I sent a request to my twitter friends looking for families to talk to us about their cloth diapering experience and I was so happy when Chelsea volunteered to answer a few questions.
Chelsea is a homeschooling mom of 4 and started cloth diapering over 3 years ago so I am sure she has learned a lot along the way.
Hi Chelsea. First, I want to say thank you so much for volunteering to share your experience with us. I know you must be pretty busy with three children and homeschooling so I will keep it short and sweet. (and thank you for sending all the cute pictures of your family, 4 adorable boys must really keep you busy)
So you started cloth diapering about 3 years ago, what was your motivation at that time?
I started cloth diapering when I was pregnant with my third child. My oldest two boys were born a year apart, and were both still in diapers full time. I needed to save money, and cloth diapering seamed an easy way to slash my budget.
Have your reasons for cloth diapering changed over time?
Not really. With my first two children, I would spent $50-$80 per month on diapering supplies. I am just amazed at how much money I can save by cloth diapering. I buy a bag of disposables for emergencies and it lasts me 6 months!
I guess, you must have tried different styles of diapers, what are you using now and why?
I use a variety of styles and brands for different things. For around the house, I use prefolds in Booroi covers. They are quick and easy, and cost effective. For naps I use anything with snaps. For overnights, I use prefolds, a snappi, and custom wool longies. They are breathable, and bulletproof. We always have dry sheets. I love my Bumgenius for going out because they hold so much, and are the trimmest option I have.
What is your advice to anyone thinking about using cloth diapers but they are still unsure?
It really is easy. Cloth diapering can be as simple as you want it to be. When you use cloth, you just put the diapers in a pail just like with disposables, and wash them instead of taking them to the curb. There are easy solutions to most people’s concerns, and if you use a flushable liner, dirty diapers are still easy to deal with. Plus if a baby is exclusively breast fed, you don’t need to do anything special with the dirty diapers. It is all water soluble. Just put it in the pail. It doesn’t stink, and washes easily.
Did you find that people were on board with you when you started or did you receive different reactions?
I received different reactions. Some of my friends said things like “Gross! My husband could never make me use cloth.” My in-laws had used cloth back when it was plastic pants and pins, so they were supportive. I really think my husband expected me to quit. I think he just humoured me in the beginning, but now he is completely on board. I went away for two nights, and he used cloth the entire time! He even knows my wash routine!
Is there anything you know now but really wish you had known when you first started?
That it is better to use a dry pail. When I first started, I thought you had to use a wet pail. I wish I had known that an open dry pail is the best option for your diapers and the easiest.
And that it is good to have variety. What works for one baby, might not work for another. What works at one age might not at another. Every child is built differently, and changes over time. I have loved a diaper one week, and avoided it a month later. I try not to stick to one thing closing myself off to change. I know people who invested money in one type of diaper without really trying it first, and give up on cloth because it wasn’t working well for them. There are wonderful resources out there and getting multiple opinions is the safest road to take.
Any last comments or tips or predictions about trends in cloth diapering in the new year?
I really think people are taking a second look at cloth diapering. When I first stated, all I knew about was All In Ones and Fitted diapers. Now I see people using a different kinds, and people spending more on cloth diapering then they would have in disposables. There are some amazing hybrids coming out, like Flip, and Grobaby. It is getting easier to find things locally. I am really excited to see cloth diapers get popular. One day I will tell my kids that I thought a pocket diaper was an amazing idea, and they will look at me like I had it so rough!