So many people see diapering as a hassle. All the changes, and all the CHANGE going into the trash can! One of the more common comments involved in the third degree about being a mom to twins is, “I bet you spend a mint on diapers!” People are generally shocked when I tell them that no, actually we save tons, because we use cloth. I’ve gotten my fair share of ”Ew! There is NO way I could touch all that poop!” but in general, the responses have been good. A lot of older women enjoy telling me of their cloth diapering adventures when their kids were younger, and if none of my kids are screaming, or have-to-go-pee-right-now I usually humor them and listen to their stories…you never know when you’ll learn something new!
So. Twins. Two babies. Lots of poop. Lots of diapers. As a little bit of back information, I wasn’t a newbie at cloth going into it with twins. My now 7 year old was in cloth from one year on, and then my now almost 5 year old, I’m proud to say, never had a disposable on her tiny bum, so I had a pretty good idea what I was going for this time around.
As a reference point, my twins were born 5 weeks early. JD was 8lb 9oz, and SF was 7lb .6oz so they were pretty big as far as being multiples as well as preemies.
We started out with:
I have always hated disposable menstrual products.
I have battled eczema my whole life. My arms and legs are literally scarred from the irritation and give me a mottled snake appearance (though snakes are far cuter with their little shiny, beady eyes). When I hit puberty, I was terrified to discover that disposable menstrual products irritated my skin too. Thankfully, I never broke out in a proper rash like my arms and legs do, but the irritation combined with heavy, irregular periods due to Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome made me want to murder my uterus whenever I had my menstrual cycle.
One afternoon in college, while I was sitting in my dorm room procrastinating a paper, I came across a random forum post that briefly mentioned cloth menstrual pads. Uh, what? Ew. So “ew” I had to Google it (you know how that is). As I studied pictures of pads, the questions that came to mind were answered almost immediately. Is cloth comfortable? Of course it is, it’s not itchy, crinkly paper. No added scents to irritate. Oh, but the snaps on this brand were metal—but nickel free, hmm (I’m definitely allergic to nickel).
By the way, this is why I hate and NEVER use the term “mama cloth.” Anyone can use cloth menstrual pads—not just moms! I don’t know where the term started but “cloth pads” is just as short and more descriptive. As a teenager I totally would have felt uncool and gross using the term “mama cloth” since it sounds like some old lady product I’d totally die before admitting to using, like ever, totally.
There are a thousand brands of cloth pads out there. The most “commercial” ones I know of are Lunapads—made by the same folks who sell the Keeper and Moon Cup menstrual cups—and Party in my Pants Pads, which are often in little health boutiques. Just like cloth diapers, there are a million options in cloth menstrual pads. There’s a “pocket” type where you have inserts just like pocket diapers, except pad shaped, all in ones, even a few that have snap-in liners. You can choose from cotton, bamboo, hemp, velour, flannel, plastic snaps, metal snaps…the list goes on. For my first cloth pad I went with an all-in-one style liner, because I didn’t want to mess with different inserts and liners were cheaper than full pads, because they have less absorbency.
They look just like disposables, except they’re cloth. I much prefer snaps to that sticky backing on disposables that’s either too sticky or not sticky enough, never just right!
There always is that one family member, friend, or random stranger that makes a comment about you and your family’s decision to cloth diaper! I can’t begin to tell you how many times I have heard,
“Good luck with that!”
“What about the poop?”
“That’s really gross!”
I really used to get discouraged about the things that people said in regards to my decision to cloth diaper my son until I realized that HATERS are going to HATE. There will be literally a million and two opinions on how you should raise your child. What they should eat, hear, watch, be exposed to, and at the end of the day as their parents it is our decision and ours alone!
So how do you deal with cloth diaper haters? Here are some witty and educational responses for the curious ones in our lives who feel the need to fight our fluff:
So you’ve fallen in love with prefolds. They’re cheap and absorbent and wash up wonderfully since they’re all cotton. You love the prints and colors of your covers, so you’re not tempted to buy more to increase your stash…but one night your kid is wiggly and wailing and in the dim light you just can’t get the prefold fastened and accidentally stab your child with the sharp bit—ugh! “I love my prefolds,” you think, “but man, it would be nice if they came in a style that was easier to get on.”
They do. They come in a fitted style.
Prefolds? Or fitteds? Or both! Bonus e-cookie prize to anyone who can name the brand and size of prefolds above off the top of their heads, based only the color of the serging.
