Tuesday, May 8, 2012

From "The Cloth Diaper Connoisseur"

Yeah, I should totally go with that title... ;)

Just kidding.

But on the serious side, I have been very glad to help several of my friends "make the switch" from disposable diapers to cloth ones, and I feel pretty good about that! I do get a lot of the same questions a lot (sometimes from the same person), and I'm so glad I can be helpful.

I remember when I first started researching cloth diapers, I was so nervous to buy anything because I wanted first-hand knowledge before I bought something. This is really hard to do with cloth diapers because they aren't typically sold in stores. In fact, the only time I've ever gotten to see some in person before buying them was at a consignment sale, when I found an amazing deal on some SunBaby pocket diapers.

I was lucky enough to have a friend in Tennessee (where we were living right up until Ezra was born) who helped me get started considering cloth. She had cloth diapered her first two children and wanted to do the same with the third, but was very disappointed when she bought a pack of Gerber flats and found they were so thin they were see-through. She had used them with the first two children, but didn't think the quality available to her now would hold up for a cloth diaper. (FYI: I'm not trying to be negative to Gerber on this change. They probably very rarely have anyone use their flats for cloth diapers anymore--they are mainly used for burp cloths. Also, they may have changed again by now, because this situation took place roughly 2 1/2 years ago, and I have noticed that some of the bigger companies are starting to notice the popularity of cloth diapers is increasing once again. Maybe I can get some and do a comparison blog once Ellie is born.)

Anyway, in the midst of trying to help my friend find some suitable flat diapers, I discovered the "amazing world of cloth!" I was finding new things with every Google search and became more and more intrigued about the new options for cloth diapering. It actually looked...easy. The products were decidedly more affordable than diapering your child with disposables (although, depending on what you use, you will initially pay more in the beginning, you will continue using the same ones, so you definitely end out on top). And to top it all off, they were so cute! The cuteness factor didn't really get to me until much later. All I could think about was price. I remember looking at sites that offered pocket diapers or all in ones (AIOs) and thinking, 'well, those are really cool, but I'd never be able to afford them.' (Now I have a pretty decent stash of them, thanks to savings, patience, time, and clearance sales!)

Around the same time, my friend and her husband decided to start a home-based business. When he asked me for suggestions on a business that would be in demand, but not highly available, I immediately said, "Cloth diapers!" He laughed and said his wife had been saying the same thing. Thanks to them, I was able to see some products they carried in use on their new daughter, and even got to change her a couple of times. I remember the first time I changed her when she was wearing a flat with a cover. Her mother was smart enough to forget all the fancy folding and just fold her flats into a rectangle. I remember I took out the rectangle, put in a new one, and snapped the cover back. Then I looked up and said, "That's it? Did I do it right?!" She laughed and said I had. When Ezra was young, I had a similar moment once when Josh's youngest sister (16 or 17 at the time) saw me changing Ezra's diaper--again, a flat with a cover (no fancy folds required)--and she was shocked it was so easy. I remember her saying, "Well, gosh, I thought there would be pins involved and all this crazy stuff."

(Note: I realize some people really like using folds for cloth diapers, and I say more power to them. For me, it was much easier to just fold clean diapers into rectangles, stack them on the changing table, and be ready to go when it was time for a change. I tried the origami fold and a few other flat folds, but found it was much more time consuming for me, they didn't hold in messes any better, and sometimes Ez would get creases on his bottom from the folds, so I figured the rectangle fold might even be more comfy for him.)

Eventually, I was able to get some pocket diapers (once again, thank goodness for clearance sales) and now I have all the diapers I will need with Ellie (maybe even some extras, if I'm totally honest). Allow me to share some pictures... :)

My first 'stash'--3 dozen flats, 3 newborn covers, 2 small covers (I only put a few flats in the picture for reference):

Additional covers I got for him from Diaper Swappers:

The larger covers he used towards the end of our cloth journey (he's potty trained now):

New covers bought especially for baby Ellie (the first 3 I was being gender neutral about, the flowers one in the front was when I was really hoping for a girl, and the pink polka dots was the girl version of a cover we always wanted for Ezra but was always sold out--the only cover I bought actually knowing we were having a girl)...

Ezra's pocket diaper stash (we have 14 Bum Genius diapers, but I just showed one of each color).

Pockets bought for baby girl at Rhea Lana's (even when I wasn't sure we would have a girl, these were too good a deal to pass up!)

Newest addition to our stash...Bum Genius Newborn All In Ones. I ordered a 'gender neutral' assortment, and these are the colors I ended up with. I'm looking forward to trying these!

You cannot really grasp the utter cuteness of these diapers unless you see a size comparison. here they are next to Bum Genius One Size pockets (if you are considering buying all one-size diapers, pay attention to the size difference--most 'one size' diapers don't fit babies well until around 10 lbs.)

Our flats and covers stash in the dresser...

Our all in ones/pockets stash (aka, 'easy' diapers--great for daycare or family members who are less comfortable with cloth)

I feel so incredibly blessed to have such a 'huge stash!' I'm pretty sure other people have me trumped by several dozen diapers (or maybe hundreds!) but we have come so far from our beginning! :)


The Cloth Diaper Connoisseur ;)

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