“I will never ever do anything that my mom does!” A teenage girl’s motto, right? Surely it was mine during my wonderful teenage years. I always thought: I will never yell at my kids, I will never ground my kids, my kids will eat whatever they want, and I most definitely will NOT use cloth diapers like she did, that’s just weird and gross. Here we go back to that teenage me that would be rolling her eyes at the today me. I think all of this would call for a big, you’re going to get stuck like that kind of eye roll. The things that I do now are way too similar, it’s scary! Our son thinks that peas are the best snack ever, we will most definitely be using time outs and probably even grounding (but we’ll call it something else just for my satisfaction), and we use cloth diapers…even on vacation.
The cloth diaper that I thought my mom was insane for using and that I swore off from the time my little brother and sister were in them, we are now using and loving. Nick and I went back and forth on whether or not to go cloth. One day when O was about 6 months old, we were in Babies R’ Us and it came down to buying a $40 case of diapers for the second time in one month (we needed the extra sensitive, extra expensive for Mr. Eczema) or buying enough cloth diapering supplies for at least a year for almost the same price. That was right about that same time we decided that I would not go back to work full time, so we needed every penny possible and our decision was made! I completely understand that it is not for everyone and we are far from experts, but I thought I would share what we found and learned along the way.
1. Cloth diapers are not what you think! Well, at least not what I thought. I thought a strip of cloth the needed folded, secured with pins and plastic pants over top. This kind of cloth is still available, very economical and the covers come in some adorable designs, but there are a ton of other options out there as well!
2. The eww factor. I promise that it is no where near as gross as you think! Trust me, you know that person who uses the paper towel to turn off a faucet and open the door, that was me. I am almost to the point of washing my feet before getting into bed because I just can’t stand the thought of sleeping with germs. So if I am not grossed out, that is saying something! Clean up really only takes a minute, you just dump the waste where waste goes (the toilet of course) and throw into your “diaper hamper”. We use a $5 plastic garbage pail with locking lid from Target lined with a regular laundry bag. Solid waterproof pail liners are also available, we just wash the pail out after each use. To make clean up even easier, you can invest in flushable liners that are thin sheets that sit on top of the cloth to catch the solids.
3. gDiapers. These were great to start with and easy to get since they are available at Babies R’ Us. We loved that they helped us get started and that they had disposable inserts to use in place of a cloth liner to help you ease into the cloth. The downside was that they were a bit time consuming because they had the cloth part and the snap in liner. If you want to give these a try, I recommend buying one of their starter packs that includes all parts needed. Otherwise, you need to but the gPants (cloth outer diaper), gPouches (snap-in plastic insert), and gCloths (you need at least two 6 packs).
4. BumGenius Freetime. After getting tired of the multiple pieces in the gDiapers, we went to a wonderful local cloth diaper store (so happy that it existed!) and they recommended BumGenius Freetime All in One (AIO). The AIO made a world of difference in ease; it went on just like a regular diaper! Really, you can pick from velcro or snaps and you just fasten it on. I highly recommend going snaps. No one wants to walk into a mess in the morning because little mr. or miss got the velcro undone!
The AIOs are great in that there is no stuffing, no snapping, no situating, just put it on like a regular diaper and you are good to go! I highly recommend these to anyone who is thinking about cloth but is not sure about the time commitment. These are also great if you have a babysitter or send to daycare because they are so familiar in the way that they go on. The downside of these diapers is the upfront cost. AIOs in general cost more than the pre-fold (what you think of when you think cloth diaper) with cover, but there are always some great deals out there on these! So check with your friendly local cloth diaper supplier!
Upon great recommendation, we purchased about a dozen Alva AI2 (all in 2s) and also have been very happy with these! Alva (the brand) diapers are very cost effective! At around $5-10 each (includes a diaper and one cloth insert) you can’t beat the price! The AI2 means that you stuff the liner into the actual diaper, then they go on just like a regular disposable diaper. These are a great way to add to your “stash” to make sure that you have enough so you are not doing laundry every day. They come in some really adorable prints, which I never quite understood before but now I get it. Let’s face it, we all let our kids run around in diapers because that diaper change was enough of a battle, I’m not chasing your down just for pants! I can’t tell you how many pictures we have of Owen without pants on…another one of those, “I will never do” things.
Just go buy one and give it a try, I think you will be amazed at how easy and cost effective these really are! Then go tell your mom she was right, about most things.