Tuesday, September 2, 2014
An Adventure in Diapering: My Stash
I waffled back and forth a bit about whether or not I wanted to use cloth diapers. In the early days of my pregnancy, I was certain we would be purchasing a stash of cloth diapers and would be using nothing but. Turned out, the Husband wasn't quite on board, skeptical about how easy they would be to use. Why should we be making something as unpleasant as diaper changes any harder on ourselves?
During the nine months of waiting, I researched pricing, types, cute prints, and washing techniques. The more I researched, the more I got caught in the research. Knowing that the Husband wasn't fully on board, I hesitated about pulling the trigger.
Then, Isabel arrived. We started with disposables, going through two boxes of newborns and half of one ginormous box of size 1 diapers. I hated the disposable diapers piled up, hated the ginormous bags of garbage that filled our bin, hated the hunt for the best price in order to keep our supply affordably stocked. And yet, I bulked at the prices of cloth diapers, still dragging my heels on making any changes. In the meantime, I joined buy/sell groups on Facebook and occasionally saw lots of cloth diapers popping up, usually well after they had already been claimed.
And then, one day, I lucked out, jumped first in line for a whole stash of used cloth diapers at a fraction of the price I would have had to pay to buy them new. Isabel was big enough, threatening to grow out of her size 1 diapers. It was time to make the switch.
How did it go? I'll admit, I had a little buyer's remorse in the first few days we were using the diapers. Isabel seemed to hate them, screaming through diaper changes and the first two days she wore them. On top of that, while I knew they would be bulkier, they were even more bulky than I expected. My little girl looked like a little pear, and I hated it. Aren't cloth diapers supposed to be cute?
Since those few first days, she and I have both started to get used to the cloth, and the downsides of cloth started to pale next to the incredible upsides. No more blowouts, no more poop stained onsies, no more diaper garbage, no more buying boxes of diapers, no more wondering if she's grown out of one size and into another. I have discovered that washing them is hardly a pain and more a comforting exercise in routine in my more-or-less routine-less life.
Through the stash purchased used and a single order of diapers from a China-based online retailer, I've managed to not only buy enough diapers to keep Isabel clean, but I've also managed to get a little diversity in my diaper stash.
I have 31 MotherEase one size fitted diapers. They're made of terry cloth - so, towel material - and are fairly absorbent, but they're not waterproof, so that means I need covers to go with them. They're one size with a fold down rise, meaning the length of the diaper is adjusted by folding down the front of the diaper. Many diapers have a rise that snaps up, so when I first bought these diapers I was really confused how they worked and had to turn to YouTube for a little tutorial.
I like these diapers to a point, but they've had to grow on me. They are extremely bulky, especially on Isabel, who is 10 weeks old this week, and 11.5 lbs. And, the covers that come with them are some of the ugliest things I've ever seen. Pairing them with a cuter cover hasn't really worked so far. Only the MotherEase covers have been guaranteed to be leak-proof with the MotherEase diapers - go figure.
However, when I put Isabel in one of these with every single bit of terry cloth safely tucked inside a MotherEase cover, they work. I haven't had a single leak, a single blowout. As she gets older, additional absorbent soakers can be snapped in so they'll last her through the night. They're easy to wash, coming out smelling fresh and clean, no matter the mess that they've been covered in, and they dry on the line within a few hours as long as it stays fairly sunny.
Ultimately, I wish I didn't have quite so many of these, so I may be looking to sell a handful in the next couple months if I manage to add some reasonable replacements to my stash. I will, however, always keep a few in my stash for night time, especially as Isabel grows.
I also have 9 pocket diapers, 6 BumGenius and 3 AlvaBaby.
The BumGenius were freebies, thrown in with the MotherEase diapers by the seller as a thank you for taking the whole lot of her hands. They're not in the best shape. The hook and loop is pilled and rough, and the pocket opening a little stretched out, but they still work great for the most part. The AlvaBabies are the only brand new diapers I added to my stash, purchased because I couldn't resist the price during my research process. $16 for three? And with such cute patterns? I figured if I hated them, at least my PayPal account would hardly notice.
The BumGenius and the AlvaBabies come with inserts and are meant to be stuffed, but I was sold on pocket diapers after another mom showed me how she uses prefolds as an insert and just lays them on top of the diaper. That way, if its just been peed on, I can toss the insert in the laundry and reuse the diaper itself. Less laundry? Sounds good to me!
I don't feel like my stash is actually complete yet. I'd love a few more diapers with cute prints, and as Isabel grows I know I may find that some of these diapers work better than others. I'd like to try out other brands, other types maybe. But this has been a good place to start. With a decent stash of diapers in my cupboards, I can buy and sell as I see fit and will, one day, be perfectly happy with the diapers I have.
Fellow moms, do you cloth diaper? Why, why not? What do you use?
Friends and readers who aren't moms, would you cloth diaper if you were? Or, like the Husband*, are you not fully on board?
* The Husband is now more or less fully on board. A topic for another day!