Fast forward to the positive pregnancy test. I told Michael I wanted to cloth diaper because they're cheaper than disposables. He said, "Okay." Okay? Okay!
I still had a few months to decide which ones we would use, but I was so excited at the idea of saving money and taking better care of my baby's butt that I told everyone about our intention to use cloth. Unfortunately, people tried to bust my bubble with comments like:
- The first time you poke your baby with a pin you'll switch to disposables.
- Touching poop is disgusting.
- You just think you want to use cloth diapers because you don't actually have a baby yet.
- You'll never be able to keep up with all the laundry.
- It's not cheaper because you will get hooked on them and spend a fortune on all the cute new patterns.
- When your baby is staying with me, I don't want to use cloth diapers. If it's about the money, I'll buy the disposables to use when s/he is here.
(I'll address these comments in a bit).
I was bummed. I thought our decision to cloth diaper wouldn't affect anyone but us, and the lack of support almost made me decide not to do it. I whined about it to Michael, and he told me that no one knows what's best for our baby except for us. If I wanted to cloth diaper, we should do it, and he'd support me 100%.
Most of the blogs I read have owners who use bumGenius 4.0's or bumGenius Elementals. I didn't want to have a stash of tons of different diapers because I figured that Michael would not suffer from diaper changing anxiety if we only had one kind that was simple to operate. Both the 4.0 and Elemental are one-size, meaning that they can be adjusted and used from newbornhood through potty training.
This is a bumGenius 4.0, and it runs about $18. It is a shell that must be stuffed with one (or both) of the microfiber inserts that come with it. One is small and thin for newborns, and the other is thicker and longer for older babies. You can use both at once if the need arises, which, I'm sure will eventually. Both the inserts and shell must be changed and washed with every diaper change. This diaper is available with aplix (velcro) or snaps as fasteners. I only have aplix for my 4.0s. I currently have 14 of these.
photo from cottonbabies.com
This is a bumGenius Elemental, and it runs about $25. It's organic, but I really don't care about that. It's an all-in-one diaper, meaning that it functions like a disposable. There are no inserts to stuff. It's only available with snaps as fasteners. I have four of these.
photo from cottonbabies.com
We stopped using disposables and converted to cloth when Atticus was about 3.5 weeks old. I figured there was no better time than the present, and I made the leap while Michael was at work one day.
Beside the changing table in Atticus' room, I have a kitchen-sized trash can with a Planet Wise pail liner. After I put a clean diaper on my baby's bum, I toss the dirty diaper in the can. I remove the insert from the 4.0s and toss them in separately. (Because Atticus is exclusively breast fed, his poop does not have to be removed from the diapers before they're washed. After we introduce solid foods at about 6 months, we'll install a diaper sprayer on our toilet to spray off the solid poop before tossing them in the washer).
When I'm out and about, I use a Planet Wise wet bag to keep the dirty diapers in. The liner keeps odor and wetness contained, and I keep the bag in the diaper bag.
Every 36 hours or so, I get down to 2-3 diapers, and it's time to do a load of diaper laundry. I take the the pail liner out of the can in Atticus' room and grab the wet bag (if necessary) and take them downstairs to the washer. I dump the contents in the washer and throw in the liner and the wet bag too. I run a cold rinse with no detergent. Thirty minutes later, I go back downstairs to add detergent and start a hot wash cycle with an extra rinse at the end. I toss everything in the dryer for about an hour, and when the load is dry, I unload the bag in the floor of Atticus' room to stuff the 4.0's. Elvira and Atticus like to help.
Atticus' diaper rash is GONE since we started cloth diapering. My diaper expenses, other than detergent (I use Rockin' Green), are done. I'm not spending $30 here and $30 there for a box of diapers that only lasts a few days. I would like to get 6 more 4.0's with snaps so that I'll have 24 diapers in my stash. That should allow me to go at least 48 hours without doing a load of diaper laundry. Right now, I'm averaging 36-40 hours between loads.
- The first time you poke your baby with a pin you'll switch to disposables. ----Nope. There are no pins. Velcro. Snaps. No pins.
- Touching poop is disgusting. ---- I suppose you've never changed a disposable diaper, either. Occasionally, you will have to touch poop, regardless of the kind of diaper you use.
- You just think you want to use cloth diapers because you don't actually have a baby yet. ---- My baby is here, and we are using cloth diapers.
- You'll never be able to keep up with all the laundry. ---- The only items in the laundry basket are the clothes my husband and I wore yesterday.
- It's not cheaper because you will get hooked on them and spend a fortune on all the cute new patterns. ---- I view diapers like bras: necessary, but I don't need 47 just because they came out with a cute new one. It's UNDERWEAR, for crying out loud.
- When your baby is staying with me, I don't want to use cloth diapers. If it's about the money, I'll buy the disposables to use when s/he is here. ---- What makes you assume I'm going to let my son stay with you?
So, that's what we do. I knew we'd made the right decision to go cloth when one night, while drinking with some boating friends, Michael declared to everyone who would listen, "I'm so glad we're using cloth diapers. I don't want a disposable diaper to ever touch my son's ass again!" :)