I remember the first time I put a cloth diaper on my son Jaylen!
I was so excited, I watched video after video on YouTube, and stalked DS posts about the fluff I had on the way. When my package got here, I ran to the local laundromat to prep my diapers and smiled knowing that my journey was well on its way. I put on his first pocket diaper and smiled as I admired his cute cloth buns. It wasn’t until we had to cover the fluff did I feel like cloth might not work with our lifestyle! Think about my doom as I tried to shove a onesize diaper into a size 6 month onesie that was a perfect fit the day before. I knew cloth diapers were called fluff but had no idea all that fluff, all that cuteness, would change the way that my son wore clothing. How on earth was this cost effective? But when you’re a cloth diapering mom, and have to have the fluff you find ways to ensure that your little ones stay that way!
Here were the 5 things that helped me fit the fluff, while cloth diapering:
I found the greatest invention ever when cloth diapering and wearing clothing. Onesie extenders kept my little one in his fluff and gave him room to grow as well. There are also companies that make “Grow with me Onesies” that have the onesie extender built into the onesie already, which is way more convenient than a separate purchase ! I never got enough of this option and it solved a big issue for our family!
Several companies and WAHMs sell leg warmers for littles that come in many prints from football teams to hearts. Matching them wth fluff and lap tees or funny screen tees became a hobby of mine for a while. I remember going to botcon with a transformers cloth diaper, matching autobot leg warmers and a funny autobot screen tee and my son was a complete hit! It was one of the most fun events ever and there’s nothing like flaunting the fluff .
There are tons of them floating around the WAHM market now, and they are truly accommodating for the cloth diapering family. Forgiving knit fabrics that have tons of stretch are amazing for the fluffy buns, and equally forgiving for the chunky thighs or fitting for chicken legged littles as well.
Posted 01-31-2014 at 11:39 AM by yoliyoda
So I’ve decided to brave mama cloth. I say brave, and I do mean brave. The entire concept had my nose turned up for a long time. And honestly, I’m still a bit iffy, emotionally–though logically I know that it makes sense.
For those who don’t know, mama’s cloth is essentially reusable sanitary napkins and panty liners. And while the idea of dealing with pee and poop in my son’s cloth diapers is fine, the idea of a bloody reuseable cloth napkin *shutters* gets to me.
However, I had to take a step back and realize how far I’ve come in relation to making my household a cloth-friendly one… and assess how far I was willing to go. We have unpaper towels, which I love, that double as cloth napkins. I have cloth cleaning microfiber rags and sponges instead of using paper towels. And of course, lots of cloth diapers. There was a logical reason connected to each clothing decision that I made. Usually economics and the environment had something to do with each decision.
So what about mama’s cloth? On the low estimates, I’ve heard that women can use about 12,000 pads or tampons in a lifetime. Let’s say she has her period for 40 years: that’s 300 a year, and 25 per month. Forgetting the fact that most of us have several types sitting around, some with wings, some without, some with blue stripes down the middle, some without… let’s just say that a woman buys one bag of pads or tampons per month at $5. Yes, that is very conservative, but let’s just lowball it. That is $2400 over her lifetime.
Do you know what I could do with $2400? A lot. And remember, those are lowball figures.
You can buy mama’s cloth cheaper than you think. As a rough average, you can get 4 pieces for $20. If you’re like me, I’d probably be
One of the most common questions I see from parents new to cloth diapering—after “What type of diaper is the best?”–is, “Should I get Velcro or snap closures?” Like all cloth diapering questions, the answer varies from family to family. Some swear by snaps, others would rather let their kid run naked than snap a diaper. I’ve personally used both for the last two years of cloth diapering, and here are some pros and cons of both.
Posted 01-29-2014 at 11:19 AM by yoliyoda
While I joined Diaperswappers for the same reason the other mamas on the site did, an insatiable love of cloth diapers, I have a secret. Not only do I use disposable diapers, I love them!
To be clear, what I’m speaking of is disposable inserts that can be used with cloth covers. Many companies that make covers also make disposable, biodegradable inserts as an alternative to cloth inserts. When I first began to look into the option of cloth diapering I didn’t understand why. If someone decided to use cloth diapers, why in the world would they want the disposable inserts? All of the positives of less waste and cheaper costs are greatly affected by the use of disposable inserts. It just didn’t seem to make sense.
