November 18, 2011

Cloth Diapering in a world of Disposables

Guest post by Jenny M.

My husband and I always knew I would quit working once we had children. When I found out I was pregnant we immediately began discussing ways to save money. Jokingly, my husband suggested cloth diapers. We knew nothing of modern cloth diapers. All of our family and friends used disposables. Here we were picturing pins and plastic covers. In my mind I was thinking I wouldn’t go that route to save money, we’d find another way to make it work on one salary.

Then one afternoon I ventured into a local baby boutique to dream about all the adorable things our baby would need. Amidst all the adorable clothing, nursing d├ęcor, and breastfeeding supplies was a display of cloth diapers. I was drawn to the bright colors and cute prints. I picked up a Fuzzibunz and loved how soft the fleece was on the inside. I instantly knew a baby would be much more comfortable in this diaper over a disposable.

I gushed to my husband about the diapers when I got home and began doing research. If you Google “cloth diapers” you will quickly become overwhelmed with all of the information out there. I was overwhelmed by terms like aplix, wicking, all in one, all in two, and hybrid. I didn’t understand what all the various acronyms meant and the more research I did the more confused I became! There was so much information out there I didn’t know where to begin and I had no one to turn to. I found myself spending hours absorbing as much information as could about modern cloth diapers. I became obsessed with the idea of cloth diapering our soon-to-be son.

We signed up for a cloth diapering 101class at the local boutique to learn more. We bought the first part of our stash to get started, a mix of various brands and types of diapers. Our plan was to try them when our son was born and complete the stash when we figured out what we liked. I had 5 other friends pregnant at the same time. I tried to persuade someone, anyone I knew, to venture into the world of cloth diapering with me. They all thought I was crazy. Friends suggested we use eco-friendly disposables. Family members began taking bets on how long we would last. No one thought it was a good idea. Luckily, my husband was supportive and completely on board.

As my due date approached I became anxious. I had built up in my mind how wonderful the diapers would be, but I had no experience. Who would help me troubleshoot if we had a problem? What if I hated it? By this point, I felt that failure wasn’t an option. I had to prove everyone wrong. I looked for a way to connect with other cloth diapering moms. I found the best place to start was through websites of cloth diaper retailers. I found helpful information on diaper care. I began subscribing to blog posts and “liking” Facebook pages for anything cloth diaper related. The more I immersed myself into the cloth diaper online community the more comfortable I felt.

We’ve been cloth diapering for almost 3 months now. My husband and I are so glad we decided to go this path. Not only are we saving money, but we really feel like we’re giving the best to our son by keeping those chemicals and scratchy diapers off his skin. So if you’re thinking about cloth diapering, but feel alone, don’t be afraid! You’ll make tons of new friends by connecting online. Check out Facebook, Twitter, and local boutiques. Before you know it, you’ll feel like an expert too!

Bio: Jenny is a stay at home mom to 3 month old Noah. She spends any spare time she can learning about cloth, discussing cloth, or window shopping for cloth!

November 14, 2011

Diaper Styles, In order accoring to ease of use.

Oh, cloth diapers, how we do love thee.  Though some we fawn over more than others.  What makes a family or person prefer one style over the other?  Well, let's look at some of the different styles and look at how they compare in terms of ease of use.

Easy
  • All-In-One Diapers-  Although recently onesize AIOs have hit the market, they are a popular sized option.  They are all in one, just as they are named.  Use just like a disposable, easy enough for daycares, dads, babysitters and grandparents.  No stuffing, inserting, folding or complicated accessories needed.
  • Pocket Diapers-  Usually just as easy to use as the AIO above but are non-absorbent until stuffed with the inserts of your choice.  Available in sized or onesize and in aplix or snap closure.
Easy and Versatile
  • Hybrid Diapers-  Brands like GroVia and Flip can be used in a variety of ways.  They include a waterproof, non-absorbent shell that you can use with a biodegradable/disposable insert, cloth insert, prefold or fitted.  Definitely a lot of options.  Easy to use and sure to become a favorite among families who try them.
A Learning Curve 
  • Prefolds & Flats-  Great cloth diapers, versatile, and moderately easy once you get the hang of it.  Prefolds and flats require the user to know a folding technique and sometimes require a fastener depending on the fold.  They are not waterproof and therefore do require an extra waterproof layer, aka diaper cover.
  • All-In-Two or Three-  Imagine a cover that's not absorbent but does have absorbent inserts that fold in and often snap in.  Pretty easy but the novice cloth diaper-er may not know what goes where and which snaps to use.
  • Fitteds-  As easy to use as an AIO diaper but without the waerproof layer.  You'll need a cover and therefore a fitted/cover method is like putting a diaper on, on top of a diaper.
A Wee Bit Complicated
  • Wool-  Families who use wool as their waterproof cover over cloth usually love it.  Families who've never tried it...are scared to death of it.  It's amazing and works great but can be complicated to wash, expensive, and easily ruined.  Research on how to wash and care for your wool is required and a must in order to use successfully.
 So, that's my take on what's easiest and why.  Do you agree?