Today I'm featuring a guest post from Kristen over at Life In The O.D.D. Lane on her cloth diaper experience. If you're thinking about cloth diapering, reading other moms experience on modern cloth diapering is a great way to get started. We've cloth diapers on/off since 2009 ourselves. Be sure to check out Kristen's blog and follow her on Facebook!
When G was about 5 months old, I started looking into cloth diapers. The ones I was looking at were cute, and not at all what I thought they were. I remembered flat pieces of white cloth, pins, and plastic covers. Not these super cute pocket diapers with all these super cute designs on them! All the colors! The pictures! The different brands! The different styles!! Pockets were not the only ones. Oh no, there are pockets, All In Ones (AIOs), All In Twos (AI2s), fitteds, and flats and prefolds and covers. So many different ones! Where do I start?!
It was too overwhelming, so I held off. But I kept finding myself drawn to them more and more. I was Googling information, looking up what might work for us, researching brands, figuring out costs. I spent a LOT of time deciding if this was going to worth it. A friend told me that a cloth diaper shop only an hour away from me had a loaner program for moms on WIC. If you received WIC, all you had to do was bring in your ID card, and they would give you a stash of diapers to last you at least 2 days. They loaned you all different kinds so that you could see what you liked best. SCORE!! We receive WIC. So, I took the hour drive, got my stash, got home, and jumped right in. My intentions were to only cloth diaper while we were home. I still planned on using disposables while out and at night. I wasn't quite ready to make that commitment to use them full time.
I could not get the hang of the fitteds and flats/prefolds/covers. No matter what I did, she leaked right out of them. They just were not the diaper for us. That seriously limited me on how long I'd be able to cloth diaper her while even home. I did discover, however, that I absolutely loved the pocket diapers in that loaner set. I also loved the AIOs. The next day, I washed up all the diapers, and prepared to make the hour long drive back to the store. I was going to return them, and purchase my own set of pockets and AIOs.
When I got there, I was easily overwhelmed. I looked into it, doing what I thought was adequate research. I thought I was going to go in, know exactly what I want, and get it. When I was there getting the loaner set, I did not look around. But now that I was here to return the loaner set and purchase my own, I was overwhelmed. It was like the whole store was spinning. It's not a huge store, either, so it wasn't like there were aisles upon aisles upon aisles. It's just that I was there in person, with many different choices, instead of looking at them on the computer. I needed help. Luckily, the girls there are VERY friendly. They took their time helping me to understand what I wanted, and what I should try first. They also understood that I was making the switch because it's cheaper. I am not working, G has health issues, so we were looking to save money in every possible way. This was my way.
They showed me the gently-used section. Gross, I originally thought. Why would I use a diaper that another baby used?? The germs! The thought of it! How disgusting!! Until they showed them to me. There were no stains. They looked brand new still! I was informed that as long as the wash routine I used was effective, it would eliminate stains and germs to be sanitary and not disgusting. I was game. Used diapers were cheaper than new. So, I bought a few. I'm not 100% sure exactly what I bought that first time, but I do know that's when I met my first Swaddlebee Simplex diaper, and FELL IN LOVE! It had giraffes on it. That was why I bought it. Not because of the style, or the absorbency. I was brand new to this cloth diapering, so I didn't know. I just saw the giraffes, and HAD TO HAVE IT. This was the beginning of my addiction.
Over the next few months, I've bought more and more. All different kinds- Kawaii pockets, BumGenius 4.0 pockets, BG Elemental, Alva, Sunbaby, Mac-A-Doodle, and even more Simplexes. They are my absolute favorites. I now buy all of G's diapers used, and we have built up quite the stash. I'm in the process of mainstreaming. I'd like to have our stash mainly AIOs, with just a few pockets. I'm not exactly sure that we've saved any money, though. It's actually quite addicting, and I find myself looking for more things to sell so that I can have enough money to buy more.
We now cloth diaper full time. All day, every day. I do diaper laundry every other day, or every 3 days. I use BG 4.0s at night, double stuffed, and we haven't had a leak. I find that the cloth diapers hold in poop much better than sposies. As a matter of fact, every time I put a sposie on her, she poops through it. It gets all over. When she's in fluff, it's contained nicely. The diapers I buy her are one size, so they will fit her until she's potty trained. I don't have to worry about her outgrowing the diapers before I use them all like with sposies. When we're done with them, I can resell them for about 75% what I paid. That means that the Kawaii's that I buy for $10, I can sell them for $7.50. Provided that they're still in good condition. So, at the end of our diapering career, I'll have a nice chunk of change from all the diapers. It'll work out to paying maybe $4-5 per diaper over the years. Not too shabby!! Not to mention, if there is ever another baby (hubby says no more!), then these diapers will get us through that baby as well. Saving us even more money.
There are worse things than cloth diapers to be addicted to. It could be drugs or alcohol instead. But, I chose to feed into my addiction for diapers. They're cute. They're practical. They're worth it.