photo by Surely Sweet Photography

Changing Diapers: the Hip Mom's Guide to Modern Cloth Diapering

Sunday, June 6, 2010

What Do You Do With the Poop?

That is the most common question I get asked when people hear that I use cloth diapers for Elijah (and sometimes Riley).  I'll admit, I used to wonder the same thing.  I was adament that I would never cloth diaper my kids.  I thought it was gross, and didn't see the point when we have these wonderful things called disposables.

But last January, when Elijah was 2 months old, a friend (who has a baby 2 weeks younger than E) asked me if I had considered cloth diapers (CD).  I said no, but maybe I would look into it.  I got curious, and was immediately hooked!  I looked up different styles, and realized that CD's were nothing like what I imagined!  I thought they were still the Gerber prefolds and plastic pants like my mom used on me.  I was wrong!  There were pockets, AIO (all in ones), AI2's (all in 2's), fitteds, prefolds with cute covers, wool and fleece covers, hybrids, cute prints, softs fabrics.  A huge selection for whatever fits my baby and my lifestyle!

So I ordered 3 different styles, just to try.  I didn't want to buy too many just in case it wasn't for me.  I first ordered a BumGenius 3.0 One Size (OS) pocket diapers, 2 Flip hybrid diapers, and a gDiaper hybrid.  I liked the first two, but not the gDiaper.  I eventually sold that one.  I realized after the first day in cloth that I would love it!  So I ordered more Flips, and some Smartipants, which is now what E wears the most.  I have since bought other styles, and several WAHM (work at home mom) made diapers.  I will go into more details about each diaper in a future blog.

For now, I will explain WHY I cloth diaper! 

1.  I started out because in my research I found that it is the most economical choice (ie, it's cheap!).  Since becoming a SAHM, I try to find ways to cut costs.  The average cost of disposable diapers from birth to potty training is anywhere from $2,000-$3,000, depending on the brand of diaper and how old your child is fully potty trained.  Cloth diapers do have a larger upfront cost, but once you buy the diapers, that's it!  No more!  There are so many options of CD's that you can spend anywhere from $100-$1,000 from birth to potty training, depending on which diaper system you choose (and how addicted you become!).  I would say the average is about $400-500.  You can also use the same CD's for multiple kids!  So when we have another baby, I don't have to buy more diapers (although I'm sure I will buy some newborn diapers since we didn't start until E was 2 months old).  And get this:  you can sell your CD's when you're done with them!  Or if you just don't like a certain diaper, then you can sell it to a mama who does!  So you get a return on your investment! 

2.  They're cute!!  I know it may not be the best reason to CD, but it's true!  There are so many cute prints to choose from.  And, in my opinion, the plainest cloth diaper is 100% cuter than disposables!  Can you honestly tell me that a disposable is cuter than this?

Top: Elijah and Riley wearing Doodle Dypes
Below:  wearing matching Smartipants
So those are the reasons I started CDing.  Here are the reasons I continue to love it:

3.  No more poop blowouts!!!!!!!  Seriously.  Not one since we started cloth!  Elijah used to have an explosive diaper every single time he pooped in a disposable.  It got everywhere.  It was nasty.  I hated it.  But with cloth diapers, they actually contain the poo!  Elijah is still exclusively breastfed at almost 7 months (he just doesn't like solids).  So for those of you who know that BF poo is runnier than babies on formula or solids, know just how messy it can be!  I'm not saying I like to change poopy diapers now, but at least the poo doesn't get everywhere and all over his clothes, his bedding, his carseat, the carpet...  It's completely contained inside his diaper.

4.  It's very eco-friendly!  People are becoming more aware everyday of how what we do in our daily lives really does have an impact on our planet and our health.  I will admit, this was not my top reason to use CD's.  It's just a huge bonus for me.  But I learned about how 1 disposable diaper will sit in a landfill for 500 years.  So for one child birth through age 3, that's approximately 6,408,000 years worth of disposable diapers in a landfill (12 diapers a day for 3 years x 500 years).  That's just for ONE kid!!  Wow.  I hadn't even added that up until just now.  It makes me feel even worse for still using sposies with Riley part time (time to get him potty trained or just switch him over to CD's full time!).  I'm not even going into all the chemicals that are in sposies...

6.  Fewer diaper rashes.  Or none at all!  Since making the change to cloth, Elijah has had only occasional minor redness, which quickly goes away with some coconut oil.  A few days ago he did have his first diaper rash in cloth, but that was due to icky diapers from the antibiotics shot he got last week for an ear infection.  I used California Baby Diaper Rash Cream and it cleared right up.  I will go into more details in a future blog, but I want to warn you to NEVER use regular diaper rash creams (such as Desitin, A&D, Boudreaux's Butt Paste, etc) with cloth diapers.  There are special creams that are safe, or I typically use coconut oil (which can be found at health food stores).

6.  It's fun and easy!  Yes, I said that cloth diapers are fun and easy!  It's fun to look at all the new styles and prints that are available.  Some people even buy and sell as a hobby, and to have new diapers all the time.  My problem is I love (most) of the diapers I have, so I have a hard time deciding what to sell!  My husband thinks I'm a little crazy for liking CD's so much, but I don't care!  It's fun and something I enjoy.  Funny how I can stay on top of the diaper laundry and fall behind on our clothes...

Stay tuned for my next blog, where I will explain the different styles of CD's and my favorite places to buy!  In other upcoming blogs, I will dicuss exactly what I do with the poop (how to wash cloth diapers), and more general tips and tricks.