 a diaper for the bigger size ones we just bought). It's something to think about. Since the baby won't be wearing them forever and ever, they will probably stay in pretty decent shape and I could sell them on a used CD forum. (Apparently CDs hold their value pretty well, and you can get a fair amount of money back for ones you no longer use). So, that's the financial reasons we've decided to go this way.
The environment is another reason. We certainly aren't overly eco-friendly, tree huggers, but it's something that we both think about. It's estimated that it takes anywhere from 250-500 YEARS for a diaper to decompose in a landfill. That's pretty insane....really. Every time I would take a huge bag of trash out to the curb, filled with Jackson's crap and pee, I would think "well, this certainly isn't helping the environment".
Another reason is that I've heard (and can't speak for the facts on this one) that CD babies get less diaper rash than disposable diaper babies. This wasn't a huge issue for Jackson, but he got his share of them, and when it was bad, it made diaper changes pretty terrible.
The last reason is a fickle one, but they are so darn cute. I mean, seriously! Stinking. Cute.
I've thought about all of the bad parts of CDing too. Mostly, the laundry aspect of it. And I truly suck at keeping up on laundry. But, here's my thought on that. I suck at doing laundry, mostly because it's just not a priority to me. We have plenty of clothes in this house for the laundry to pile up for an obscene amount of time, and we all still have stuff to wear. If there are no clean diapers, I will have no choice but to wash them. I mean, I'm not going to just let my baby crap everywhere. And I'm not going to put a dirty diaper back on my baby! (EWWWWW!) And I'm quite sure that if I'm caught buying or using a disposable, Eric will divorce me on the spot! (okay, there's a chance he might not divorce me, because then he'd have to clean up after himself and stuff, but we've talking about this a lot and decided that, if we are going to go the CD route, we can't change our mind about it later. We've invested too much to half-ass it. We also decided that when we travel, we will use disposables.) But we bought enough that I will probably only have to wash them up every 3 or 4 days. That's not so bad. It's one load, and there isn't even any folding that needs to happen. (that's usually where the laundry gets "stuck" for me)
The process will look something like this: (this might get a little graphic, for the queasy, you might want to skip this part) If the diaper is wet, you simply change the baby the way you would with a disposable, and put the old CD into a special-for-cloth-diapering-bag. (like this Planet-Wise Wet/Dry Bag) I'll pull the bamboo insert out before putting it in there. If it's poopy, and the poop is solid, I'll just dump the poop in the toilet first, then put the diaper in the bag. (Did you know that you are supposed to do that with disposable diapers too? It's true! Read the diaper package!) If it's....ummmmm....mushy, then I'll use a diaper sprayer to spray the poop into the toilet, or use some sort of poop spoon or something to scrape it off, then put the diaper in the bag. No, not the most glamorous thing to do, and I'll probably hate it, but I'm trying to look at the big picture here. And in all honesty, as a Mommy (or Daddy), you deal with poop all the time. This is nothing new. And it's not like the diaper has to be clean going into the laundry, it should just be free from big chunks. As a matter of fact, some people don't even do the dump in the toilet part. They insist that it all gets taken care of during that initial rinse in the washer. We'll see about that....Okay, the gross part is over. So, on wash day, I simply take the entire bag and dump the contents into the washing machine, along with the bag that will get washed each time. I'll do an extra rinse on cold first, then a "sanitize" wash cycle. Some people hang dry their diapers. I probably won't. I'll just throw them in the dryer.
My other trepidation is that I've put all of my eggs in one kind of diaper. Most people recommend that you get several different kinds of diapers to see what works and what doesn't. That was originally my plan. Until Kawaii had this huge sale. I looked at tons and tons of reviews of these and other kinds of diapers, and I'm pretty confident that I'm getting a good diaper, and for the price, I'm willing to risk it. The other ones that I was interested in run about $15 per diaper. These are half that price. I'm also planning on leaving a lot of them in their new packaging until trying a few of them out. That way, if they are totally terrible, I can sell them for the "new" price and try a different brand. These really did get great reviews though, so, fingers crossed, they will work.
So, that's my plan. I'm actually really excited about this. I know it will sometimes be a pain in the butt, but, hey, so is constantly going to the store to buy diapers! Wish me luck! **I'd like to add that I really dislike calling the baby "it" and "they" throughout my post. One more week and I can say he or she!**