Stephanie's Cloth Diaper Journey
August 26, 2013 8:28:00 AM EDT
Shortly after the birth of our fourth child, I took notice of The Green Nursery’s Facebook page. I grew up just down the road from Abby and knew she and her husband Scott owned a baby boutique, but I wasn’t quite sure what all they had to offer. I checked out their website and realized they sold not only natural baby products, carriers, and toys….they also had a whole bunch of cloth diapers! Really? Cloth diapers?? I was intrigued. I had no idea that people still used cloth diapers and that they have come a very long way! I realized that, nowadays, there are modern cloth diaper options that work and look a lot like disposables, only much cuter! I loved the idea of saving money and not having to run to the store when we ran out of diapers! I hated dealing with all the extra trash from disposables! Not to mention the one time a dog got into our trash and I ended up stepping in a torn up, rain soaked sposie.…I remember the gel crystals squishing up in between my toes….YUCK!
I was really excited to give cloth diapers a try! But when I saw all the different styles and brands to choose from, I was a bit overwhelmed. I sent Abby an email asking for advice and she definitely pointed me in the right direction. I ordered six bumGenius 4.0 pocket diapers. I knew if I didn’t like them, I could sell them for pretty close to what I paid. I was thrilled to see they shipped the same day I ordered! When the mail carrier brought the box to my door, I was so excited to open it and get my hands on them! They were so soft and cute! I prepped them and couldn’t wait to try them out the next day!
I was so pleased with our new diapers that I went ahead and ordered six more and a large hanging wetbag. Although they were a bit bulkier on my newborn than his disposables, I couldn’t get over how adorable they were! I loved all the different colors, and they felt much softer against his skin than the disposable diapers.
I used them for a few of weeks, but since I didn’t think I had enough to cloth diaper full time, I also used the boxes of disposables that were given to us as baby gifts. Then one day, I noticed our son’s bottom was getting a little red. Since I didn’t have any cloth diaper safe ointment or liners (if only I would have thought to cut up some old t-shirts or receiving blankets!), I decided to switch over to disposables so I could use regular diaper rash cream until it cleared up. Fast forward about four months later….. he was still wearing disposables. People would ask if I was still using cloth diapers or if I wanted to sell them. I kept telling them, “No, but I want to hold onto them…I may start using them again.” My husband urged me to sell the diapers, knowing I could get good money for them, but I told him, “I don’t think it’s a good idea. You never know, we may need them someday…”
After some unexpected circumstances we realized I really had no choice but to stay home with the kids and not return to work. As much as I love being home with them, losing that second paycheck was a big blow to our finances! I had to cut costs any way I could. One BIG expense was our disposable diaper habit. I remember walking through the baby aisle at the grocery store soon after we made the decision for me to stay home. Money was really tight that week, and I cringed as I picked up a big pack of disposables. I knew I would be right back in that very spot in another week or two. I thought to myself, “You know what? I have twelve perfectly good diapers at home! Why do I need to buy something I am just going to throw away and have to buy more of? It’s like I’m throwing money away!” I put down the box of sposies and walked away.
I went home and got the twelve bumGenius 4.0s out of hiding. Though having only twelve diapers was not ideal, I made those diapers work for us for several weeks. I got a routine down washing every evening and hanging the shells to dry overnight. I have even pinned a dishtowel on my son a time or two while waiting for diapers to dry! I also cut up and used old t-shirts and receiving blankets for cloth wipes.
Slowly, I added more and more diapers to our stash until I was able to wash every other day as recommended. I also added different styles and brands along the way. I now have a large stash of pocket diapers, all in ones, all in twos, covers, flats, and prefolds, and I love them all!
Had I not chose to buy those twelve initial diapers, it would’ve been a lot more difficult for my family when we were going through that rough spot financially. We were going through so many packs of disposables diapers and wipes! Freeing up the money really helped us make ends meet! It took a bit of getting used to, but we’ve learned to adjust to living on one income. I love the fact that we now can use the money we save to help pay bills or do something fun for our family! I am so glad I trusted my instincts and decided to hold on to those cloth diapers!