March 29, 2012

The Crunchy Granola Cloth Diaper Post

It is true that we have embarked on the cloth diapering journey with our little man. Call us crazy if you wish but I couldn't justify not using cloth, after learning about all the benefits and embarking on our mission as a family to live simply. I am nervous about this post. Because of my passion for simple natural living I tend to get a little too excited about things like this and forget that this way of life is not for everyone. It works for me and Phil and our growing family but it may not work for you. However I hope that this post can inspire you to think about one aspect of "natural living" that you may not have thought about before - cloth diapering. I will try not to be too preaching and I definitely don't think that this is the only way that God intended for us to live. So let's go on this journey together as I share with you about our decision to use cloth!

First a few confessions....this is the truth about cloth diapering up front....this isn't meant to scare you off but I want you to understand the reality of it::
  • Until about 4 years ago I would have laughed at the mention of cloth diapers
  • When I first had to change a cloth diaper I was confused and thought the whole thing a bit ridiculous and weird
  • People laugh at me, and tell me I am crazy when they learn that I am using cloth diapers
  • I, like you, had heard countless horror stories about using cloth
  • Cloth diapers smell!
  • We do laundry a lot :) this will go down once Joel moves out of the newborn stage
  • We used disposable diapers exclusively for the first 3 weeks of Joel's life and continue to use disposables at night and will do so until Joel grows out of the newborn size diapers (which we only have 7 of)

Our dear friends, Eric and Natalie, first introduced us to all things green (although it wasn't quite as popular back then so I don't think it was called "green" yet). Natalie and Eric both have a passion for simplistic living and were huge influences on Phil and I and our decision to reevaluate the way we live our lives and how we work to bless others through our daily decisions and purchases. Cloth is just one of the many things they taught us about. Their daughter MJ was born my senior year of college and thus my first experience changing cloth diapers began. Ever since then I was convinced that this would work for our future family.

Since you may not have someone as wonderful as Natalie or as cute as MJ to introduce you gradually to the world of cloth diapering here are some facts that will make you think twice before writing the idea off completely.
  • Cloth Diapering Is Good for the Environment -
    There are countless debates about this but like most things that are debatable you, as an individual, need to decide which side you are going to be on. For Phil and I the decision was easy. It isn't just about the fact that disposables end up in landfills. A lot of things go into the manufacturing of a disposable diaper, trees are cut down, chemicals and plastics are used, and pollution is emitted. All of these things are bad for the environment and potentially bad for our baby.
  • Cloth Diapering is Cost Effective - If you know me at all you know that I am up to try ANYTHING that can save our family money. Cloth diapers will do just that. An average family will spend approximately $2000 on disposable diapers and wipes per child in 2 years (most kids are NOT potty trained by then). We spent less than $250 on quality diapers that will likely last us until Joel and a sibling or two are potty trained. That is over a $1500 savings per kid! Since we have a well, water bills will not go up and our energy bill is pretty cheap so a few more dollars each month there won't hurt us financially. We use our regular detergent (All Free and Clear) on most wash cycles with a cycle or two a week using Rockin Green Detergent ($14 a bag, and you use 2 TBSP in a load so it lasts a while). Overall it is SIGNIFICANTLY cheaper.
  • Cloth diapers are SUPER cute - Here is Joel modeling for you! The nice thing about it too is in the summer he can wear a diaper and a t-shirt while lounging around the house and be nice and cool!
  • No Yucky Smelling Garbage - They don't smell nearly as bad as Joel's disposables did. Sure there is a bit of a stink when you go to put them in the washing machine but that is only once every 2 days. When Joel was in disposables every time I walked in to his room at night I was met with the stink of his diapers sitting in the diaper pail. We use a Wet Bag from Planet wise. We received the 4 we have (2 large and 2 for the diaper bag) as shower gifts but they would have cost us $50 on Amazon. When laundry day comes you just unzip, pull the inserts out and wash!
  • No Need for Swimmies or Pullups - You can go swimming in cloth, saving money on the ridiculously overpriced swim diapers. You can also eliminate the liner when potty training so that your toddler will know when they have peed and be uncomfortable.
  • Did I mention they are cute?
Our Diapers :: We were blessed by some great friends of ours during Joel's newborn stage. They lent us their newborn sized Heiny Huggers diapers (7 of them) with 5 thirsties covers with snaps. (I ONLY recommend snaps as they last longer). These worked great for use during the day until Joel grew into the diapers we purchased for him. They also helped us extend the length of time between washing when Joel was still going through 10 to 12 diapers a day.

Before purchasing our diapers I did TONS of research and spoke with several of my cloth using friends. We ended up purchasing diapers from Just Simply Baby. JSB was started by a stay at home mom just outside Atlanta GA. Alot of their products are made by stay at home moms right here in the USA who are working to help support their families while being able to stay at home and raise their kids. The price at JSB were unbeatable by other companies and I liked the thought of the business being run by moms. We purchased 20 unisex pocket diapers with 30 microfiber Inserts and 10 Bamboo Inserts. We also bought 10 fleece cloth wipes and a package of disposable liners all for $167. We were able to get a great deal because I bought the diapers on Black Friday when they were having a sale. Since then we have purchased 10 more cloth wipes and 10 hemp inserts. The hemp and bamboo inserts are more absorbent, made with less chemicals and are less bulky when stuffed in to the diaper. I am happy with the diapers and the customers service at JSB has been great.

Some more blogs about using cloth ::
It is important to talk the cloth diapering decision over with your spouse and other care providers before deciding to take it on. Icould not do this by myself. There are days the laundry gets frustrating and working with all the snaps in the middle of the night can be hard but Phil has been supportive and helpful through the entire process which helps. I am happy to chat with you about cloth or even give you a hands on lesson if you come over but there are people in the cyber world who know a lot more than I do. I have highlighted some of my favorite cloth diapering posts below. Check them out and consider switching to cloth today!
Basic Cloth Diapering Supplies -
More information than you may ever need to know about CDing -
Different Types of Cloth Diapers Explained -
Exploring the Cloth Diapering Stereotypes -

Happy decision making!


rachel mae said...

i'd never thought about the swimming-in-cloth bonus!

the biggest motivator for us in choosing cloth diapering is cost savings. with our new washer and dryer, the water and energy use increase will be negligible.

Amy said...

Those diapers are so stinkin' cute on his little bum! Looking forward to some hands-on experience with those snaps =)