Friday, March 30, 2012

Getting Started with Cloth

I was not one of the people who knew when I had kids I would cloth diaper.  I admit, I did think about it, and brought it up to my husband, but we both dismissed it as soon as it quick as I could say it.  

I assumed several things that made me say "no" at first:
1. They were hard.  I assumed pins and rubber pants
2. They were leaky.  Again, rubber pants.
3.  They stunk.  Rubber pants and re-used pee and poop cloths...
4.  Huge!  I didn't want to deal with the extra bulk
5. Laundry.  With a newborn who in the world has time for laundry, let alone having to do laundry to put something on baby's butt?

I (not my husband) thought about cloth again when my son was about 4 weeks old.  I was on yet ANOTHER trip to the store because we were out or almost out of diapers.  It was old already, I had no desire to do that for another 3 years.  So I went online and searched and discovered several things about cloth:

1.  They were cute.
2. I like looking at diapers.
3. I was hiding this from my husband because he would fight me on it.
4.  No pins and no rubber pants!
5. They looked super easy!
6. Good reviews of many products.

Intrigued I wanted to learn more, so I spent many hours learning lingo and terms, different companies and reviews, types and variations, snaps and hook and loop, etc.  And so the obsession began!  

Since I do a lot of sewing on my own, I thought I could save some money and make my own.  I thought I'd buy a couple different ones, try them, then take it apart, make a pattern, buy fabric and "tadaa" I'd have my own home made cheap diapers.  Well, after pricing that all out, I nixed that.  It came out to be more expensive to make the diapers (plus time that I didn't have) than it would be to buy.  So, I decided to buy them.  

I remember it to this day; searching "cloth diapers", then "best cloth diapers" and up popped SoftBums.  I looked.  I have to say I was super intrigued, the things that stood out to me were:
1. It is one sized, I can buy them once and use them until potty training!  And very trim!!!  Very important, I was on a budget.

2.  They looked logical, change the size to grow with baby, no step up or down, I can make it exact.
3.  Cute.
4. I am from MN and it was a MN company...I loved that--especially if I couldn't make my own, I could help out a small business.
5.  Reviews to back them up.

I decided to buy a 6 pack at first, now back at this time (nearly 3 years ago) a 6 pack was 6 covers, 18 inserts, and 6 mini inserts (lingo changed too since then), 2 orange, 2 blue, and 2 lime.  I eagerly awaited my package!  I couldn't wait until it arrived, and when it did I eagerly unpacked, checked them out and was in love.  Remember, at this point my husband still has no idea I bought them--still don't want to hear the doubt in his voice.  So, in the washer they went to be prepped.  The next day they were ready to go, so I eagerly awaited my husband to leave for work so I could get them out of the dryer.  It was also right around here I decided I'd enjoy doing diaper laundry and enjoy changing his diaper!

This is M probably about 2.5 months, just before I went back to work.  You can see his lime SoftBums around his onesie!  

To me, the toggle system was logical.  I adjusted it, and it fit.  I am sure it took me a couple times to get it perfect but straight out of the gate, I remember I had no leaks.  I was in love.  2 days in cloth, and my husband still hasn't noticed, and I am online buying more diapers, 2 orange, 2 blue, 2 lime.  My set of 12.  Happy happy!

Since then, it has blossomed into:

Anyways, it was the weekend now, and my husband took baby M upstairs to change him.  It's just reality to me now that his diapers are cloth, and I don't even think about it.  All of a sudden I hear "Hunny!?!?!?!  What is this!?!?!?!"  I chuckle and go upstairs to find him staring at M in his lime green diaper.  I tell him I bought cloth and we love them and he needs to learn how to use them.  I gave him a few lessons and he was on board.  With no other choice he went right along with my decision and he too now loves SoftBums.  

M has been in cloth since then (he turns 3 tomorrow) and our daughter now 18 months has been in SoftBums since birth.  

Moral of the story, you can make a change at any point, even if your other half doesn't want to.  
1. Secret shopping and limited options work.  :)   
2. Do your research
3. Figure out what would work best into your life (eg. daycare, husbands) this includes quantity and how often you want to wash
4. Shop for extras, primarily at first a wet bag to put dirtys.  The options are endless after that (eg. sprayers, cloth wipes, travel solutions, etc)!  
5.  Try it.  If you're unsure if you "REALLY" want to do it, several companies will lend you out "used" or new diapers to try and you can send back what you don't like.  Remember, you can start part time and go from there!  Anything helps.
6. Budget.  It is easy to get carried away.  Figure out what you have to spend and stick to it.  Splurge on things you need to.  For example, if you get cheep covers that don't work well, chances are you're not going to stick with it.  It is better to get a great cover (like SoftBums' Omni or Echo) and then get more economical inserts until you can buy more of the branded ones.  Options like prefolds or cut up microfiber towels will work great and will save your wallet.  Search for coupons and follow different companies blogs and Facebook accounts for special deals. 
7. Get help.  Ask people who cloth diaper their tips and tricks question companies!  A good company will stand by their customers and their product.  

Take a deep breath, you can do it! 
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