What’s On the Bum? Part I: My Two Cents on Cloth Diapering

When I found out I was going to be a Mom, I immediately had 3 goals for myself based upon the premise, “If my Mom could do it, so can I.” Or at least that’s what I thought.

The first was to have a natural a.k.a drug-free childbirth.  Many, including my husband, were doubtful that I could pull this off.  And in all honesty, so was I.  My birth plan was basically- get this baby out! I took prenatal yoga, a childbirth preparation class and prayed a lot.  I am happy to report that although I labored a fairly long while at home, it was more tolerable than I expected, and I was able to deliver Juliette drug-free within hours of entering the hospital. I can only hope that should I be blessed with a second opportunity, it goes as beautifully.

My second goal was to make my own baby food.  Not that I have anything against store-bought food. There are a lot of good choices out there. I did use the Gerber brand rice and oatmeal cereals, and I loved the concept of the squeezable pouches while on vacation or going out.  But, I garden, frequently buy fresh produce and have a blender and some ice cube trays. So I did not find it at all a bother to make my own.

My third goal was to use cloth diapers.  A lot of folks thought I was crazy for this one. On the flip side, I had a handful of friends who were exploring CD’ing alongside me or who were already enjoying their cloth diapering systems. Cloth diapering mommas are very eager to pass on their wisdom, and I was able to get some great tips from my cousin Jacqui, her wife Hesper and my friends Maren and Rachael.

My reasons for cloth diapering went something like this:

1) My Mom did it, so can I. Besides, cloth diapering has come a long way since the days of prefolds, diaper pins and washing out diapers in the toilet.

2) It’s economical.  The upfront costs are a bit daunting at first, but given that a newborn goes through something like 12 diapers a day at about $20/100 disposables vs. my upfront cost of $100/12 very re-usable-all the way through potty training and possibly the next child!-cloth diapers.  I’d say cloth comes out on the winning side in the long run.

3) It’s better for the bum. Parents who CD historically report less diaper rash, leaks and all-out blow outs.  To date, we never had a true poop blow out in a cloth diaper. I am knocking on wood as I type this.  Leaks we have experienced have usually occurred due to urine being squeezed out by a tight car seat strap, needing to readjust the rise for baby growth or add a doubler for extra heavy wetting.

4) It’s better for the environment. There is some debate here. Less disposables clogging up landfills seems like a good thing.  You do consume more water in laundering the diapers every 2-3 days as this involves 2 wash cycles and an extra rinse on the second. I cut back to laundering every 3rd day after my water bill became outrageous during the growing season when we also water our lawn, landscape beds and garden. The drawback is the potential for ammonia stinkies, which is a topic for another post.

Having fully researched this decision and gotten Dean somewhat on board, I made a personal choice to wait until Juliette was 7 wks old to give it a go. I had my sister there to help me prewash my dipes, hold my hand and assist me with my first load of diapers. [Of note, Holly was pregnant with my nephew Jacob at the time.  She was totally grossed out by the thought of holding onto a poopy diaper at that point. But somehow, her husband Chris and I were later able to coerce her into going the CD’ing route also.] Juliette was just a peanut and her Bum Geniuses fit at 7 lbs, so the timing worked out perfectly. She is now 13 months old and I am still very happy with our system.  Dean is not a fan of poop, whether it be in a cloth or disposable, but he seems to have it down pat and is a big fan of the flushable liners that make solid poop clean up a breeze.

I have formed some definite opinions on the cloth diapering products I love, and I will share these in Part II. Until then. Goodnight.