|Photo credit: http://www.froggyandthemouse.com|
I’ll be honest: money is the biggest motivator for us -- in one Mom's experience, she spent $4,000 on disposables and pull-ups for one child versus $800 on cloth diapers -- but there are plenty of great reasons to choose cloth over disposable. They’re better for the environment and they don’t expose your baby to chemicals. Supposedly (according to Moms who use them) soiled cloth diapers don’t stink as badly as soiled disposables, they help your child potty train faster, they don’t cause diaper rash, and they‘re better at preventing leaks and blowouts. Yes, the diaper washing process can be gross. But from what I’ve gathered about caring for an infant, I expect gross to become as commonplace to my routine as brushing my teeth no matter what diaper I choose.
But the world of cloth diapering can be very overwhelming. They’ve come a long way from the good ‘ole pre-folds with diaper pins my parents used on me 28 years ago. Now there are all sorts of options that even mimic the look and fit of disposables, like pocked diapers, AIOs (all-in-ones), AI2 s (all-in-twos), fitteds, and contours. Sometimes I feel like cloth diapering enthusiasts are speaking another language when you get them going on the topic.
Lost in a sea of online information, I decided to seek out a local source that could answer our questions and let us look, touch, and demonstrate (a must for the husband). Unfortunately it’s not as easy as a trip to Babies ‘R Us. To my surprise it was tough for me to find stores in the DFW area that sell cloth diapers, aside from the gDiaper hybrids that don’t really save money if you use their disposable inserts.
I discovered a small independent shop in Allen – an oasis of all things cloth diapering – run by a cloth diapering Mama, and this is where we took the class. The group got to touch and feel the different cloth diaper options, oohing and awing over things like inner gussets (a.k.a. poop catchers around the leg holes) and fun prints. We learned the language, discussed benefits of snaps verses Velcro, and listened intently as the class leaders explained the laundering process in full detail. I found it helpful to hear about these things in a class setting where folks ask questions I hadn’t even thought about, like what to do if your washing machine is starting to smell (wash it out with vinegar).
It’s a huge pain to drive to this store from where we live in Keller, but in my opinion the knowledge and one-on-one time with cloth diapering Moms was worth it. Especially since after the class my husband and I finally decided which options we’ll go with: old-school pre-folds with covers in the newborn stage, and then AIOs as he grows. AIOs are fitted cloth diapers that are probably the closest to disposable diapers in terms of ease of use. There are no pockets to stuff and no waterproof covers needed. These are great diapers, but I’m told the leg holes don’t always fit baby as nicely when he’s a teeny tiny newborn. Pre-fold diapers are rectangular shaped diapers with more layers in the center than on the outer two thirds. They need to be folded into shape and fastened with pins or a snappy, or they can also be folded into thirds and placed inside a Velcro-closing diaper cover. They need an outside cover to be waterproof.
We also bought some Rumparooz pocket diapers with the inner gusset “poop catchers” I’m excited to try.
I can’t believe I just used diapers, poop, and excited in the same sentence.
I’ll be sure to report back on whether this is working out for us, or whether I made a 3 a.m. trip to the store for Pampers in a fit of poop-up-to-my-elbows frustration.
Anyone use cloth diapers and have advice to offer, or know of any DFW cloth diapering stores or resources? Please leave me a comment, I’d love any help!
Megan Brooks is a Sr. Public Relations Specialist for Texas Health Resources, Stepmom, Mom-to-be due in November who is anxious to put her cloth diapering studies into practice.