Thursday, June 2, 2011

My return to cloth diapers

13 years ago I gave birth to my first child, a beautiful daughter. A few months into using disposable diapers, & I realised that I wasn't happy with the system. Yes; it was easy, fast, & absorbent. However, it was very expensive, & we went through so many of them each day that I couldn't help but wonder what this was doing to our landfills. I was only one Mom with one baby, & when I thought of all of the other Moms in the world using disposables I became concerned. I don't know about you, but often I don't think about the big picture until it slaps me upside the head. Of course, cost was a huge factor as well! I can't remember how much an average package of disposable diapers cost back then, but I seem to remember that I figured out it would save me around $3000! Actually, I believe I saved more than that because she didn't potty train until she was 3 years old. After doing a little research I was stunned to read about the possible health risks associated with disposables. I won't get too preachy here, but I can't write about this without expressing my concerns. I'll just present what I know, & let you be the judge. :o) For me, it was a no brainer.

Disposables contain the following:
Cellulose Tissue (wood, since it's a paper product)
Sodium Polyacrylate (can cause severe allergic reactions & skin irritations)
Dioxin (is strongly linked to carcinogenic chemicals & is high up on the toxic list)
Tributyl-tin also known as TBT (causes hormonal problems)
And some diapers contain Polypropylene Plastic

13 years ago the world of cloth diapering was VERY different! I started out with flats, velcro diaper covers, & pull up covers. I wasn't happy with that system, so did a little research & found a company called Motherease. I used the One Size Diapers with the side snapping AirFlow Covers during the day, & had a few Sandy's. I liked the fit & the feel, but had a heavy wetter, so continued on my quest for the perfect diaper. I soon discovered how addictive cloth diapering can be! I became a fan of the WAHM's that were around at the time. My fave was "Jenny Oh!", though I did have others also. For those who don't cloth diaper, a WAHM is a work at home Mom. I alternated between my Jenny Oh! and Motherease dipes, & added soakers as she grew. I did still occasionally use disposables - I won't lie about that. They came in handy for travelling, visiting with out of town family, babysitters, etc.

3 months ago I gave birth to my second baby girl. Yep; I have a 13 year old & a 3 month old. I often get asked if she was planned (I turned 44 last month), & the answer is YES! She was very much wanted, & we waited a very long time for her. She's our miracle baby. Although she's my 2nd child, she's my hubby's 1st. (My 1st daughter is from my 1st marriage.)

I've been wanting to get her into cloth diapers, but convincing my hubby took a little work. He's hooked on the ease & convenience of disposables. However, we're struggling financially just like so many other families right now. The fact that we're surviving on one income now really puts a strain on us, but is worth it for this breastfeeding Momma & baby. We did the Math & realized that all of my income plus some of his would go toward daycare, so it just wasn't feasible. Plus, since I work as a substitute teacher there wouldn't be enough opportunities to pump during the day (if any at all), so we'd be looking at using formula, which also adds to the expenses. Things have been slow at his work lately, & he's considering taking a second job temporarily to help ends meet. My Dad has offered to buy our baby diapers! I love my Dad! I brought my hubby with me to Babies R Us one day to show him the average cost of a box of diapers. The ones that we've been using are anywhere from $40 - $50 per box. We did some Math & figured that we'd be saving roughly $5000 if we use cloth until potty training. He's now on board!!!

I started by going through the boxes of my oldest daughter's baby things that I had stored in the garage. I found some of her old diapers, but at least half of them were damaged. I had to throw away a good chunk of them, & it broke my heart. I do still have some Motherease & Jenny Oh! dipes, but not enough, & all of them are too big for her at the moment. She's a petite 10 lbs at 3 months. That turned out to be a good thing. I started doing research online, & discovered that the world of cloth diapering has changed DRAMATICALLY since my oldest daughter potty trained 10 years ago!!! Now they have all of these confusing terms & totally different diapering systems that I'm trying to learn about. I've found several cloth diapering blogs that are endless sources of information. I also enjoy the giveaways! :o) I had the pleasure of winning a Blissful Booty Diaper on May 9, & just received it in the mail. I look forward to trying it out. I'm also researching current WAHM's on eBay & etsy. So far I've received a couple of diapers made of 2 different materials from kind lady on eBay, & am eagerly awaiting another from etsy. I want to try out several different types before I make my decision on which kind I want. I'll be making my big purchase in about a month.

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