So awhile back, before Noah was born, I wrote this post on cloth diapering. As you can tell from reading it, Dan and I had really high hopes for the whole cloth diapering process. We were determined to make it work. Unfortunately, we ran into some big obstacles along the way, and I'm back again to reflect on our decision and share our experience for those of you thinking about cloth diapering.
First off, let's recap why we wanted cloth diapering to work so badly!
1. To save money! (If you haven't noticed, that's a big theme in my blog ;-)
2. To be kind to earth. (Also another theme of mine)
3. To be kind to my little one's butt. (There are some nasty chemicals in disposable diapers!)
Yup that pretty much sums it up. So Dan and I didn't officially give the cloth diapers a "go" until Noah was about 3-4 weeks old. Reason being, his little legs were just too small for the leg holes. We were having leakage issues. That first time around (3-4 weeks old), we trialed them for 4-5 weeks. Here were our initial thoughts after that period.
1. They were Time Consuming: Frequent diaper changes made these cloth diapers pile up fast. As a result, I was doing cloth diaper laundry every day (which I expected, however with a newborn, it was hard to find the time to do a load and then hang dry them, and then fold them) Some people just throw them in the dryer, but that is not recommended, so the extra hanging and folding took some time.
2. They were Dirty/Messy: Ok I know this one is obvious. I knew that cloth diapers would mean
getting our hands a little dirty...or if you have a baby like our son, a lot dirty. Obviously by agreeing to cloth diaper, you forgo the perks of nice bundling and quick disposability other diapers offer. There is no diaper genie-ing or disappearing of hot diaper messes. But what I wasn't prepared for was the challenge of spraying clean the diapers with the diaper sprayer. Poop splattered everywhere and water got all over the place. And people, Dan and I tried everything to minimize this. We were super careful, we adjusted the water pressure in the diaper sprayer, we tried different angles, and I even resorted to semi-dunking (a memory I'd like to forget), and we just couldn't get it to be mess free, or at least a semi-sanitary process. Darn us. The thought of poop particles in and around my porcelain pony's vicinity grossed me out. Too much. Ew.
3: Mobility issues: As cute as the cloth diapers are, they are bulky things. I'm not sure if my fear that these were impairing Noah's ability to move freely was grounded in reality, but I kept thinking that the bulkiness would restrict his movement (or attempts at it) I mean, I think I would feel restricted if I wore something that huge and bulky around my little waist.
So I guess those were our three main issues initially. Now please don't get me wrong. I know that there are perfectly legitimate counter arguments and opinions for everything I said above, but please remember this was OUR experience and OUR opinions.
So we left the cloth diapers go for awhile and came back to them when Noah was about 4 1/2 months old to try round 2. He wasn't pooing as often so the mess wasn't so much of an issue anymore. And he wasn't going through the diapers as fast, so doing laundry constantly was also no longer an issue. Plus the whole leg hole thing had resolved, since his legs were nice and chunky by that point. Mobility issues still haunted me, but he seemed to be moving around fine in them. Sounds like we were ahead right? Wrong...a NEW issue arose.
Noah h-a-t-e-d them.
Darn that kid for having an opinion. They say that babies can feel the wetness with cloth diapers quicker and more so than with disposables. I'm convinced this was the problem with Noah. After conducting experiments (mentally recording his fussiness levels with the diapers on and post diaper changes--comparing disposables and cloths), I knew that the cloth diapers were the culprit of his tantrums.
I'm not sure if he's just a super soaker that couldn't handle the wetness or if since he's a boy and pees primarily in the front of his diaper, there was too much discomfort in one area. Either way, Dan and I put up the white flag and surrendered. Well good try right?
For now, our cloths are tucked away in a box, ready and waiting for another trial with our next child. And we do plan on trying them out again. After all, we still like them for the reasons I mentioned in the beginning of the post. Plus they are cute, and fun, and we paid for them. So hopefully round 3 with child numero 2 goes a bit better.
Alas for now, we are sticking with our current disposables. I found a gem of a disposable diaper that I'd like to tell you all about. But I fear this post is running a little long, so stay tuned for Part II!
(((PS. Hope that this post helped provide some food for thought for those of you thinking of cloth diapering. It truly is a wonderful alternative to disposables that is gaining a lot of popularity with new moms these days. However, it isn't for every baby. So good luck to you all!)))