I have been obsessively reading about cloth diapers of late. I know, I know. It is such a time waster. And I know, I know, cloth diapers are “gross.” Still, all that time wasted has convinced me that I want to use them. I already considered using them with Avilynne, but I just never got far enough to go for it. I tried gDiapers for awhile (part cloth, part disposable), but it took more time as I had to separate the washing parts from the disposable parts. And, the disposable parts clogged the toilet. It wasn’t convenient. And, it would have ended up being slightly more expensive.
Yet, here I am at playing babies round two. I have a fresh chance to try them out again. Although cloth diapers has a starting out cost, it pays for itself within six months. I would save at least $1000, if not closer to $1500 with my son, if I don’t use disposables. And, if they wear well, I can reuse them with other children. In that case, saving about $2000 (more or less) in the future per child as long as the diapers last. Of course, they aren’t going to last forever, and who knows how many more kids we will have, anyways. But, it COULD not just save us money with Baby #2, but sequential children from here on out.
After all, It is amazingly better for the environment. Economic. Environmentally kind. And they have fun colors and designs! Really! Why wouldn’t I want to do cloth diapers?!!
Well, there are the obvious reasons. Can it really be convenient? Can other people besides me handle cloth diapers? Isn’t it more messy, nasty, and Stinky? Isn’t it EXTREMELY anti-American!? Its counter-cultural! After all, It doesn’t help the big market companies out, and gives into the planet-saving cult of money-making-organic-swooning-opportunists! Then there are the deeper issues: Will my friends and family reject me because of my odd decision to “go cloth?”
As I have been wrestling with these questions, I am becoming convinced that the pros still outweigh the cons. For example, they are much more convenient than they used to be. You don’t have to fold them. You don’t have to pin them. Heck, you don’t even have to use “fitteds” with diaper covers! You can just use one piece, just like a normal disposable. Use a cloth wipe, so you don’t have to separate the “throw away” from the keepable pile. Instead of throwing the dirty lump into the diaper genie, you throw it in the diaper pail. Instead of emptying the stinking diaper genie 1-2 times a week (gagging in the process), and going out to the trash with it . . . you just dump the contents of the pail in the washer every couple days. Of course, your probably still gagging : ) But, this makes cloth sound so smooth and ideal! Of course, it won’t be. When is anything ideal? I have no doubt that it will be a learning curve until we get the swing of it. Then it will be ideal!
There is also the process of hoping the cloth diapers you have chosen are the best ones for your kid. Because, if not, there are consequences. Not all cloth diapers are equal, and some are better at different stages. After all, sometimes Pampers worked better for Avi. Then other times Huggies did. Sometimes the cheap brand, Loves, did also. But I never had a storebrand which worked well with her. But some people I knew could use kirland’s or walmart’s with no problems. So, although disposables have the same issue, if I realized she was blowing out all the time, I could always buy a new box of diapers. I might lose a good $5, $10, or even $20. But as the expense of disposables is gradual, it wasn’t that big of a deal. Whereas, if I buy the wrong cloth diapers, that would be a lot more of a problem.
Hence, my plan is as follows: We will start, as a newborn, in disposables. They are in them for just a few weeks anyways, and if I used cloth for a newborn I’d have to buy a ton of them for that time period. Besides, I need to “move into” cloth. Not starting cold turkey. After the first month or so I will transition. I am collecting an assortment of the best-reviewed cloth AIO diapers and one-size Pocket diapers to have on hand. I plan of not buying enough of these, so that I can choose what works the best on him and then buy more of that brand/style. Still, I will only have a portion of those being the ones I particularly think are perfect, as I am getting quite a few now to try out. And I still plan on using all of these, whether they are the “best” for my kid or not. Besides, what might be best at the beginning will probably not be best later on.
There are two styles I am planning on using. One is the “AIO,” which is an all-in-one diaper (breathable waterproof on the outside, while soaking up on the inside nice and softly). These are just great. They are convenient; they are no different than disposables. Well, except you don’t trash them, obviously. Even though they are all-in-one, if all else fails and they don’t soak up enough and leak, there is a place where you can add an extra liner to take care of these problems just in case. The only draw-back is that you have to buy these in multiple sizes, throughout the kids diaper-career. I.e., they will cost more. Still, as I won’t be using extra small, and by toddlerhood I’ll be working on potty training, I might only need two sizes. But, this is still a drawback for me.
The other type is a one-size diaper. These are awesome because you only need one set of these for the whole time your child is in diapers. They have all these snaps and adjustments to go from a 5lb. baby to a 35lb. child. Kinda like a car-seat : ) Of course, they will fit better sometimes more than other times. On a newborn, they would be extremely bulky. But hey, they are convenient if you have two kids in different size diapers wearing them (I plan on experimenting with them on Avi for my own entertainment). They bring the cost down in the long-run, and keep you from having to try to find what diaper fits today and which one doesn’t. You just adjust the snaps or Velcro until it fits, because, it will (It Better!). They make these very nicely, and are almost as easy as AIOs. But they aren’t as easy, though, as they are generally pocket diapers. A pocket diaper is the second most convenient type of cloth diapers. They have the whole diaper together (waterproof, and soft soaking layer) just like the AIOs. Yet, the AIOs only use inserts if you really need them. Pocket diapers need to have inserts put in them or you’ll regret it. The main reason they keep them separate is that they dry much sooner when they are separated, and another reason is….I have no clue. Surely there is another reason. They wash better? They have longer lives that way? You can adjust how much wetness they hold? True, but you can already do that with an AIO. For all I know, they might be just as easy to use as an AIO, at least putting them on they would be. But I am more confused how this works when you take them off, do you actually have to take out the liner then, separating the parts to wash? Or can you just keep the liner in when you wash it? I don’t know. But I do know that I will be trying these two types of diapers as I think they are the best type of cloth diapers.
Generally, I have confidence that the styles I am getting are the best after doing a ton of research. After all, their reviews are great, and are acclaimed as easiest. At least they will work if not be best, right? As of now I think I will like the BumGenius ones the best, although Thristies, Fuzzi Bunz, Kushies, and Happy Heines (among others) are some of the types I am trying. If I like a certain brand, I’ll probably try just using the homemade copies from ebay of the more expensive brand names. If any of you are cloth diaper users, I would appreciate your thoughts and feedback. As I am ambitiously striving to go cloth, and become part of your cult, I need that wisdom! Afterall, I live in one of the richest counties in one of the richest countries in the twenty-first century! I am too privileged to know how to move forwards by going ‘backwards’ by using what is normal to the majority of other countries and thousands of years of generations. Go cloth!
(Note: If I regret this decision in the future, kindly try to not rub it in my face violently)