Thursday, March 17, 2011

My First Time

I had never given cloth diapers a thought in my head. My only and brief thought about cloth diapers was that they are old fashioned. I was not going to be an “old fashion” mother. So that was my one, very fleeting thought about cloth diapers. 
My first time using cloth diapers was with my second baby.  Again, cloth diapers were not thought about.  Not even a fleeting thought like I had with my first baby.  My mom gave me quite a few GroBaby {now GroVia} diapers for my second baby. My immediate thoughts were CUTE, but uh...I don’t know about this!  I smiled and thanked her.  The diapers sat on my laundry room floor for a week.  I hemmed and hawed. Should I do this? Can I do this? I looked up cloth diapers on the internet and was immediately overwhelmed, so I stopped looking at cloth diapers online. I couldn’t decide if I could do this, so I do what I normally do in situations when I can make up my mind. Nothing.  Thank goodness my sister came to visit.  She took one look at the mess of diapers on the floor and threw them in the wash. WHEW! A decision was made! She and I washed and prepped the diapers. 
At a little over a month old, BW wore his first cloth diaper. ADORABLE! I melted when I saw him in his little mandarin GroBaby.
At first, I used cloth only at home and only during the day. I had to baby step my transition to cloth.  Even though I loved using my new cloth diapers, it took me awhile to get used to the idea of them.  It’s not that I had any particular stumbling blocks using them.  No stink, leaks, rashes.  Actually, it was quite the opposite.  They washed like a dream, and instantly, BW didn’t have any leaks.  No BLOW-OUTS!  It was almost like it was too good to be true. A miracle. Or maybe you’d prefer to say it was like magic. *Poof* All my problems with disposable diapers were gone!  Another plus that I noticed was that since I was only using disposables at night, we were going through less paper diapers.  This meant less time spent going to the store, especially during the first couple of months when babies grow out of diapers literally overnight.   The thrifty part of me loved not spending money on something that I throw out in sometimes a matter of minutes of using.  I also noticed that the garbage bin wasn’t quite as full when taking it to the curb.   Dare I say, this whole experience was like a dream come true?  Yes! Really! 
Here’s the Good and the Bad summed up with some nice bullet points for those that like lists. {I am a list person.}
The Good
·         No rash, no creams to use.
·         Less trash, so fewer trips to the garbage can outside to empty the diaper pail.
·         Less money spent on paper diapers as I slowly transitioned to cloth.  This changed to no money spent once we transitioned to only cloth. Yippee!
·         Darling outfits in the summer. T-shirt + diaper = super cute!  As a mom to two boys, the cuteness factor for boy clothes is nowhere near girl clothes, so this was a major plus for me.  Shallow, I know.
·         Easy to use.  Press some buttons on the machine to wash and air dry (sunned outside). Easy Velcro-like closures (hook and loop or Aplix) made for an easy transition to cloth since they went on just like a disposable.
·         No explosive poo leaking everywhere, which meant less washing of clothes and stain removal.
The Bad
·         After a few weeks, I realized I didn’t have enough diapers to make it through a day, and I was getting tired of CONSTANTLY washing.  I think he poo’ed more than any baby his age should! This was solved by buying more diapers. I now wash every other day.
·         More frequent changing. I hesitate to mention this, because I don’t want anyone to be turned off by using cloth, but at the same time I promise to be totally honest here.  So here goes nothing.  This more frequent changing was a double edge sword for me.  At first, I felt like I was changing a lot more than I would have with disposables. But I came to realize that it was a good indication of how well he was nursing and an easy way to monitor his fluid intake.  Because disposables are so absorbent, I often couldn’t tell how much or often my baby urinated, which in turn meant I didn’t know how well he was breastfeeding.  Luckily, this was a short lived issue. Babies grow and change quickly, and this is no longer a “problem”.
·         I was clueless about using diapers at night and was yet again paralyzed by indecision and information overload on the internet. Yikes! Obviously, this is now no longer a problem.  I will focus on nighttime diapers in a future post.  Hint: hemp.
·          I felt uncomfortable using cloth out of the house.  Yet again something that I didn’t have any experience in doing, and it made me feel anxious about leaving the house. Once again, problem solved.  We leave the house & travel.  Again, this will be discussed in detail in the future.
·         No support. This is a total peer pressure issue.  No one I knew was doing this.  I felt so alone. Ugh.  Luckily, I fell in love with all the good that I saw with cloth diapering that this was just about a nonissue with me. Yay for being independent!  For help and advice, I reconnected with a childhood friend that cloth diapers, so the beginning of a support group began.  Also, friends saw the benefits of cloth and began using them as well on their babies.  Support and information is a major reason why I began Green Baby Elephant!
BW lookin' angry and cute at the same time in his first cloth diaper. I like to think that the angry face means that he was trying to say, "Why didn't you put one of these comfy diapers on me sooner mom?!" or something like that.

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