Then I started to take cloth diapering from theory to practice and quickly saw the exact scenario that the disposable inserts worked for my family. Imagine this: you’re all dressed up for a long day out with friends. Yes, you could carry 10 inserts, making the load in your wet dry bag not just getting heavier over the course of the day with wet inserts, but also getting stinkier and stinker. Could I do it? Definitely. Will I do it if I don’t have too? Probably not.
Another scenario where disposable inserts might make sense is with hesitant baby sitters or day cares. Some people simply don’t want to deal with dirty, soiled, inserts. With this option, when baby has pee’d or pottied, they can simply pop the disposable insert out and into the trash can, and replace it with a new one.
Designed only to replace inserts, I still get to use cute covers. And since I only use them occasionally, I don’t mind the price. Plus, being a thrifty shopper, I like to look around for a variety of options on where to snag the cheapest disposable inserts.
One of the most common questions about cloth diapers is whether or not to take cloth on vacation. Until recently I had no input into the debate because I had no experience with it. But my family recently went to Disney World and whether or not to take cloth on vacation was a debate in our home for a few weeks. I thought I would share my experience to help others with their own debate.
It took a surprisingly small amount of coaxing to convince my husband to use cloth while on vacation. At first, like most husbands, he voted for the convenience of disposables over cloth diapers. But as has been true for some time now, he wasn’t super attached to the idea of the disposables. So, I did some calculations. I use cloth for financial reasons and the savings is what has convinced my husband to continue using them in general. So I turned to that old standby in deciding to use cloth on vacation. I have two in diapers. I go through 12 or 13 diapers a day. We were going to be gone for 10 days so that’s 120 to 130 diapers. That would mean 2 boxes of diapers at least, each box running from $25 to $35. It’s been a while since I had to buy disposables for any real length of time so the cost of $50 to $75 for a week’s worth of diapers gave me a bit of a surprise as well as my husband.
For those prices my husband was much more comfortable bringing our cloth on vacation. We stayed in a condo with a washer and dryer so washing was not a problem. But, honestly, the idea of carrying dirty or wet cloth diapers around Disney World did not appeal to me. In addition, we drove down to Orlando, and broke the drive into two days, both for the drive down and the return. With three children under the age of five, it just didn’t make sense to do the entire 14 hour drive in one day. And the reality is that I do not own enough diapers to get through two full days without washing. So we decided on a compromise. I bought a single box of diapers and we used those for the drive and for our days at Disney. However we used cloth around our condo and for the swim diapers in the pool.
Posted 01-27-2014 at 10:30 AM by yoliyoda
So I’m irritated. Grateful, but irritated. I recently got a few days work out of the house. Since I could use the cash, but haven’t found a sitter yet, I was happy to have my mom babysit. I actually unknowingly fell into attachment parenting before I even knew what it was. On so many levels I was nervous about leaving my son, even if it was with my mom.
The recent experiences has done nothing to quell my fears of leaving him.
Before the work days, I worked hard to pump enough milk to leave for him. Since I absolutely, positively hate pumping, this was a labor of love. I looked up information on safe human milk handling, and wrote out a detailed, yet simple, list of ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’. Also made some formula ahead of time, just in case, since we supplement. (As you shall see, this is where I went wrong). I made the maximum amount my son would have on a worse-case-scenario type day.
Also, to be considerate, since my mom was watching him and I figured she’d have enough on her plate just dealing with a baby for the first time in a while–I said she could use some of the left over disposables that were just laying around (another mistake). Since she insists cloth is confusing, I wanted her to focus on the breast milk handling. I figured that we’d have time to tackle cloth diapers since I would be asking her to watch him every now and again if I had to work.
What. A. Disaster.
Sonya Levien said it wonderfully. “Good intentions are not enough. They’ve never put an onion in the soup yet.” My mother has the best of intentions, they just don’t always translate into action.
I missed a call about 2 hours after I left home. I couldn’t return it until hours later.
“Where’s the milk?”
“What do you mean, ‘Where’s the milk?’ I showed you yesterday when we stood in the kitchen and I went through how to handle it. It’s in the bottom of the refrigerator.”
“Oh, OK. I’ll look again. Oh, and he pee’d right through that (cloth) diaper you had on him this morning, and I had to clean up his toy chair.”
“That’s because you didn’t change him mom. The diaper will always spill over if it’s so soiled it can’t hold any more.”
Click. Simple solutions, right?
When I got home my mother was