Prior to my first son’s birth in October 2006, my church generously had a diaper shower for me. In just one day, I received enough disposable diapers to last until Ben was 13 months old! The only thing we bought that was diaper related were the inserts for our Diaper Genie that always seemed to be overflowing with dirty diapers. It seemed like the perfect arrangement: super convenient, cheap/free, and a never-ending supply in the garage.
And it was… except for the frequent leaks and blow-outs. Ben even managed to soak one enough during the night once that it exploded! (Note: they are filled with tiny little granules that expand when wet and make a huge mess in a crib when one of the seams splits open!)
Then the never-ending supply ran out. By this point, we were having to change Ben every 1-1.5 hours just to keep him from leaking through onto his clothes if you picked him up or he sat down. We bought diapers for about a month before I decided that there had to be a better way to diaper our child. I had a friend who was just starting to cloth diaper her then 9 month old boy and I had always been intrigued by the idea, so I started to do some research.
At the time, I was pregnant with our second son, Taylor, so I knew that any investment I made could be used again with him. So I bought a couple dozen prefolds, a few covers, and a handful of Bum-Genius one size pocket diapers to start out. My husband was quite skeptical of the whole idea, but he was willing to give it a try if it would save us a ton of money over disposables.
Let’s just say the rest is history…. I have never bought another disposable diaper. My cloth diaper stash right now consists of prefolds, PUL covers, wool covers, pocket diapers, and a few all-in-ones.
Here are some of the things we’ve enjoyed about cloth diapering:
1. Saved tons of $$$$$$$$! I am still using diapers that were bought almost 5 years ago and they work just like new.
2. No more filling the landfill with tons of dirty diapers.
3. With the right diapers, you can stop leaks permanently! My kids sleep 10-12 hours at night with no leaks.
4. Diaper rash is a thing of the past. My personal favorite for super sensitive skin is using prefolds with wool covers for superior breathability, but all cloth diapers are better than disposables for preventing diaper rash.
5. Super cute prints and colors for those adorable baby bottoms!
6. Pants stay up way better for those kids that weren’t naturally gifted with a bum to hold them up.
7. Never worrying about running out of diapers. We were snowed in on vacation once for several days, but never had to worry about the diaper supply.
8. Warning: after using cloth diapers, all disposables will feel like cardboard and you will wonder why anyone would want to put that on their child’s bottom.
9. Far less mess than I had imagined. With breastfed babies, everything can go in the wash. Once they start on solids, all you need to do is shake the solids into the toilet and the rest comes out in the wash too. (Did you know that disposable diapers tell you to do this too?! and it’s actually illegal in some places to place human waste in the residential trash?)
10. Final warning: cloth diapers can be addicting and you’ll want one of every color, size, and shape imaginable!