I have a confession to make.
When I told my mom, she thought I was joking at first. She told me that if I want to do it, she won’t try to stop me but she won’t have anything to do with it when I come visit.
When I told my best friends and my sister, they all looked at me like I was crazy. It was such a foreign concept to them. I got a lot of raised eyebrows and skeptical “Okaaaayyy..” responses.
When I told my grandma, she said “Good for you. I did it when I was younger, too.”
Well, I don’t care what they all say and I’m not ashamed to admit it. I confess..
I am a cloth diapering mama.
Not only am I a cloth diapering mama, but I’m excited about being a cloth diapering mama.
I have never pictured myself navigating my way around safety pins and big sheets of fabric. I’m not trying to learn any complicated folds or master the art of wrangling a baby into a piece of cloth. When I say I’m a cloth diapering mama, I am not talking about your grandma’s cloth diapers. I’m talking about some fancy ass, very modern cloth diapering.
Today’s cloth diapering involves all sorts of different types of diapers, methods, and materials, but I have built a modest stash of what are called pocket diapers. Pocket diapers resemble a fluffier, cuter version of a disposable. They wrap around the baby’s bottom the same way, but have velcro or snaps that hold them in place the same way a disposable functions. The inside is lined with fabric (mine are fleece) and have pockets that you stuff various absorbant materials into depending on how heavy of a wetter your kiddo is. Some inserts are microfiber, some are cotton or bamboo. There are actually quite a few different materials. The outer layer of the diapers are usually laminated fabric or polyurethane so they’re waterproof. There’s really such a wide variety of options available that it’s difficult to generalize, which is one of the many things that are so freaking awesome about CDing (as it’s called by us super cool people in the know).
I love that a cloth diaper is totally customizable from the inside out. You can control exactly how absorbant the diaper is, you have complete control over the material that is up against your baby’s most private of areas. You can choose the fabric the diaper is made of and choose any cute design you can find, you can choose the closures. If your baby has chubby legs or skinny little chicken legs like my little man, you can adjust the rise of the leg holes. You choose what you wash them in so you know exactly what chemicals your diapers are treated with before you put them on your baby’s tush. And as if all of that isn’t enough, cloth diapers are something like a bajillion times cheaper over the long run than disposable diapers. [Editor’s note: I did not use scientific methods to arrive at that figure. It’s an estimate.] Also, there’s the wonderful bonus of knowing that you aren’t responsible for dumping thousands of disposable diapers into your local landfill.
My personal decision was fueled by my partner’s terrible case of very severe eczema. After reading that babies with a parent who has eczema are much more likely to be affected, I decided that it might be best to cloth diaper Grayson and avoid the additives and potential irritants in most disposable diapers. I didn’t use cloth for Ellie and everything was fine, but I was interested in cloth even back then. I’ve read articles citing the potential carcinogenic additives in disposables and it’s horrifying that this self-regulating industry would be so interested in profit that they’d risk the health of babies. Maybe these things won’t take effect until all of these babies are well into their adulthood, but it’s just disgusting that for many people, the toxins, carcinogens, plastics, glues, and other junk that diapermakers put in their products are unavoidable.
I’m still very new to cloth diapering and don’t purport to know everything about the practice, but I have researched the topic at great length and feel very confident in my decision. We’re using pocket diapers (Charlie Bananas, BumGenius 4.0s, and Alvas), but we also have half a dozen Flip diaper covers, which I haven’t slapped on Grayson’s bottom yet. I have about sixty microfiber inserts to go inside the 30 pocket diapers, 10 bamboo inserts, and maybe two dozen prefolds, so I only have to wash every two or three days. The Charle Banana one sizes actually fit my tiny little man when the elastic inside is on the x-small setting, but I can’t wait to use the covers once Grayson adds a couple pounds to his tiny frame and his delicious little chicken legs actually fit into them. Surprisingly enough since most of the women in the cloth diaper groups I’m in on Facebook frequently post about their husbands not being entirely on board, John hasn’t complained yet and actually supports this endeavor completely. When the Charlie Banana brand went on clearance at Target for around $44 for a six pack (usually $120, which I refused to pay), he gave me money to go take advantage of the sale. He’s really into eco-friendly things and, of course, saving money. He’s so much more green (and frugal) than I am. I really want to adopt more of this good habits when it comes to money and being environmentally conscious, but I could probably write a dozen posts about how great he is and how he makes me a better person. I’ll save that mush for another time, maybe.
My mom doesn’t understand why anyone would elect to wash poopy diapers rather than just toss a disposable in the trash, but I did my first load of diaper laundry and it didn’t bother me in the slightest. I actually preferred it to regular laundry, which usually piles up until John finally gets frustrated and takes care of it. Maybe I’ll get tired of it. Maybe I’ll last until he potty trains and maybe I won’t, but so far, it’s working out well for my little family. Grayson seems to like them just fine and his Nana even changed his cloth diaper the other day without instruction from me, although she was awestruck at how “fancy” the cloth diapers are these days.
Mama likes them, Daddy likes them, Grayson likes them.
That’s all you can really ask for, right?