September 25, 2013

An Adventure in Cloth Diapering: The beginning

If you are thinking about cloth diapering, I highly suggest it, especially if you are a stay at home mom or dad! This is my story on how I came to cloth diapering, how I got started, the resources I used, my cloth diaper stash, my wash routine, and other related cloth diapering details. On with my mini-series of my adventure in cloth diapering!

In the beginning, there were G's
In an effort to help us save more money since I am a newly stay at home mom, we started cloth diapering. How exciting! Weird to be excited about cloth diapering? Maybe, and I never thought I would be, but motherhood/parenthood is life changing and your perspective on many things change.

We were using G Diapers before cloth, which is already a hybrid diaper: part cloth, part disposable (I talk more about them here). We really liked our sized (s, m, l, xl) G Diapers because we knew that we were doing our part by helping reduce the waste in landfills by using the biodegradable inserts. (I know, I know, I'm a semi-crunchy mama, but when you learn that it takes ONE disposable diaper on average of 500 YEARS to decompose....it's just not worth it, especially since you hope that your kids will grow to procreate. Don't you want them to have a nice, beautiful world that doesn't have a landfill every other mile? On with it!-->) G diapers worked out great for daycare and it was easy to learn. We were good to go.

Unfortunately the inserts were costing us just as much as disposable diapers, so we decided to make a change, especially since we were already half way to cloth diapering.  

Making the switch
I took the plunge and purchased a few second hand cloth diapers from a Facebook cloth swap group, and learned that it wasn't all that much more work! I know you might be thinking that using second hand diapers is, well, gross. BUT, I made sure they were all in EUC (excellent used condition), meaning no stains, the elastic was in great condition, minimal wear etc. I also washed them in a load with bleach, which basically sanitizes them, before I put them on Christian.

Love at first change
I fell in love with researching all things cloth diapers and accessories (like a diaper sprayer), collecting different colors, and perfecting the art of cloth diapering! :o) 

Once I started Christian in cloth diapering, I found how I liked to work with cloth diapers best, hence I was perfecting my craft. For instance I found I do not like to dunk and swish my diapers in the toilet. Many people like this option since it's quick and easy and no purchases necessary (except maybe some big kitchen rubber gloves). I just didn't like it, so I'll be trying out a diaper sprayer. That's yet to come still!

Building a stash
Since I started out with three second hand BumGenius pocket cloth diapers and liked it, I decided to get more. I purchased more second hand diapers off of different cloth swap groups, as well as purchased my first BRAND NEW cloth diaper. *Exciting!* It was glorious being able to walk into a store and look at all the lovely different kinds of diapers and styles and pick out the one you wanted (considering I had been limited to what people were selling). I knew if I was going to do this I'd need at least 24 diapers (this is the recommended number since newborn changes will be more frequent). I still do not have that many, but my stash is slowly growing.

I learned that Buy Buy Baby sells BumGenius diapers and inserts, and that if you save their coupons it cuts down on the cost A LOT! A regular BG (BumGenius) pocket diaper runs for $18. I know... expensive. If you save their $5 off of $15 purchase coupon though, it brings it down to $13! For $13, you'll get the diaper and 2 inserts (a regular adjustable insert with snaps, and a newborn insert). Many people often sell their second hand diapers for around $13, so this is a good deal! Plus, since Buy Buy Baby is owned by Bed, Bath and Beyond, you can use their coupons as well to get 10% or 20% off an item, depending on which coupons you can get your hands on. Start to ask your family to hold on to their coupons they receive in the mail for you, if they will not use them! 

Confused?
In the beginning it was very confusing learning the different styles, brands, websites, types of diapers etc. But once I was on cloth diapering websites for a few days, I had it down. I did have to get used to the cloth diapering acronyms, but the swap groups helped with that by having a list and their meanings. I'll soon post about the resources I used, and it will have an extensive list of all of these different things! 

TIP: As in learning anything new, it takes time. Do not frustrate yourself or let yourself feel overwhelmed. Learn a little bit each day, and go from there! Have fun with it! 

Start here
First, I watched Naturally Thrifty Mom's: Cloth Diapering 101 videos before making any purchases. These videos will give you MOST of the information you'll need to start with, plus a great understanding of the basics of cloth diapering. I also knew after watching her videos, what type of diaper I'd want to try first (pocket diapers). Her first video I have below, but the others you can find by clicking the cloth diapering 101 link above. 

She has 9 videos in her series: 
  1. Intro: >2 minutes. She describes what and how she'll be shooting her vids.
  2. Lesson 1: (12:22) Cloth diapering styles (from watching her and the diapers, you might be able to choose which you'd like to start with!)
  3. Lesson 1, part 2: (8:39) Finishes up lesson 1 with the different options of cloth diapers available (also hits on the material used).
  4. Lesson 2: (6:24) How many diapers do you need?
  5. Lesson 3: (18:45) Cost comparisons of cloth diapers (talks about how much you can save with using cloth diapers! Hundreds! She gives actual numbers and prices.)
  6. Lesson 4: (7:42) Snaps vs Velcro closures
  7. Lesson 5: (7:45) Cloth wipes
  8. Lesson 6: (9:15) What you need to start cloth diapering 
  9. Lesson 7: (5:27) How to lanolize wool covers


Watching these videos will definitely get you started. Next part: Resources!

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