If you would have come up to me 3 years ago and told me that I would be using cloth diapers, I would have probably laughed and told you that cloth diapering wasn't "my thing". I was keeping another child in my home 1 1/2 years ago and that mom used cloth diapers. I was hesitant to say the least when she pulled out a cloth diaper and wet bag to cloth diaper her child.
I couldn't believe how easy it was. I was shocked to learn that an average family can spend between $2,000-$3,000(depending on the brand) for disposable diapers. The real diaper association even states that over 300 pounds of wood, 50 pounds of petroleum feedstocks and 20 pounds of chlorine are used to produce disposable diapers for *one* baby *each* year. After learning all of this, I decided I'd give it a shot.
Cloth diapering was extremely intimidating to me, but it shouldn't have been. Had I known how easy it was, I would have done it from the beginning. My biggest worry about cloth diapers was how to wash them. A friend introduced me to the diaper sprayer and all my worries washed away. A diaper sprayer attaches to the side of the toilet and when you have a poopy diaper, simply spray the contents out into the potty and flush. I then put my diapers in a huge wet bag until they are ready for washing(usually along with a little baking soda for absorbing odor), but you can also put them in a diaper pail or any other container. When I have enough for a load(1-2 dozen diapers and their inserts), I put my washing machine on the Hot wash/Cold rinse setting. I then set it to rinse and add a few drops of tee tree oil for odor and turn it on. After it has gone through a rinse cycle, I use 1/4-1/3 of the recommended amount of detergent and turn the washing machine on. I occasionally use the rinse cycle one more time if I feel that the diapers were extra stinky or if I feel that the diapers are still holding a little detergent. Different diapers do require extra washes before initial use and some require special care when it comes to drying(each diaper will come with its own instructions). I line dry all of my diapers in direct sunlight(which also supposedly helps with odor and sanitization). I will occasionally throw them in the dryer, but I feel the less beating they take, the longer they will last.
I'm not going to lie, I still occasionally use disposable diapers for convenience. If I'm going to be out for several hours, it is easier for me to keep up with disposable diapers vs cloth diapers. However, I use cloth diapers the majority of the time. I can only imagine how much I've saved on diapers in the past 1 1/2 years. I decided to use mostly One-Size All-In-One(AIO) diapers so that I could use the same diapers with each child. Evan is potty trained now, but when Isabella was born, they were both in diapers.
With the economy down the drain, I am happy to find out about any way to help save more money. The initial cost of cloth may be a little overwhelming(just a couple hundred dollars), but in the long run, I'm saving thousands. There has been a huge focus on "going green" over the past few years and I'm glad that I can do my part to be environmentally friendly in addition to going easy on the wallet. There is a wealth of knowledge about cloth diapering and I want you to understand that if I can make the switch to cloth, anyone can do it.
By guest blogger, Dee twoofakindworkingonafullhouse.com