We are expanding. Literally. And figuratively. Our family and our horizons. We want to share our experiences along the way and preserve the memories. Watch us grow, hopefully in more ways than one.
Friday, June 15, 2012
The Great Experiment: Cloth Diapers for A's A
If you thought that me still nursing at 12 months was unreal, then this is really going to knock your socks off. Or your Pampers, depending on who you are...
I'm trying cloth diapers.
Now, before you get all hot and bothered, start patting me on the back for being such an amazing mom, and think I'm better than I really am, I have to admit that I have not totally committed to this. Really, this adventure is still in the experimental phase. It could go either way. Only time will tell. But here's the thought process (and the math)...
Disposable diapers (we've been using Target brand during the day, Pampers Sensitive at night) are wonderful for many reasons. They are super absorbent and, if you know your kid and change them on time, almost never every leak. They are also thin and fit comfortably under most of Audrey's clothes - even the 6-month-sized pants she is now sporting as capris. You can buy them just about anywhere. They come in easy-to-choose sizes and the velcro-ish tabs make them adjustable. They are probably the one invention that single-handedly created the stay-at-home dad phenomenon. And that made it possible for the Teen Mom moms to survive.
BUT. They are not all rainbows and unicorns. They are horrible for the environment. They do not biodegrade. At all. Ever. Okay, maybe in 500 years they will be gone. But that's a long time for my baby's poop to be hanging out in a landfill. They are also filled with chemicals (hence the super absorbency) and give lots of kids diaper rashes. Plus, they are pricey. Even if you buy the biggest boxes possible and even if you use Target brand most of the time, you will probably spend close to $2 a day on diapers, if not more (especially when they are really little and poop all the time). $60 a month. $720 a year. Yikes. We don't spend that much on her food (because remember, I'm a pureeing genius.) And, the real kicker, a lot of disposables are horrendously ugly. I do not care for Sesame Street or Dora characters on my child's undergarments. (That's what sold me on the Target brand and the sensitives - they have unoffensive designs...) My daughter can only wear cute diapers. Really.
Our stash of cash.
So anyways, taking all of these pros and cons of disposables into consideration, especially my loathing for Whinnie the Pooh on Audrey's poo pants and all that cash spending a millennium in a landfill, I got to thinking. And I thought to myself - "I'm just going to give this a try. I will spend no more than $100 on some of the essentials for cloth diapering and see if I can do it. Even if I only do it on the weekends (our daycare will cloth diaper, but it's a LOT of extra work for us and them), I could make that $100 back. And, if we have more children, I can re-use the same cloth stuff and start making cash money for my family. And, besides, I can definitely afford to be a little more earth-friendly. I'm just going to give it a try."
And the I did some research. And I almost gave up before I got started. If disposables made it possible for dads to stay home and care for kids, cloth will send them (or at least Audrey's) back to the office asap... There are a bunch of options when it comes to cloth and it has its own lingo. I still don't have it all down. And if I ever start talking about stripping in my laundry room, it's NOT what you think. Making it even more difficult is that every cloth diaperer has their own opinion on which is best and there is no clear winner. I just wanted one that was easy. And cute. And that I could just go buy at one of the big box baby stores. I'd lose my nerve if I had to wait around on Amazon or eBay (the used cloth diaper market is raging on second-hand sites).
So, I put down the internet and just went to the baby stores to see what my options were. The two that I could find were gDiapers (Babies R Us) and Bum Genius (Buy Buy Baby). The difference between them is huge. With gDiapers, there is a cloth outer part and then an inner liner and padding that snap into the outer part. You can reuse the outer part all day long and just change the inner liner and pads. All the parts can be washed and dried with your normal laundry (though I keep them seperate and treat them gently). gDiapers makes cloth pads, disposable pads, and papery liners that can help to dispose of any poop. Bum Genius is all one piece and from what I can tell, you slide the cloth pad into a pocket on the inside. Since the pocket on the inside gets wet or poopy, the entire diaper needs to be changed each time. Based on this assessment, I thought I would try gDiapers. I didn't want to have to buy 5 or 8 of these things and do laundry on Saturday night in order for the weekend-cloth-diapering experiment to work.
So far, I like them. I'm still getting used to putting them on properly and preventing leaks, but they do what they are meant to do. I've saved my family maybe $8. Not bad. And by the end of the weekend, I'll have just about paid for one of the diapers. And hopefully gotten rid of Audrey's latest rash. Not sure where this is going to end, but it's started with good intentions. And I'm not giving up just yet. Every time I use a cloth diaper, I imagine the Pooh poop disposable that is NOT going to spend eternity in a landfill. And the 32 cents I just saved.