Category Archives: Cloth diapering

Cloth diapering, six months in

It’s been about six months since we started cloth diapering Noah, so I thought I would give a little update on the ups and downs and ins and outs of the experience we’ve had.

Since the initial investment of purchasing 26 Bum Genius 4.0s, two wet bags and two diaper pail liners, we have not spent additional money on cloth diapering. I think our investment was probably around $400, so it was good chunk of change up front.

These days we cloth diaper about 75% of the time. We use disposables on trips out of town and when I’m slacking on doing diaper laundry. I typically wash diapers every 2-3 days, and I’m still working on getting into a good rhythm of washing and stuffing. Ideally I would be able to stuff in the evenings, but washing  and drying takes so much time that it’s just hard for me to get the timing down for some reason!

We also had a bit of a setback around Thanksgiving when our washing machine broke. We weren’t able to purchase our new one for about a month, and there was just no way with our schedules that we could cloth diaper during that time.

Aside from that hiccup, cloth diapering has gone pretty smoothly. I absolutely prefer using cloth. I feel like it’s been a great choice for us. Noah does well with them, and both Bobby and I like them. When we have him in disposables, I’d say he’s a bit more prone to diaper rash.

It’s also nice not to have to buy disposables all that often. I think I buy them maybe once a month at this point.

We absolutely plan to keep Noah in cloth until he is potty trained, and we will also be putting our subsequent kids in cloth. It’s been a great investment for us!

If you want to know more about it, feel free to leave me a comment! I love answering questions (as best I can) about cloth diapering!

Unsolicited advice from a first-time mom

Since becoming a mom, I’ve discovered I have a big problem. I am one of those moms. You know. The ones who love to offer advice, even though they are only a few months in and don’t really even know that much themselves yet?

Yeah. I don’t want to be that guy … er, girl.

So, in light of all the friends I have who either just had babies, are currently pregnant or just found out they are pregnant, I’m going to indulge myself with a little word vomit and hopefully save them/their Facebook walls/their Twitter feeds from my unsolicited and unwanted advice. I also realize that the same things don’t work for everyone, so I’m just sharing things that have worked for me in the 5.5 months I’ve been a mom.

If you’re reading along, know that I understand how unqualified I am to be offering advice to anyone.

The Summer Swaddle saved my life. Noah was NOT a good sleeper at first, and we were going crazy trying to figure out how to calm him down and put him down for naps and at night. And all those cute flannel receiving blankets we were given? Yeah, swaddling with those lasted approximately two days, and they are now ALL being used as burp cloths.

I’m not sure what I would have done if I hadn’t read Happiest Baby on the Block and The Baby Whisperer Solves All Your Problems. I’m not kidding. I’m not exaggerating. These two books helped so much with learning how to deal with Noah when nothing seemed to work. Neither is the Bible of baby-handling, by any means, but the guidelines got us going in the right direction. From learning to swaddle, rock and shush Noah to utilizing a dream feed to get him sleeping longer stretches (and eventually through the night), implementing strategies from these books marked a turning point for us after those first 8 really tough weeks.

I love cloth diapering more than I thought I would. Sure, it’s been an adjustment, especially having to clean poopy diapers at the end of 8 hours at day care. But I honestly think Noah has been happier in cloth, and I think the long-term benefits (saving money and hopefully potty training earlier) will definitely make it worth it.

The Ergo has been one of my best friends and was totally worth the money. Those days when Noah refused to nap and got cranky around 5 p.m. (frequently referred to as “the witching hour”)? Plop him in the Ergo carrier and walk him around for a few minutes, and he’s OUT! It’s seriously been a lifesaver in social situations where we had Noah out and about at times when he was supposed to be sleeping, and it made grocery shopping with him much easier without making me look like I was trying to steal a bunch of stuff by cramming it anywhere and everywhere in his stroller. It’s also now allowing us to take walks in places like the arboretum (pictured) where there aren’t necessarily walking trails, and that’s a definite plus, too.

