Cloth Diapering Part II

My journey into cloth diapering was a bit different from Beth’s. With our first daughter, my husband and I strictly used disposables. At the time, the thought of cloth terrified us. We were on a really tight budget, and buying diapers every week definitely hurt the bank account, but we preferred the convenience of it. We also lived in a town where the idea of using cloth diapers was very antiquated and not something anyone would really choose to do. So every week for almost 3 years, we bought diapers. Don’t ask me how much we ended up spending on disposing our daughter’s poop, because I really don’t want to know.

When I was pregnant with our second daughter, my husband and I struggled when friends and family would ask what to give as baby gifts. We had plenty of clothes from our first daughter, and we had all of the big necessities already. Then we thought about diapers. At first, we were just going to ask them to buy us disposable diapers if they wanted to give us a gift, and then we had the idea to research cloth.

IMG_0996The only cloth diapers we had any experience with were the prefolds with a cover, like my sister used, but my husband said that if he was going to have to change a cloth diaper, it would have to be simpler than those. In doing our research and asking around, we found Bum Genius 4.0s. They are a one size fits all diaper with pocket inserts. This diaper goes on like a normal disposable, just with snaps.

After receiving the diapers from our family, the only things that we needed to spend money on were a diaper pail, liner, a package of wipes, and a wet bag. All of these cost us about $100. The great thing about cloth diapers is that each time you use them you are getting a better return on investment. You get an even greater ROI when you use the diapers with multiple children. This link breaks down the math of how much you can save when you use cloth. When you use disposables you end up spending thousands more than with cloth. That is really expensive poop!

The only disposable items we use for our cloth diapers are inserts that you can flush when your baby has a dirty diaper. There are other options to do deal with messiness. I hear great things about diaper sprayers and we often say “Man, I wish we would have bought the sprayer.”

Overall, using cloth has been far less scary and gross than I anticipated. Poop is poop, and changing it isn’t glamorous anyway you do it. Just choose to diaper whichever way works best for you and your family. As moms, we all anxiously wait for the day when our last baby is completely potty trained.

Cloth Diapering Part I

When my husband and I found out we were expecting our first child, the timing wasn’t ideal, and we balanced between utterly laughable surprise and overflowing joy. There was one thing, however, that repeatedly attempted to steal our joy. Finances. So to reclaim our joy, we agreed…this child could cost us nothing. Nothing. And however unrealistic that was, we were determined to be as close to “nothing” as possible. With the help of insurance, hand-me-downs, and friends who showered us with baby gifts, we almost achieved that for all of our one-time needs.

Then we had to factor in the on-going expenses of feeding and diapering this baby. Breastfeeding had to work. I gave myself no other option because there was no other option. It had to work, and thankfully it did.

On to diapering.

We were living in a community in Wisconsin that embraced all things local, earthy, and natural, so we had the convenience of a cloth diapering store. But what kind does one in our situation choose? The cheapest. We went prefolds all the way. You know, the kind your mom or grandmother used with safety pins. We outfitted ourselves with 24 prefolds, 4 covers, 2 Snappis, 3 wet/dry bags varying in size, and a stack of cloth wipes for less than $200* and, with a few additions/replacements, all of that lasted us through two kids. My prefolds were strong and durable even if they did take a few tries to master.

These are my cloth diapering truths:

  • Cloth diapering is one of the most unglamorous things you can do.
  • Luxury is when my mom or mom-in-law would buy us a package of disposable diapers.
  • Rest is now having both of my children potty trained.
  • Joy is being able to pass down our diapers to another family who may not be able to afford disposables.

How you choose to diaper your baby is up to you. Our goal is for you to make your parenting decisions based off of what works for you, you and your baby. And your sanity should always be a deciding factor. I would have gone insane with worry over finances every time I bought a package of diapers, so cloth diapering with prefolds was my sanity. Find your sanity; be at peace.

*Prices in links do not necessarily reflect the price that we paid at the time.

A Gift for Me, the Mom

Mama Bird Box Gift for Mom NecklaeTwo years ago on my son’s first birthday, we had a typical party: balloons, cake, a rainy day, a house full of people…and presents. Before the gift giving began, a friend pulled me to the side and gave me her gift. She said, “This is actually for you. I figure you’re the one who did all the work a year ago, so you deserve a present.” (A five-year-old might protest, but my one-year-old kiddo had no opinion.)

I was filled with emotion. I did do all the work the year before, but I never thought I needed acknowledgement from someone other than my husband.

I had some of my darkest days during Wesley’s first year. I was put to the test with a distracted nurser/non-eater, non-sleeper. I was discouraged and exhausted on his first birthday.

But then there was this beautiful friend of mine giving me a beautiful necklace, and I felt something so powerful in her gift for me. I put on the necklace and took a look at that happy, healthy (though skinny) baby of mine, and I felt restored. We have this amazing ability to lift one another up just by acknowledging each other for what we do. This is just another reason why we created Mama Bird Box.

Mama Bird Box is a gift for you, the Mom.