During my pregnancy, I was a little neurotic. Okay, I was a lot neurotic. Some of my family would probably say that I still am. But, I assure you, it has gotten better. I know it’s gotten better because I don’t (always) yell at my husband anymore for putting plastic containers in the microwave, I cooked with a nonstick pan last week, and, just tonight, I let Stella lay on a blanket that was dried with a dryer sheet. See? Definitely getting better.
I blame my neurosis (which I don’t think is all bad) on the book, “Green This!,” by Deidre Imus, which I read right after I became pregnant. After I read it, I decided to “go green” with the cleaning products I use in my home. Though not in detail, the author also made mention of cloth diapering, which sparked my interest. I was paranoid about all of the chemicals used in disposable diapers being right up against my baby’s skin. I’m a little bit over that, but I’m still glad I’m cloth diapering for other reasons.
Cost played a big role in our decision to use cloth diapers. Did you know that disposable diapers, on average, cost a family $600 to $700 per year?! If a child is in diapers for an average of three years, that could cost $2,100.00 in diapers. DIAPERS. Diapers that would end up in landfills, which would probably end up making me feel guilty. Since I’m staying home with Stella and plan to do the same with future babies, we decided the cost factor alone was important enough to us to give cloth diapering a try. And, I had been trying to green our lives, little by little, for the environment and my family’s health, so that was a plus, too.
I decided that if I was going to do this cloth diapering thing, then I was going to be “all in” from the beginning. I didn’t want to get accustomed to the ease of disposable diapers and then have a hard time switching to cloth diapers or end up not using them at all. I made sure my husband was fully on-board — all it took was the line, “It will save us money.” Then I spent hours agonizing over all of the options that I didn’t even know existed — all-in-one, all-in-two, prefolds, hybrids, contours — trying to find the diapers I thought would be best for us. I settled on Best Bottoms and my parents decided they wanted to get us the starter set as shower gift. Score! They are AMAZING. (The diapers and my parents…but I’m talking about the diapers.) Best Bottoms are an all-in-two system and you can go here to see how they work. I also chose to use the hemp/organic cotton inserts because I figured if I was going green, I might as well go all the way.
My biggest concern, and the one that almost held me back, was the laundry. I hate laundry. Everyone says that, but I mean it. I hate it more than the average person hates it. I hate, hate, HATE doing laundry. But, as it turns out, the diaper laundry is actually my favorite laundry to do. Just toss it all in the washer (generally, every 2-3 days), run a cold rinse, add detergent (I use Charlie’s Soap after having absorbency issues with All Free and Clear), run a hot wash/cold rinse cycle, and pop them in the dryer or hang them in the sun to “bleach” the stains. No sorting. No folding. Easiest. Laundry. Ever. It’s like laundry for the lazy.
I’m so glad we decided to jump on the cloth diapering bandwagon. It’s not for everyone, but if it’s something you’re considering, I would highly recommend giving it a try! How can you resist this cloth-diapered cuteness?!