Don’t beat yourself up, and don’t bother comparing yourself or your child to others. Seriously. You will always find someone better, more organized, with a kid who is doing stuff your kid isn’t doing yet, or whatever. Just enjoy your little one, and show yourself some grace. You aren’t supposed to know everything, but as long as you keep learning, you should be just fine.

If you think you might be suffering from post-partum depression, don’t put off talking to your doctor. I am VERY serious about this one. I wish I’d talked to my doctor sooner than I did because I was miserable and really unable to cope with the pressures of being a new mom. Things got better when Noah was around 8 weeks old, and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that this was just a few weeks after I started anti-depressants.

No amount of reading or advice can prepare you for what it will be like. If it could, I would have been good to go! Take everything with a grain of salt, and don’t let what other people think about rearing your child get in the way of you getting to know him or her. Know that you will mess up at times, and people will criticize you. But if you love your child and take care of yourself, you will both make it through the tough times and really be able to enjoy life as a family.

So there you have it. Maybe not helpful to anyone, but at least it’ll hopefully keep me from making an idiot of myself by offering unwanted advice!

Making the change to cloth diapers

When I was pregnant, I briefly considered cloth diapering but decided against it because we would be putting Noah in daycare, and I figured they wouldn’t want to deal with the mess.

A few months into the whole parenting thing and I was ready to revisit the idea. Our childcare situation was more conducive than we thought it would be to using cloth. I talked to Bobby about it a few times, and he said he wasn’t all that excited by the thought of it but that he would support whatever I decided.

I did some research, talking with a few friends who use cloth. Pretty much everyone had great things to say. So I started looking up info on the different types of diapers. It was overwhelming at first because there are a ton of different options.

Thankfully a couple of different friends suggested I visit a local store that stocks cloth diapers and talk to the owner, who is very knowledgeable about CDing. So I did, and she was a big help. After hearing about the types of diapers she carried, I asked her which diaper she would pick for her own child. Without hesitation, she said Bum Genius 4.0. So I snagged a couple to give it a trial run.

Less than a week later, I was ordering a full set of 24 diapers online.

Thankfully I was able to find a pretty decent deal (Buy 5, get 1 free from Planet Bambini. I definitely recommend them because Stephanie was a joy to deal with!). All total, I’ve spent a little less than $400 on cloth diapers and supplies with a few additional things (pail liners, extra garbage can, extra wet bag and possibly a toilet sprayer) I’ll likely add in the near future.

I’ve enjoyed cloth diapering Noah so far. Of course, I don’t have to deal with it on weekdays, but the weekends have been good.

So what led me to the decision to cloth diaper? There were a few factors:

  • Saving money over time. This was one of the biggest incentives for me. I added it up, and with the total we’ve spent on cloth diapers, it’ll take about six months of not having to buy disposables to pay for itself. Considering Noah will be in diapers for probably at least 18 months, plus we can reuse these for any subsequent children, I’d say the investment is going to be well worth it long-term.
  • Potty training benefits. Our pediatrician told us that some cloth diapered babies will potty train as early as 15 months. That would be wonderful!
  • Personal feelings about it just being better for Noah. I certainly don’t look down on anyone who uses disposables, but I think this is a better fit for our baby. I think there’s a part of me that wants to make up for the fact that I was unable to breast feed for nearly as long as I would have liked. That’s been a very emotional thing for me, and it may not make sense, but I think there is some sort of connection in my reasoning.
The benefits to the environment really were not a factor in this decision. They are a nice added benefit, but that alone definitely wouldn’t have been enough to convince me.
Cloth diapering hasn’t been all unicorns and rainbows (because poopie cloth diapers are possibly one of the nastiest things known to man), but I do like it, and Noah seems to be very comfortable in them. We are not fully transitioned from disposables, but we are working on it!

Wordless Wednesday: The beginning of cloth diapering

CDs drying

Wet bag

BG 4.0 Twilight

Noah in his Ribbit BG 4.0

Linking up for Wordless Wednesday with Living Like the Kings (thanks, Lauren!).