The first post for my series on cloth diapering. I promise the poop talk will be kept to an absolute minimum but hello new mom stereotypes. Next will be Looking at My Stash and I also have posts on Diapering Out & About Town, Traveling Out of State, Ins and Outs of Fluff Butt Fashion, as well as Washing & Support Groups.
I think that title might sound a bit too cocky, or presumptuous, but mostly it’s because I was really overwhelmed when I thought about starting this process, and I was really depressed by how overwhelmed it felt*. Using cloth diapers was one of the things I was most excited about when we decided it was go-for-baby time. I was excited and also I was determined. Thinking about budgeting disposables for four-ish years is absolutely terrifying, and I won’t lie–the thought of four-ish years worth of disposable diapers from my baby sitting in a landfill doesn’t sit very easily on my conscience. No judging to those who do it differently, I promise, it’s just one choice of many that you make for yourself and your baby, and that’s how I’ve made mine. Moving on.
I have a tendency to be all “Go big or go home’ which I’ve learned does not mean I go big, but rather, I opt for the “stay home” part more often than not. I didn’t want to approach cloth diapering with the idea that if she wasn’t in them 100% of the time, it was a failure, but rather, every diaper changed that I didn’t use a disposable was a diaper change in the right direction.
Once I jumped in, I was surprised at how easy it all came together, and that while there are parts of cloth diapering that are extra steps than just using disposables, what extra work there was never seemed like more trouble than the effort. Here’s a bit of how it worked for me, in case you’re thinking of going the same route. I have a lot of friends who eyeballing meas one of the first two jump into parenting and have questions about how I’m diapering, so putting this together seemed like a good idea.
I was pretty much instantly overwhelmed when I started researching. I wanted something just super basic and simple, and the world of cloth diapers now is very different from what my mom went through when I was a baby. In a lot of ways it’s better, more efficient, and easier. It’s also a lot cuter than the rubber pants days of yore. But, as my dad said cynically when I was telling him a bout the diapers, it’s also a whole new market of people selling you stuff you just really don’t need. No joke, I saw a woman proudly post her stash of ninety two diapers. Ninety two! Maybe when my baby is a toddler and I’m a lot more strapped for time, that number might seem a lot more reasonable but right now, holy crap it seems like the beginning of a hoarders episode. Particularly since most of the comments were all “oh that print has been retired!” and in general approaching cloth diapering with the same gotta-catch-them-all hoarding mentality we saw decades ago with beanie babies.
But for now, I want simple. I want easy. My cloth diapering attitude is “every change that uses a cloth diaper is a saved disposable”. It’s nice. my mom showed me how to fold a flat**. After two days, I estimate, folding the diapers became second nature. I’ve since learned the “jelly roll” which is perfect for including an addition folded flat or microfiber insert for extra absorbency.
*Also I have really bad PPD so pretty much everything depresses me lol
**Fold it into thirds, and lay her on top so her crotch is in the middle, fold up the front half and untuck the edges of both the bottom and the top to create tabs. Pull the back tabs over the front tabs, tug and adjust as necessary, and then use a snappi to keep it together. Cover with a cover, making sure no part of the cotton flat is peeking out from underneath the cover and boom, good to go. There a lot of great youtube tutorials.